Certification Policy: Reflections based on the Chilean Case of the INICIA Test for Beginner Teachers
The main purpose of this paper is to analyse a specific educational policy in a national context: INICIA (In Spanish: Start) in Chile. Enacted in 2008, this policy evaluates beginning teachers at the national level before they start their professional careers in schools. The INICIA has been categorised as a certification policy to measure what teachers know in relation to a certain disciplinary area. At present, INICIA is voluntary for beginning teachers. However, due to policy changes, a passing score on it will soon be necessary to become a nationally qualified teacher in Chile. Through a holistic analysis of the policy, we develop a complex picture of the problem INICIA generates as a requirement for certification. According to our analysis, INICIA has been misunderstood as a policy that provides quantitative and qualitative information about a teacher’s performance. In actuality, INICIA merely provides information about a specific moment in a teacher’s professional development and cannot be used as a predictor of future performance.
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