Review of B.Ed Programme and Teacher Training
The B.Ed programme and teacher training are theoretically on a very high level but in practice, there is a major concern in respect to both subject knowledge and classroom skills. In addition, some probationers are having doubts in their ability to become a successful teacher, while many schools complain about the amount of time they need to “teach” the probationaries the skills they should have learn during the initial training programme.
The review of B.Ed programme and teacher training has revealed several weakness which should receive more attention in the future. Some of the most problematic areas include:
Inadequate preparation for classroom management. The review of B.ED programme reveals that classroom and behaviour management do not receive enough attention and are poorly covered by the programmes.
Poor coverage and timing of the study of psychology, philosophy and sociology in the courses.
Inadequate focus on practical knowledge and skills. Students reflect a satisfactory knowledge in subject and theory but they often lack practical training to be able to use the theory in practice. B.Ed programme should include more practical training such as modelling teaching, study of different teaching strategies, practical exercises, etc.
Reluctance of schools to “fail” probationers. Although the review reveals that not all probationers have proper knowledge and skills to work independently in the classroom, schools generally do not “fail” the probationaries which led to the emergence of an idea that the PGDE is perhaps awarded too soon.
Inflexibility of the lecturers and tutors. Like other education institutions, teacher training programmes struggle with inflexibility of their lecturers and tutors who (not all, of course) are often described as being out of touch with the 21st century. This reveals the need for improved continuing professional development of the lecturers as well as for better communication between the universities and lecturers themselves.
In addition to improvements in the B.Ed programme and teacher training, initial teacher education should also pay more attention to the criteria of selection of candidates. The review of teacher education reveals that some students display poor English and numeracy skills which implies that the criteria for admission should be perhaps raised to a higher level in order to make sure that only the best are admitted. After all, they will be the ones who will form the core of the educational system in the future and help young people to develop. But besides proper knowledge and skills, candidates should also have the “right personality” for the teaching profession because they can help young people to develop only if they know to transmit their knowledge. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine whether the applicants have the “right personality”.
Young teachers should receive lots of support from their experienced colleagues but they should not be expected to simply adopt their colleagues’ approach and practices. They should be allowed to combine the up-to-date knowledge and skills they have acquired during the initial teacher training with the knowledge they have received from their older colleagues.