Teacher Education: Teacher Training to Teachers' Professional Development

2018-10-14

Deepak MC

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Author- Deepak MC

Introduction

The present world has been changed into a global village so that a theory propounded in one place can be used in another place instantly. The process of teaching and learning was transferred from a generation to generation, individual to individuals, individual to group and finally institutions were established for this purpose. There is a long history of this process. Gurukul, Rajkul, and Kutis were the places for education in the past. This system was improved as the course of time and different educational institutions, schools, colleges, campuses; universities have been established with modern facilities and curricula. It is very important to gain knowledge for the learners in order to set the foundation for his/her future. S/he has to cope with the curriculum, textbooks and other essential materials. But it is more important for the teacher or the person who facilitates the learning to be trained, skilled, and competent to be able to teach or make the students learn effectively. Any program of qualitative change in education prerequisites the improvements of teachers.

The teacher has a crucial role in the teaching and learning process. This gave birth or origin to the teacher education. The present world is changing so quickly with the development of modern technologies that today's invention can be the old or outdated for tomorrow. It also influences in the educational sectors. That's why there are different issues and theories that have to be learnt, utilized and implemented. The teacher training has been initiated from teacher training and it has stepped out to the Teachers' Professional Development. To be specific, the teacher has shifted its paradigm from teacher training - the transformation of knowledge from trainers' minds to trainees' to teacher development- the process of creating knowledge through co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration. 

Teacher Education

Teacher education is made up of two words- 'teacher' and 'education'. A teacher is a person who teaches the learners or students and makes them acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes. In a different way, a teacher is a person who facilitates the learners for learning and co-operates with their problems to get them solved which results in the all- round development of the learners. Education is the process of gaining knowledge and wisdom. Thus the collaboration of these two words suggests us the education for the teacher as teacher education. So the process of gaining knowledge and skills for teachers is teacher education. 

Teacher education involves the whole process of producing teachers. Teacher education has two broad aspects: theoretical and practical. The theoretical aspect is concerned with collective theoretical knowledge of the profession. It is also concerned with the personal philosophy that a teacher preserves in his/her mind, and that guides his/her teaching behavior. Both of these theoretical aspects set the foundation for teaching. The practical skills and activities are also essential. In teacher education, the teachers involved in model teaching which helps them to gain practical skills which they can use in the real teaching. Teacher education has a broad scope ranging from curricular contents, professional strategies and theoretical frameworks to actions, research, activities and reflective practices. It also includes two aspects- teacher training and teacher development.  It initiates from the period of recruitment to the retirement from the teaching-learning process.

Teacher Training

Teacher training encompasses two aspects - preparing teaches about "the content" and "the methodology". This is to say, the process of preparing teacher about content i.e. 'what aspect' and the methodology i.e. 'how aspect' is teacher training. It can be pre-service teacher training in which teachers are given adequate training before they enter the field of teaching. The persons who are interested in teaching are involved in this training. They learn different theories, methods, and techniques which are to be used while teaching. They also learn about child development, child psychology, curriculum and objectives which are useful for them for teaching. However, pre-service training alone is not sufficient to produce competent and confident teachers. They may not be provided with everything they need to know. In complement, to pre-service training, another type of training is required which is in-service training. They should be trained from time to time after they enter the real field. As time passes, there are changes in every field along with the educational field. Truth, knowledge, technologies keep on changing. There is the need for in-service training in order to keep the teachers up to date.

Steps of  Training

Training plays a vital role in effective teaching. It helps to set the educational plans. It helps to update about the recent technologies and devices which can be used for the teaching-learning activities. It is useful for designing and preparing teaching aids and strategies. The teachers can find out the appropriate teaching methods to teach the students in a child-friendly environment. It is essential for the teachers to acquire knowledge about the objectives, teaching methods, and evaluation system. Thus such an important task should be conducted in a systematic way. The steps which should be followed for the training can be diagrammatically mentioned as below:


To make the training purposeful, the real needs of the teachers are identified. In order to identify the needs, the teachers can be asked about their problems which they encounter while teaching. Their work can be studied and the related stakeholders should be interviewed. After finding the needs, the objectives of the training is determined that is based on the identified needs. The objectives are planned in such a way that it would address the needs of the trainees and facilitate them to solve their problems. On the basis of the needs and objectives, the appropriate content is designed. The content is scheduled for the training programme. The timetable, methodology, and materials are managed for the training. The resource person, instructors or facilitators are managed. After the completion of the planning phase, the plan is implemented in an effective way. It is essential to evaluate the programme as well as find out the strong and weak points so that it could be utilized for the training which is to be conducted in the future. 

