Global Perspectives on Teacher Learning: Improving Policy and Practice
Shwille, J.; Dembele, M. and Schubert, J.
UNESCO: International Institute for Educational Planning, Paris, pp.146, 2007
In the Foreword to the book, Mark Bray, Director of IIEP points out the factors of teacher preparation that has made it a controversial issue all over the world.
“While everybody agrees that teacher education and teacher training are very important, the question of how much formal teacher preparation is needed and how it should be delivered is the object of much debate and experimentation in developing as well as developed countries. The answer depends on several factors, such as the level of financial resources, the number of teachers to be trained, the present structure of training, the knowledge level of graduates who chose to become teachers, and the attraction of the teaching profession”. (P.11)
The book “Global Perspectives on Teacher Learning: Improving Policy and Practice” discusses various issues concerned with teacher education and teacher training and points out differences not only on the amount of formal teacher preparation necessary but also on the desired process of delivery. These issues are related to factors such as level of human and material resources available for implementing the programme and the quality of teacher trainees opting for teacher education and training. In introduction, the authors state that the book aims to provide a way of thinking about the preparation and continuing professional development of elementary school teachers that can be used for evaluating existing programmes and planning new ones(P.25). There are six chapters in the book. Chapter one is a conceptual framework on the continuum of teacher learning. It covers (a) Apprenticeship of observation, (b) Pre-service preparation of teachers, (c) Induction, and (d) Continuing professional development. Chapter two discusses various unresolved controversies in respect of amount of formal preparation necessary for teachers at their pre-service stage - focusing on the issue of apprenticeship model as an alternative to pre-service teacher education, consequences of apprenticeship of observation, cost of effective professional development and suggested alternatives. Chapter three discusses various aspects of the policies, institutions and practices for initial formal teacher preparation. It points out some similarities but much variation and unresolved questions arising out of analysis of the nature of variation. Chapter four deals with the provision for induction of beginning teachers. Chapter five discusses on options for organisational support for continuing professional development of classroom teachers.
Sunil Behari Mohanty