was held on: “Formation needs of teachers, leaders, and collaborators of the Salesian School of America – Challenges for post-pandemic professional development”, with the purpose of studying the formation needs that educators recognize as fundamental to respond today to the challenges of education in the complexity of the post-pandemic scenario, and to continue to offer quality education in Salesian Schools in America.
With this Webinar, the Central Commission shares the process and the implementation of a research on formation needs conducted at the end of 2021. The 21 Countries that responded to the survey carried out by the team of the Formation Center for Educators of the Brazil Salesian Network, headed by Ana Paula Costa & Silva who presented the results of the 4,974 responses.
The online meeting opened with the greetings of the Referents for the School; Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes, of the Youth Ministry Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; and Fr. Claudio Cartes of the Youth Ministry Dicastery of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
In her greeting, Sr. Ivone recalled that “Educating like Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello is a great challenge. In the century of immediacy, instant communication, and the fragmentary nature of relationships, pandemics, and wars, the Preventive System is more than never timely and necessary”. She expressed the hope that all the Salesian Educating Communities of the American continent will unite in a large network to face the challenges of post-pandemic professional development.
Fr. Claudio Cartes then presented the other speaker, Prof. Gonzalo Muñoz Stuardo, sociologist and researcher at the Diego Portales University of Chile, who spoke about the importance of professional growth today and the development of skills for the continuous progress of Educating Communities:
“We are in an unprecedented time, very demanding from the point of view of the teaching profession, overloaded with demands. With the pandemic, it has not been easy to manage non-attendance at school and, with the return to class, secondary education is not as we knew it before. In this new scenario, the international results show us that the new generations and people in general consider the profession more demanding than before. At the same time, it has been re-evaluated, but it is actually more complex than before.
The answer lies in the professional skills of the teaching staff and management team, because that is where the ability of a system is found to improve and respond to the needs of students and School Communities.”
In this regard, the Professor highlighted some aspects to be strengthened in order to focus, as Educating Communities, on professional growth and therefore on situated learning: motivations, policies, management, financial and human resources, above all practical knowledge, networking, …
It also emerged that with the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly necessary to expand the skills and actions regarding the socio-emotional and spiritual areas with some specific professional skills, so that the students, boys/girls, adolescents, and young people may receive an ever more integral formation. Consequently, this requires the integrity of the educators.
In the second part of the Webinar, Ana Paula Costa & Silva presented the research data in detail, inviting everyone to use the results concretely, implementing concrete formation actions that involve all the staff, teaching and non-teaching, to make more innovative models of the educational programs of the Salesian Schools in America, making use of digital technologies with creativity and working online to the ensure ongoing formation of staff, to benefit the quality of all schools.