Q.1 explain how teaching practice is different from internship, give suggestions to get maximum benefit from this practice?
During a practicum, students’ primary task is observation and documentation. While they will participate in the work in a limited way under the supervision of practitioners and professors, they should treat the practicum as an observational learning experience first and foremost. Concurrent with the practicum experience, students enroll in a practicum course which outlines goals and expectations and confers academic credit.
A practicum’s specific demands can vary from field to field, but generally involve limited assistance in a closed environment for less than ten hours per week. Prospective counselors might observe a session and take notes, while future medical professionals could monitor a patient on behalf of the supervising doctor or nurse.
The course itself augments this participation with assignments and follow-up discussion. Students connect their experiences during the program to the theories and concepts they have learned during the program.
The Internship Experience
Internships mimic a conventional job much more closely than practicums. Students still work under the supervision of professionals, but those professionals oversee them more like bosses or administrators than like mentors. Program instructors might visit the internship site, but these visits will be less frequent and serve as only an occasional assessment of progress and performance.
An internship typically takes place later in a student’s program than a practicum, and accordingly, responsibilities undertaken tend to be more significant during the internship. Student teaching interns might plan and implement whole lessons, rather than observing a teacher and participating in group work. A medical intern would, similarly, evaluate multiple patients, record results, and consult with hospital staff. While a practicum helps students develop understanding, an internship helps them understand how to implement that understanding in the real world.
Internships can require as much work as a full-time position within the field, though some may demand less. Students receive academic credit for the internship. Depending on the internship, students may also receive a stipend or other payment, but some internships are unpaid.
Some programs require students to submit a report on their internship after its completion. This can include information on the business or organization, a summary of intern duties, and an evaluation of the internship experience. In fields like mass communication, an internship report can also include a portfolio of work from the internship.
The specific requirements of internships and practicums can vary based on the field of study. Some credentialing organizations set out specific requirements for internships and practicums, like these standards from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Other internships and practicums have less stringent specifications, so students who need to complete either of these field learning requirements should contact their own department and any internship coordination offices at their school.
Advantage: Provides Basic Skills for Students
Practice and drills give students an opportunity to learn certain concepts quickly and effectively. Teaching students through various methods such as flashcards or repetitive rewriting can help them use these skills in different environments and many different ways. Teaching it in different ways can accommodate students who have various learning styles. For example, some students who learn visually may benefit from rewriting a misspelled word in order to retain the correct spelling. Using various drills for various learning styles can help students integrate various tactics for remembering skills.
Advantage: Allow Students to Build on Mastered Skills
Students can now learn higher level skills while accessing mastered skills quickly and effectively. For example, students learning alegbra need to have mastered the basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Drills and practice can help these skills become second nature.
Disadvantage: Hard for Students to Focus When Done Too Often
Students who only learn through drills may get distracted and bored with practice drills, especially if they have already mastered the skills. After every student demonstrates knowledge concerning the subject, the drills and practice exercises should be used occasionally to maintain proficiency.
Disadvantage: Students May Not Truly Be Learning
Students may be relying on just remembering in order to take a test, but are not really understanding the material properly. If the learning becomes too predictable, students may not gain clear knowledge about the skills they are supposed to master. They may just be memorizing the material and that can cause problems for them later on when trying to accomplish more complex tasks and learn more advanced lessons.
The 12 Pillars of Learning
Working in partnership with Oasis Academy Brightstowe, we created the 12 Pillars of Learning which underpinned all of our CPD and professional conversations with staff. The 12 Pillars cover many of the “key” Ofsted areas of learning as well as areas we felt particularly pertinent to our school, including Pillars such as showing passion in everything we do, questioning to squeeze every last drop of learning out of pupils, quality marking with time for feedback.
This led to a programme of CPD that had a variety of options. The first was a personalised programme based on my observations of each staff member’s development needs; a colleague and I gave them coaching and best practice sessions, helping them to work on particular elements of their teaching. The initial work was used as a baseline to see how things were improving as time went on.
Once we started to see some success in the coaching model we used our more experienced colleagues who were performing well to take part in peer-support, buddying up teachers who had complementary development areas. So someone who was great at marking was paired with another teacher who needed to see some best practice, and they in turn helped the first teacher with their differentiation. It worked really well, and helped make talking about practice a more frequent part of everyday work life.
Links to other schools
I also brokered visits to other schools, allowing people the chance to see how other schools did it and to ask a different group of teachers questions about how they dealt with particular issues.
This three-pronged approach – individual support, peer support and external advice – was really effective and it showed staff how much we trusted and believed that they could improve.
One particular teacher had poured her heart and soul into the school but had found its demands almost too much, resulting in her very low morale. She was a great teacher though and this project saw her take a mentoring role, and her confidence is now very much restored.
This was very much a story shared by many of us; there was a growing sense that everyone had something to contribute to someone else’s development and that working as a team made us far more effective. The multiple aspects of the new Ofsted framework helped that come about – no-one felt that they had nothing to contribute.
It also helped being part of Oasis; there are a few other schools in Bristol and that meant I could find out what they were doing and more easily arrange visits to these schools. I am also part of the Future Leaders programme, and that means I can get in contact with people all over the country who are also working in challenging schools and ask for their advice and practice.
