Teacher Education and Teacher Quality
One of the areas that contribute to National development is education, which ensures the growth of a functioning human resource. Establishing solid educational institutions leads to a community populated with educated people who bring about positive economic growth and social change. Positive social transformation and corresponding economic growth are achieved when individuals apply the knowledge they acquired at school. The learning process is made possible by one person who is a teacher to all of us. Because of this, countries looking to improve their social and economic development must not overlook teachers and their contribution to the development of their nation. Read this bog to learn about teacher education and teacher quality.
The teachers are the main element determining the students’ learning performance. The quality of teaching affects the quality of education they provide and the overall achievement of the students they teach. Therefore, teachers must receive the highest quality of education to aid students in the most efficient methods. It is widely acknowledged that the calibre of teachers and their quality of teaching are two of the main elements that affect students’ academic and social development.
A high-quality education will ensure that many teachers are top-quality to manage classrooms and help students learn effectively. This is the reason why the quality of teachers is a constant source of concern in nations where students regularly score high on international tests, like the Trends of Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS). In these countries, teacher education is crucial due to the potential for positive student outcomes. Teacher education is constantly changing across the globe due to the necessity to produce teachers who are aware of the needs of students today or simply the demands for teachers. These changes are designed to ensure that qualified teachers are being paid and ensure that classrooms aren’t devoid of teachers. In the U.S.A, it is difficult to find a way to encourage the best teachers has always been a source of controversy over the last 10 years or has been driven by the No Child Left Behind Act (Accomplished California Teachers 2015).
However, in Japan, as well as other Eastern countries, where educators are not as many as are needed, and systems are in place to ensure top quality teachers are employed and produced, however, concerns regarding the quality of teachers and their teaching are still a worry (Ogawa, Fujii & Ikuo 2013,). Teacher education is, therefore, not an easy task anywhere. This article is divided into two parts. The first part discusses Ghana’s teacher training system, while in the second section, we look at the factors that determine high-quality teaching.
Ghana has made deliberate attempts to train teachers of high quality in her primary school classrooms. According to Benneh (2006), Ghana’s teachers’ education has offered teachers a comprehensive teacher education curriculum with the help of teacher training and in-service programs that produce qualified teachers who will enhance the quality of learning and teaching in schools. The initial teacher education program for Ghana’s primary teachers was provided by Colleges of Education (CoE) but only until recently when the University of Education, University of Cape Coast, Central University College and other tertiary institutions joined the program.
The most noticeable distinction between the programs that other tertiary institutions offer is that, while Universities offer courses, they teach and give certificates to their pupils. However, the Colleges of Education offer tuition, as students are enrolled in the University of Cape Coast through the Institute of Education, which examines and awards certificates. The educational programs provided by these institutions are attempts to train a variety of competent teachers to instruct in schools. The National Accreditation Board accredited teacher training programs to guarantee their quality.
The National Accreditation Board accredited teacher education programs by examining the structure and the content of courses offered by each institution. Thus, the courses offered by different institutions differ in terms of content and design. For instance, the course content of the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast is somewhat different from the content and structure of the Center for Continue Education, the University of Cape Coast. Neither of these two programs is comparable to that of the CoEs.
However, they provide the Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) after three years of education. The DBE and the Four-year Untrained teacher’s diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programmes run through the CoEs are identical, but they are not similar. This is true of the two-year post-diploma of Basic Education and the four-year Bachelor’s degree courses offered at the University of Cape Coast, the University of Education, Winneba and different Universities and colleges. Even though similar products are marketed to the same customers, The preparation of items is carried out in other methods.
Through these numerous programs, teachers are trained for primary schools ranging from nursery to senior secondary schools. Alternative pathways or programs that help teachers be prepared are believed beneficial in instances of a shortage of teachers. Teachers should be educated in a relatively short amount of period. One example of this is the UTDBE program mentioned above, designed to provide teachers who are not professionals with the necessary skills. However, this effort to create more teachers due to the shortage of teachers tends to compromise quality.
Determinants of Teacher Quality
Quality of teaching has a significant influence on student learning. Anyone who has worked in teaching is aware that the quality of teachers is a critical element of education reform efforts. Priagula, Agam & Solmon (2007) identified the quality of teachers as a crucial school-related factor that has a significant impact on students’ academic performance. Teachers of high quality have a positive effect on students’ performance. If qualified and competent teachers teach students, students gain learning while students with poor teachers have a decline.
