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Home arrow Mathematics arrow Mathematics Teacher Preparation in Central America and the Caribbean: The Cases of Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela

Initial Preparation of Teachers

As was mentioned above, initial teacher preparation has been linked to the different historical periods. This preparation became important when the law was passed requiring teachers to be graduates of formal programs. It was supported by Inter-University Agreements, and by the creation of common programs that were developed with assistance from UNESCO.

“Modern Mathematics” was implemented in the teacher preparation process. New textbooks and continuing teacher preparation programs were also developed to support “Modern Mathematics” (Gonzalez 2011).

For the preparation of teachers studying the emphasis in Mathematics and Physics textbooks were used from the School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG) and the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC) in the United State of America where both series had been used in high schools. In Algebra courses the book by Allendoerfer and Oakley (McGraw-Hill, 3a ed. 1972) was used. The Leithold and Swokowsky book was used for Calculus. In General Physics at the university level the books of Feynman and Sears were adopted.

In the 1990s, the State Secretariat for Education, Fine Arts and Culture (SEEBAC) established programs for the continuing preparation of teachers. At the Elementary level there was the Program for the Development of Elementary Education (PRODEP) while at the Secondary level four universities implemented a Program for Professionalizing Secondary In-Service Teachers (PPMB). Approximately 8000 teachers from throughout the country took part in PPMB.

Also in this period the General Law of Education No. 66-97 was passed. In its Article 222 the Normal Schools and the National School of Physical Education were elevated to the level of higher education. Today they constitute INFODOSU. This same law created INAFOCAM as a decentralized organization, affiliated with the Secretariat of Education and in charge of coordinating professional development programs offered to teachers.

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