Discourse analysis considers the following dimensions and categories: admission into the program and university, assessment of program training graduate profile, competencies acquired, pertinence of training for job performance and labor insertion process. Processing of information was done using the Atlas Ti Program. Below are exposed and interpreted the opinions of the graduates of three teaching programs for elementary school at universities with different levels of selectivity.
The information provided by the interviewees has been organized according to:. Background elements: Family environment and determinants of admission into the program and university. University training: graduate profile, relevance and sufficiency of competences acquired in the training process. Regarding educational trajectories prior to get access into university training, those who graduated from universities of high and intermediate selectivity reported having an initial interest in teacher education, as outlined below:.
Reviews of National Policies for Education : Tertiary Education in Chile
From school I was always interested in teaching. But I switched, I wanted something humanistic and the only program that allowed me to choose something with scientific orientations was a Teaching Program for Elementary School HSU - M - I studied History Teaching Program for a year and a half three semesters. By contrast, in the case of graduates from the low selectivity university, they suggested that their inclination for the program was the result of an exploration of alternatives and of moving along in the definition of a specific disciplinary area.
The following testimonies account for the aforementioned:. In school I wanted to study something that has nothing to do [with teacher education], so I entered business administration.
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It is interesting to note that in the case of graduates from the three types of universities, enrollment into Teaching Programs for Elementary School occurred after opting for other training alternatives after graduation from higher education. In other words, to study a teaching program for elementary school constituted a second option, which probably would be explained by the low assessment given to the teaching profession in Chile. This is illustrated by the following statement:.
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However, after finishing high school I studied a Teaching History Program for two years, and then I decided to switch to the [primary] teacher education program in the same university LSU - M - In the words of graduates from both low and intermediate selectivity university there is an evident appreciation of becoming the first professional in the family. This achievement, in turn, encourages other family members to undertake or resume studies, which attests to the importance placed by the family on counting with this first university graduate, as is expressed in the following statements:.
My sister has done technical nursing studies. So the first university graduate was me MSU - M - I am the first professional in my family. My Mother completed primary school [8 th Grade]. My Father completed secondary school. I have an elder sister that completed secondary education in a two-years-in-one program. With my higher education training I kind of motivated her so she decided to finish her secondary school.
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In interviewees from MSU and LSU, the low levels of both objectified and institutionalized cultural capital stand out. This results from the process of massification of higher education in Chile that started in and has intensified significantly during the last decade. This massification was due to the increased access to numerous institutions of dubious quality by those segments of students with the lowest admission test scores, coming from low income families. When analyzing immediate factors that prompted the choice of university degree program, graduates from the low selectivity university state that they were influenced by persons who they trusted, and view these persons as guiding references in a moment of confusion.
One of these graduates points out:. Because my Mother was a teacher, she always told me how nice it is to work among children.
I started to find it engaging how a teacher performs in class and how [being a teacher] you could also learn to perform by teaching. So, my Mother as a model who was close to me made me feel the program as something close and familiar LSU - F - It is surprising that the Mother, as a role model, was a teacher. By comparison, graduates from the high selectivity university point to academic and vocational factors as among the main ones that led them to enter the program, like the following testimony shows:.
I studied chemistry but I wanted to switch and study a humanist program so I entered a pre-university level course in history to prepare for the university entrance test. I took the test but then changed my mind and wanted a scientific program. The only scientific program I could enter having taken the history entrance test was the primary teacher education program, in which you can choose a science major, regardless of whether you entered through the history or the science test HSU - M - Besides the program choice, we inquired about university selection. This is exemplified by the following answer:.
It is interesting that the same point of view can be found among the MSU interviewees, who identify an institutional profile related to the educational project. Graduates show a defensive attitude towards disapproval for studying in a not socially accepted university, justifying their choice with non-academic arguments, or by making it clear that, whatever the case, they could have entered other institutions if they had so wanted. An example follows:.
When I entered university I could have chosen any university, but my option relates to how this university thinks, to its orientation towards what one does in life and how one thinks. In this sense, more than so much marketing, the important thing was centering on what one believes MSU - F - On the other hand, graduates from the low selectivity university express personal and practical reasons and arguments. The testimonies lead us to conclude that the reasons that guide university selection refer to situations external to the students, mostly economic ones, as is shown in the following lines:.
I entered this university because it was cheaper. In school I had a scholarship and other financial aid, and I could have entered other universities in which I would have had to make co-payments, so they were more expensive. LSU - M - Assessment of training received by primary teacher education program graduates was examined in the interviews referring to three issues: a identifiable aspects of graduate profile and their impact on employment; b assessment of the competences acquired in the training process; and c pertinence of program training for job performance.
Knowledge about primary teacher education program graduate profile does not differ importantly among graduates from high, mid-low and low selectivity universities.
Indeed, interviewees in general point out unawareness of and unfamiliarity with the notion. A statement making this point follows:. What we did know was that in the university they gave much importance to the sense of social responsibility, and this was evident through the training process HSU - M - They view graduate profile as a secondary aspect that the university discloses at occasions before students enter the program or on entrance, but only in a declarative and circumstantial manner. Referring to this, interviewees said:.
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But I can tell you that at the beginning of the program students get to know everything about graduate profile and all they need to know about the program MSU - M - Maybe there was insufficient discussion or an instance of conversation where we could talk about it in more detail, but we were provided the information LSU - F - Probably, this is because the teaching-learning process is not centered on graduate profile.
About the training process in the universities researched in this study, interviewees spontaneously mention the high appraisement they hold for the theoretical training received. Inquiring further, graduates from the three universities expressed dissatisfaction with shortcomings in professional performance training.
They pointed to shortcomings in child handling in the classroom, use of teacher-administrative tools and didactic skills upon graduation from the program. This would express a decoupling between the training received by students and real-teaching at schools. The following statements refer to this:. I think that I graduated knowing a lot about learning theories and teaching, but I realized that I lacked technical skills.
I feel that some subject matters were too superficial, that they lacked depth, didactic transposition for example, and that contents are carried out in practice with children. The program is undemanding in those practical matters HSU - M - They should teach you how to fill out the class book because every teacher has to do it. Interviewees from the LSU have a quite radical view about gaps in training, as is expressed in the following opinion:.
Training was OK and the only shortcoming was in contents. I mean practical knowhow. These cases show that teacher education programs are outdated or not connected to everyday teacher labor, and that they focus training solely on a theoretical point of view. In this sense, the three groups of interviewees point out being satisfied with their career paths.
However, when asked about pertinence of program training for job performance, their answers are emphatically negative.
Some enlightening words follow:. In school you look at many angles. Educational contents were too theoretical and not at all practical. Nevertheless, I was educated [in the program] for the real world, for public [municipal] schools where you find children with all kinds of problems, not only children that know how to deal with the world. So this was lacking in training: the class book.
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Another thing that [the program] lacks is linkage with special education because there are a lot of situations that need it. Special education teachers go their way and we go ours MSU - F - We dealt with that in class, but then clashed with it in school practice because schools are behavior pedagogy oriented, they are not constructivist.
So we clashed with that because we were taught something different in university. Get it? So you reflected on things you did wrong or that you were wrong about. For example, dealing with children with special needs. For me that was not akin LSU - F - So, as can be appreciated, for teachers that graduated from high, mid-low and low selectivity universities training flaws are associated with a lack of consistency between what they were taught at the university and pedagogical practices they encountered in schools.