CHILD RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION



Research In Teacher Education

Educational research is that which develops new knowledge, which is then applied to the improvement of educational practice. Same is true for Teacher Education. The contributions of research to educational knowledge are easy to demonstrate through reviews of related literature. However, it is difficult to determine whether the accumulation of research findings has made an impact on the practice of education. Even when research knowledge attracts the attention of policy makers in education, they generally consider it just one source of information to use it in shaping a particular policy, or use it to justify a unpopular decision, or cut funds, or may dismiss the research findings which are contradictory to their beliefs.

In spite of this research in education in general and teacher education in particular continues to grow and make its contributions to the body of knowledge.

NATURE & PURPOSE OF RESEARCH IN TEACHER EDUCATION:

Essentially there are two broad purposes of research in Teacher Education.

1. To understand the educational phenomenon and

2. To transform it.

Understanding the Educational Phenomenon implies that it should fit into a theoretical framework. This helps to conceptualize, explain, control and predict the dynamics of a given phenomena. For example, to explain the phenomena of teaching means arriving at a conceptual framework of relationships with regard to teaching, explaining the nature and extent of relationships among the variables and controlling the effect of certain variables related to teaching on certain other variables. Prediction would then give a comprehensive understanding of the phenomena. Conceptualizing means arriving at interrelated set of variables. Conceptualizing may not involve verification since many paradigms are hypothetical in nature. A well-articulated framework applicable to many contexts based on systematic perspective is the presage-process-product paradigm of teacher education. Pre-stage variables would include the personality variables, process variables would imply curriculum transaction i.e. mode of teaching students and product variable would be a performance of students on a test. Explaining relationships among variables in teacher education is important. There is a relationship among variables is one thing but explaining why they have a relationship is another. Thus it is essential to know the forces that influence the relationships and at the same time understand the underlying unobservable processes acting on these relationships. Controlling variables in a network of relationships among variables operating in teacher education is essential. It is highly difficult to study the dynamics of a variable in isolation. For example Performance of a teacher trainee in practice teaching may depend on several factors such as mental make-up, personality, language fluency, communication skills, training received, experience, and motivation, the grade level of students taught, subject matter and classroom conditions.

Teaching is a profession-indeed a noble one, conceptually and ideally. It is also different from other professions because of its multitude of dimensions. Teachers are the largest professional group engaged in human development activities. It is only in the case of teaching there is much more that is required to be accomplished than in the case of other professions. Training of the practitioners is considered to be one of the important characteristics of a profession. Therefore, in order to befit the teachers to their roles, a sound professional training is needed. Induction training and continuous education thereafter equips the teachers with adequate knowledge and skills to perform their professional functions. Hence, the training of the teachers assumes special importance. Professional training of a teacher implies his mastery in knowledge of the subject, in pedagogy and teaching techniques.

Training of teachers is an important component of teacher education. Teacher education covers in its ambit the whole gamut of activities involved in the accomplishment of the teaching profession. Teacher education denotes a real and holistic perception of teacher for that task they are required to perform and to continuously upgrade their professional skills. Therefore, in this unit we will discuss about profession, professionalism and how to develop professionalism, professional ethics and professional code of ethics for teacher educators. We also discuss about teacher effectiveness, it‘s components and how to enhance and evaluate teacher effectiveness through performance appraisal.

CONCEPT OF PROFESSION :

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia a profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain.

Although professions enjoy high status and public’s prestige, all professionals do not earn the same high salaries. There are hidden inequalities even within professions.

Examples of Professions: Professionals include, for example: Lawyers, Engineers, Professors, Military Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers, and Qualified Teachers, Architects, Accountants, Notaries, Advocates, Actuaries, Dentists, Midwives, Pharmacists, Medical Technologists, Nurses and Physicians.

The concept of an orientation programme emphasizes teachers as agents of socio-economic change and national development. As per the guideline issued by UGC it is intended to inculcate in young lecturers the quality of self reliance throw their awareness: inner and outer.

These we have divided into components:-

Component A: Awareness of linkages between society, environment, development and education.

Component B: Philosophy of education, Indian education system

Component C: Resource awareness and knowledge generation.

Component D: Management and personality development.

CONCEPTS OF PROFESSIONALISM:

It is sometimes difficult to identify the true meaning of professionalism. Many individuals use professionalism as a façade to cover their lack ability to perform their job effectively. Others use it to for intimidation to gain power. Still others use it as a way to impress the unknowing. However, it seems that very few individuals use it for its original intent to provide a foundation for effective communications and efficient performance.

Different people have different opinions about the term Professionalism. We will now discuss different views about it. This can cause considerable confusion for someone trying to define professionalism in their own career. But, you should always keep one point in your mind that the core definition of Professionalism is always the same. A general, raw view is professionalism is a focused, accountable, confident, competent, motivation toward a particular goal, with respect for hierarchy and humanity, less the emotion. What this means is that you leave out the outbursts and emotional thralls that accompany stressful situations and success. You maintain focus, with a sense of urgency, and accept responsibility on a path towards a specific goal. In the process, you maintain respect for your superiors, peers, and subordinates as well as respect them as human beings.

