Unit 4: Teacher Education (Part A)

Unit 4: Teacher Education (Part A)


An educational institution performs a significant function of providing learning experiences to lead their students from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge. The key personnel in the institutions who play an important role to bring about this transformation are teachers. As stated by NCTE (1998) in Quality Concerns in Secondary Teacher Education, ―The teacher is the most important element in any educational program. It is the teacher who is mainly responsible for implementation of the educational process at any stage. This shows that it is imperative to invest in the preparation of teachers, so that the future of a nation is secure. The 2 importance of competent teachers to the nation‘s school system can in no way be overemphasized. The National Curriculum Framework 2005 places demands and expectations on the teacher, which need to be addressed by both initial and continuing teacher education.


Meaning of Teacher Education

It is well known that the quality and extent of learner achievement are determined primarily by teacher competence, sensitivity and teacher motivation. The National Council for Teacher Education has defined teacher education as – A programme of education, research and training of persons to teach from pre-primary to higher education level. Teacher education is a programme that is related to the development of teacher proficiency and competence that would enable and empower the teacher to meet the requirements of the profession and face the challenges therein. 

According to Goods Dictionary of Education Teacher education means, ―all the formal and non-formal activities and experiences that help to qualify a person to assume responsibilities of a member of the educational profession or to discharge his responsibilities more effectively.

Teaching skills would include providing training and practice in the different techniques, approaches and strategies that would help the 3 teachers to plan and impart instruction, provide appropriate reinforcement and conduct effective assessment. It includes effective classroom management skills, preparation and use of instructional materials and communication skills. Pedagogical theory includes the philosophical, sociological and psychological considerations that would enable the teachers to have a sound basis for practicing the teaching skills in the classroom. The theory is stage specific and is based on the needs and requirements that are characteristic of that stage. Professional skills include the techniques, strategies and approaches that would help teachers to grow in the profession and also work towards the growth of the profession. It includes soft skills, counseling skills, interpersonal skills, computer skills, information retrieving and management skills and above all life long learning skills. An amalgamation of teaching skills, pedagogical theory and professional skills would serve to create the right knowledge, attitude and skills in teachers, thus promoting holistic development. 

Nature of Teacher Education : 

1) Teacher education is a continuous process and its pre-service and in-service components are complimentary to each other. According to the International Encyclopedia of Teaching and Teacher education (1987), ―Teacher education can be considered in three phases : Pre-service, Induction and In-service. The three phases are considered as parts of a continuous process. 

2) Teacher education is based on the theory that ―Teachers are made, not born in contrary to the assumption, ―Teachers are born, not made.‖ Since teaching is considered an art and a science, the teacher has to acquire not only knowledge, but also skills that are called ―tricks of the trade. 

3) Teacher education is broad and comprehensive. Besides preservice and in-service programmes for teachers, it is meant to be involved in various community programmes and extension activities, viz adult education and non-formal education programmes, literacy and development activities of the society. 

4) It is ever-evolving and dynamic. In order to prepare teachers who are competent to face the challenges of the dynamic society, Teacher education has to keep abreast of recent developments and trends. 

5) The crux of the entire process of teacher education lies in its curriculum, design, structure, organization and transaction modes, as well as the extent of its appropriateness. 

6) As in other professional education programmes the teacher education curriculum has a knowledge base which is sensitive to the needs of field applications and comprises meaningful, conceptual blending of theoretical understanding available in several cognate disciplines. However the knowledge base in teacher education does not comprise only an admixture of concepts and principles from other disciplines, but a distinct gestalt‘ emerging from the  conceptual blending‘, making it sufficiently specified. 

7) Teacher education has become differentiated into stage-specific programmes. This suggests that the knowledge base is adequately specialized and diversified across stages, which should be utilized for developing effective processes of preparing entrant teachers for the functions which a teacher is expected to perform at each stage. 

8) It is a system that involves an interdependence of its Inputs, Processes and Outputs.


Need of teacher education: 

The American Commission on Teacher Education rightly observes, “The quality of a nation depends upon the quality of its citizens. The quality of its citizens depends not exclusively, but in critical measure upon the quality of their education, the quality of their education depends more than upon any single factor, upon the quality of their teacher.” In his Call for Action for American Education in the 21st Century in 1996, Clinton indicated that : ―Every community should have a talented and dedicated teacher in every classroom. We have enormous opportunity for ensuring teacher quality well into the 21st century if we recruit promising people into teaching and give them the highest quality preparation and training”. 