Teacher Development 

Generally, the process of becoming the best kind of teacher that a teacher can personally be is teacher development. It is improving teachers' performance and by extension school's performance if is grounded on constructivism. It emphasizes the idea that true knowledge emerges through interaction. A teacher can solve his/her problems with the assistance of other teachers' experience. It is a continuous process and teachers learn on the course of time. They can be empowered by the teacher development as they can classify and understand their principles, beliefs, and values. 

Teachers who involve in teacher development process engage in the process of reviewing, renewal and enhancing of thinking and practice. The process of enhancing the quality of teachers and schools can go hand in hand under teacher development. This is to say, teacher development helps to develop the knowledge, capacities competency, and performance of the teacher as well as the performance of the institution in which s/he is involved in. 

Teacher Education in Nepal 

The history of teacher education in Nepal does not have a long history. Formally the school education was initiated with the establishment of "Durbar School" in 1910 BS. Before its establishment, the need for education was completed by Gurukul education, Gumba education etc. Some of the schools were established before the People's Revolution 2007. The teacher education was started with the inception of the Basic Teacher Training Center in 2004 BS. It was the first effort for the teacher \education. After 2007 this programme became passive. Then on 14 the Bhadra, 2011 Basic Teacher Training Center started its function in Tahachal. The center managed three months training for experienced SLC graduate teachers. The SLC graduates who were involved in teaching were trained with six months teacher training.

After the establishment of democracy in 2007 BS, the number of schools was increased rapidly. The Basic Teacher Training Center in Kathmandu could not complete the demand for teacher training outside Kathmandu valley. So it was expanded in Dharan on Ashwin 2013 for the first time. Then it was expanded to Birgunj and Nepalgunj. Later its name was converted into Normal School. In 2023 BS, its name was changed into the Primary Teacher Training Center on the recommendation of All-Round National Education Committee (ARNAC 2018).

The first commission in the education field, Nepal National Education Planning Commission (NNEPC) in 2010 BS recommended for the establishment of College of Education to provide two-years and four-years teacher education programme to the prospective lower secondary, secondary level teachers of Nepal. As a result, 'College of Education' was established in 2013 BS. The college conducted training of one year for Bachelor, two years for intermediate graduates and four years for SLC graduates.

Tribhuwan University was established in 2016 which helped to complete the need for pre-service training. National Education System Plan (NESP 2028-32) made teacher training compulsory which created a favorable environment for the expansion of teacher training institutions throughout the country. All the institutions such as College of Education, National Teacher Training Centers came under the single umbrella called 'Institute of Education' (IOE) under Tribhuwan University. Pre-service teacher education programme such as two years Intermediate (I. Ed.), two years Bachelor (B.Ed.), two years Masters (M.Ed.) and one year Bachelor (One-year B.Ed.) were conducted. Some of the teachers were involved in the programmes on the scholarship provided by the government. Institute of Education also conducted pre-service training such as A level, B level, On the spot training, High School Based Training Programme. The Royal Commission for Higher Education- we have Faculty of Education under Tribhuwan University which is involving in preparing prospective teachers providing pre-service education.

Basic and Primary Education Project (BPEP) which was initiated from 2049 BS conducted 180 hours training for the teachers who were trained with 150 hours training in the first stage and made them trained with 330 hours training.  National Education Commission (NEC- 2049) recommended for establishing an institution in order to train teachers and educational man powers. As a result, the National Center for Educational Development (NCED) was established in 2050 BS. NCED, after its expansion of scope to merge the Secondary Education Development Center (SEDC) in 2061 BS has become the apex body for the development of educational human resources under the Ministry of Education (MOE), is involving for the in-service teacher training programmes. After the establishment of the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB), it has also produced human resources for teaching with the faculty of education at +2. 

The provision of compulsory training for being a permanent teacher has emphasized the teacher education. The curriculum of in-service and pre-service training has been amended when the Teacher Education Project (2002-2007) came into effect with the economic support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Nepal. It is mentioned that Primary Teacher Training can be conducted in NCED Module/Distance Education Module. The government of Nepal has managed Training Policy 2064 in order to manage the training effectively.
As within Ashwin 2066 BS, all the teachers (98.2%) has been trained, the need for teacher development was realized. As a result, Teachers' Professional Development has been initiated with the recommendation of the School Sector Reform Programme (SSRP).

Teachers' Professional Development

Although the teacher is competent, s/he will continuously have pedagogical problems while teaching. There are teachers with different levels of knowledge, skills, and experience in any school. Mutual sharing of knowledge and experience to each other may help them to acquire professional knowledge and solve the problem. The teacher alone or in collaboration with other teachers can research the problem. This shows that the teachers should be changed from technicians to researchers which help them for their professional development. Teaching professional development is a personal journey in which the teacher involves actively himself or herself to update his/her professional knowledge since knowledge about language and learning is always in a tentative and incomplete state. The new issues such as modern technologies in teaching, local curriculum, Continuous Assessment System, child-friendly environment etc is emerging day by day in the field of education. In order to adjust with such issues, the knowledge which is possible with Teachers' Professional Development.

