Teacher Education and Teacher Quality

one 0 INTRODUCTION

One of the sectors which fosters national development is education and learning by ensuring the development of a functional human resource. The institution of strong educational structures leads to a community populated by enlightened people, who are able to cause positive economic progress plus social transformation. A Positive social change and its associated economic growth are usually achieved as the people apply the abilities they learned while they were at school. The acquisition of these skills can be facilitated by one individual we all ‘teacher’. For this reason, nations seeking economic plus social developments need not ignore instructors and their role in nationwide development.

Teachers are the major factor that drives students’ achievements in learning. The performance of teachers generally determines, not only, the quality of education, however the general performance of the students they train. The teachers themselves thus ought to get the best of education, so they can subsequently help train students in the best of ways. It is known, that the high quality of teachers and quality teaching are some of the most important factors that shape the learning and social and educational growth of students. Quality teaching will ensure, to a large extent, instructors are of very high quality, so as to have the ability to properly manage classrooms and help learning. That is why teacher quality continues to be a matter of concern, even, in countries where students consistently obtain higher scores in international exams, like Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). In such countries, instructor education of prime importance due to the potential it has to cause optimistic students’ achievements.

The structure of teacher education keeps changing within almost all countries in response to the pursuit of producing teachers who understand the current needs of students or just the demand for teachers. The particular changes are attempts to ensure that high quality teachers are produced and sometimes just to ensure that classrooms are not without any teachers. In the U. S. The, how to promote high quality teachers continues to be an issue of contention and, for the past decade or so, has been motivated, generally, through the methods prescribed by the No Child Left Behind Act (Accomplished Ca Teachers, 2015). Even in Japan along with other Eastern countries where there are more instructors than needed, and structures have been instituted to ensure high quality teachers are usually produced and employed, issues in relation to the teacher and teaching high quality are still of concern (Ogawa, Fujii & Ikuo, 2013). Teacher education is therefore no joke anywhere. This article is within two parts. It first discusses Ghana’s teacher education system and the second part looks at some determinants of quality teaching.

2 . zero TEACHER EDUCATION

Ghana has been producing deliberate attempts to produce quality educators for her basic school classrooms. Because Benneh (2006) indicated, Ghana’s purpose of teacher education is to provide a comprehensive teacher education program through the provision of initial teacher training and in-service training programs, that will create competent teachers, who will help improve the effectiveness of the teaching and learning that goes on in schools. The Initial teacher education program for Ghana’s simple school teachers was offered in Colleges of Education (CoE) only, until very recently when, University of Training, University of Cape Coast, Central University College and other tertiary establishments joined in. The most striking distinction between the programs offered by the other tertiary institution is that while the Universities educate, examine and award certificates for their students, the Colleges of Education and learning offer tuition while the University associated with Cape Coast, through the Institute associated with Education, examines and award certificates. The training programs offered by these establishments are attempts at providing several qualified teachers to teach in the colleges. The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher training programs in order to make sure quality.

The National Accreditation Plank accredits teacher education programs based on the structure and content of the classes proposed by the institution. Hence, the courses run by various organizations differ in content and structure. For example , the course content for the Institute of Education, University associated with Cape Coast is slightly distinctive from the course structure and content of the Center for Continue Schooling, University of Cape Coast and none of these two programs matches that of the CoEs, though they all honor Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) after three years of training. The particular DBE and the Four-year Untrained Teacher’s Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programs run by the CoEs are just similar, but not the same. The same can be said of the Two-year Post-Diploma within Basic Education, Four-year Bachelor’s education programs run by the University associated with Cape Coast, the University associated with Education, Winneba and the other Universities and University Colleges. In effect despite the fact that, same products attract same clients, the preparation of the products are done in different ways.

It is through these many programs that teachers are prepared for the basic schools – through nursery to senior high institutions. Alternative pathways, or programs through which teachers are prepared are seen to be great in situations where there are disadvantages of teachers and more teachers ought to be trained within a very short time. A normal example is the UTDBE program, mentioned previously, which design to equip non-professional teachers with professional skills.
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But this attempt to produce more teachers, because of shortage of teachers, has got the tendency of comprising quality.

Since noted by Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) the aspects that contribute to the problems of teacher education and teacher retention are varied and complex, but one factor that teacher educators are involved about is the alternative pathways by which teacher education occur. The prime purpose of many of the pathways is to fast track educators into the teaching profession. This short-changed the necessary teacher preparation that prospective teachers need before becoming class room teachers. Those who favor alternative ways, like Teach for America (TFA), according to Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) have defended their alternative pathways by saying that although the students are engaged in a short-period of pre-service training, the college students are academically brilliant and so have the capacity to learn a lot in a short time. Others argue that in subjects like English, Science and mathematics high are usually shortages of teachers, there must be a deliberate opening up of substitute pathways to good candidates that had done English, Mathematics plus Science courses at the undergraduate level. None of these arguments in support of option pathways, hold for the alternative teacher education programs in Ghana, in which the academically brilliant students shun teaching due to reasons I shall visit.

