Initial and Continuing Preparation, and the School Curriculum
In Venezuela it is evident that a disconnection between the State regulatory and planning entities, and the teacher preparation institutions exists. Especially, a marked lack of connections between curricular changes promoted by government entities and implemented at the Elementary and Secondary levels, and curricular changes in the teacher preparation institutions are now a tradition. The implementation of the Bolivarian Curricular Design began in 2007 at the school level and implied a need for the universities to redesign the teacher preparation curriculum, but that process is still incomplete.
It can be said that currently the main link between initial preparation and the school curriculum is the student teaching experience. The student teaching experience has four phases. The first is a scientific observation phase with the purpose of arriving at an understanding of three relationships: teacher-student, teacher-school and teacher-community. There follows a trial phase directed at planning, carrying out and evaluating teaching in simulated situations, attempting to integrate mathematical and pedagogical content. Then the student realizes a research project to improve or transform a problem situation that has been detected in a school. In some universities that research leads to the presentation of a thesis. Finally, the moment of the greatest link between the school and the university arrives, but because it happens in the last semesters, it loses the formative character required in Resolution N° 1.
In the development of the component of specialization in Mathematics there is little reference to the school curriculum. The disciplinary contents are approached from a conceptual and technical point of view with some rigor. However, there are serious limitations in understanding them as objects for teaching at lower educational levels to facilitate student learning; that is, when they are part of school Mathematics (Leon et al. 2013b).
In the environment of continuing preparation, the link between teacher preparation and school curriculum is sporadic. It responds to immediate needs such as the adoption of a new curricular design or the implementation of some national program. In these cases, obligatory professional development courses are offered.