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Making teachers’ training effective

September 03, 2013

TEACHERS’ training in educational institutes, in general, and in higher education, in particular, has hitherto remained a neglected area. Short-term trainings, with no follow-ups, do take place only periodically in our educational institutes to help in-service teachers to become aware of new methods and materials of teaching.

However, these trainings have been mostly parachuted in from outside. These trainings take place in the shape of workshops held for a few weeks or months. The trainers are outsiders for a particular context.

They ignore ground realities and instruct local teachers what is good or bad for their students and how they can teach. As the beliefs of teachers and students in this particular context are not given due importance, all attempts to bring about a change in the teaching have worked only partially.

Whereas in Fullan’s (1993) terms teachers are neither puppets nor technicians to be told what to do rather they need to be encouraged to raise their consciousness, create understanding, and develop behavior and skills.

This can be achieved by involving trainee teachers and teacher educators in interaction with a view to developing personal and shared vision. The trainers need to take into account socio-cultural and institutional factors.

Furthermore, the participants should be encouraged institutionally to find out solutions to the problems that surround a particular teaching context. This may encourage the trainees to accept the training process as their own enterprise. The main aim of training at any level ought to be to create understanding with resulting emphasis on shift of mind.

Hence, it is suggested that for any innovation to work at a deeper level, all stakeholders should be taken on board because participant-driven, collaborative, teacher-centred, and teacher-negotiated process would have more chances to provide positive results as compared to a pre-planned training package.

DR RAFIQUE A. MEMON Institute of English Language and Literature University of Sindh, Jamshoro