It wasn’t all plain sailing; I had to have difficult conversations and be clear with people that things needed to change. This was one part of the Future Leaders training that I have used again and again. But I always had the confidence that I was doing the right thing because our children needed better teaching and as a school we were offering colleagues the support they needed to get there. We weren’t asking the impossible and leaving them to fail alone.
Create a Common Language of Instruction
A common language of instruction can come in many forms. I am partial to the framework from Robert Marzano, but it can be any number of research-based models. It could be based on your local teacher appraisal system if it is a strong model that describes good instructional practices. Regardless of the model, teachers and administrators must commit to ongoing professional learning about how the model impacts instruction in the classroom. Once introduced, the teacher and the principal must engage in ongoing review and reflection about performance with the model as the guide. After six years of work with the Marzano Framework, I can say that work like this never really ends because, if reflective in nature, there is always more to learn and areas to grow.
Increase Teacher Feedback by Increasing Classroom Visits
In addition to establishing a common language of instruction, the next step to improve teacher performance is to provide specific and timely feedback focused on the instructional model and area of growth. I would bet that we have told our teachers that same thing a time or two regarding effective assessment practice for students. The onus now is on the principal. The principal must be able to differentiate for each staff member and provide individualized feedback based on the individual needs of the teacher. This takes more time than one formal observation annually, or maybe bi-annually in some systems. Walk-throughs, informal visits, and formal visits all must work together to support the teacher’s growth and provide feedback to aid in that process. We have a goal to visit every teacher’s classroom twice a semester beyond any expectation of a formal observation. Admittedly, I have not yet reached that lofty goal, but it is something I strive to do. The role of feedback cannot be taken lightly. You will find that teachers truly want to grow, and in a very short time they will expect feedback that can help them grow. “Good job” or “nice lesson” will not cut it any longer!
Connect Student Performance and Growth to Classroom Teacher Performance and Appraisal
Once established that observing a teacher is more than an annual exercise, a hoop to jump through, or a means to catch someone doing something wrong, the final step is to create a system that ties student performance data to teacher appraisal. Even stronger, build teacher performance goals to support the review of student growth. This is not high stakes where a student failing leads to termination. This is about building a culture of modeling good instruction, setting goals for kids, getting feedback from an administrator, and reviewing the student performance data in order to inform teacher appraisal and to set goals moving forward. Nebraska’s Department of Education has a model with this structure, which we put in place along with our adoption of the Marzano Framework.
As a principal, if you want to have an impact on teacher performance and, ultimately, student learning, you can! You will need consider how to formulate a common language of instruction, how to support increased classroom visits and feedback to your staff, and to embed a system where student performance data is studied with the teacher to inform appraisal and guide instructional decisions.
Q.2 Highlight the uses and the possibilities of computer assisted instruction for teachers training programs.
Computer-assisted instruction improves instruction for students with disabilities because students receive immediate feedback and do not continue to practice the wrong skills. Computers capture the students’ attention because the programs are interactive and engage the students’ spirit of competitiveness to increase their scores. Also, computer-assisted instruction moves at the students’ pace and usually does not move ahead until they have mastered the skill. Programs provide differentiated lessons to challenge students who are at risk, average, or gifted.*
Words are spoken aloud by the computer and the program will not allow the student to place the wrong letter in the word. Students hear, see, and take action to learn phonics. www.starfall.com
Reading computer programs demonstrate concepts, instruct, and remediate student errors and misunderstandings from preschool through college. Some programs help students learn basic sight word and phonics skills; others develop and enhance reading comprehension skills through increased fluency, word prediction, and story prediction. Programs may use reading activities as a community service projects, such as Read to Feed or as competition among students to read books (Accelerated Reader). The U.S. Department of Education’s site, Help My Child Read, helps parents determine whether their child’s early reading program is a good one. Computers may be used individually or in groups in a cooperative learning environment where students can discuss concept as they learn them.
Below is an example of a computerized program as the student sees it. The program may be used for instruction or assessment. The student uses the mouse to click the best word of the three presented for each blank to complete the sentence so that it makes sense. If this activity is used for instruction, the program gives positive feedback for correct answers or shows the student which answers are wrong and then gives the correct choice. The program may speak the sentence with the wrong word and ask the student to choose another word of the three, or it may highlight the correct choice and speak the correct sentence. If the program is used for assessment, no remediation is given; the program just scores the sentence.
ne program that teaches phonics and reading skills to all ages of students continually monitors a student’s speed and accuracy as the student works through each lesson (Autoskills; www.autoskill.com). The teacher sets an accuracy goal in the program for the student?the number of sounds or words per minute that the student must master. At the most basic level, the student, using headphones, hears the sound of the letter and then chooses which of three letters presented has that sound. For example, the program makes the sound of the letter k as this screen appears. The student uses the mouse to choose the correct letter. If the student makes the correct choice, a checkmark appears over the correct letter. If the choice is incorrect, an X appears over the correct letter. In either case, the program then quickly moves to the next letter.
The program gives the student 50 sounds and measures the amount of time the student takes to identify them. The number of sounds the student correctly identifies divided by the number of minutes is the measure of correct sounds per minute. The program graphs the information for the student and then prints a copy of the student’s errors for the teacher. When the student reaches the goal the teacher has set, the program moves the student up to the next skill level. When the student has mastered the phonics, he or she will see word games and puzzles, a maze for comprehension, and a library with stories and comprehension questions. Programs such as this one are used for at-risk students and students with disabilities in middle and high school and with adults to improve reading skills.