About the teacher in the classroom, the quality of teachers is an ongoing process of self-assessment to ensure continuous professional development and self-renewal to improve the quality of teaching. The teacher educator, an effective and quality teacher, is one with sound pedagogy and subject understanding, which they can improve upon.Excellent teachers exhibit several outstanding qualities. They possess the expertise in subject matter, teaching methods, and the pedagogy that will reach every student. They equip pupils with information and understanding to make solid and independent judgements. Three aspects of quality in a teacher are being considered in this article: pedagogical understanding and subject-matter knowledge, and practical experience.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge
All trainees receive an education of some kind that gives them an understanding of their profession and helps them prepare for the work ahead. The teacher’s education is known as Pedagogical Content Knowledge or Pedagogical Knowledge. Pedagogical Content Knowledge is the knowledge teachers employ to organise classrooms, deliver the material that students need to master and take care of the students under their supervision. Generally speaking, pedagogical understanding is the information that teachers employ to help students learn.
The pedagogical content knowledge can be found in two primary forms: teachers’ knowledge of their students’ preconceptions and their teaching techniques. Students enter classes with various preconceived notions about the subjects they are studying. These preconceptions might or may not be in line with the taught content. Teachers should have a concept of both types of prejudices to assist students in replacing untrue beliefs or building on the common preconceptions to facilitate a practical learning experience. Teachers should be able to use a range of instructional methods to facilitate learners’ learning.
If the teaching methods are utilised incorrectly, students have little or no knowledge. When one of them is insufficient, the teacher is unfit, unable to fulfil their responsibilities for the job they selected. This is why when preparing teachers, Pedagogical Content Knowledge is stressed.
Subject- Matter Knowledge
Education aims to help students build up their intellectual capacities, which will allow them to participate fully in the major areas of human-led inquiry. The degree to which a teacher assists students to learn will depend on the subject matter the teacher is knowledgeable about. This means that teachers’ knowledge of the subject can influence their efforts to help students learn about that subject. When a teacher’s knowledge is uninformed or uninformed, they will not be able to help students and will harm the students.
Suppose a teacher narrowly views expertise or doesn’t have precise information about a particular study area. In that case, they will transmit the same weak or incorrect information to the students. Teachers who are like this are not able to recognize the preconceived notions that are consistent and challenge the students’ assumptions. This kind of teacher could create errors when they uncritically employ texts or obfuscate and modify them in a way that is not appropriate. The teacher’s perception of knowledge determines the type of questions they ask, the ideas they reinforce, and the kinds of tasks that the teacher creates.
Experience is among the main factors behind differences in teacher pay globally (Hanushek and Rivkin 2006). The fact that differences in salary are determined by the length of time the teacher has been in the classroom suggests that employers believe that teachers ‘ experience makes them effective teachers. Teachers should be motivated to remain at the top of their game. Although some studies, such as Hanushek (2011), have suggested that the experiences positively impact the quality of teachers only during the initial few years and that after five years of experience, it does not have a positive effect on the effectiveness of teachers, The common sense suggests that the teacher who has worked for a long time will perform better and more efficiently. The experience will remain a factor in determining teacher effectiveness. Teachers with more experience tend to know more about the subject they teach and be more observant and adept in the classroom. They also are more optimistic toward their students.
Teachers who have more years of teaching feel confident about their abilities to employ the tools for assessment and instruction. They can connect with even the most difficult to reach pupils in the classrooms they teach. They also have more confidence in their ability to manage the class and avoid any incidents, making the learning and teaching process more difficult. Their experiences make them more patient and accommodating than their colleagues with only a few years of experience (Wolters and Daugherty, 2007). Beginning teachers gradually acquire and improve their teaching and classroom management abilities required to become competent teachers.
They are constantly learning and trying to comprehend their position fully. Teachers with more extended teaching have built up vast knowledge that teachers with less experience are trying to acquire. The perception of teachers’ effectiveness is usually correlated with positive behaviour, attitudes and interactions between their pupils. This is something that the skilled teacher has acquired. This is why skilled teachers are typically more efficient teachers than newbies.
Teacher education seeks to provide teacher education programs that provide initial training for newbies and ongoing training for teachers to create skilled and enthusiastic teachers for efficient teaching and learning. To accomplish this goal, teachers’ education programs are in place to help teachers learn. The programs vary from one country to the next. There are different training programs for teachers that offer the same certification in the nation. Alternative programs are designed specifically for situations where there is a shortage of teachers. Attempts to educate numerous teachers simultaneously. Alternative programs can simplify the requirement for teacher certification and allow those who, in normal circumstances, would not be teachers. This poses serious problems. Since many teachers are needed in the span of a few years, the training of these teachers is expedited, leading to what is commonly referred to as “half-baked” teachers, or teachers with lower quality. Candidates who do not get admission to the program they wanted to join enter teaching simply because they don’t have a place to go. They are not likely to commit themselves to teaching in the end. The speed of initial teacher preparation affects the goal to which the first institutions for teacher education were designed. This is because the teachers who are trained through this training usually are not of a high standard.
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