La walmartizacion de la Educación Superior (catedráticos por horas)

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Diarios Regionales 06 09 2015 

Cada vez más universidades en Estados Unidos y Europa están reduciendo el porcentaje de profesores nombrados a contratados a la par que reducen los fondos estatales para la  investigación, amenazando la libertad académica de investigación y cátedra, como acaba de ocurrir en Wisconsin. El balance,  las ganancias y eficiencia del servicio al cliente van por delante de la investigación crítica y el pensamiento independiente. (The dismantling of higher education, Al Jazeera America, July 19, 2015, Mark LeVine).

Más del 75% del profesorado universitario de los EE.UU. no son nombrados ni tienen beneficios laborales o de salud. Más del 25% de profesores con doctorados viven por debajo del umbral de la pobreza, al nivel de un cajero de Walmart. Eso obliga a preguntar si dedicarse a educar dejó de ser un gran camino para salir de la pobreza para ser un camino hacia ella. 

La walmartización de la educación superior es parte de la McDonaldización de la sociedad estadounidense, en la  que se devalúan  las habilidades generales y el pensamiento crítico en favor de las elecciones que hace el consumidor y  una mano de obra barata y controlable por los superiores. En ese esquema los profesores contratados difícilmente enseñarán aquello que desafíe a los estudiantes o los poderes fácticos de la comunidad.

Las universidades estatales europeas no se quedan atrás.  En el Reino Unido aún los profesores nombrados  están sujetos a la renovación basada en las publicaciones en una estrecha gama de revistas de "alto impacto" lo que hace muy difícil participar en la investigación innovadora y poco ortodoxa. En Suecia la presión por la enseñanza deja poco tiempo para la investigación. En  Noruega se han eliminado los sabáticos de investigación. Dinamarca acaba de reducir en un tercio a la plana docente en las humanidades y las ciencias sociales.  Si un profesor no tiene garantía de respaldo financiero antes de ser contratado y promovido en el campo de las artes y las humanidades, no tiene mucho futuro en la investigación. Los decanos y rectores elegidos por sus pares nombrados solamente favorecen lo que ellos piensan que es la investigación de mérito

Siendo así ¿vale la pena hacer de la carrera docente y de investigador una opción de vida? 

En FB https://www.facebook.com/leon.trahtemberg/posts/692903860810152?pnref=story 

Artículos afines:

Perversiones del mercado educativo universitario norteamericano

La nueva educación Superior al 2025: Australia, nórdicos y asiáticos emergentes lideran la nueva educación superior

Educación universitaria: mercado sin fronteras

Universidades de EE.UU. desplazadas por las de Corea y Hong Kong

Columnista afín 

Why I am ‘incredibly pessimistic’ about the future of public education By Mark Naison (Washington Post 11 03 2016)

According to the American Association of University Professors: The use of contingent faculty in higher education in the United States has grown tremendously over the past three decades. In 1975, only 30.2 percent of faculty were employed part time; by 2005, according to data compiled by the AAUP from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part-time faculty represented approximately 48 percent of all faculty members in the United States.

This growth in the use of part-time faculty has occurred despite low pay, almost nonexistent benefits, inadequate working conditions, and little or no opportunity for career advancement.

As a student of history who has watched how the financialization of capital and the expansion of technology has affected labor markets, housing markets and the political process, I am incredibly pessimistic about the future of public education.

After the 2007-2008 financial crisis in the United States, a growing number of those with investment capital seeking profitable outlets are seeing education — and educational technology – as growth areas. Resistance by students, parents and educators to high-stakes standardized testing and the Common Core State Standards confronted them with a temporary setback, but now they are poised to make an end run around the Opt Out movement by concentrating on “personalized learning” which requires a huge investment in computerization of classrooms as well as software.

Along with this remaking of schooling, the powers that be plan a data-based reinvention of teacher education that will require the closing, or reinvention of colleges of teacher education. If these plans go through, a majority of the nation’s teachers and teacher educators could lose their jobs in the next 10 years, replaced by people who will largely be temp workers making little more than minimum wage.

This isn’t just pie-in-the-sky thinking. It is happening in higher education with the switch to adjunct labor. I fear it is about to sweep through our public schools with the force of a juggernaut.

The higher education model should be a warning to what is in store for public K-12 educators. During the last 20 years, tenured faculty positions in universities have remained frozen, even in the face of dramatic growth in student enrollment, while administrative positions have proliferated and administrative salaries have skyrocketed. Students have not benefited. More and more are graduating with huge debt that they are unlikely to liquidate in a tight labor market.

But faculty have been hit even harder. The only growth in faculty hiring has been in the area of part time, or adjunct faculty, who were nearly 50 percent of the teaching staff in higher education  in 2015, according to a report by the American Association of University Professors. It says in part:

The use of contingent faculty in higher education in the United States has grown tremendously over the past three decades. In 1975, only 30.2 percent of faculty were employed part time; by 2005, according to data compiled by the AAUP from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part-time faculty represented approximately 48 percent of all faculty members in the United States.

This growth in the use of part-time faculty has occurred despite low pay, almost nonexistent benefits, inadequate working conditions, and little or no opportunity for career advancement.

This, I fear, is where we are heading in public education with personalized education. It is all the rage in education today, the idea that kids sitting at computers doing “personalized” work on computer programs is the way of the future.

I would not be surprised if, 10 years from now, well over 50 percent of classroom personnel will be part time workers supervising students sitting on computers working on “individualized” programs — because policymakers have taken a very narrow view of personalized learning. Too often in the past education policy-makers have taken narrow views of reform — all to the detriment of generations of young people — and there is no reason to think this would change now.

The damage here to teachers, students and the middle class would be enormous. But this, I fear is where we are headed — unless parents, educators and students decide to resist on a scale far beyond anything we have seen so far in the movement against corporate-based education reform.