Dictionary meaning of professionalism is the expertness characteristics of a professional or the pursuit of an activity as an occupation. We often talk about the quality of what we do and measure the professionalism of our work against others. Although we often use different terms, the overall meaning is the work of x is more professional than y‘. Some views are given below for getting more idea about it.

Professionalism is the expertness characteristic of a Professional person.

Professionalism is following the rules and regulations and has the courage to change them. Professionalism is balancing the personnel and professional life. It means to be practical and professional in life. One who has skills, knowledge and attitude and uses them is called a professional. The attitude which a professional shows is called professionalism. Professionalism is all about attitude towards work i.e. the dedication, sincerity with which you approach to your work, the work which makes you earn money.

To get clear idea about Professionalism you should agree on something that just because one is professional, he or she automatically does not exhibit professionalism. A very general, raw idea of Professionalism is a bundle of the following concepts:

A focused approach Pride in what one is doing Confident Competent Motivation towards a particular goal Accountability Respect for people irrespective of rank, status and gender Responsibility whole on the path to a particular goal Commitment to word and deed and Control of emotions well.

One should follow the quotes Professionalism is knowing how to do it, when to do it and doing it.

In short, professionalism is language, behavior, act, dress and work. It has to do with how to handle our self in situations. It is the character, spirit and competencies demonstrated by the standing practice of the profession. The challenge of maintaining professionalism involves subscribing to the ideal behaviors and values shared by colleagues.

DEVELOPING PROFESSIONALISM FOR TEACHER EDUCATORS:

Teacher professionalism has relevant significance in education in that it affects the role of the teacher and his or her pedagogy, which in return affects the student‘s ability to learn effectively. It can be defined as the ability to reach students in a meaningful way, developing innovative approaches to mandated content while motivating, engaging, and inspiring young adult minds to prepare for ever-advancing technology. However, this definition does little to exemplify precisely how a professional teacher carries himself or herself. Due to the growing autonomy being given to educators, professionalism remains one of the most influential attributes of education today. Teacher professionalism contains three essential characteristics, competence, performance and conduct, which reflect the educator‘s goals, abilities, and standards, and directly impact the effectiveness of teaching through the development of these qualities.

Along with preparation, a professional educator with a strong knowledge of his / her subject area has the opportunity to concern themselves with preparing innovative techniques to teach material rather than spending significant amounts of time studying the material. With the advantage of knowing one‘s curriculum material well, the educator has more confidence in their teachings, having already placed significant though on the material being taught. Thus, a professional is able to dwell on how to relate subject matter to the students and their cultures in an original method.

Hiring teachers by subject and skill presumes that curricular priorities have been established, which means that decisions have been made about how much time will be devoted to each segment of the curriculum. Although this may take years to fine-tune, a professional is willing to self-evaluate his or her pedagogy as s/he develops it, revise their edification when deemed necessary, and apply one‘s ideas to a practical situation. Furthermore, by acquiring a defined pedagogy, a professional creates more autonomy for him or herself, allowing for a partial release from the constraints constructed by the administration, school board, or parents.

Although competence is essential to teach professionalism, it is only useful if the educator is able to perform. Performance is the ability to effectively teach the concepts of a curriculum. However, this is performance defined at its most fundamental level. As individuals, professionals have the right to perform their work as they see fit, based on knowledge acquired through specialized training (Newman, 1998, p. 121). Such a quote demonstrates the essentiality of performance, which derives from both premeditated and improvisational techniques. A professional teacher educates so that students learn concepts and apply them to their lives. Although this undermines the school‘s emphasis on state test results, a quality educator prepares for the tests through this unique style of applying to his / her student’s lives. Thus, the application of these concepts must be inside the bounds of student’s lives. Furthermore, an educator that has a high standard of performance is reliable and dedicated. This type of educator becomes an active teacher rather.

Than a passive teacher, showing the students a genuine interest in their progress as a student.

The final characteristic of teacher professionalism, conduct, is equally as significant as the first two. The manner in which an educator carries himself or herself is a reflection on one‘s classroom, school, community, and educational system. Conduct is a representation of how well one takes care of himself or herself, from aesthetics to language and behavior. However, these are minor qualities of conduct. Conduct also includes one‘s ability to initiative and maintain quality communication with all the parties involved in education: students, fellow teachers, school board, administration, and parents. It is through energetic communication by a professional that initiates understanding, whether it is a student grasping their potential or the professional voicing their displeasure on a newly implemented regulation. A professional teacher desires to locate effective communicative skills to achieve preferred educational goals.

