Teacher Education along with Teacher Quality
- September 15, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: CPR Training
One of the sectors which fosters national development is actually education by ensuring the development of a functional human resource. The institution of strong educational structures leads to a society populated by enlightened people, who can cause positive economic progress along with social transformation. A Positive social transformation along with its associated economic growth are achieved as the people apply the skills they learned while they were in school. The acquisition of these skills is actually facilitated by one individual we all ‘teacher’. just for This particular reason, nations seeking economic along with social developments need not ignore teachers along with their role in national development.
Teachers are the major factor which 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 therefore ought to get the best of education, so they can in turn help train students within the best of ways. the item is actually known, which the quality of teachers along with quality teaching are some of the most important factors which shape the learning along with social along with academic growth of students. Quality training will ensure, to a large extent, teachers are of very high quality, so as to be able to properly manage classrooms along with facilitate learning. which is actually why teacher quality is actually still a matter of concern, even, in countries where students consistently obtain high scores in international exams, such as Trends in Mathematics along with Science Study (TIMSS). In such countries, teacher education of prime importance because of the potential the item has to cause positive students’ achievements.
The structure of teacher education keeps changing in almost all countries in response to the quest of producing teachers who understand the current needs of students or just the demand for teachers. The modifications are attempts to ensure which quality teachers are produced along with sometimes just to ensure which classrooms are not free of teachers. within the U.S.A, how to promote high quality teachers has been an issue of contention along with, for the past decade or so, has been motivated, basically, through the methods prescribed by the No Child Left Behind Act (Accomplished California Teachers, 2015). Even in Japan along with different Eastern countries where there are more teachers than needed, along with structures have been instituted to ensure high quality teachers are produced along with employed, issues relating to the teacher along with teaching quality are still of concern (Ogawa, Fujii & Ikuo, 2013). Teacher education is actually therefore no joke anywhere. This particular article is actually in two parts. the item first discusses Ghana’s teacher education system along with within the second part looks at some determinants of quality teaching.
2.0 TEACHER EDUCATION
Ghana has been generating deliberate attempts to produce quality teachers for her basic school classrooms. As Benneh (2006) indicated, Ghana’s aim of teacher education is actually to provide a complete teacher education program through the provision of initial teacher training along with in-service training programs, which will produce competent teachers, who will help improve the effectiveness of the teaching along with learning which goes on in schools. The Initial teacher education program for Ghana’s basic school teachers was offered in Colleges of Education (CoE) only, until quite recently when, University of Education, University of Cape Coast, Central University College along with different tertiary institutions joined in. The most striking difference between the programs offered by the different tertiary institution is actually which while the Universities teach, examine along with award certificates to their students, the Colleges of Education offer tuition while the University of Cape Coast, through the Institute of Education, examines along with award certificates. The training programs offered by these institutions are attempts at providing many qualified teachers to teach within the schools. The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher training programs in order to ensure quality.
The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher education programs based on the structure along with content of the courses proposed by the institution. Hence, the courses run by various institutions differ in content along with structure. For example, the course content for the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast is actually slightly different via the course structure along with content of the Center for Continue Education, University of Cape Coast along with none of these two programs matches which of the CoEs, though they all award Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) after three years of training. The DBE along with the Four-year Untrained Teacher’s Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programs run by the CoEs are only similar, however not the same. The same can be said of the Two-year Post-Diploma in Basic Education, Four-year Bachelor’s degree programs run by the University of Cape Coast, the University of Education, Winneba along with the different Universities along with University Colleges. In effect even though, same products attract same clients, the preparation of the products are done in different ways.
the item is actually through these many programs which teachers are prepared for the basic schools – via nursery to senior high schools. Alternative pathways, or programs through which teachers are prepared are seen to be not bad in situations where there are shortages of teachers along with more teachers ought to be trained within a very short time. A typical example is actually the UTDBE program, mentioned above, which design to equip non-professional teachers with professional skills. however This particular attempt to produce more teachers, because of shortage of teachers, has the tendency of comprising quality.
