CURRENT ISSUES IN TEACHER EDUCATION Jaime M. Gellor
-”Great Debate” in education of the late 50’s between the classicists and the progressivists.
Classicists - yield on the science of pure reason (metaphysics) - refers to the traditional content courses offered in school like; language, mathematics, science, philosophy, history, sociology, psychology and art.
Progressivists - pragmatism (education is life) - life- centered curriculum - practical - reality-based
-Accordingly, we are a country that yielded quickly to the arguments of Dewey. As a consequence, we overhauled the school curriculum by de-emphasizing the traditional content courses by cutting time down time allotment to give way to practical approaches.
With this, undoubtedly, the teachers were thrown into the ferment of change since it should start with the teachers and teaching institutions were infused with new programs.
Meanwhile, the opposition in this continuing debate has remained firm against the de-emphasis of the traditional disciplines such as: language, mathematics, science, philosophy, history, sociology, psychology, and art. To them, too much concern for the practical has reduced the study of this fields into mere accidents of the curriculum. It lost the depth and breadth that is vital for the development of intellectual power resulting in mediocre quality of graduates.
1. If teacher education is to achieve a better academic quality, should general foundation courses be given greater emphasis in the curriculum?
FOUNDATION AND PROFESSIONAL COURSES -The issue is not the absence of any of these types of courses, rather it refers to the question of depth and breadth of instruction in the basic liberal arts discipline in relation to professional courses.
The implication of the desired emphasis on foundation courses is to have a general education that is academic and broad enough to include the essential elements of liberal arts without prejudiced to specialized courses vital to the practice of teaching.
2. Is there a need for the development of scholarship above professional competence for teachers in the elementary and secondary schools?
There are two kinds of educators: the scholar and the educationist. The scholar is known for his in-depth mastery, competence in the discovery and delivery of new ideas within his academic field. The educationist is a practitioner having mastery of his field but is more concerned of its application for the sake of practical utility.
This means that a scholarly teacher must have a real and enduring love for his chosen academic field for that is the basic element of effectiveness.
3. Should teacher- training programs provide for the preparation of school administrators, supervisors, guidance counselors, and related personnel other than the preparation of classroom teachers?
Preparation of Classroom Teachers and Educational Personnel -Should teacher education be limited to the preparation of classroom teachers, not including the preparation of educational personnel?
4. If teachers training are to benefit from a more fruitful pre-service experience in teaching, should the period for practice teaching be prolonged?
Should the period for practice teaching be prolonged? -Thus, it seems that in the present highly demanding world, the student teacher can hardly gain a reasonable amount of experience in one semester. The alternative should be a prolongation of the period of practice teaching for at least one year.
CONCLUSION: Teacher education may yet become effective if: • A liberal-education based teacher training program is instituted. 2. Teachers are trained in scholarship to strengthen their professional competence. 3. The program is designed not only to prepare classroom teachers but also school administrators and other specialist-personnel. 4. The period for practice teaching is long enough to allow a more extensive pre-service experience for the teacher-in training . 5. Innovations are properly implemented to meet the needs of the time.