International Journal of
Peace and Development Studies

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Peace and Dev. Stud
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6621
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPDS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 97

Full Length Research Paper

Exploring the reality in which members of the teaching profession are immersed in Argentina: A case study

  Augusto Geraci1, Pedro Luis Luchini2* and Lucia Rolón2        
  1Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina. 2Universidad CAECE Sede Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 January 2011
  •  Published: 28 February 2011

Abstract

 

The concept of teachers’ precarious working conditions refers to the pressures and adjustments suffered, during the last decades, in public schools in Argentina. The Neo-liberal project influenced all aspects of public and social life, such as health, education and working rights; deteriorated the conditions under which those sectors function; and destabilized labor structurally. The pressure exercised by international organizations, such as the IMF and the World Bank, affected Educational Policies, which considered the educational crisis to be, basically, one of efficiency and effectiveness in the system, as well as in the quality of the services and their administrator: the State. As a result of these policies, structural changes imposed new operational rules and orders not only on the labor sphere, but also on the curriculum. Those changes also reinforced the techno-bureaucratization of the system, blurred the pedagogical sphere and accentuated the social breach. This case study attempts at a critical analysis of the impact those changes had on the working conditions of teachers, particularly concentrating on issues related to teachers’ health and pathologies connected to their tasks performance. Following a qualitative approach, interviews to the main characters involved were conducted in order to analyze the impact this problem had on their working performance. How did the idea of investigating teachers’ discomfort arise? It arose from my own experience. I noticed that in certain places, such as teachers’ room and school corridors, there were several unfair and troubling issues. Teachers’ room is usually a place where a lot of discomfort takes place, where even students are often despised. Those things made me feel sick, I suffered from dysphonia, I easily caught colds, I was distressed and disappointed. I often wondered, what is wrong with us? Why do we get to this point? In order to become a teacher, one needs to have a strong sense of vocation. Some people think teaching is simply a profession, but I think it needs to be based on our love for others.

 

Key words: Teachers’ job, educational policy, precarious working conditions, occupational health.