As noted by Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci along with Stone (2010) the factors which contribute to the problems of teacher education along with teacher retention are varied along with complex, however one factor which teacher educators are concerned about is actually the alternative pathways through which teacher education occur. The prime aim of many of the pathways is actually to fast track teachers into the teaching profession. This particular short-changed the necessary teacher preparation which prospective teachers need before becoming classroom teachers. Those who favor alternative routes, like Teach for America (TFA), according to Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci along with Stone (2010) have defended their alternative pathways by saying which even though the students are engaged in a short-period of pre-service training, the students are academically brilliant along with so hold the capacity to learn a lot in a short period. Others argue which in subjects like English, Science along with mathematics where there are usually shortages of teachers, there must be a deliberate opening up of alternative pathways to not bad candidates who had done English, Mathematics along with Science courses at the undergraduate level. None of these arguments in support of alternative pathways, hold for the alternative teacher education programs in Ghana, where the academically brilliant students shun teaching due to reasons I shall come to.
When the target is actually just to fill vacant classrooms, issues of quality teacher preparation is actually relegated to the background, somehow. Right at the selection stage, the alternative pathways ease the requirement for gaining entry into teacher education programs. When, for example, the second batch of UTDBE students were admitted, I can say with confidence which entry requirements into the CoEs were not adhered to. What was emphasized was which, the applicant must be a non-professional basic school teacher who has been engaged by the Ghana Education Service, along with which the applicant holds a certificate above Basic Education Certificate Examination. The grades obtained did not matter. If This particular pathway had not been created, the CoEs could not have trained students who initially did not qualify to enroll within the regular DBE program. However, the item leaves in its trail the debilitating effect compromised quality.
Even with regular DBE programs, I have realized, just recently I must say, which CoEs in, particular, are not attracting the candidates with very high grades. This particular as I have learnt at This particular point carries a huge influence on both teacher quality along with teacher effectiveness. The fact is actually, teacher education programs in Ghana are not regarded as prestigious programs along with so applicants with high grades do not opt for education programs. along with so the majority of applicants who apply for teacher education programs have, relatively, 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 via C6 to D8 for West African Senior Secondary School Examination candidates. This particular drop in standard could only be attributed to CoEs’ attempt to attract more applicants. The universities too, lower their cut off point for education programs so as attract more candidates. The universities as alleged by Levine (2006) see their teacher education programs, so to say, as cash cows. Their desire to make money, force them to lower admission standards, like the CoEs have done, in order to boost their enrollments. The fact which, admission standards are internationally lowered in order to achieve a goal of increasing numbers. This particular weak recruitment practice or lowering of standards introduce a serious challenge to teacher education.
The Japanese have been able to make teacher education along with teaching prestigious along with therefor attract students with high grades. One may argue which in Japan, the supply of teachers far exceeds the demand along with so authorities are not under any pressure to hire teachers. Their system won’t suffer if they do all they can to select higher grade student into teacher education programs. To them, the issues relating to the selection of teachers are more important which the issues relating to recruitment. However, in western along with African countries the issues relating to recruitment are prime. the item is actually so because the demand for teachers far outweighs which of supply. Western along with African countries have difficulties recruiting teachers because teachers along with the teaching profession is actually not held in high esteem. Teacher education programs therefore do not attract students who have very not bad grades. the item is actually worth noting which, the item is actually not the recruiting procedure only which determines whether or not teacher education will be prestigious, however recruiting candidates with high grades, ensures which after training, teachers will exhibit the two characteristics essential to effective teaching – quality along with effectiveness. Teacher education can be effective if the teaching profession is actually held in high esteem along with therefore able to attract the best of applicants. Otherwise, irrespective of incentives put into place to attract applicants along with irrespective of the measures which will be put in place to strengthen teacher education, teacher education programs cannot fully achieve its purpose.
