London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The dilemma of teachers' competences: a Portuguese survey

Author(s) Sousa, F. & Pratas, M. H.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
This paper reports on the Portuguese sample of a comparative study of competences concerning the expectations of students and perceptions of teachers, in secondary schools in Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Romania. In the Portugal sample, the students seem to appreciate their teachers’ professional competences, mainly in what concerns their subject knowledge. They believe the teachers are consistent and responsible. Both teachers and students stressed the importance and centrality of subject content knowledge in the education process. Concerning a cluster of ethical items, the students consider that the teachers respect them and allow them to state their opinions openly. Teachers are seen as coherent with their values and actions. The students´ responses seem to indicate a separation between the teachers’ personal and the professional identity. They feel that the teachers are, somehow, distant and not open to new challenges or to explore the learning opportunities outside of the school walls. This indicates a need to include citizenship competences in teachers’ lifelong learning professional development education.

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