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The article analyzes the main requirements for teachers in Western European pedagogical thought. It is established that the formulation of these requirements was associated with: the works of famous philosophers of ancient times, the views of English, German and French teachers, the creation of UNESCO, the approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and some other factors.
Keywords: teacher, requirements, pedagogical thought, Western Europe.

Tararak O. V.
Doctor of Philology, Associate Professor,
H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Tararak M. Y.
PhD in Philology, Associate Professor,
Kharkiv H. S. Skovoroda National Pedagogical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine


The study shows that in Western European pedagogical thought, the issue of the teacher’s personality was reflected primarily in the philosophical works of Cicero, who associated the image of the teacher with such qualities as benevolence, courtesy, and knowledge in various fields. In the Middle Ages, the teacher and his or her activities were completely dependent on the existing authorities. He or she was required to have a knowledge of Christian doctrine.

A significant contribution to the development of teacher requirements was made by Renaissance educators. For example, reflections on the character traits of a teacher-educator can be found in the work of the French Renaissance humanist Michel Montaigne, “Experiments”. In particular, the educator emphasized that teachers should be fair to other people and show mercy and kindness to others [2, p. 415].

According to scientific and pedagogical sources, one of the representatives of the New Age who developed the issues of teacher training and requirements for it was the English educator J. Locke. An important provision of his doctrine was the idea of spiritual and intellectual freedom of the teacher-educator [1, p. 93].

In his treatise, Voltaire adds such qualities as religious tolerance, tolerance, kindness, and meekness to the requirements for a teacher. In general, the philosopher considers tolerance to be a universal value and rightly argues that no one should suffer from a teacher who lacks such a quality as tolerance. Based on this, Voltaire wrote: “I insist that all men should be treated as brothers.”

It should also be noted that the famous French educator J.-J. Rousseau was the author of the concept of “universal tolerance”, which provided for the education of tolerance at the philosophical and theological levels [3, p. 208].

In the nineteenth century, the most significant contribution to the development of the issues under study was made by the English philosopher and economist J. S. Mill, who believed in the teacher’s personality and his ability to correct mistakes by establishing “reasonable views and reasonable behavior”. According to his theory, the teacher’s personality is identified with freedom. In his work “On Freedom,” the expert drew attention to the fact that every teacher needs to be protected from the imposition of thoughts and feelings dominant in society, not to impose his or her ideas and rights on others under any circumstances, and in no case to go beyond clearly defined boundaries.

According to French educational historian F. Mayer, since the mid-eighteenth century, France has seen significant changes in attitudes toward education and an increase in public interest in educating children. The most popular work of this period is considered to be J.-J. Rousseau’s Emile or on Education. It was in this work that the educator clearly formulated the main goal of education – the formation of a fully developed, happy personality that is completely free from any prejudice.

It is also worth noting that since 1879, France has emphasized the leading role of education and upbringing in the formation of a “free man”, a true citizen of the Republic. With this in mind, the importance of reason and critical thinking is proclaimed, which should prevail over various prejudices.

The generalization of scientific and pedagogical sources allows us to state that Western European pedagogical thought in the early twentieth century increasingly paid attention to the teacher’s personality and requirements for him or her. A significant contribution to the development of this issue of this period was made by the famous German educator R. Steiner. The educator rightly believed that a teacher should be tolerant and attentive to every student, regardless of their social, religious, or national affiliation. His primary task is to provide the education necessary for life, to develop the natural inclinations of each child, and to promote his or her inner freedom and dignity. With this in mind, Waldorf schools, being intercultural educational institutions with a clear future-oriented pedagogical concept, have practically proved that children of different social status, nationalities and religions can get along peacefully and learn together.

The most important requirements for a teacher-educator in Waldorf schools include: obligation, respect, and attentiveness to everyone around them, whether students, parents, or teachers.

The pedagogical system of the famous French educator Célestin Frenet is also permeated with the issues of requirements for the teacher’s personality, which emphasizes the possibility of self-expression and self-realization of both teachers and students, free communication between them, and the idea of a democratic school. The principle associated with the free expression of the individual has led to the creation of a favorable environment at school.

An important factor in improving the content of future teachers’ training, as T. Kharchenko rightly notes, is the process of humanization of education, the emergence of new philosophical trends in the world that focused on the learner, his or her interests and abilities [4, p. 70].

In the first half of the twentieth century, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made a significant contribution to the development of ideas about teacher training and requirements in Western Europe. The main task of this organization was to establish peace and prevent a new world war, which was reflected in the promotion of intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity.

After the end of World War II, the education system in Western Europe needed some modernization. According to experts, this period is considered to be the beginning of the reform of the teacher training system. In particular, in 1947, the Commission on Education Reform, led by prominent scientists from around the world, proposed an educational reform project aimed at adapting the structure of education to new economic and social realities.

This project proposed the structure and organization of education, developed a teacher training system, proposed new school curricula, and clarified the content of moral and civic education.

The adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the United Nations in 1959 also contributed to the consolidation of social and legal principles aimed at protecting and promoting the well-being of children. One of the principles is that the child should be brought up in a spirit of mutual understanding, friendship, partnership among nations, peace and universal support. This principle contributed to increased attention to the role of the teacher in the process of forming the student’s personality.

At the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century, the world pedagogical community noted a certain transformation of the teacher’s function. The teacher was now required to take an interest in the child’s life, not just his or her ability to learn in a particular field of knowledge. The teacher must teach his or her students to successfully communicate with others and to correctly determine their place in society.

An American psychologist and educator M. Rosenberg made a significant contribution to the development of teacher training and requirements for his personality. He proposed a clear educational strategy for teachers. Its goal was to provide teachers with effective ways to manage different situations that arise at school, to help them better understand children and adolescents, and to teach them communication processes.

Thus, the following contributed to raising the issue of teacher training and developing requirements for it in Western European pedagogical thought: the works of famous philosophers of ancient times, the views of English, German and French teachers (J. Locke, Michel Montaigne, J.-J. Rousseau, R. Steiner, S. Frenet), the creation of UNESCO, reforming the teacher training system, the approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and some others.

List of references

1. Locke J. Works: in 3 vols. Т. 3. 668 с.
2. Montaigne M. Experiences / translated from the French by A. Bobovych, N. Rykova. “Alfa Book, 2009. 1149 с.
3. Rousseau J.-J. On the Social Contract. Treatises. CanonPress, 1998. 416 с.
4. Humanization of Modern Pedagogical Education in France: Theory and Practice: Monograph: Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University, 2013. 560 с.