The need for teacher education is felt due to the following reasons; 

1) It is common knowledge that the academic and professional standards of teachers constitute a critical component of the essential learning conditions for achieving the educational goals of a nation. The focus of teacher preparation had to shift from training to education if it had to make a positive influence on the quality of curriculum transaction in classrooms and thereby pupil learning and the larger social transformation. The aspects that need greater emphasis are; the length of academic preparation, the level and quality of subject matter knowledge, the repertoire of pedagogical skills that teachers possess to meet the needs of diverse learning situations, the degree of commitment to the profession, sensitivity to contemporary issues and problems and the level of motivation. This is not possible if teacher preparation focused only on training. Holistic teacher building is necessary and therefore teacher education needed more emphasis than mere training.  

2) Educating all children well depends not only on ensuring that teachers have the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out their work, but also that they take responsibility for seeing that all children reach high levels of learning and that they act accordingly. 

3) People come to teacher education with beliefs, values, commitments, personalities and moral codes from their upbringing and schooling which affect who they are as teachers and what they are able to learn in teacher education and in teaching. Helping teacher candidates examine critically their beliefs and values as they relate to teaching, learning and subject matter and form a vision of good teaching to guide and inspire their learning and their work is a central task of teacher education (Fieman-Nemser, 2001). 

4) The National Academy of Education Committee‘s Report (Darling-Hammond and Bransford, 2005) wrote that : ―On a daily basis, teachers confront complex decisions that rely on many different kinds of knowledge and judgement and that can involve high stakes outcomes for students‘ future. To make good decisions, teachers must be aware of the many ways in which student learning can unfold in the context of development, learning differences, language and cultural influences, and individual temperaments, interests and approaches to learning. In addition to foundational knowledge about the areas of learning and performance listed in the above quotation, teachers need to know how to take the steps necessary to gather additional information that will allow them to make more grounded judgements about what is going on and what strategies may be helpful. More importantly, teachers need to keep what is best for the student at the centre of their decision making. 

5) Teacher education like any other educational intervention, can only work on those professional commitments or dispositions that are susceptible to modification. While we can‘t remake someone‘s personality, we can reshape attitudes towards the other and develop a professional rather than a personal role orientation towards teaching as a practice. 

6) The Ministry of Education document ―Challenge of Education : A Policy Perspective (1985) has mentioned, ―Teacher performance is the most crucial input in the field of education. 

7 Whatever policies may be laid down, in the ultimate analysis these have to be implemented by teachers as much through their personal example as through teaching learning processes.‖ India has reached the threshold of the development of new technologies which are likely to revolutionise the classroom teaching. Unless capable and committed are teachers in service, the education system cannot become a suitable and potential instrument of national development. The teacher is required to acquire adequate knowledge, skills, interests and attitudes towards the teaching profession. The teacher‘s work has become more complicated and technical in view of the new theories of psychology, philosophy, sociology, modern media and materials. The teacher can be made proficient with well planned, imaginative pre-service and in-service training programmes.

Types of Teacher Education

 To maintain this, there are various types of teacher education programmes

 Pre-service teacher education for those, who decide to enter this profession and take-up teacher education courses in teacher education colleges.

 In-service teacher education, which is a programme of educating those teachers, who are already in teaching profession. It is to upgrade their knowledge and skills and for the professional development of teachers.

 Distance teacher education has been used as a pre-service and in-service teacher training programme. It serves as a vehicle for continuing education, training, offering enrichment, enhancement in learning, for teachers and future teachers.

Pre-Service Education for Teachers (PRESET)

 The initial training or pre-service education is offered just before a teacher takes up his/her first teaching assignment. It exposes the future teacher to psychological, sociological, philosophical and technological ideas and principles of education. This stage develops a basic insight of the profession and key skills in the world be teacher, required in teaching learning process. This stage may be termed as preparation for life long journey into teaching profession. Therefore, pre-service education for teachers is the course, which is offered to the future teachers before they join teaching profession and it leads to a degree and certification, to make a person eligible to join teaching profession.

Objectives of Pre-Service Teacher Education Programme

 Pre-service teacher education programmes at all levels should seek to develop in the prospective teacher.Knowledge and understanding of the Indian socio-cultural context and the role of education in national development. The process of human development and learning in all its dimensions and its implications to education.

 Professional competences and skills relating to effective communication. Effective curriculum transaction, utilising learning resources of various kinds and employing interactive teaching learning strategies to promote all round growth of learners. Continuous and comprehensive evaluation of learner's progress through appropriate tools and techniques. Effective management of learning and organising co-curricular activities to promote all round development in children. Catering the learning needs of special group of children.

