Page: 34-65 Author: Straková, J., Spilková, V., Friedlaenderová, H., Hanzák, T., Simonová, J. Key words: professional convictions of the teacher, compulsory education, curricular reform
his article presents the main results of a study of the professional convictions of teachers at basic school and students at faculties training future teachers undertaken as part of the research plan, The Teaching Profession and Changing Demands on Education in 2011. (Limitations of space mean we cannot present the whole survey and its results here. We therefore focus just on the main findings from the quantitative part of the study. Answers to the individual research questions will be presented in detail separately). The study was motivated by interest in gaining a better understanding of how teachers today think about their work. In the last decades society has been undergoing fundamental change and with it change in the demands on the work of the teacher. The curricular reform taking place in Czech basic schools has been placing a range of new demands on teachers. Increasing demands are affecting all the major areas of the teacher’s activity. Teachers now have to keep up with more comprehensively conceived educational goals (not only the traditional stress on the sum of knowledge), focus on meaningful content of teaching material, the active input of the pupil and co-operative forms of teaching, approaches geared to the individuality of the pupils, emphasis on team work in the frame of the teaching staff, and co-operation with parents and other social partners of the school. The study aimed to contribute to the understanding of teachers today, identifying their opinions, convictions and values. One important task was to look for answers to the question of whether contemporary teachers see the need for the changes and whether they identify with the aspects of curricular reform that are new and have no tradition in the Czech school. The authors of the study hope that it will assist in a better understanding of the potential obstacles to realisation of the curricular reform, and more broadly the adaptation of the Czech school to the changing needs of modern society.