Evaluating Teacher Education Programs for Philology Students

Evaluating Teacher Education Programs for Philology Students

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1067-3.ch006
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The chapter will deal with the process of training philology students for their future careers as language and literature teachers in the compulsory education system of Romania. Based on the concurrent model, their training implies studying at the same time for the Bachelor's and Master's degree and a teaching qualification. An analysis of the transformations undergone by Romanian teacher training education in the last twenty years may enable an exchange of opinions among the researchers concerned with the improvement of the field. The chapter will offer a chronological analysis of the process of training philology undergraduate and graduate students paying particular attention to the creation and development of new programs at academic level.
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Over the past decades teacher education has been critically reviewed by numerous researchers and educators in an attempt to rethink the model of teacher training and adapt it to the requirements of a constantly changing world. There have also been various studies in the field of language and literature teaching, which have helped the conceptual understanding of the process and led to the design of better pre-service teacher training programs. From the vast amount of existing research, the present analysis has selected several views and principles that lie at the basis of teacher education. Thus, some researchers (Bansal, 2009) make the distinction between “the technical rationality” approach and the “realistic approach” to teacher training. The former tends to neglect all aspects dealing with the affective side of teacher education because the focus is mainly on “information processing” (Bansal, 2009, p. 33) which is seen as the “rational or logical” (Bansal, 2009, p. 33) side of such an approach. The latter, on the other hand, adds to the cognitive processes involved in learning teaching an affective dimension consisting in the feelings, emotions, beliefs, values and attitudes which are inherent to any teaching activity. The author calls psychological factors “gestalts” to “refer to the personal conglomerates of needs, concerns, values, meanings, preferences, feelings and behavioral tendencies united into one inseparable whole” (Bansal, 2009, p. 35), whose influence can be manifested at the conscious and unconscious levels. Strictly speaking, teacher education means a dynamic interplay between two main components, abstract knowledge and concrete experience, or in other terms, theory and practice.

The traditional viewpoint on teaching considers “classroom practice to stand out as being the most significant element of professional training to student teacher because of its vividness and emotional associations” (Calderhead & Shorrock, 1997, p. 10). Generally speaking, the practical dimension of teacher education can be defined as a cyclic process based on five phases, A.L.A.C.T., as stated by Korthagen:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teacher Education: Theoretical courses and practical activities preparing students for the teaching profession.

Curriculum: The official study plan of an institution.

Teacher Training: Theoretical courses and practical activities preparing students for the teaching profession.

Focus Group: An interactive group of people who are asked to exchange opinions about a particular topic.

Pre-Service Teacher: A student that prepares to become a teacher.

Student-Teachers: Students that prepare to become teachers.

Teacher Training Programs: Special educational programs meant to teach undergraduates the teaching profession.

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