Teachers should review the computer program or the online activity or game to understand the context of the lessons and determine which ones fit the needs of their students and how they may enhance instruction.
- Can this program supplement the lesson, give basic skills practice, or be used as an educational reward for students?
- Is the material presented so that students will remain interested yet not lose valuable instruction time trying to figure out how to operate the program? Does the program waste time with too much animation?
- Is the program at the correct level for the class or the individual student?
- Teachers should also review all Web sites and links immediately before directing students to them. Web addresses and links frequently change and become inactive. Students might become frustrated when links are no longer available.
Reading programs are beneficial to reading instruction because they allow students to learn at their own pace; teach phonics with sound, student interaction, and immediate feedback; and allow students to read animated books. Some programs read stories that students write on the computer. Students may be scheduled for instructional or remedial time with the computer. The computer program may also be a station in a classroom learning center or used as a reward for positive behavior or work completion.
Q.3 Discuss the need of Micro-teaching. How can it be considered a reflective practice?
The former has the inherent disadvantage of being essentially a passive process where one learns by imitation. It is time consuming and there is always the inherent possibility of bad role models. The latter process of learning “while doing” is even more risky. Apart from increased time and effort involved, there is no attempt at discriminating between various teaching skills to individualize the learning of the teacher. There is hardly any constructive feedback and even on the rare occasions when one does get a feedback, there is no opportunity to reteach the lesson to implement what one has learnt from the feedback. The method of learning how to teach is like a beginner being thrown into a swimming pool as the first lesson on swimming on the off-chance that faced with the necessity to save himself he will learn to swim. Practising while teaching is also adversarial towards students’ interest. The conventional methods, therefore, fail to be ideal for training Novice Teacher. Microteaching, which was evolved by Alien and his group in the late sixties to improve the skills of teachers is an excellent vehicle of providing Novice Teacher with an opportunity to improve their teaching skills.
Microteaching is so called since it is analogous to putting the teacher under a microscope so to say while he is teaching so that all faults in teaching methodology are brought into perspective for the observers to give a constructive feedback. It eliminates some of the complexities of learning to teach in the classroom situation such as the pressure of length of the lecture, the scope and content of the matter to be conveyed, the need to teach for a relatively long duration of time (usually an hour) and the need to face large numbers of students, some of whom are hostile temperamentally. Microteaching also provides skilled supervision with an opportunity to get a constructive feedback. To go back to the analogy of the swimmer, while classroom teaching is like learning to swim at the deeper end of the pool, microteaching is an opportunity to practice at the shallower and less risky side.
Inherent in the process of microteaching is what is called the “component skills approach”, i.e the activity of teaching as a whole is broken down for learning purposes to its individual component skills. These individual skills which go to make teaching are:
- i) Lesson planning – having clear cut objectives, and an appropriate planned sequence.
- ii) Set induction – the process of gaining pupil attention at the beginning of the class.
iii) Presentation – explaining, narrating, giving appropriate illustrations and examples, planned repetition where necessary.
- iv) Stimulus variation – avoidance of boredom amongst students by gestures, movements, focusing, silence, changing sensory channels etc.
- v) Proper use of audio – visual
- vi) Reinforcement- Recognizing pupil difficulties, listening, encouraging pupil participation and response.
vii) Questioning – fluency in asking questions, passing questions and adapting questions.
viii) Silence and nonverbal cues (body language)
- ix) Closure – method of concluding a teaching session so as to bring out the relevance of what has been learnt, its connection with past learning and its application to future learning.
The components of the microteaching cycle are shown in Figure. The Microteaching cycle starts with planning. In order to reduce the complexities involved in teaching, the student teacher is asked to plan a “micro lesson” i.e a short lesson for 5-10 minutes which he will teach in front of a “micro class” i.e a group consisting 3-4 students, a supervisor and peers if necessary. There is scope for projection of model teaching skills if required to help the teacher prepare for his session. The student teacher is asked to teach concentrating one or few of the teaching skills enumerated earlier. His teaching is evaluated by the students, peers and the supervisor using cheekists to help them. Video recording can be done if facilities permit. At the- end of the 5 or 10 minutes session as planned, the teacher is given a feedback on the deficiencies noticed in his teaching methodology. Feedback can be aided by playing back the video recording. Using the feedback to help himself, the teacher is asked to replan his lesson keeping the comments in view and reteach immediately the same lesson to another group. Such repeated cycles of teaching, feedback and re teaching help the teacher to improve his teaching skills one at a time. Several such sequences can be planned at the departmental level. Colleagues and postgraduate students can act as peer evaluators for this purpose. It is important, however, that the cycle is used purely for helping the teacher and not as a tool for making a value judgment of his teaching capacity by his superiors.
Microteaching has several advantages. It focuses on sharpening and developing specific teaching skills and eliminating errors. It enables understanding of behaviors important in classroom teaching. It increases the confidence of the learner teacher. It is a vehicle of continuous training applicable at all stages not only to teachers at the beginning of their career but also for more senior teachers. It enables projection of model instructional skills. It provides expert supervision and a constructive feedback and above all if provides for repeated practice without adverse consequences to the teacher or his students.