In order to strengthen teacher preparation, there is actually the need for teacher preparation programs to provide not bad training during the initial teacher training stage, along with provide along with sustain support during the first few years after the teachers have been employed. which is actually why Lumpe (2007) supports the idea which pre-service teacher education programs should ensure teachers have gained a not bad understanding of effective teaching strategies. Methodology classes therefore should center on effective teaching strategies. Irrespective of the pathway the training program takes, the program must be structured such which trainees gain knowledge about pedagogy, besides the knowledge of subject matter. They should also get enough exposure to practical classroom experience like the on-campus along with off-campus teaching practice. Whether or not there is actually the need to fill vacancies within the classroom due to the high teacher attrition, many countries face, teacher preparation programs should aim at producing quality along with effective teacher along with not just filling vacancies.
3.0 DETERMINANTS OF TEACHER QUALITY
Teacher quality has such enormous influence on students’ learning. Anyone who has been within the teaching business will agree which teacher quality is actually central to education reform efforts. Priagula, Agam & Solmon (2007) described teacher quality as an important in-school factor which impact significantly on students’ learning. Quality teachers have positive impact on the success of students. Where the students have quality along with effective teachers the students make learning gains while those with ineffective teachers show declines. With respect to the classroom teacher, teacher quality is actually a continuous process of doing self-assessment so as to have professional development along which has a self-renewal, in order to enhance teaching. For the teacher educator, an effective or quality teacher is actually one who carries a not bad subject-matter along with pedagogy knowledge, which the he/she can build upon.
Outstanding teachers possess along with exhibit many exemplary qualities. They hold the skills, subject matter, along with pedagogy to reach every child. They help equip their students with the knowledge along with breadth of awareness to make sound along with independent judgments. Three determinants of teacher quality will be considered here. They are; pedagogical knowledge, subject-matter content knowledge along with experience.
3.1 PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE
Trainees of every profession receive some sort of education which will give them insight into along with prepare them for the task ahead. which of the teacher is actually called Pedagogical Content Knowledge or Pedagogical Knowledge. Pedagogical Content Knowledge can be described as, knowledge the teachers use in organizing classrooms, delivering the content the students must show mastery over along with for managing the students entrusted into their care. Generally speaking, pedagogical knowledge is actually knowledge the teacher uses to facilitate students’ learning. Pedagogical Content Knowledge is actually in two major forms – teachers’ knowledge of the students’ pre-conceptions along with teachers’ knowledge of teaching methodologies. Students come to class which has a host of pre-conceptions relating to the things they are learning. The pre-conceptions may or may not be consistent with the actual subject-matter which is actually delivered. Teachers must have a not bad idea of both kinds of preconception, in order to help students, replace the inconsistent pre-conceptions or build upon the consistent pre-conceptions to bring about meaningful learning. Teachers must have a repertoire of teaching methodologies for facilitating students’ learning. When the methodologies are applied wrongly little or no learning occurs in students. In effect when either of the two is actually weak, the teacher becomes a bad one because which teacher will not be able to execute his/her responsibility within the vocation he/she has chosen. Due to This particular during teacher preparation, Pedagogical Content Knowledge is actually emphasized.
