Rome Conference Report of the Special Interest Group on Teacher Education
Coordinator: Gauri Chhabra and Tracy Cook-Person
Flosy C. R. S’Souza,
Ekwutosi Monica Nnadi
Ma. Victoria Naval
Sr. Lydia Fernandes
Sonja Lopez Arnak
Vijaya Kumari Nonda
Sr. Martha Ann
Chairperson of SIG: Genevieve Balance Kupang
SIG would continue to function in a phased manner to make this journey all the more fruitful in times to come. Keeping in mind the resolutions and recommendations, SIG is committed towards putting down these ideas into practice. This would go a long way in taking teacher education to a new level, and therefore, streamlining the system of preparation of teachers as well by equipping them with the required skills, and character formation. Continuing education needs to be more fluid for it to contribute more fruitfully towards the betterment of society.
In some instances, teacher education is isolated from schools. Schools are in a network and there needs to be enough months/time training all across the globe. Institutions of teacher trainings need to sustain a smooth and working relationship with principals of schools, so that when the actual immersions of aspiring teachers are needed, processes of training, linkages and evaluation are effectively implemented.
- Dismantling the issues of bias might seem a herculean task but it can be accomplished by undertaking various measures towards making teachers’ education effective as a system. It was discussed that the teacher education is functioning as isolated from the schools. Therefore, schools should be a part and parcel of that network and there needs to be at least a six months’ training period. The same pattern of a two-year degree course needs to be followed across the globe.
- Given the need to revamp the system we need to focus on teacher education and making it more student–centric. It is actually the students who need to be equipped with the right kind of guidance so that they can apply the same to school teaching later on.
- Another problem felt and discussed was that teachers’ education is isolated from schools. The teacher education system should function hand in hand with the school education system. After all, it is the school as the target area for which teacher education prepares the students. There should be no mismatch between the two.
- A few important measures need to be undertaken so that school also become an integral part of the teacher education network. Six months training should be mandatory for all. A uniform two-year (four) degree course pattern needs to be adopted.
- Teacher education sector needs to build a strong relationship with the Principals of the schools as this collaboration between the schools especially the administrative heads and the institutes of teacher education would go a long way in making the transition of student-teachers smooth into the actual field of teaching.
- With a view to formulate a system of supervision, steps need to be taken in that direction. The foremost would be syncing the relationships with the Principals of the schools and formulate a formal system of supervision to be followed religiously.
- Cross cultural exchanges need to take place for continued motivation of teachers, teacher quality review as well as rendering of curriculum to multiple perspectives. The funding for cross cultural visits is an issue that needs to be dwelled upon.
- Lateral entry into the field of teaching from other fields of study can help to make teacher education even more effective. This would also help to heighten the nobility of this profession.
The Teacher Education SIG has begun an international information share between two education programs in Punjab India and Brooklyn New York, in the United States. The goal here is to examine the continued support and professional development of new teachers in their first/second years of teaching in a secondary education context. The two cities have issues in contrast and in common. This exploration is the beginning of a deeper dive into what Teacher education programs in the United States and South East Asia, might learn from each other that can be shared and implemented in other countries.