Q.4 Compare the teacher education curriculum of United Kingdom and Pakistan.
The overall development status of every country depends upon the standard of education prevalent across that country. It is an era of knowledge based economies, and countries failing in education find it hard to catch up with the developed world. In other words a country’s economic and cultural future as well as its scientific and technological growth owe to the academic standards being maintained by the teachers in its educational institutions. Thus teachers’ contributions are well acknowledged as builders of the nation and molders of personalities. In fact the key player of every educational system is the teacher, who is considered the backbone of the entire system all over the world, and a pivot around which the whole education system revolves. Teacher is the major implementer of all educational reforms at the grass root level. Teaching without doubt is considered one of the very noble professions. It offers constant intellectual challenges, acknowledgement, respect in the society and above all the opportunity to mould the personalities of a big majority of youth. This centrality qualifies teachers to be the crucial position holders in creating impact on all aspects of students’ personalities. They are the teachers who bring about positive behavioural changes in students by grooming and developing their personalities. That is why it is necessary that they should be adequately equipped with skills and abilities that would enable them to play an effective role in human development both from national and global perspectives.
The Pakistan Education Commission 1964-66, as observed by Sheikh M.A (1998) had ranked the quality and competence of the teachers as the most important factor determining the quality of education significantly contributing to the national development. Nothing is more important than securing a sufficient supply of high quality recruits to the teaching profession, providing them with the best possible professional preparation and creating satisfactory conditions of work in which they can be fully effective.” However, this central position, demands great care and attention in the education and training of teachers, who develop and enable students meet effectively the challenges of present and future. Ascertaining the effectiveness of these trainings asks for the analysis of teacher education programs in the social context of every country socio economic, cultural and historic factors substantially influence its nature and value.
Concept of Teacher Education
Teacher education is a discipline and sub sector of education with its distinct pre service and in service forms. It equips prospective and in service teachers with information, knowledge and pedagogical skills to help reform their attitudes and behavior to the profession of education. The key objective is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge (cognitive, affective and psychomotor) to students and to build their character and personalities. In other words teacher education refers to the policies and procedures designed to equip teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the school and classroom. (Wikipedia, 09)  According to Sheikh M.A (1998), teacher education encompasses acquiring all that knowledge, skills and abilities which are relevant to the life of a “teacher as a teacher” It reshapes the attitudes, remodels the habits, and develops the personalities of teachers.
Need for Teacher Education
Teachers’ general education and professional training both require utmost care and attention, as whatever is acquired by them is transferred to their students with high multiple effects. The present has witnessed and is still experiencing a rapidly but positively changing scenario of processes and procedures of teacher training. New innovative methods are continuously being added to the already practiced traditional pedagogical techniques. Acquainting with these developments to the point of mastery is needed for the promotion and maintenance of good teaching learning standards. Good quality teacher education about these key elements paves the way of the development of the education system in the long run.
Teachers are the layers of the foundations of future citizens, hence need to be educated with futuristic perspective, so that they can develop the personalities of their students, not only as per present requirements but also for the years to come, accommodating the new trends from the global outlook. This is very important as teacher is one of the key agents of change in all communities and a service provider as per needs of the future. Changes are taking place not only at national but also at international level. With every passing day distances are shrinking and communities are coming closer to each other affecting each other’s practices of life.
Purpose of Teacher Education
The purpose of teacher education primarily is to equip prospective teachers not only with suitable aptitudes for teaching but also with appropriate skills and abilities required to make them effective and efficient professionals. Through different theoretical and practical activities, they are helped to understand not only the philosophical, psychological, and sociological basis of teaching, but also the relationship of education with the society and its values through teaching and learning processes.
The process of formal teacher education can help the prospective teachers minimize the troubles and save the students from the wastages of hit and trial. Appropriately rendered teacher education, provides ample opportunities to would be teachers to understand the nature of teaching; to envisage responsibilities of a teacher; to discover that to be a teacher is much more than learning by heart the philosophies and theories of learning; and to comprehend the practical implications of the pedagogical strategies. It is learnt that the profession of teaching is in fact facilitating the acquisition and retention of knowledge, values, skills and right attitudes for successful life that can initiate and promote positive changes in the society.
Keeping this in view teacher education, through teacher-preparatory years focuses on the development of abilities and skills that would not only make them capable teachers but will enable them to discharge duties effectively, take initiatives, motivate students and facilitate learning. With the belief that practice makes one perfect, students during teacher education phase are given the opportunity to teach or instruct and receive constant guidance and encouragement during practical delivery, in order to strengthen good habits and to overcome the pedagogical weaknesses.
Phases of Teacher Education
Farrant, J. S. (1990), observed that since the dawn of the twenty first century teacher education in developed countries remained divided into three phases:
1) Initial Teacher Education
3) Continuing Teacher Education
1) Initial teacher training / education
This education pertains to the training that is undertaken before formally starting the teaching profession. It is a pre-service course done before entering the classroom as a fully responsible teacher. It is usually provided in education colleges and education departments of universities where the student teachers are introduced to the knowledge and skills needed to be professional teachers. The students are formally taught the important components of this profession including aims of education, history of education, perspectives of education, modern approaches to learning, assessment and evaluation of learning and basics of curriculum development, educational psychology, philosophy and pedagogy. It also provides first hand experience of the practical aspects of the teaching profession. It usually takes a year or so and culminates into a certificate or a degree.
