Initial Teacher Education (ITE) curriculum review framework consultations

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) curriculum review framework consultations

Ghana has embarked on a massive drive to transform its teacher education and learning. At Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Ghana we are delighted at the progress and quality of work that has been done so far as well as the attendant discussions that has taken place during the National Teacher Education Forums. We would only want to encourage T-TEL and partners/stakeholders to keep up with the good work. We would like to use our platform as an organization to highligh a few important issues which we are sure the forums would be addressing as the transformation process goes on.

 We want to believe that in going forward a lot more of ‘the HOW’ would be reflected in the work: how will what the teacher need to know be taught so that the teacher comes to acquire a love for teaching, a love for reading and a passion for the use of ICT for personal development, professional development, preparation for teaching sessions and for teaching. In effect we are looking at what kind of, and the quality of training as well teacher support given.

 We eagerly wait to see clearly spelt out how newly trained teachers would be supported to ‘settle in’ the profession and the quality of that support too. Our own work as an organization has shown us that it is not the quantum of the resources given nor the frequency of the training, or the sophistication of the technology involved that does the trick but how we are able to support the teacher use what he/she has been given, no matter how little or crude it may be, to make a difference in the class and learning of the child that matters.

 On the issue of literacy and getting our children to read, OLE Ghana has always believed that one can only give out what one has. How good are our teachers at reading themselves? Do they have a love for reading?  We believe as part of their training and continuous professional development teachers should be helped to personally acquire the skills needed to read fluently and cultivate a love for reading for pleasure (not for academic purposes only). Then they would be in a position to impact those skills to the children and help them cultivate a love for reading too.

 Regarding capacity building of teachers and perhaps for those who support them, OLE Ghana hopes that as a country we are considering online programs as avenues for capacity building: Where the teachers would stay in their comfort zones and still be in the classrooms with the pupils but can access free quality, relevant PTD programs and only have to pay for the certification of the learning they have acquired. Learning and certification which could count towards (recognized) their progression in the service.

 OLE Ghana likes the idea of training laboratories and clinics. We hope these would be used to simulate what truly exists in our schools and trainees would apply all the theories and methods taught them so that they would go to the schools ready and prepared for what truly exists in our real world of work.

 The organization very much likes the idea of keeping building portfolios on teachers to aid assessing them. We are confident that as part of teacher licensing/teachers’ professional progression, teachers will keep portfolios containing videos of various teaching and learning activities they have led that depict various teaching methodologies with post teaching discussions based on the videos. The recordings could be done by a member of the District Teacher Support Team, Circuit Supervisor, Head teacher, peers and/or any other education officer.

We look forward to the day when all the current work going on regarding teacher transformation in Ghana will be translated into action in our universities, in our colleges of education and eventually in the classrooms.