Quality Assurance for Teacher Education in Democratic Globalized World

Quality Assurance for Teacher Education in Democratic Globalized World

Liphie Precious Pereira (University of Eswatini, Swaziland)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1017-9.ch010

Abstract

In this chapter it is argued that when determining quality assurance in teacher education there is need to take into account not only what teachers are taught but also how they are taught. New perspectives on learning and teaching at school level and the changed nature of the role of the teacher form the basis for suggesting a focus on the “how” of teacher education in addition to or more than the “what.” It draws on research underpinned by a critical realist philosophy to demonstrate the changed nature of the school system and the need to adopt a sociocultural approach to learning and teaching in teacher education.
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Introduction

The school system has transformed in many parts of the world to ensure learners are provided with quality education. However, as many researchers have noted, the meaning of quality in education is contested and difficult to define. Quality of education may be understood from an economist perspective (Barratt, Chawla-Duggan, Lowe, Nikel, and Ukpo, 2006), also called a quantitative view (Motala, 2001). It can also be understood from a humanist perspective (Sanyal, 2013; Barratt et al, 2006), and termed a qualitative (Motala, 2001) or a reconceptualist view (Ornstein and Hunkins, 2004). The humanist view places emphasis on educational processes that occur in schools and in the classroom, while the economist view “is macro in focus” (Motala, 2001: 62), measuring educational quality in relation to the extent to which it is able to serve economic sector needs (Lotz-Sisitka, 2010; Barratt et al, 2006; Motala, 2001).

No matter which view is taken the idea of quality in education alters what should be taught and how it should be taught. The economic view is based on the assumption that the role of education is to prepare learners or students for the world of work that has changed. For example, education providers are expected to focus on academic knowledge as well as the development of 21st Century skills such as creativity, problem solving, innovativeness, decision-making, and lifelong learning (Nikitina and Lapina, 2017; Lock, Kim, Koh, & Wilcox, 2018) which are crucial for the business world that the students will operate in as workers or owners of business. This calls for schools and institutions of higher learning to change what they teach and how learning and teaching is conducted (Baren, 2013) in order to increase the quality and relevance of graduates. The humanist approach is based on the understanding that socio-economic problems affect participation in education causing education to discriminate against some students and favour others who are often the affluent ones. Problems of unemployment, poverty, HIV and AIDS, geographical location and other socio-economic difficulties that many countries face threaten the right of the child to education that is of quality. Therefore, from a humanist approach quality education is one in which all, regardless of socio-economic status, have equal access to education and benefit equally from the education provided (Fredriksson, 2004; Komorowska, 2017).

To ensure relevance and equality of education, transformations have been made to global education systems. According to Fredriksson (2004), improving quality in education may be crucial to help teachers improve their teaching methodology and skills. The adoption of actively engaging methods of learning and teaching is viewed as important in ensuring quality in education. Education providers therefore have been called upon to adopt child-centred (in the case of primary schools), learner-centred (in the case of secondary schools) and student-centred (in the case of higher education) strategies of learning and teaching. Because they are capable of helping to produce the kind of person that can fit in the new socioeconomic world (Nikitina and Lapina, 2017). The ability of teachers to use such strategies of teaching is therefore critical in ensuring quality of the education learners receive in schools. Sanyal (2013, pp. 7) argues that, “Education policies, however well-intentioned and official curricula however well crafted, cannot succeed without the teacher, whose professional management of the teaching-learning process ensures that education really takes place”. Curricula reforms, meant to improve quality in education, are therefore determined primarily by teacher competence which include his or her ability to teach in ways which enhance quality of the education learners receive in school. Ensuring that teachers can teach using new innovative strategies that actively engage learners in the learning and teaching process is therefore an important aspect of teacher education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Instructed Learning: It is a process of learning that is not effective for learning how to teach in modern ways because it is a step by step instruction that most human beings find difficult and therefore often reject. Learning to teach does not require memorization or following of steps. It requires that one live (be part of) in a community of people who teach in the modern ways.

Quality Assurance: It is what teacher education do to ensure that teachers produced in the institution meet the current standards of teaching that are expected in the school system.

Critical Realism: It is a way of conducting research that helps acquire a deep understanding of life’s events and experiences such as the emergence of new systems of education.

Discourse: A Discourse is an environment with people who are basically the same because they share the same interests, values, principles and ways of behaving. It allows learning from within through being a participating member of the Discourse.

Natural Learning: It is a process of learning that cannot work when learning how to teach in modern ways because the modern ways of learning and teaching have not been around long enough to acquire the status of being genetically supported.

Teacher Quality: It is the ability to produce teachers who meet the standards of teaching expected by the ministry of education at school level.

Cultural Learning Process: It is a learning process that has the ability to enable all to learn well enough what is needed to be learned for effective implementation of new curricula systems. It requires that one live (be part of) in a community of people who teach in the modern ways to be able to learn from their practices what is needed to be learned.

Teacher Education: It is the department in institutions of higher learning responsible for the training of teachers for teaching at school level.

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