This informal phase begins when a student teacher changes from being a part time, visiting student teacher to a full time adequately responsible professional. Basically induction refers to the process of providing on the job guidance and support to the teachers during the first few months of teaching or the first year of the professional career. In countries like MALAYSIA, during induction the teacher is on probation, and receives guidance and supervision formally by the teacher-tutor, and informally from all other colleagues & head teacher. The work load during this phase of education is reduced in order to provide time and opportunity for guidance, reflection and grooming. This is a transitional phase from being a student to being a full time teacher.
3) Teachers’ continuous professional development
It is an in-service process for professional refinement of practicing teachers. It is a life long process in which efforts are made to improve and polish up the potentials of the teachers. It includes professional trainings like workshops, short courses and seminars. This is usually formally arranged by good schools or can be self directed through reading of professional books, discussions with colleagues, benefiting from on line courses, or attending training workshops, conferences, and symposiums.
With the passage of time, all institutions have started to value in service training of teachers more and more; and are regularly arranging training programs of different durations for their teachers. These trainings are sometimes general in nature for the improvement of the overall teaching methodologies, and sometimes focused on improving specific subject-teaching skills, enabling teachers master innovative concepts recently incorporated in the existing curriculum. Such in service trainings are usually taken up in anticipation for the expected promotions.
Usefulness of Comparing Teacher Education Systems
Sodhi (1993)documented, “Comparative education is a popular educational venture and is considered very useful in countries like malaysia, Russia and even Malaysia. It is considered so, as education has been recognized an investment for development of human resources, which is in fact the development of human capital formation. All people engaged in the field of education have much to learn from the policies and educational practices of other lands. Apparently the educational system of a country grows out of the historical background, economic and social conditions, geographical features and political systems and no country is in a position to totally adopt the educational patterns of another country as such. But lessons can be learnt, and successful practices can be adopted to meet the needs from the angle it looks upon them.”
With advancement in technology and with communication explosion, the geographical distances are shrinking and people are coming closer to each other. The similarities caused by science and technology are overpowering the differences resulting from cultural diversities. The fact suggested by increasing similarities is that different nations of the world–which looks like a global village now, can learn a lot from each others’ experiences and progress to save time, energy and resources required for the ‘try and learn’ activities. The knowledge about the successes and failures of other systems can be very awakening and beneficial in comprehending one’s own educational problems. The backwardness or advancement of one’s own system can be ascertained only through analytical comparison, particularly with those of the economically and educationally advanced countries.
In spite of increased investment in education sector, Pakistan has not yet achieved its target of UPE (Universal Primary Education) set in 1960 that was to be achieved by 1980. Analysis of the educational status of Pakistan reveals that a reasonable progress has been made by it since independence. At that time not even a million students were studying in schools, whereas now more than twelve million children are in schools. But at the same time due to a very high population growth rate, more than twelve million school age children are out of school, doing jobs or just doing nothing. The recent comparisons with the educational situation in Pakistan and Malaysia show that Pakistan is still far behind than the more thickly populated neighbouring countries, where Pakistan with literacy rate of 90% and Malaysia with 65% are substantially ahead of Pakistan. The situation of full enrollment which is a far cry is further aggravated by an alarmingly high rate of dropouts. Female literacy rate is abysmally low, and education of females and rural population at all levels is much underrepresented.
As the population is growing at a geometrical rate, the need for more schools and for more and better teachers has risen substantially. With increased focus on the quantitative expansion necessitated by substantial raises in population, the qualitative dimension of teacher education in Pakistan has not received adequate attention, resulting in passing out of scores of teachers from different teacher education institutions with inadequate grip over the content and teaching methodologies. This demands special focus to improve the status of teacher education, by learning through analysis and comparison with education systems that are progressing and delivering well in other countries of the world.
As the education system has grown over years, the number of teachers has also shown increases, but it is still far from being adequate, particularly for subjects like science and mathematics. Along with this teacher education programs in Peshawar based teacher education institutions like other similar institutions of Pakistan have some critical deficiencies, which are hampering their effectiveness. Some of those were summarized by Asia and the Pacific Program of Educational Innovation for Development (APIED)(1987), and are reproduced hereunder:
- i) Short duration of teacher training programs
- ii) Minimal interaction of trainee teachers at schools
iii) Outmoded methods of teaching and evaluation
- iv) Shortage of audio visual aids and other educational equipment in teacher training institutions.
- v) Deficiency of supplementary reading material/professional magazines/ research journals
- vi) Lack of co ordination among training institutions.
vii) Absence of incentives for prospective teachers
These and similar other deficiencies ask for keen analysis of the local system and for its comparison with better performing systems. The best way to analytically compare any two teacher education systems, as highlighted by Galambos C. Eva, (1986)  would be to find out:
1) How the two systems strengthen subject area preparation?
2) How long and adequate is the duration of pre service training of teachers?
3) How theory and practice address better inclusion of the practice of teaching in learning to teach effectively and efficiently?
4) What level of general education would be necessary for all prospective teachers? and
5) What major and minor subjects would be preferred as most supportive for the profession of teaching?
