Preparing future teachers

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Apr 2017 12:51:54

By Reshmi umesh,

Learning becomes relevant if we can apply it properly in actual life situations. As the development of the country is depending on it’s education system, the practicability and skill development of the trainee teachers should be the most important aspect. More collaborations, getting trained by the professional trainers will help the trainees to develop their confidence, skill and problem solving.

The Mckinsey report on “How the world’s best performing school systems come out on top” (Barber & Mourshed 2007) suggests that one major driver for maintaining a high quality education system, one that significantly improves student outcomes and performance, is the quality of the teachers who teach them. With the growing recognition that teacher quality is critical in preparing students for a society undergoing far reaching economic and social changes , the need for policies and strategies to strengthen teacher preparation, and as a consequence, teaching is even greater.

Efficient and effective teacher education programmes are possible if there is proper networking of teacher education colleges and schools. Teacher education has often been segmented with subject matter preparation, theory and pedagogy taught in isolated intervals and too far removed from clinical practice. All teacher preparation programmes and districts have to start thinking about teacher preparation as a responsibility they share, working together.Only when preparation programmes become deeply engaged with schools their clinical preparation will be truly robust and will they be able to support the candidates’ urgently needed skills and learn what schools really need. Only through such preparation programs the schools will be able to hire new teachers who are better prepared to be effective in their schools.

Many hard to staff schools should be reconfigured as professional development schools. Such schools should be staffed by master teachers who have track record of successful teaching in similar settings. States and districts should co ordinate with teacher preparation programmes so that many teacher candidates gain clinical experience in hard to staff schools.

Collaboration with the schools should help the student teachers to properly interact with the mentor teachers, to get practical experience from them.

There are various advantages of collaboration

Resource utilisation
Resource material and facilities at district ,regional and state levels can be mobilised for optimum utilisation. This will avoid duplication and wastage.
Development of teachers
Networking will facilitate development of required teacher capabilities for qualitative improvement of the teaching –learning process. Student teachers can get expertise and guidance from the mentor teachers.
Improvement of quality
Networking will lead to rationalisation of programmes of pre-service and in-service courses and thereby develop a system of quality teacher education which in turn will affect school education.
Feedback for improvement
Efficient and effective monitoring and evaluation of teacher education programmes can be done through networking.
Structure of networking
Horizontal linkages among institutions of teacher education is essential to enable the institutions to assist one another by sharing educational resources.
School university collaboration can assist schools to be more humanistic and can help increase the degree to which teacher training programmes are practical in nature and produce reflective practitioners. Co teaching can help as a specific service delivery option that is based on collaboration. Through co teaching methods parallel teaching, alternative teaching and team teaching can be practiced. During the preparation of future teachers it is important for the college of education to focus on students’ interest and needs to collaborate with them and with schools.

New courses can be developed like developmental pedagogy which will help the teacher educators to connect the methodology and educational diagnosis through clinical experience. Conferences in which teachers and professors from different educational institutions can be organised. Practical programmes of teachers should be more oriented towards their actual practical experiences in the concerned schools. This will help them to be more effective in their work.
A comprehensive strategy to transform teacher education through clinical practice must be part of any significant national approach to school reform.
(The author is HM (Primary), Saraswati Vidyalaya, Nagpur)