The Continuing and Graduate Education of the Mathematics Teacher
If we understand continuing preparation to be all that follows after receiving an undergraduate degree, then it can be classified as: preparation that leads to an academic degree (specializations, Master’s and doctorates), or preparation that does not lead to an academic degree (extension courses, updating, professional development, post-doctorates) (CNU 2001).
In Venezuela, the LOE (2009) defines permanent preparation as an integral continuous process that by means of policies, plans, programs and projects, updates and improves the level of knowledge and the performance of all those who share the responsibility of preparing future citizens. That is, permanent preparation is regulated by the State and proceeds from initial preparation to post-doctorates, including extension courses, updating and professional development. Permanent continuous preparation, understood as the professional development of teachers, intends to provide new visions and prepare teachers for new practices in the exercise of their functions.
The educational authorities charged with such policy development are those in the Ministry of Popular Power for Education and the Ministry of Popular Power for University Education. They have not been able to design a joint policy (nor separate policies) for the continuing preparation of Venezuelan teachers. Nor has there been an assessment of needs and priorities for the education system.
In practice it is basically the universities that have assumed the role of providing continuous preparation. They have developed initiatives such as Samuel Robinson Goes to School (UVC), Academic Extension Programs (UPEL and other universities) and ULA’s Venezuelan School for the Teaching of Mathematics. The Venezuelan Association of Mathematics Education (ASOVEMAT) has sponsored regional and national academic events.