Mentor Education and even Mentor High-quality
Among the sectors which fosters national development is education by ensuring the development of a functional human resource. The institution of strong educational structures leads to a culture populated by enlightened people, who will cause positive economic progress and social transformation. A Positive social transformation and its associated economic growth are achieved as the folks apply the skills they learned while they were in school. The acquisition of the skills is facilitated by one individual most of us ‘teacher’ ;.Because of this, nations seeking economic and social developments will not need to ignore teachers and their role in national development.
Teachers will be the major factor that drives students’ achievements in learning. The performance of teachers generally determines, not only, the quality of education, but the general performance of the students they train. The teachers themselves therefore ought to obtain the very best of education, for them to consequently help train students in the very best of ways. It is famous, that the quality of teachers and quality teaching are some of the most crucial factors that shape the learning and social and academic growth of students. Quality training will ensure, to a big extent, teachers are of very high quality, in order to have the ability to properly manage classrooms and facilitate learning. That is why teacher quality continues to be a matter of concern, even, in countries where students consistently obtain high scores in international exams, such as Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Such countries, teacher education of prime importance because of the potential it needs to cause positive students’ achievements.
The structure of teacher education keeps changing in almost all countries in reaction to the quest of producing teachers who understand the current needs of students or simply the demand for teachers. The changes are attempts to make sure that quality teachers are produced and sometimes just to make sure that classrooms are not free from teachers. In the U.S.A, how to promote top quality teachers has been an issue of contention and, for days gone by decade approximately, has been motivated, basically, through the strategy prescribed by the No Child Left Behind Act (Accomplished California Teachers, 2015). Even in Japan and other Eastern countries where there are more teachers than needed, and structures have been instituted to make sure top quality teachers are produced and employed, issues concerning the teacher and teaching quality remain of concern (Ogawa, Fujii & Ikuo, 2013). Teacher education is therefore no joke anywhere. This information is in two parts. It first discusses Ghana’s teacher education system and in the 2nd part discusses some determinants of quality teaching.
2.0 TEACHER EDUCATION
Ghana has been making deliberate attempts to create quality teachers on her behalf basic school classrooms. As Benneh (2006) indicated, Ghana’s aim of teacher education is to offer a whole teacher education program through the provision of initial teacher training and in-service training programs, that’ll produce competent teachers, who may help improve the potency of the teaching and learning that continues on in schools. The Initial teacher education program for Ghana’s basic school teachers was offered in Colleges of Education (CoE) only, until quite recently when, University of Education, University of Cape Coast, Central University College and other tertiary institutions joined in. The most striking difference involving the programs provided by one other tertiary institution is that whilst the Universities teach, examine and award certificates with their students, the Colleges of Education offer tuition whilst the University of Cape Coast, through the Institute of Education, examines and award certificates. Working out programs provided by these institutions are attempts at providing many qualified teachers to show in the schools. The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher training programs to be able to ensure quality.
The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher education programs based on the structure and content of the courses proposed by the institution. tuition for maths Hence, the courses run by various institutions differ in content and structure. For example, the course content for the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast is slightly distinctive from the course structure and content of the Center for Continue Education, University of Cape Coast and none of both of these programs matches that of the CoEs, though all of them award Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) after 36 months of training. The DBE and the Four-year Untrained Teacher’s Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programs run by the CoEs are just similar, however, not the same. The exact same can be said of the Two-year Post-Diploma in Basic Education, Four-year Bachelor’s degree programs run by the University of Cape Coast, the University of Education, Winneba and one other Universities and University Colleges. In effect although, same products attract same clients, the preparation of these products are done in different ways.
It is through these many programs that teachers are prepared for the fundamental schools – from nursery to senior high schools. Alternative pathways, or programs by which teachers are prepared are noticed to be good in situations where you will find shortages of teachers and more teachers should really be trained inside a very short time. A typical example could be the UTDBE program, mentioned previously, which design to equip non-professional teachers with professional skills. But this attempt to create more teachers, due to shortage of teachers, has got the tendency of comprising quality.