 Social committment through participant in developmental activities in the community, extension activities and community service. Compensatory education programmes for the disadvantaged classed like SC/ST's. Complementary and parallel educational service systems like non-formal education adult education.

 Positive attitude towards children, learning, school and professional growth.

 Social, cultural and moral values oriented towards democracy, secularism, unity, integration, scientific attitude, cultural heritage, conservation of environment.

 Aesthetic interests and appreciation towards literary, cultural and artistic pursuits.

 Functions of pre-service teachers education programme are 

1. To enable the student teachers to gain insight about themselves and their pupils.

 2. To strengthen the perception of social values and goals.

 3. To make them conscious of their professional obligation to serve children and society.

 4. To enable them to feel and appreciate the dynamism inherent in the teaching profession.

 5. To motivate them through the realisation of this dynamism, to become an effective teacher.

Curriculum of Pre-Service Teacher Education

 Curriculum of PRESET should focus on the strengthening of the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain of the student teachers. 

Cognitive domain includes

Psychology of children, which includes growth and

development, individual differences, learning and motivation, personality of children.

Sociological perspective includes the knowledge of socio-economic background of the children and society.

Techniques of management of diversity, for an inclusive classroom teachers should know the techniques to handle inclusive classroom.

Content knowledge of the school curricular subjects.

Pedagogy includes principles of pedagogy, pedagogical practices, methods of teaching, evaluation techniques and curriculum development.

Philosophical perspective of education.

Values of theory (CCE) should be known to the student teachers. 

Psychomotor domain includes

Acquisition of skills for identifying, selecting, organising, innovating the learning experiences for teaching children.

Interpersonal skills to interact with students, parents, communities, peers etc.

Student teacher should known the process of experiments and be able to perform scientific experiments at the school level.

Student teacher should be able to design and develop assessment tools and also be able to administrate and record the assessment tools.

Management skills in classroom and outside the classroom.

Affective domain 

Affective domain deals with the feelings, attitudes, values. It needs a long duration of time to inculcate the values, feelings and attitude in an individual.

 It prepares the student teacher to develop

 • Favourable attitude towards teaching.

 • Caring and empathetic attitude towards learners.

 • Enthusiasm for the all round development of the learner.

 • Good relation with parents and community.

• Good relation with peers and cooperate with the head of institution.

 • Socially approved values.

Affective domain should make the student teacher to think about their role and need as future teachers in the society.

Student Teaching

 Pre-service teacher education, like any other professional education, has two components the theory of education and practice of education. The theory of education consists of educational psychology, educational sociology, principles of teaching and learning, history of education, educational administration and supervision, some important things about health and hygiene. The purpose of theoretical knowledge, which is imparted to the student teacher is to make him/her a competent teacher. 

The professional experience undergone by student teacher during this period is known as student teaching. In specific terms, student teaching is a phase of teacher education, when the student teacher practices school activities, including teaching skills, in a school or stimulated situation and integrates the principles of teaching into his/her teaching behaviour under the guidance of supervisor. After the acquaintance with the theoretical knowledge, the student teacher is given the scope of practice teaching. It is also known as internship; training, student teaching etc.

 Aims of Student Teaching

 Student teaching aims at applying and concretising the theoretical knowledge related to the teaching profession. It prepares the student teachers for the service, they are being groomed.

 Student teaching has following aims

 1. To enable the student teacher to organise the following classroom activities for effective learning. 

(a) Selecting instructional objectives and define them.

 (b) Planning the lesson.

 (c) Selecting and organising learning material appropriate to instructional objectives.

 (d) Assessing pupils abilities and interests and utilising learning resources appropriate to them.

 (e) Eliciting pupils participation in classroom activities.

 (f) Learning to use different methods of teaching.

 (g) Preparing different types of teaching aid.

 (h) To communicate ideas and concepts effectively.

 (i) Assessing pupils achievements, diagnosing difficulties and providing remedial exercises.

 2. To enable student teachers to provide guidance to pupil (academic as well as personal).

3. To enable student teachers to organise co-curricular activities and inspire students to participate in them. 

4. To enable student teachers to participate in all the activities of the school and help their colleagues and principal.

 5. To enable student teachers to participate in the programmes of the community and guide them.

 6. To develop in student teacher a committment to the profession, to the school and to the development of their pupils with a sense of responsibility.......FOR MORE CLICK HERE