Which Fields of Teacher Education in Scotland Need Improvement
Scotland has an excellent teacher education programmes but they are not ideal. Teacher education review has revealed that the existing system needs several improvements. Examples include:
Continuing professional development (CPD). The CPD is not new and is included in the teacher’s job for quite some time. However, teacher education review reveals that the practice does not always follow the theory. As a result, students often describe their lecturers as old-fashioned and out of touch with the time. All teachers should be encouraged to continue their professional development in respect to both their field of expertise and new pedagogical approaches.
Greater flexibility of teacher education programmes. The world is changing at a great pace and teacher education must follow the changes in order to be able to meet the needs of the new generations and provide their students with up-to-date knowledge and skills.
Better communication with parents/carers and local communities. Teacher is much more than just a lecturer. Parents/carers also expect teachers to act as carers, psychologists and in a way, actively participate in child raising. Teacher education should therefore include more communication and work with parents/carers as well as with local communities which have high hopes for young people.
More emphasis on pre-school education. Most psychologists agree that the skills and knowledge which are acquired during first three years of life are more important than they previously thought to be. This means that the youngest children should not only be entrusted to reliable and trustworthy carers who will make sure that the children are safe while their parents are at work but they should be entrusted to a highly educated staff.
Better dialogue between the teachers and universities. Neither teachers or universities should compete with each other but cooperate in order to raise the education system on a higher levels. Teachers and universities should therefore be encouraged to share good practice, experience, ideas and innovation. Better communication between the teachers and universities will help improve consistency in quality of education and provide access to high quality education to students across the country.
More emphasis on practical classroom skills. All teachers in Scotland have to go through a probation period before they can become independent in the classroom, however, the latest review of teacher education reveals that students are not as prepared for independent work as they supposed to be. By putting more emphasis on practical training in teacher education programmes, young teachers will not only achieve independence in classrooms easier and faster but they will also be able to transfer up-to-date pedagogical approaches to their older colleagues.
Changes in the application criteria. There is a major concern about the criteria for selection of students for teacher education programmes as the review has revealed that many candidates have poor English and numeracy skills which means that the criteria for entry should perhaps be extended in order to make sure that only the most competent candidates are selected.