No nation develops beyond the quality of its education system, which is highly dependent on the quality of its teachers. Teachers should be given the most appropriate tools during and after their training, including content knowledge and skills as well as teaching methodology to be able to do their work professionally. 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. Kothari commission remarks
“The destiny of India is being shaped in its classrooms.”
No doubt education plays a significant role in nation’s development but the quality of education is greatly determined by the quality of teachers, therefore, great efforts were made and still are being made to improve the quality of teacher education.
Major issues in teacher education concern the following:
Proliferation of Colleges of Education, Isolation of Colleges of Education, Regional imbalances, Alternative modes of teacher education, Duration of teacher education programmes and Examination system Further there are issues related to the quality of the teacher education such as: Curriculum, Personal and social skills, Competencies, Subject knowledge, ICT skills, Context sensitivity and new pedagogy for the global world.
PROBLEMS OF TEACHER EDUCATION :
1. Several types of teacher education institutions thereby lacking in uniformity. 2. Poor standards with respect to resources for colleges of education. 3. Unhealthy financial condition of the colleges of education 4. Incompetent teacher educators resulting in deficiency of scholars. 5. Negative attitude of managements towards development of both human as well as material resources. 6. Uniform education policy of the government treating excellent institutions alike. 7. Improper selection of the candidates (student teachers) to be admitted. 8. Traditional curriculum and teaching methods of teaching in the teacher education programme. 9. Inadequate duration of the teacher programme.
10. Haphazard and improper organization of teacher education. 11. Unplanned and insufficient co-curricular activities.
12. Subjective evaluation pattern.
13. Practice teaching neither adequate nor properly conducted. 14. Feedback mechanisms lacking.
15. Objectives of teacher education not understood.
16. Secondary level teacher education is not the concern of higher education. 17. Lack of dedication towards the profession.
18. Lack of occupational perception
Some of the Problems and Issues concerning Teacher Education are discussed below :
(1) Problem of selection: Defects of selection procedure lead to deterioration of the quality of teachers. Better selection method would not only improve the quality of training but also save the personal and social wastage. Some suggestions are mentioned: (a) Candidates should be interviewed
(b) Test of General Knowledge should be applied.
(c) Test in school subjects.
(d) Test of language
(e) Test of intelligence should be administered
(f) Aptitude; interest and attitude inventory should be administered. (g) A well direct guidance service should be provided.
(2) Deficiencies of small time period provided for Teacher’s training: In India, this period is of one year after the graduation – the effective session being of eight to nine months. The main purpose of teacher education programme is to develop healthy attitude, broad based interest and values. It is not possible during the short duration of nine months.
(3) Incompetency of student teachers:
The existing training programme does not provide adequate opportunities to the student teachers to develop compentency because the organisers of teacher’s training programme are not aware of the existing problems of schools. Therefore there should be a close matching between the work schedule of the teacher in a school and the programme adopted for teacher preparation in a training college.
(4) Defects concerning papers:
A student teacher should know the meaning politico-economics background, the principles that guide construction of curriculum etc. But a proper preparation towards a good orientation is impossible in a short duration. Following steps may be taken in this connection: (i) Allowing more time to learners for good reading and sound build-up of the intellect and attitude, (ii) Pruning the existing course
(iii) Arranging for exchange of experience than merely attending lectures (iv) Changing the mode of testing inputs
(v) The content must have direct implications in the daily school teaching
(5) Problems of practice teaching:
The ratio of marks between theory and practice generally remains of 5:2 although teaching practice plays a significant role in B.Ed. programme.Inspite of all kinds of elaborate arrangements regarding practice in teaching, student teachers are non-serious to the task of teaching, deficient in sense of duty irresponsible,aimless, indifferent to children, lacking innovative measure in teaching which are great obstacles in the development of pedagogical skills.
(6) Problem of supervision of teaching:
The supervisory organisation for practice teaching aims at bringing improvement in the instructional activity of the student teachers by using various techniques and practical skills in teaching and help them to develop confidence in facing the classroom situations. This is done through following types of supervisions: (i) Supervision before classroom teaching:
It aims at guiding in planning their lessons, learning to organise contents, formulating suitable gestures and developing other related skills. At present the lesson plans are checked superficially and no discussion is made by the subject method specialist. (ii) Supervision during the classroom teaching:
It is done by teachers who are not method specialist generally. These supervisors offer descriptive type of criticism, while constructive type is desirable. Their remarks are related to the general personality of the student teachers. The percentage of lessons supervised by the subject method specialist varies from 5 per cent to 25 per cent due to faulty staffing pattern, lack of time, too many lessons to be supervised, defective time table etc. Here, the school teacher should be assisted by the college supervisor in his work. Frequent conferences and consultations between them will help to relate them to practice and the student teacher will improve the performance in a realistic school setting.
(7) Lack of subject knowledge:
The B.Ed. programme does not emphasize the knowledge of the basic subject. The whole teaching practice remains indifferent with regard to the subject knowledge of the student teacher.
(8) Faulty methods of teaching:
In India teacher educators are averse to innovation and experimentation in the use of methods of teaching. Their acquaintance with modern class-room communication devices is negligible
(9) Isolation of teachers education department:
As has been observed by education commission, the teacher education has become isolated from schools and current development in school education. The schools consider the teacher education department as an alien institution and not a nursery for the professional development of school teacher. These departments only observe the formality of finishing the prescribed number of lessons no caring for the sounders of pedagogy involved in the procedure.
(10) Poor academic background of student-teachers:
Most of candidates do not have the requisite motivation and an academic background for a well deserved entry in the teaching profession.