Teachers gain Pedagogical Content Knowledge via various sources. Friedrichsen, Abell, Pareja, Brown, Lankford along with Volkmann (2009) distinguished three potential sources of Pedagogical Content Knowledge. They listed the sources as professional development programs, teaching experiences along with lastly teachers’ own learning experiences. During their days as students in teacher education programs, teachers are assisted in variety ways to gain Pedagogical Content Knowledge. For examples, during practice, they learn how to put the pedagogical skills they learnt. Teacher education programs along with different professional development programs create avenues for teachers to gain pedagogical content knowledge through workshops, lectures, working together with colleagues, along with in teaching practice. Then their experiences in their classrooms as they teach students lead them to gain insight into which methodologies work under best under specific situations. which last source is actually usually ignored. the item indicates which the professional knowledge of the teacher begins to develop long before the teacher becomes a candidate entering into teacher education. This particular means, the way teachers teach influences to a large extent the prospective teachers’ professional knowledge along with beliefs. This particular type of learning is actually, generally, overlooked by teachers at all levels because unintentional along with informal, the item is actually.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge can be gained through formal along with informal means. Learning opportunities for pedagogical content knowledge, formally, designed by institutions, based on learning objectives which generally are prerequisite for certification, constitutes the formal means. In formal learning, students have clear ideas about the objective of acquiring pedagogical skills. Informal learning, on the different hand, is actually not organized intentionally. the item takes place incidentally along with so can be considered as ‘side effect’. As Kleickmann et al (2012) described the item, the item has no goal with respect to learning outcomes, along with the item is actually contextualized to a large extent. This particular is actually often called learning by experience. Informal, however deliberative, learning situations exists. This particular occurs in situations such as learning in groups, mentoring, along with intentional practicing of some skills or tools. Werquin (2010) described informal, however deliberative, learning as non-formal learning. Unlike formal learning, non-formal learning does not occur in educational institutions along with does not attract certification. Whether pedagogical content knowledge
Pedagogical Content Knowledge is actually used to bridges the gap between content knowledge along with actual teaching. By bridging the gap, the item ensures which discussions of content are relevant to teaching along with which discussions themselves are focused on the content. As such, Pedagogical Content Knowledge is actually something teachers must pay attention to. Teachers who possess along with use not bad Pedagogical content knowledge have not bad control over classroom management along with assessment, knowledge about learning processes, teaching methods, along with individual characteristics (Harr, Eichler, & Renkl, 2014). Such teachers are able to create an atmosphere which facilitates learning along with are also able to present or facilitate the learning of concepts by even lazy students. They are able to make learning easier by students hence teacher with high pedagogical content knowledge can be classified as quality teachers. the item is actually worth noting which the item is actually not pedagogical content knowledge only which makes not bad teachers. A teacher will not be not bad if he/she is actually master of pedagogical knowledge however lacks subject matter content knowledge.
3.2 SUBJECT-MATTER KNOWLEDGE
The goal of teaching is actually to help learners develop intellectual resources which will enable them participate fully within the main domains of human taught along with enquiry. The degree to which the teacher can assist students to learn depends on the subject-matter the teacher possesses. which is actually to say, teachers’ knowledge of subject-matter has influence on their efforts to assist students to learn which subject-matter. If a teacher is actually ignorant or not well informed he/she cannot do students any not bad, he/she will rather much harm them. When the teacher conceives knowledge in such a way which the item is actually narrow, or do not have accurate information relating to a particular subject-matter, he/she will pass on these same shallow or inaccurate information to students. This particular kind of teacher will hardly recognize the consistent pre-conceptions along with challenge the misconceptions of students. Such a teacher can introduce misconceptions as he/she uses texts uncritically or inappropriately alter them. the item is actually the teacher’s conception of knowledge which shapes the kind of questions he/she asks along with the ideas he/she reinforces as well as the sorts of tasks the teacher designs.
Teachers’ subject-matter matter content knowledge must go beyond the specific topics of their curriculum. This particular is actually because the teacher does not only define concepts for students. Teachers explain to students why a particular concept or definition is actually acceptable, why learners must know the item along with how the item relates to different concepts or definitions. This particular can be done properly if the teacher possesses a not bad understanding of the subject-matter. This particular type of understanding includes an understanding of the intellectual context along with value of the subject-matter. The understanding of subject matter generally reinforces the teacher’s confidence in delivering lessons, thereby generating him/her a not bad teacher.
Experience is actually one of the factors which account for variations in teacher salary, the earth over (Hanushek along with Rivkin, 2006). The fact which salary differences are based on the number of years the teacher has served, suggests which employers believe the teachers experience makes him/her a better teacher along with such a teacher must be motivated to remain within the service. Though some studies like which Hanushek (2011) have suggested which the experience positively influences teacher quality only within the first few years, along with which beyond all 5 years, experience ceases to have positive impact on teacher efficacy, common sense tells us the one who has been doing something for a long time does better along with with ease. Experience will therefore continue to pay, since, more experienced teachers hold the propensity to know more about the subject-matter they teach, along with think along with behave appropriately within the classroom, along with have much more positive attitudes toward their students.