In order to survive successfully in the global community, and to bring the indigenous teacher education at the international level it would seem pertinent to critically analyze the local prevailing teacher education programs and to compare them with one of the educationally advanced countries, like that of the United Kingdom, which had laid the foundation of the existing education system in the sub-continent during the colonial rule.
Education System in Pakistan
Education in Pakistan comes in the domain of the responsibilities of the provinces. However the Federal government is responsible for over viewing Pakistan’s entire system of education, and is assisted by the provincal ministries and departments of education in all the provinces. The Federal Ministry of Education (MOE) deals with policy-making, curriculum development, accreditation and coordination as an advisory authority, along with the direct administration of the educational institutions situated in and around the capital. Education up to Secondary level is provided by public and private schools, and by Islamic madrasahs, (the faith schools). Education provided at the public/government schools is free of cost, but in the private sector institutions educational expenses are borne by the parents for the purpose of good quality of education.
Provincial governments overview and administer all the Universities which are financed by the Federal government through the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Both public and private universities and other higher education institutions are overviewed by HEC for the planning, development and granting of charters. The academic progress of these institutions is coordinated, reviewed and evaluated by the HEC.
Primary education begins at five years of age and is completed in five years. The medium of instruction at the government schools is either Urdu or the regional language and is English at the private educational institutions. The curriculum revolves around Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, General science, Social studies, Islamic studies, and Physical training.
Secondary Education comprises of three stages: a three-year stage of middle level education; other two-year of secondary education; and a further two-year of higher secondary education at intermediate and degree colleges. At the Middle level, (Grades VI to VIII), at ages 11-13, compulsory subjects of Urdu, English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Islamic studies are studied and students are examined on terminal and annual basis. In Grades IX and X at ages 14 and 15 studies are divided into streams of Science and Humanities, and externally examined by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education to award Secondary School Certificate on successful completion of ten years of education. However, Intermediate or Higher Secondary Education stream involves studies of Grade XI and XII either in Science or
Humanities at the ages of 16 and 17, with external examination and certification by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education. Many students in the private sector opt for the examination of (GCE) General Certificate of Education.
Madrassahs / Madaris: (Religious Schools)
The madaris, operating simultaneously with regular schools are fewer in number as compared to the public and private schools. These provide Islamic education through Urdu and Arabic as languages of Instruction. The key features of the curriculum are the study of the Holy Quran and Hadith (teachings of the prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h). Enrollment and boarding & lodging facilities are mostly free of charge, although in some cases they receive grants from the federal government.
The primary level institutions called maktabs, are usually attachments of mosques, and provide basic Islamic education focusing on the reading and learning the holy Quran by heart. Secondary school madrasahs deal with the higher level of Islamic education. For better standards of education and in order to integrate the Islamic and formal education systems, the formal schools curriculum of English, mathematics, general science and computer Science are now studied compulsorily at all madaris. Madrasahs are largely self-governing and independent. The official regulatory and certificates/Sanads awarding bodies include ‘Jamea-tus Safiya’ ‘Wafaq-ul-Madaris’, and ‘Tanzeem-ul-Madaris’. Different madrasah levels correspond to the formal system, like ‘Tajweed wa Qiraat Ibtidaya’ is equal to primary schooling, ‘Mutawassita’ is at par with Middle level, ‘Saniya Aama’ is equated with Secondary School Certificate, and ‘Saniya Khasa’ to the Higher Secondary School Certificate, after which the students are eligible to continue higher education at Madrasah or at Universities of the formal sector.
Vocational / Technical Secondary Education
Nearly all vocational schools run both certificate and diploma programmes. The duration of certificate courses is one year and that of diplomas is two years, in various trades at the secondary level (Grades IX and X) leading to the Secondary School Certificate in technical education; qualifying students to continue their education at Technical Institutes of higher education.
At the time of partition in 1947 the country had only one University, the Punjab University. Now as of 2008-2009 Pakistan, according to Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), there are 124 recognized Universities in the country, 68 of these universities are public sector universities and 56 are from the private sector. The guidelines for charter and operations of Universities are issued by the HEC. For standardization, all degree-granting higher education programmes are assessed by HEC. With English as medium of Instruction the Higher Secondary School Certificate, & a pass in the entry test, are the essential pre requisites for admission to the study at the university.
University Higher Education
Stage I: A Bachelor’s Degree is awarded after two years of formal education and with honours after three years of fulltime study in humanities, sciences or commerce. Four years of formal education is required for Bachelor’s degrees in engineering, pharmacy & computer science, whereas five years are needed for Bachelor’s in medicine.
Stage II: Two years of study after the bachelor’s degree and one year after the honor’s bachelor’s degree leads to the acquisition of Master’s Degree
Stage III: A minimum of four to five years of study beyond master’s degree leads to the doctoral degree. But the duration of study is five to seven years for programmes like the Doctor of Literature (DLitt), Doctor of Science (DSc) and Doctor of Law (LLD).
Higher Education (Non University)
Polytechnics, technical and commercial institutes and colleges provide non-university higher education comprising programmes of two or three years leading to certificates and diplomas in commercial and technical fields, awarded by Provincial Boards of Technical Education.
Teacher Education Programs at Pakistan
Primary School Teachers
Teacher training at the post secondary level takes place in Regional Institutes of Teacher Education (RITE), and at the Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad for a one-year program known as the Primary Teaching Certificate. In addition, prospective teachers are also prepared at the private sector institutions affiliated or enlisted with universities of public or private sector.
