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Resolution 874 (1987)

Quality and effectiveness of school teaching

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 30 January 1987 (28th Sitting) (see Doc. 5670, report of the Committee on Culture and Education). Text adopted by the Assembly on 30 January 1987 (28th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Having noted the report of its Committee on Culture and Education (Doc. 5670) and the hearing held by that committee on ‘‘The teacher in question'' in Vaduz in May 1986 ;
2. Convinced of the importance of the quality, relevance and effectiveness of school education as preparation of the individual for life in a competitive society and as a basic condition for our countries to keep pace with economic growth ;
3. Considering that education is a particularly effective way of improving inter-community relations and helping young people of immigrant origin to play a part in the society of the host community ;
4. Affirming the increasing importance of school education in the face of competing out-of-school pressures on young people and the decline of the educational role of the family ;
5. Believing that social change, technological development and the rise in unemployment make necessary the continual re-evaluation of school education (at primary and secondary levels), with regard to the optimal use of resources and the proper preparation of those involved in the teaching process ;
6. Noting that educational standards are changing rather than falling, and drawing attention to the professional skills required of the teacher in order to meet these changes ;
7. Believing that, to ensure the recruitment and maintenance of a teaching profession with the motivation, flair and competence required, considerable improvements should be made regarding :
7.1. teachers' pay, status and conditions of employment ;
7.2. teachers' working conditions (such as reduced class sizes and ability ranges) ;
7.3. initial and in-service training of teachers ;
7.4. involvement of teachers in policy discussions affecting the school or curriculum ;
7.5. introduction of new teaching methods on the basis of educational research ;
8. Believing that, when designing syllabuses, consideration should be given to the fact that classes can include a large number, and sometimes a majority, of young people of immigrant origin ;
9. Underlining the need also for a constructive partnership between teachers, parents and pupils, co-operation between schools and industry and trade unions, and the development of an interactive relationship between the school and the community ;
10. Interested in possibilities of further encouraging the performance of teachers through assessment, merit pay and other differentials, but believing that this can only be negotiated when the more basic conditions have been met ;
11. Believing that better use should be made of the pool of qualified teacher talent (especially when there are so many unemployed), for example to improve teacher-pupil ratios and to enable teachers to profit from in-service training without disrupting the curriculum ;
12. Noting the decision of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education to take as the main theme of the 15th Session in Helsinki in May 1987 ‘‘New challenges for teachers and their education'', and welcoming the considerable preparatory discussion this has involved in both non-governmental and intergovernmental bodies, and notably the 4th All-European Conference of Directors of Educational Research Institutions (Eger, Hungary, October 1986) ;
13. Recalling its Resolutions 807 (1983) on European co-operation in the field of education, and 866 (1986) on East-West relations,
14. Invites the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education :
a. to fulfil its role as an overview body on European co-operation in the field of education, by continuing to review and evaluate the activities of the international organisations concerned with a view to enabling governments to co-ordinate this work more effectively and more usefully ;
b. in the context of ongoing European co-operation, to make proposals for specific activities to be carried out by the Council of Europe in such fields as :
14.2.1. initial and in-service training of teachers ;
14.2.2. assessment of the effectiveness of teaching and training ;
14.2.3. intercultural education in the context of fostering better relations between children of migrant origin and the host community ;
14.2.4. training of teacher trainers, school heads and education administrators ;
14.2.5. the development of teacher exchanges in Europe.