Teachers who have spent more years of teaching, usually, feel self-assured in their skill to use instructional along with assessment tools. These teachers are able to reach even the most difficult-to-reach students in their classrooms. They also have greater confidence in their capability to control the class along with prevent incidence which might make the teaching along with learning process difficult. Their experience makes them much more patient along with tolerant than their counterpart with few years of experience (Wolters & Daugherty, 2007). Novice teachers progressively gain along with develop teaching along with classroom management skills needed to make them effective teachers. They spend time learning themselves – trying to understand fully the job they have entered. The teachers who have spent more years teaching have gained a rich store of knowledge the less experience teachers will be trying to build. Teachers’ sense of effectiveness is actually generally associated with not bad attitudes, behaviors along with interactions with their students. This particular is actually something the experienced teacher has already acquired. These explain why more experienced teachers are usually more effective teachers than the novices.
Another reason more experienced teachers tend to be better teachers than their inexperienced counterparts, is actually which, experienced teachers have gained additional training, along with hence, have acquired additional teaching skills, needed to be effective via direct experience. Usually the training of teachers does not end at the initial teacher training stage. After graduation, teachers attend capacity building seminars, workshops along with conferences. These give teachers the opportunity to learn emerging teaching techniques along with also refresh their memories on the things they have learnt. Such seminars, workshops along with conferences mostly add to the teacher’s store of knowledge. The different advantage the experienced teachers have is actually which they have encountered more situations to develop the skills needed to be effective teachers through additional direct, along with sometimes indirect experiences. which is actually to say, they have encountered challenging situations which gave them the opportunity to build their skills. Whether they were able to overcome these challenging situation or not, does not matter so much. If the teachers encounter difficult situations in their classes, they learn via them. If the teachers are able to overcome difficult situations, they get to know how to resolve such situations at the next encounter, otherwise their reflections along with suggestions via co-teachers gives them ideas about how to approach same or similar situations. They also have a greater chance of being exposed to current along with competent types. More experienced teachers have a higher chance of demonstrating superior self-efficacy in most areas, because they have learned the needed classroom management along with instructional skills via their colleagues. Teachers who have been in active service for many years are most likely to be classified as quality teachers, because of what they have learnt via in-service training, capacity building workshops along with seminars, their interaction with different teachers along with what they have learnt via experience in their classrooms.
Teacher education aims at providing teacher education program through initial teacher training for teacher trainees, along with in-service training for practicing teachers in order to produce knowledgeable along with committed teachers for effective teaching along with learning. To realize This particular mission, teacher education programs have been instituted for the training of teachers. These programs differ via one country to another. Even within the same country, there may be different programs training teachers for the same certificate. These alternative programs are a created, specially, where there are shortages of teachers, along with attempts are being made to train large numbers of teachers at a time. These alternative programs ease the teacher certification requirement, allowing those who under normal circumstances could not become teachers. This particular introduces serious challenges. Because large numbers of teachers are needed within a short period, their training is actually somewhat fast-tracked resulting in what is actually usually referred to as half-baked teachers – teachers of lower quality. Applicants who did not gain admission into the program of their choice come into teaching only because they have nowhere else to go. Such applicants tend not to be dedicated to the teaching service within the end. Fast-tracking initial teacher preparation actually harm the mission for which the initial teacher training institutions were created. This particular is actually because the teacher produced through such training are usually not of high quality.