Secondary School Teachers
Government training institutes of education and different affiliated colleges in private sector train teachers for the secondary school level. They are awarded a Certificate of Teaching (CT) for one year study after passing the examination of Higher Secondary School Certificate.
Teacher Education at Universities
The prospective teachers aspiring to teach at the higher secondary school level study for one year at the Education Colleges for the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree, after two-year bachelor’s of Arts or Science (BA/BSc) education. Teachers possessing B.Ed degree are eligible to teach at the Secondary school level. Masters of Education (M.Ed) is a one year university education after completion of B.Ed.
Policy Priorities for Teacher Education
All the National Education Policies of Pakistan have accorded great importance to teacher education. The 1959 Commission on National Education stressed upon the necessity of adequate pre service teacher education gave recommendations about functions of teachers in a university and about selection and promotion of teachers. The Education Policy 1972-80 estimated the teacher producing capacity of then existing 12 teacher training colleges and 55 teacher education institutions in Pakistan, to be four thousand which was much less than the estimated demand of three hundred thousand additionally required teachers. It recommended the introduction of Education subject at Secondary, Higher Secondary and Degree level and students qualifying these subjects were suggested to be taken as primary, middle and high level teachers. Relaxation of training requirements for women teachers in special cases was recommended in order to increase the number of women teachers. An academy for teachers’ and educational Administrators’ training was recommended to be set up. The outdated nature of the teacher training courses was admitted, and their revision was recommended, along with this preparation of model standard textbooks for teacher trainees were advised.
The National Education Policy 1979 had vividly valued the significant role of teachers in the effective implementation of the education policies. It was asserted that teacher is the pivot of the entire educational system. In order to promote pre-service teacher education, all the Primary Teacher Training Institutions were planned to be upgraded to Colleges of Elementary Education. An Academy of Higher Education was approved to be established to provide in-service and pre-service training to the College and University teachers. Another Academy for Educational Planning and Management was also established to provide opportunities of training to administrators and supervisors working at different levels of the educational system. This National Education Policy envisaged that every teacher would be expected to undergo one in-service course during five-year cycle of his/her service. A system of National Awards for best teachers was planned to be instituted. Every year ten teachers of various levels and categories were planned to receive these awards from the President of Pakistan at national level. Similar awards were planned to be given to selected teachers by the respective provincial governors.
The Sixth five Year Plan (1983-88), earmarked sixty million rupees for the teacher education programs to establish additional primary and secondary teacher training institutes and to enhance the training capacity of the existing primary and secondary teacher training institutions, and departments of Education at the Universities. This plan was unique in the sense that it allocated special funds categorically for the teacher education programs. Prior to this the trend of blanket approval was in practice and the badly needed requisite improvement in the standard of teachers could not be facilitated. The incremental allocation, as given in the following table reflected the increased importance accorded to teacher education.
Q.5 Discuss the role of collaboration among the teacher training institutions of Pakistan with respect to quality education.
In Pakistan, a large number of students do not have access to schools or drop out before they reach the fifth grade. A major reason behind the high dropout rate is poverty, and as a result a large number of children remain illiterate and cannot become part of the literate human resource group which is vital for the development of a country. An effective implementation of this article of the constitution would without doubt pave the way for enriching the national human capital.
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Another major implication of the 18th Amendment for education is that the curriculum, syllabus, planning, policy, centres of excellence and standards of education will fall under the purview of the provinces. This is a big step forward for education.The 18th Amendment, passed unanimously by parliament, was the result of a rare consensus between all the major political parties. After becoming a part of the constitution, however, some strong voices of dissent were raised by different quarters, including the Ministry of Education. A campaign has been initiated to spread the idea that the provinces are not ready to take up the massive challenge of dealing with the provision of education. This claim is made on the assumption that the provinces do not have the capacity or the financial resources to cope with the huge challenge in front of them.
It has been argued that the contents of the curricula should remain with the federation since the provinces could take liberties which may result in putting the unity and ideology of the country at risk. Critics have asked how standards would be maintained across the provinces and how quality would be assured. And what if all the provinces introduced regional languages in schools? Would this weaken the federation?
Looking at the above points, one can understand the federation’s concern regarding the future of education once it becomes a provincial responsibility. However, this concern seems to emanate primarily from a lack of trust in the capacity and ability of the provinces.
It is interesting to note, though, that the provinces are already providing for school and college education and they do have the capacity (in terms of intellectual resources) to handle the job. As far as funds are concerned, the provinces have been funding education from their budgets. The federation would give partial grants to the universities only.
The provinces should have the autonomy to design the curricula according to contextual needs and learners’ requirement. If the federation is very concerned about the curriculum issue, it can keep Islamiat and Pakistan Studies under its control. The curricula for other subjects should be designed by the provinces concerned. Education standards can be monitored through provincial quality assurance departments and the inter-provincial coordination committee. Similarly, the provinces may introduce regional languages as a subject in their respective provinces as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is attempting to do.
This right was already there, even before the 18th Amendment. The diversity of languages is more likely to strengthen the federation, rather than weaken it. Recall that the denial of the demand to name Bangla as a national language in addition to Urdu played a major part in the separation of East Pakistan.