TPD in Nepal

NCED has conducted various training and programmes for the teachers in order to improve the quality of education in Nepal. The qualification, knowledge, competency, and capacity of the teachers should be renewed, strengthened and updated. It enables to improve the learning outcomes. Self-evaluation, self-study and involving in different workshops help the teachers to update themselves and improve the quality of education which is the global trend. In regard to this issue, School Sector Reform Programme (SSRP) has made provision of Teachers' Professional Development (TPD). It has planned to ensure the access of all in-service teachers to the TPD training of 30 days within 5 years. The teachers are to be categorized into Beginners, Experienced, Master and Expert in all levels according to SSRP. It has also proposed TPD training along with qualification, performance, and seniority as the determinants for the promotion of the teachers.

In order to implement its policies, SSRP has proposed the TPD training. IT is a programme which aims to develop professionalism and efficiency in a teacher. The main purpose of this programme is to renew and update the efficiency and knowledge of the teacher as well as to solve the problems raised in the classroom, with the discussion which helps to change the teaching technique and methods. As a result, the learning outcomes will be remarkably increased and improved. It also aims to conduct TPD workshop collecting the demands (problems) of the teachers (which they face while teaching in the classroom) and to solve them by holding a discussion among the subject teachers and rosters. The teachers will implement what they have gained in the training workshop to their classroom. It is aimed that each teacher will be engaged in TPD training from fiscal year 2066/67. The teachers of the basic level will be involved in TPD training workshop in one thousand and fifty-three Resource Centers (RCs). Similarly, the training workshop will be conducted at forty LRCs and twenty ETCs for the secondary level teachers. Each training center or spot is defined as "TPD hub".

Structure of TPD Programme

The TPD programme consists of three inter-related parts viz Training Workshop, Self-study exercise and Instructional Counseling. A session which is conducted once a year includes 10 days, including all these three parts in aggregation. The module is also prepared including all these aspects in order to complete the professional needs of the teachers. All these parts are complementary so that the TPD programme should be prepared on the basis of this fact. The first part or aspect i.e. Training Workshop will be conducted in a TPD hub in a face to face model. The teachers will be facilitated with the roster trainer which will be of five days. After the completion of the first part, the teacher has to perform the tasks provided in the first part within 20 to 30 days. This part will get three days of credit. On the completion of the second part, the roster trainers will visit the teachers in their schools and evaluate their performance as well as the tasks provided to them for two days. The rosters will also organize the meeting among the teachers and SMC members for discussing the status of the programme. When a teacher completes three times of such ten days programme, s/he will be provided a certificate considering as the completion of a month TPD training.

Conclusion

There are two beliefs about the teacher- 'a teacher is born, not made' and 'a teacher is made, born. The latter one highlighted the importance of teacher education for effective and purposeful teaching. Teaching is a very challenging and complex task which is not possible merely with the bookish knowledge. A teacher should be able to create such a learning atmosphere which would facilitate the all-round development of the child or learner. The curriculum is changed to address the needs of the society and country which are changed due to the time and development of science and technology. The teacher should be updated as per the change in the curriculum, teaching methodologies, and techniques. The concept of the teacher is said to be a very important investment for bringing qualitative improvement in education. 

The teacher education could be the starting point for the revolution in education.  The teacher has a crucial role in development. In many colleges, a master's degree is an entry requirement for teaching there. There is no provision of teaching license for teaching above school level. There is no pre-service training for college and university teachers and they hardly get an opportunity to involve in any in-service training. There should be the appropriate provision of teacher education on Education Act and Education Regulation. The existing provisions should be followed and implemented strictly. Some of the training has been conducted only in the name of training. A strict kind of monitoring mechanism should be developed. On the other hand, the teachers should be encouraged to participate in such training as well as develop their professionalism. As effective teaching along with discussion, interaction, investigation, providing feedbacks and negotiation on students' problems is the need and call of the day so is the 'teacher education'.

References

•    Adhikari, Bishnu Prasad. (2069).Shiksha Sewa Prabidhik Sahayak. Kathmandu: Aashish Pustak Bhandar
•    Reports of Various Commissions on Education in Nepal. (2066). Kathmandu: Makalu Books and Stationers.
•    Sharma, Bishnu, and Shrestha Raju. (2014). Reading in English Language Teacher Development. Kathmandu: Sunlight Publication