In conclusion, a completed definition of teacher professionalism far exceeds the simple notion that a teacher be prepared in a certain manner. A professional is trained to handle all situations, as most episodes in the classroom require quick thinking. Also, teacher professionalism extends beyond one‘s ability to understand content; the educator must discover if the students are being reached in an effective way. With the role of teacher becoming more autonomous, an educator must be competent in their studies, perform well under the eye of the administration and parents, while maintaining good conduct to facilitate quality communication.

DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL CODE OF ETHICS FOR TEACHER EDUCATORS :

Every profession is expected to evolve a set of ethical principles to guide the conduct and behavior of its professional members. The Ethical principle provides the base to differentiate between desirable and undesirable conduct of behavior.

Ethics are trends in a way which has been established and maintained over the years. It is time tested and socially accepted. It deals with moral principles usually accepted voluntarily by an individual or a group. The code of professional ethic may be defined as a set of self imposed professional ideals and principles necessary for the attainment of self satisfaction and professional excellence. Professional ethics refers to the principles, guidelines or norms of morality which a teacher has to follow in teaching profession while dealing with students, parents, community and higher authorities.

Every profession has different work culture and work climate and accordingly the professional ethics are decided. Professional ethics are decided by the society and it is also the contribution of great exponents of the same profession. It is mainly to provide a guideline and also to judge any professional individual. The definition and parameter of professional ethics varies from society to society and from time to time, it is dynamic in nature. With change in social set up, pattern and dimension of the society the ethics also change. In fact at the same time professional ethics will differ from place to place and hence there is no distinct line to distinguish ethic. What govern any ethic are social benefit, moral correctness, truth, value and progress of mankind.

Need of Professional Ethics :

For self correction: Man and his thinking keep changing. It is human to tend towards comfort ability, selfishness, laziness and.

Money. It is difficult to follow and abide by truth, hard work, simple living, honesty etc. As a result individual turns towards the easier ways of life without thinking what effect will it have on him, his family, profession and society. Man slowly turns selfish and unethical without realizing. In present time we all are affected by such factors and feelings to some extent. Professional ethics correct us if we are doing any wrong or intending.

For self satisfaction: Self satisfaction is more related to our inner self, our feelings and thought process. When we follow the ethical code of society and profession we are regarded as hard working, honest, dutiful, righteous etc. All this makes us more respectable and more prominent than others. Whenever anyone is acknowledged for a right job, he starts governing respect and liking, all this gives self satisfaction. Professional ethics enable a person to judge himself and decide and not accept what others decide for him.

To guide the conduct and behavior: The behavior of students is molded by the teacher and the teacher‘s behavior by professional ethics. Professional ethics in education is supported by philosophy and psychology of teaching. By following professional ethics, the teacher‘s conduct and behavior becomes respectable and socially acceptable.

To shape the personality: Teacher keeps developing his personality by adding to his knowledge and by refining his actions. The professional ethics in teaching profession emphasize the teacher to follow pre-established norms in his thought and in actions, even in one‘s dressing up, speaking, etiquettes etc. By following similar ethics, the personality of an individual is reshaped and he becomes a teacher in real sense.

To set up Ideals for Students: Students come to school not just to study the subjects and books but also to learn to behave and polish their personality. Everyday students come in contact with different teachers and are influenced by them. If a teacher is behaving in a very positive and appropriate manner, the students follow him and want to become like him. Hence by behaving in ethical manner teacher becomes ideal for students.

Improvement of Human Relation: Professional ethics guide to keep in mind the social betterment, respect for others, sense of brotherhood, tolerance, co-operation etc. Individual guided by professional ethics helps others to the maximum, by doing so there.

Develops positive feeling. Positive feelings improve human relations.

When human relations improve the school becomes the best place for teacher, students and parents to work and co-ordinate. All this ultimately gives better result and improves over all standards.

Development of Society: School is the outcome of social necessesity, the society makes the school then the school makes the society. It is a cycle which grows bigger and bigger with time. If the professional ethics are forgotten the individual as well as the society starts moving in wrong direction. By following Professional ethics teacher takes the society in right direction and make it a better place to live in.

The Professional Excellence: Every profession has a unique work culture and work climate. The work culture is strengthened when the professionals of the profession act and interact in professionally ethical manner i.e. so they do not cross each other’s way or contradict bluntly instead cooperate and motivate. All this develops a smooth co-ordination and effective functioning thereby bringing professional excellence.

To improve the Professional Environment: Professional environment includes the people, infrastructure, working conditions and working hours. Professional ethics ensure that due place and respect is given to the seniors, to the higher authorities, responsibility and working hours. When we follow such ethical codes of a profession the environment remains calm, congenial and relaxed for effective working.

To follow norms and principles of the profession: Norms and principles of a profession are nothing but rules and regulation already framed in advance for effective functioning. These rules change with time and situation. Professional ethics binds us to our job and helps us to differentiate between professional development and self interest. It also prepares us for extra responsibility which we have to shoulder from time to time. Professional ethics are self- binding for better professional output.

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