As noted by Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) the factors that donate to the difficulties of teacher education and teacher retention are varied and complex, but one factor that teacher educators are involved about is the choice pathways by which teacher education occur. The prime aim of lots of the pathways is to fast track teachers to the teaching profession. This short-changed the mandatory teacher preparation that prospective teachers need before becoming classroom teachers. People who favor alternative routes, like Teach for America (TFA), based on Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) have defended their alternative pathways by saying that even though the students are engaged in a short-period of pre-service training, the students are academically brilliant and so have the capability to learn a whole lot in a short period. Others argue that in subjects like English, Science and mathematics where you will find usually shortages of teachers, there must be a deliberate opening up of alternative pathways to good candidates who had done English, Mathematics and Science courses at the undergraduate level. None of the arguments in support of alternative pathways, hold for the choice teacher education programs in Ghana, where the academically brilliant students shun teaching due to reasons I’ll come to.
Once the target is simply to fill vacant classrooms, issues of quality teacher preparation is relegated to the background, somehow. Right at the choice stage, the choice pathways ease the requirement for gaining entry into teacher education programs. When, like, the 2nd batch of UTDBE students were admitted, I will say confidently that entry requirements to the CoEs weren’t adhered to. What was emphasized was that, the applicant must certanly be a non-professional basic school teacher who has been engaged by the Ghana Education Service, and that the applicant holds a certificate above Basic Education Certificate Examination. The grades obtained did not matter. If this pathway had not been created, the CoEs wouldn’t have trained students who initially did not qualify to enroll in the standard DBE program. However, it leaves in its trail the debilitating effect compromised quality.
Despite regular DBE programs, I’ve realized, only recently I must say, that CoEs in, particular, are not attracting the candidates with very high grades. This as I’ve learnt now has a huge influence on both teacher quality and teacher effectiveness. The fact is, teacher education programs in Ghana are not regarded as prestigious programs and so applicants with high grades do not choose for education programs. And so the majority of applicants who apply for teacher education programs have, relatively, lower grades. Once the entry requirement for CoEs’ DBE program for 2016/2017 academic year was published, I noticed the minimum entry grades have been dropped from C6 to D8 for West African Senior Secondary School Examination candidates.
This drop in standard could only be attributed to CoEs’ try to attract more applicants. The universities too, lower their cut off point for education programs so as attract more candidates. The universities as alleged by Levine (2006) see their teacher education programs, so to state, as cash cows. Their need to earn money, force them to lower admission standards, just like the CoEs have inked, to be able to increase their enrollments. The truth that, admission standards are internationally lowered to be able to achieve an objective of increasing numbers. This weak recruitment practice or lowering of standards introduce a significant challenge to teacher education.
The Japanese have been able to make teacher education and teaching prestigious and therefor attract students with high grades. One may argue that in Japan, the method of getting teachers far exceeds the demand and so authorities are not under any pressure to hire teachers. Their system won’t suffer when they do all they are able to to select higher grade student into teacher education programs. To them, the issues concerning the choice of teachers tend to be more critical that the issues concerning recruitment. However, in western and African countries the issues concerning recruitment are prime. It is so since the demand for teachers far outweighs that of supply. Western and African countries have difficulties recruiting teachers because teachers and the teaching profession is not held in high esteem.
Teacher education programs therefore do not attract students who’ve excellent grades. It is worth noting that, it’s not the recruiting procedure only that determines whether or not teacher education will soon be prestigious, however recruiting candidates with high grades, ensures that after training, teachers will exhibit the two characteristics essential to effective teaching – quality and effectiveness. Teacher education can work if the teaching profession is held in high esteem and therefore able to attract the very best of applicants. Otherwise, regardless of incentives put into destination for a attract applicants and regardless of the measures that’ll be place in destination for a strengthen teacher education, teacher education programs cannot fully achieve its purpose.