The Danish Union of Teachers (DLF), one of EI’s national affiliates, is struggling to ensure that teachers get adequate time for preparation and evaluation of their teaching – an element of teachers’ working conditions that has come under severe pressure in the last few years.
“As a result of the 2013 lockout and the ensuing law on teachers’ working conditions, Danish teachers will be forced to teach more lessons than they normally do when they return to their job after the summer holidays,” said DLF President Anders Bondo Christensen. “This will impact negatively on the time for lesson preparation and other tasks.”
Moreover, he said, to have better qualified teachers, DLF is working towards extending the teachers’ initial training from four years to a five-year masters’ degree. DLF engaged in a dialogue with Danish MPs about this proposal and will present some principles for a masters’ degree in June 2014 during a debate with politicians and other education agenda-setters.
Campaign for DLF’s professional ideal
In 2002, DLF also adopted a declaration on the professional ideal as a basis and guide for teachers’ work. The professional ideal has been re-launched this year in an attempt to involve the teachers in the debate about their profession and work after a difficult 2013 and the month-long lockout in the spring of 2013.
“The campaign’s aim is to make our members feel proud of the important job they are doing, and make them remember the dreams and objectives they had when they chose to become teachers,” Bondo Christensen stressed. “We also hope that the campaign will increase respect and support for the teaching profession.”
As a part of the campaign, DLF interviewed a number of teachers to find out how they view and make use of their professional ethics. These interviews were published in a leaflet and sent out to members together with the DLF members’ magazine, “Folkeskolen”.
Moreover, DLF is running a Facebook campaign, where teachers are asked to express what the professional ideal means to them, and DLF has arranged meetings around the country to start a debate about the professional ideal.
You can read DLF’s declaration of professional ideal here