Teachers are Needed: In September 2000, the United Nations adopted goals for the new millennium.

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

www.UNESCO. org

John Schwille et al. in , Global Perspectives on Teacher Learning: Improving Policy and Practice UNESCO,2007

How much teacher preparation is necessary? Students do not necessarily learn better when taught by a teacher who has received training in a teacher training institution or has followed certain in-service teacher preparation courses. This does not mean that teacher training is not important.
Subject matter knowledge is important, but only to a certain point. And it is not clear which pedagogical information matters most.

The Continuum of Teacher Learning: framework for understanding how teachers learn to teach
Phases in the process of teacher learning: (1&2 most important in developing countries)

1) Observation during the teachers’ own schooling experience (Apprenticeship of Observation)

-- most common teacher preparation
-- in some countries, the primary or only preparation
-- all opportunities to learn are included

2) Pre-service preparation of teachers (What most consider to be Teacher Education)
--Cross-national variations in opportunities to learn

---Relevance in US has been questioned
---No research applies this negative assessment outside the US. However, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) is conducting a study of mathematics teacher-education (TEDS-M) .

3) Induction (formal or informal)

-- In many countries this is the second step( on-the-job)
-- typically includes mentorship
-- sink or swim if without mentorship or other support

4) Professional development (follows induction period)
--Marginal add-on or longer term, even residential programs

-- Most commonly short, unrelated to immediate classroom needs
-- Some success with collaborative professional development in countries like China and Japan

What can be concluded about Teacher Education from an international perspective?

1) Teacher preparation must be tailored to the teacher needs.

-- Characteristics of the novice teacher
-- What are the teacher strengths
-- What are weaknesses

2) Many developing nations in their pursuit of teachers have reduced their teacher preparation programs’ length, some are only a few months, some put teachers into the class immediately.

-- Some community teachers are untrained, hired by families
-- Program development involves a restrictive choice of what is most desirable or feasible to learn before practicing in a classroom
-- In some countries, certification is granted after this on-the-job probation period and a pre-service program

3) School-based teacher education is gaining in popularity in developing countries.

-- Requires mentor teachers
poor conditions and low cultural regard
some do not see mentorship as part of job
no or little training for mentor-teachers

-- Requires schools as teaching sites
--Learning materials

Seeking Solutions:
Distance Learning and Digital Learning

See Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI)- New Millennium Learners

- ICT and Initial Teacher Training report
Presents empirical research in the area of how teacher training programs prepare teachers for the integration of communication technologies in their future classrooms.

Also see
--One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) www. Laptop.org
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