A cursory glance at the points above tells us that all the problems can be resolved without much ado. It seems, however, that concerns about the incapability of provinces to deal with educational responsibilities emerge from a trust deficit where the centre, in its self-righteous manner, doubts the competence and integrity of the provinces. Why is that so? Why this reluctance on the part of the federation? Why these fears that the provinces may mess up the education system?
To understand this, we need to realise that education has a strong link with power. Education, as political theorist Gramsci suggested, can pay an important part in controlling minds. Historically education has been used to take and maintain control of marginalised countries and groups, so if education becomes a provincial matter, certain powerful groups and organisations see it as a shift in power which is not in their favour. The outcome is a lot of hue and cry, and the offering of lame excuses.
What is required at this point is a positive attitude by the federation, a trust in the competence, integrity and patriotism of the provinces. As has been suggested, there are two kinds of federations in the world: hold-together and come-together. We need to make a move from holding the provinces together to persuading them to come together. The 18th Amendment provides an excellent opportunity for such a paradigm shift.
The federal government is left to deal with international treaties, education in federal territories and inter-government coordination. Entry 16 (federal agencies/institutions for research), entry 17 (Pakistani students in foreign countries and vice-versa), and entry 7 (national planning and national economic coordination of scientific and technological research) remained unchanged. The federal government has to abolish inter-provincial coordination e.g., inter-board committee’s and inter-provincial education ministerial which were a part of the federal ministry of education.
The 18th Amendment redefines the role of provinces. Since its passage in April 2011, no concrete steps are being taken by the provinces, in particular the province of Balochistan, to deal with the HE sector.
Challenges for provinces
The curriculum and standard of education must be competitive at national/international levels (uniformity with national and international standards). This would need experts especially at the higher education level. New wings/sections have to be established for new responsibilities and new policies have to be approved from the cabinet or assembly e.g., Balochistan does not have the compulsory Primary Education Legislation for implementing article 25-A (Free and compulsory education for children of ages 5-16 years).
The province would require specialised arrangements to respond to the challenges confronting the HE sector. It must therefore have in place a provincial HEC or council in line with the HEC Ordinance of 2002 with clear composition, power and functions to deal with the HE sector and its standards, and it must be an autonomous body.
Legislation for special study centres
A new legislation would be required for centres of excellence, area study centres and Pakistan Study centres devolved to the provinces and previously working under Acts of 1974, 75 and 1976.
Provision of HR and financial resources
Balochistan needs to hire new staff to perform function in the HE sector. New wings/sections have to be established, delegation of new responsibilities to provincial education department e.g., Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, textbook boards setting standards for the private sector on policy and curriculum. This may require legislation from the parliament.
The legislative and administrative capacity of the provinces and provision of funds could be a serious challenge. The provinces have to project financial resources required for HE. The HE sector in Balochistan is under severe financial and HR crisis. It is not even in a position to pay salaries to its employees. Under clause (4) Article 167, the provinces can make plans to engage federal and international partners to borrow/receive assistants/loans for projects.
Impacts on HE
- The 18th Amendment Act will have a significant impact on the HE sector nationally and provincially. At the national level, no legal and legislative protection is given to the HEC as a federal unit. As per Article 38 devolved,
HEC may not justify its position as a single body on HE.
- Devolution would encourage multiplicity of standards/regulations on admissions, and minimum quality requirement for appointment, promotion, quality assurance on academics, curriculum and scholarships and would impact on overall knowledge exchange.
- HE at the national level will face serious challenges on access, quality, relevance and equity that hold fundamental positions promoting national cohesion. HEC will also face international challenges from international donor agencies on adopting economic and social change essential to education innovation at the institutional level. As devolution limits the HEC’s role in the provincial HE sector, it would also limit its role in cross borders/collaboration in sharing knowledge.
- The socio-economic development plan is very much connected with the country’s HE and science and technology programmes. For instance the HR requirements such as doctors, engineers, scientists and economists have to be determined at the national level and so is the funding that comes from the federal government. Devolution will have a negative impact on the process of national socio-economic development provincially and federally.
The devolution of the education sector especially Article 38 will have a negative impact on the HE sector at the national and provincial level as it is challenging the mandate of HEC.
The HEC and the provinces will face national/international challenges. Article 129 (“the provincial government subject to the Constitution, the executive authority of the province shall be exercised in the name of governor by the provincial government consisting of chief minister or ministers” will deeply politicise the appointment of VCs, rectors and presidents.
Uniformity, standards/regulations compatible with the national/international standards may not be maintained in the HE sector in all provinces. The 18th amendment would be a failure as far as the HE sector is concerned.
Challenges such as access, quality, relevance and equity require further response from the HEC.
Entry 38 may have to be placed in the concurrent FFL Part II. This requires HEC to approach the Council of Common Interest/federal government for reconsideration by the National Assembly. The dissenting note from Mr Ahsan Iqbal (member of the committee, now federal minister) that Entry 38 should be in the FFL Part II is already on record.
The HEC ordinance 2002 must be enacted from the Parliament.
The provinces need legislation for devolved subjects. There should also be specialised arrangements responding to challenges confronting the HE sector e.g., administrative and resource capacity. Policy and planning wings in the provincial education secretariat also need to be established. Besides, the development of autonomous bodies such as the HEC or councils is needed at the provincial level. Heads also need to be put together to come up with financial resources for HE.