Teacher preparation carries a direct impact on students’ achievement. The most important in-school factors upon which student’s success hinges, is actually a teacher who has been well prepared. A well-prepared teacher is actually one who has gone through a strong teacher preparation program. the item is actually therefore necessary for educators to work to create needed improvements in teacher preparation. To strengthen teacher preparation, teacher preparation programs must provide strong preparation during the initial teacher training period along with give support to fresh teachers until they are inducted. Pre-service teacher education should emphasize the acquisition of effective teaching strategies. This particular can be done in methodology classes along with corresponding field experiences. Students who have quality teachers make achievement gains, while those with ineffective teachers show declines, therefore having high quality teachers in classrooms carries a positive impact on students’ achievements.
Pedagogical content knowledge, subject matter content knowledge along with experience determines the quality of a teacher. Teachers make subject-matter accessible to students by using Pedagogical content knowledge. Pedagogical content knowledge has two broad areas of knowledge: teachers’ knowledge of students’ subject-matter pre-conceptions along with teachers’ knowledge of teaching strategies. What Pedagogical content knowledge does is actually which, the item links subject-matter content knowledge along with the practice of teaching, generating sure which discussions on content are appropriate along with which, discussions focus on the content along with help students to retain the content. The teacher’s job is actually to facilitate the learning of subject-matter by students. The degree to which the teacher can assist students to learn depends on the subject-matter content knowledge the teacher possesses. Teachers who possess inaccurate information or comprehend the subject-matter in narrow ways, harm students by passing on the same false or shallow subject-matter knowledge to their students. The last of the three determinants of teacher quality is actually experience. Teachers who have served more years gain additional along with more specific training by attending seminars, conferences along with workshops along with in-service training along with so tend to understand their job better. They also might have met along with solved many challenging situations in their classroom along with therefore know exactly what to do in any situation.
Accomplished California Teachers (2015). A coherent system of teacher evaluation for quality teaching. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23(17) 1 – 23.
Benneh, M. (2006). Particular issues on teacher education along with training in Ghana. Dakar, Senegal: UNESCO.
Friedrichsen, P. J., Abell, S. K., Pareja, E. M., Brown, P. L., Lankford, D. M., & Volkmann, M. J. (2009). Does teaching experience matter? Examining biology teachers’ prior knowledge for teaching in an alternative certification program. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46, 357-383.
Hanushek, E. A. (2011). The economic value of higher teacher quality.” Economics of
Education Review 30, 466-479.
Hanushek, E. A., & Rivkin, S. G. (2006). Teacher quality.” In E. A. Hanushek, & F. Welch (Eds.), Handbook of the economics of education, vol. 2 (pp.1051-1078). Amsterdam: North Holland.
Harr, N., Eichler, A., & Renkl, A. (2014). Integrating pedagogical content knowledge along with pedagogical/psychological knowledge in mathematics. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 924.
Kleickmann, T., Richter, D., Kunter, M., Elsner, J., Besser, M., Krauss, S., & Baumert, J. (2012). Teachers’ content knowledge along with pedagogical content knowledge: The role of structural differences in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 20(10). 1 -17.
Levine, A. (2006). Educating school teachers. Washington, DC: Education Schools Project. Retrieved via http://www.edschools.org/teacher_report.htm
Lumpe, T. A. (2007). Application of effective schools along with teacher quality research to science teacher education. Journal of Science Teacher Education 18, 345-348.
Ogawa, H., Fujii, H., & Ikuo, A. (2013). Teacher education in japan through training program with experiment study. Chemical Education Journal (CEJ), 15, 1 – 10.
Priagula, C., Agam, K. F., & Solmon, L. C. (2007). How stakeholders can support teacher quality. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing.
Werquin, P. (2010). Recognising non-formal along with informal learning: Outcomes, policies along with practices. Paris, France: OECD publishing.
Wolters, C. A., & Daugherty, S. G. (2007). Goal Structures along with teachers’ sense of efficacy: Their relation along with association to teaching experience along with academic level. Journal of Educational Psychology 99(1), 181-193.
Xiaoxia A. N., Heeju, J., Nicci, N., & Stone, E. (2010). Recruiting, preparing, along with retaining high quality secondary mathematics along with science teachers for urban schools: The Cal teach experimental program. Issues in teacher education 19(1), 21-40.