(11) Lack of proper facilities:
In India, the teacher education programme is being given a step-motherly treatment. About 20 percent of the teacher education institutions are being run in rented buildings without any facility for an experimental school or laboratory, library and other equipments necessary for a good teacher education department. There are no separate hostel facilities for student teachers.
(12) Lack of regulations in demand and supply:
The State Education Department have no data on the basis of which they may work out the desired intake for their institutions. There is a considerable lag between the demand and supply of teachers. This has created the problems of unemployment and underemployment.
(13) Inadequate Empirical Research:
In India, research in education has been considerably neglected. The research conducted is of inferior quality. The teacher education programmes are not properly studied before undertaking any research.
(14) Lack of facilities for professional development:
Most of the programmes are being conducted in a routine and unimaginative manner. Even the association of teacher educators has not contributed anything towards development of a sound professionalisation of teacher education in the country.
(15) Insufficient financial grants:
In most of the states teacher education is still being run by the fee collected from student teachers, as the share of state grant is too small.
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING THE CONDITION OF TEACHER EDUCATION :
(1) The courses of studies both in theory and practice should be reorganised. For this a pragmatic research should be conducted by some universities to see what is the course structure which will be helpful for realisation of the goals of teacher education. A comprehensive job analysis of teaching in our schools should necessarily be made the basis for recasting of courses in teacher education. (2) The method of teaching in the teacher education departments should be such that it inspires a sense of appreciation among other departments of the universities and colleges. A teacher education department should therefore, conduct special innovative programmes in the following directions: Seminar, combining of seminar and discussions with lectures, team teaching panel discussion and projects sponsored by the faculty members for improvement of learning in various spheres. (3) For development of professional attitude it will be advisable to recognise the college of education as unit in themselves.
Such an institution should be equipped with facilities for organising various types of activities such as daily assembly programmes, community living, social work, library organisation and other curricular activities, which promote democratic spirit of mutual appreciation and fellow feeling. (4) The admission procedures of B.Ed. should be completely systematised and steps should be taken to make it full proof against tempering and meddling as far as possible. (5) There should be a planning unit in each State Education Department. The function of this unit should be to regulate the demand and supply of teachers at various levels of schools. This unit can also be given the responsibility of projecting future requirements of teachers in various categories. (6) It will be in the fitness of things if at the time of setting up a teacher education department, a demonstration school is made integral part of it and a definite norm should be followed for certain facilities such as laboratories, libraries and other important audio-visual equipment. (7) The practising schools have to be taken into confidence. For this the members of the staff of teachers colleges should be closely associated with the schools.
The course of studies and the practical work and practice teaching can be easily moderated in such a way that the will have useful implications for improving school practices. (8) Teacher education programme should be organised on the basis of evidence obtainable from researching such areas as follows:” Teacher behaviour “Developing conceptual framework and a theory of institution.” Innovative practices of teaching such as microteaching, simulation and interaction analysis procedures. (9) The teacher education department should be made a nucleus for research on teaching curriculum and evaluation in the regular university departments. It can also be entrusted the responsibility of sponsoring programmes for extension such as bringing the community into close contact with the university academicians. There should be a free exchange of scholars from one department to the other. This will improve the quality of teacher education programmes immensely.
(10) For professional growth of teacher educators there should be seminars, summer institutes and research symposia at more frequent intervals (11) There is a paucity of round textbooks and reading material, including reference books in Hindi and regional languages in the field of teacher education. (12) The State Government should make adequate provision of funds for teacher education departments. Special assistance should be given for running an experimental school and holding of practice teaching sessions in various schools. (13) Correspondence courses in teacher education should be provided, with a strict and high screen for admissions and a rigorous manner of assessment.
(14) Libraries are needed to be enriched with complete and comprehensive reference section equipped with all available journals for use by all the researchers. (15) Teacher Education, like higher education and technical education must be the responsibility of the central government. (16) Uniformity among teacher education institutions must be ensured and maintained in terms of curriculum, duration and timings of the programme. (17) Curriculum development on a continuing basis to keep pace with current trends. (18) Government should look after the financial requirements of the institutions. (19) Teacher educators must be well qualified and experienced with language proficiency. (20) Teacher educators to be trained in the use of ICTs.
(21) Privatization of teacher education should be regulated. (22) Institutes of low standards should be reformed or closed. (23) Conditions for affiliation should be made strict.
(24) Regular and rigorous inspection by NCTE should be done on a regular basis. (25) Selection procedure must be improved and interviews, group discussions along with common entrance test and marks should be introduced. (26) Duration of teacher education should be increased to two years. (27) More emphasis should be given on practice teaching till mastery is reached with appropriate feedback. (28) Internship should be of sufficient time (six months) and student teachers must be exposed to the full functioning of the school. (29) Evaluation in teacher education should be objective, reliable and valid. (30) Teacher pupil ratio should be ideally 1: 8.
(31) Several types of co-curricular activities should be included in the curriculum.
Since the teacher is the pivot of the entire educational system and is the main catalytic agent for introducing desirable changes in the teaching learning process, all attempts need be made for motivating teachers to become innovative and creative. It goes without saying that a self motivated and really industrious teacher can utilise his own resources to keep himself abreast of new knowledge and skills.
1. Walter E Hager: Current Issues in Teacher Education
source: http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_195203_hager.pdf 2. Salma Naseem, Noorain Anas: Problems of Teacher Education In India 3. Alfred Yates (1970) : Current Problems of Teacher Education. 4. www.mu.ac.in/myweb_test/ma%20edu/Teacher%20Education%20-%20IV.pdf