When the target is just to fill up vacant classrooms, issues of quality teacher preparation is relegated towards the background, somehow. Right at the selection stage, the alternative pathways ease the requirement for getting entry into teacher education programs. When, for example , the second batch associated with UTDBE students were admitted, I could say with confidence that entry needs into the CoEs were not adhered to. What was emphasized was that, the applicant should be a non-professional basic school instructor who has been engaged by the Ghana Education Service, and that the applicant holds a certificate above Simple Education Certificate Examination. The levels obtained did not matter. If this pathway had not been created, the CoEs may not have trained students who initially did not qualify to enroll in the normal DBE program. However , it leaves in its trail the debilitating effect compromised quality.

Even with regular DBE programs, I have realized, just recently I have to say, that CoEs in, specific, are not attracting the candidates with very high grades. This as I have learnt now has a huge influence on both teacher quality and instructor effectiveness. The fact is, teacher education applications in Ghana are not regarded as exclusive programs and so applicants with higher grades do not opt for education applications. And so the majority of applicants who make an application for teacher education programs have, fairly, lower grades. When the entry requirement for CoEs’ DBE program for 2016/2017 academic year was published, I noticed the minimum entry grades had been dropped from C6 to D8 for West African Senior Supplementary School Examination candidates. This drop in standard could only become attributed to CoEs’ attempt to attract a lot more applicants. The universities too, reduce their cut off point for education programs so as attract more candidates. The universities as alleged simply by Levine (2006) see their instructor education programs, so to say, as cash cows. Their desire to earn money, force them to lower admission specifications, like the CoEs have done, in order to increase their enrollments. The fact that, admission standards are internationally lowered in order to achieve a goal of increasing numbers. This weak recruitment practice or lowering of requirements introduce a serious challenge to teacher education.

The Japanese have been able to make teacher education and teaching renowned and therefor attract students along with high grades. One may argue that within Japan, the supply of teachers far exceeds the demand and so authorities are not under any pressure to employ teachers. Their system won’t endure if they do all they can to select higher grade student into instructor education programs. To them, the issues associated with the selection of teachers are more important that the difficulties relating to recruitment. However , in western and African countries the issues in relation to recruitment are prime. It is so because the demand for teachers far outweighs that of supply. Western and African countries have difficulties prospecting teachers because teachers and the teaching profession is not held in higher esteem. Teacher education programs consequently do not attract students who have very good grades. It is worth noting that, it is not the recruiting procedure only that determines whether or not teacher training will be prestigious, however recruiting candidates with high grades, ensures that after training, teachers will exhibit both characteristics essential to effective teaching : quality and effectiveness. Teacher education can be effective if the teaching profession is held in high worth and therefore able to attract the best associated with applicants. Otherwise, irrespective of incentives put into place to attract applicants and regardless of the measures that will be put in place in order to strengthen teacher education, teacher schooling programs cannot fully achieve its purpose.

In order to strengthen teacher preparing, there is the need for teacher preparation programs to provide good training during the preliminary teacher training stage, and provide and sustain support during the first couple of years after the teachers have been employed. This is why Lumpe (2007) supports the idea that pre-service teacher education programs should ensure teachers have gained a good knowledge of effective teaching strategies. Methodology courses therefore should center on effective teaching strategies. Irrespective of the pathway the training program takes, the program must be organized such that trainees gain knowledge about pedagogy, besides the knowledge of subject matter. They should also get enough exposure to practical classroom encounter like the on-campus and off-campus training practice. Whether or not there is the need to fill vacancies in the classroom due to the higher teacher attrition, many countries encounter, teacher preparation programs should purpose at producing quality and efficient teacher and not just filling vacancies.

three or more. 0 DETERMINANTS OF TEACHER QUALITY

Teacher quality has such tremendous influence on students’ learning. Anyone who has been in the teaching business will certainly agree that teacher quality can be central to education reform initiatives. Priagula, Agam & Solmon (2007) described teacher quality as an important in-school factor that impact significantly on students’ learning. Quality instructors have positive impact on the success of students. Where the students have quality and effective teachers the students create learning gains while those with ineffective teachers show declines. With respect to the classroom teacher, teacher quality is a continuous process of doing self-assessment so as to have professional development and a self-renewal, in order to enhance teaching. For the teacher educator, an effective or quality teacher any who has a good subject-matter and pedagogy knowledge, which the he/she can develop upon.

Outstanding teachers possess plus exhibit many exemplary qualities. They have the skills, subject matter, and pedagogy to reach every child. They help equip their students with the knowledge and breadth of awareness to make properly independent judgments. Three determinants associated with teacher quality will be considered here. They are; pedagogical knowledge, subject-matter articles knowledge and experience.

One Reply to “Teacher Education and Teacher Quality”

  1. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I want to put in writing like this additionally ?taking time and actual effort to make a very good article?but what can I say?I procrastinate alot and on no account appear to get one thing done.

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