Training Quality Teachers
IntroductionThe quality of a profession improvement is fundamental to enacting, developing and sustaining teacher professional’s quality. Education of quality teachers is a key component of education in Kenya. Teachers have an impact in all education aspects and directly affect a country’s economy. Lucas, 1972 states that teacher education is quite an important aspect of education and via it teachers who are perceived as role models of any society are brought up and prepared. The education of quality teachers is the fundamental pillar of all established education systems and the guardian of the culture of society. These sentiments were also backed up by the sessional paper No. 6 of 1988 when it stated “there was vital need to develop and support quality teacher education program if the management of education within the country is to prosper and national growth is to be fast-tracked” (Republic of Kenya, 1988).Just as other education components education of quality teachers is affected by technological, political, social and economic society developments. Basing on real experiences in Kenya this report focuses on the shortcomings and practices of evolving professionals that are of quality in a developing nation. The paper also discusses the best practices and models in teacher professional development.
TOC o “1-3” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157431” Introduction PAGEREF _Toc377157431 h 1
HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157432” What is teacher education? PAGEREF _Toc377157432 h 1
HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157433” Importance of Teacher Education PAGEREF _Toc377157433 h 2
HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157434” Critical issues in teacher education PAGEREF _Toc377157434 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157435” Assessment Methods PAGEREF _Toc377157435 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157436” Issuance of Instructions PAGEREF _Toc377157436 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157437” Lesson Development PAGEREF _Toc377157437 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc377157438” Achievement of set Curricular Goals PAGEREF _Toc377157438 h 5
What is teacher education?Teacher education is a concept that has been so controversial, both in meaning and use. It’s a concept that is interpreted differently by different people, hence a multidimensional concept. Some people define teacher education as an education program that aims at equipping teachers with the basic skills necessary for them to handle their career. Others define this concept as a process through which teachers are exposed to the teaching profession and are taken through training on how to become good instructors. Yet another school of thought integrates the two definitions and defines teacher education as a training carried out in equipping teachers with both didactic and academic contents, in preparation for the challenges they are likely to face in their entire lives, especially as concerns their career life.
Management of teacher education has also raised brows among the concerned parties. It’s the lack of understanding on how effectively this aspect should be managed that has caused so much misunderstanding of the teaching concept itself. Failure to regard teacher education as a professional aspect makes people question if teaching in itself is a profession.
Importance of Teacher EducationResearch indicates that teacher education, and hence teacher quality accelerates national development and integrity. This makes education a driving force behind development in a society, hence why most countries focus more on developing quality teachers. This is supported by reports that have been written, indicating how much a country, and especially developing countries are investing to ensure production of quality teachers.
The history of formalized teacher education for instance in Kenya dates back to the 19th century during the times of Christian missionaries. The basis of the models that were used is associated to the European and Canadian teaching models. The main reason behind initialization of formal teacher education was the rapid expansion of schools and the need for education among the colonies. Bush schools were in much need of qualified teachers who could handle the students effectively and according to the Christian requirements.
Quality management is a theory in supply management that ensures eminence in a company’s products and services. Quality management deals with, but is not limited to the standards at which the company operates. Its paramount concerns involve customer relationship management, issues affecting leadership in the companies, and to what extent the people are involved in improving on the quality standards of the goods and services produced.
In the perspective of quality teachers, quality management is important in ensuring quality students from the instructions availed to them.
A major characteristic of quality teachers is that they manage the resources available and people as a process. For instance in instilling discipline in students, they acknowledge that this is a process and handle it with lots of understanding. Analysis on previous records indicates that untrained teachers were not effective in service delivery, and mainly their nature of discipline could often fail to yield the expected results.
Critical issues in teacher educationAssessment Methods
Some teachers assess students on the measure of their narrative and writing expository essays during examinations. This has been challenged as not a good mechanism of assessment since the environment under which the assessment is done may not be so conducive for the students to express themselves. On the other hand, other teachers assess students based on their understanding. This too has been challenged since different situations and factors may affect this aspect to a greater extent. Teacher education, therefore, aims at establishing standard measures for assessment.
Issuance of InstructionsWhen, where, why and how to issue instructions is another critical issue addressed by the people concerned with training quality teachers. Some of the instructional features advocated for include explaining concepts for the students to digest on their own, interpretation mechanisms, application of various frameworks during instruction and finally advocating for self-knowledge where the students are encouraged to do research on their own. Review of background information is also a step towards effective content delivery.
Lesson DevelopmentLessons have a unique way in which they should be developed if they have to meet the set objectives. Different teachers, however, may opt to doing their lesson plans in their own ways based on their own understanding. Such an attitude, however, fails to consider the diversity that exists within the students who make the main audience of the lesson planned. It’s this diversity that makes lesson planning a critical factor in ensuring teacher quality hence a major issue addressed in training teachers.
Achievement of set Curricular GoalsMost developing countries have a curriculum that teachers across the concerned country should follow when creating content and developing lessons. With this curriculum is also a set of specific goals and objectives that should be met once the syllabus is covered. Research indicates that when teachers are given the freedom to search for relevant content to deliver to the students the quality of education is compromised to a greater extent. This explains why the concerned body of government has to come up with a curriculum and train teachers towards