Los directores de colegio según Bruner

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Columna publicada en el diario La Tercera del 26 noviembre 2008.

Cómo razonan

los directores

escolares


José Joaquín Brunner
nov. 26 , 2008

El sentido común y la evidencia empírica acumulada concluyen que el desempeño de los directores es un elemento decisivo para el éxito de sus colegios. Difícilmente una escuela puede ser efectiva si su cabeza falla, es incapaz de articular y transmitir una visión, de fijarse metas, inspirar a los profesores y alumnos o si no reconoce sus carencias y asume responsabilidad por los resultados de la organización. Cuando el centro rector no funciona, las cosas se desarreglan y el funcionamiento colectivo decae.

Pues bien, una reciente encuesta de la Universidad Central, aplicada a 144 directores de colegios municipales, privados subvencionados y particulares pagados, permite formarse una idea de cómo el estamento directivo de nuestros colegios se percibe a sí mismo y evalúa su rol, competencias y desempeño.

De entrada llama la atención la demografía de este estamento: 69% de los directores encuestados tiene 50 o más años de edad; un 22% más de 60. Algo más de un tercio lleva cinco o más años a cargo de su establecimiento; un 14%, veinte o más años. Estamos, por tanto, frente a un estamento envejecido y con baja rotación. Los directores entre 31 y 40 años son apenas un 5% de la muestra y aquellos de renovación más reciente, con menos de un año en la función, un 10%.

El grado de participación que declaran tener en dos aspectos fundamentales muestra notorias diferencias según tipo de establecimientos. En el caso de escuelas y liceos municipales, sólo un 7% considera que su participación en la elaboración del presupuesto institucional es alta o muy alta, y un 16% en lo relativo a la selección de su equipo docente. Estas cifras se incrementan a un 47% y un 86%, respectivamente, entre los directores de colegios subvencionados y a 76% y 93% entre los directores de colegios pagados. Sin duda, los establecimientos municipales están en desventaja debido a su menor autonomía y a las limitaciones del Estatuto Docente.

En cambio, la percepción que los directores poseen sobre sus propias competencias es notable. Tres de cada cuatro se autocalifican con notas 6 ó 7 en cuanto a sus cualidades para comunicar con claridad ideas, manejar conflictos, trabajar en equipo, realizar las labores de planificación institucional y pedagógica, tomar decisiones y apoyar la implementación curricular.

Asimismo, manifiestan un alto grado de conformidad con los logros obtenidos por sus alumnos. En promedio, 74% se declara conforme o muy conforme: 93% en el caso de colegios particulares pagados, 80% en los privados subvencionados y 51% en los municipales.

A la luz de los resultados del Simce, y de pruebas internacionales como Pisa, estos niveles de conformismo carecen de cualquier justificación. Lo mismo vale para la incidencia que los directores estiman tener en los resultados de aprendizaje de sus alumnos. Sólo un 4% considera que su propio rol es el factor más influyente y, más sorprendente aun, sólo un 4% adicional cree que el elemento decisivo es la calidad de la escuela o liceo.

En suma, la escena que aparece es poco alentadora. Directivos más bien envejecidos, con escaso rejuvenecimiento de la función, que cultivan una estupenda autoimagen, se hallan conformes con el (insatisfactorio) rendimiento de sus colegios y no se atribuyen (casi) responsabilidad alguna sobre los logros de sus alumnos.

Para avanzar en el mejoramiento de la educación se requiere romper con esta inercia autocomplaciente instalada en el vértice de los colegios y acometer seriamente la formación de futuros directores.

José Joaquín Brunner
Director Centro de Políticas Comparadas de Educación
Universidad Diego Portales

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