Vision Of Teacher Education:

Teacher education has to become more sensitive to the emerging demands from the school system. For this, it has to prepare teachers for a dual role of;
Encouraging, supportive and humane facilitator in teaching learning situations who enables learners (students) to discover their talents, to realize their physical and intellectual potentialities to the fullest, to develop character and desirable social and human values to function as responsible citizens; and, An active member of the group of persons who make conscious effort to contribute towards the process of renewal of school curriculum to maintain its relevance to the changing societal needs and personal needs of learners, keeping in view the experiences gained in the past and the concerns and imperatives that have emerged in the light of changing national development goals and educational priorities.
These expectations suggest that teacher operates in a larger context and its dynamics as well as concerns impinge upon her functioning. That is to say, teacher has to be responsive and sensitive to the social contexts of education, the various disparities in the background of learners as well as in the macro national and global contexts, national concerns for achieving the goals of equity, parity, and social justice as also excellence.
To be able to realize such expectations, Teacher Education has to comprise such features as would enable the student teachers to Care for children, and who love to be with them; Understand children within social, cultural and political contexts; View learning as a search for meaning out of personal experience; Understand the way learning occurs, possible ways of creating conductive conditions for learning, differences among students in respect of the kind, pace and styles of learning.
View knowledge generation as a continuously evolving process of reflective learning. Be receptive and constantly learning. View learning as a search for meaning out of personal experience, and knowledge generation as a continuously evolving process of reflective learning. View knowledge not as an external reality embedded in textbooks, but as constructed in the shared context of teaching- learning and personal experience. Own responsibility towards society, and work to build a better world. Appreciate the potential of productive work and hands-on experience as a pedagogic medium both inside and outside the classroom. Analyze the curricular framework, policy implications and texts. Have a sound knowledge base and basic proficiency in language.
The objectives of teacher education would therefore be to, Provide opportunities to observe and engage with children, communicate with and relate to children Provide opportunities for self-learning, reflection, assimilation and articulation of new ideas; developing capacities for self directed learning and the ability to think, be self-critical and to work in groups. Provide opportunities for understanding self and others
(including one‘s beliefs, assumptions and emotions); developing the ability for self analysis, self-evaluation, adaptability, flexibility, creativity and innovation. Provide opportunities to enhance understanding, knowledge and examine disciplinary knowledge and social realities, relate subject matter with the social milieu and develop critical thinking. Provide opportunities to develop professional skills in pedagogy, observation, documentation, analysis, drama, craft, story-telling and reflective inquiry.

A VISION OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Knowledge of Learners and their Development in Social Context
* Learning and Language
* Human Development (Knowledge of subject matter and Curriculum goals)
* Educational goals and purposes or skills
* Content-subject matter (Knowledge of Teaching of subject).
* Content-knowledge
* Teaching diverse learners (Inclusive Teaching)
* Assessment and evaluation
* Classroom management
The ability of the 21st century teacher to control disruptive behavior of students in the classroom which makes it impossible for the teacher to work efficiently and effectively and even in some instances puts the security of both students and teachers at risk. Problems of such nature may multiply in magnitude in schools in the 21st century and for this reason, teacher education and training institutions should equip teachers with knowledge and skills in management to be able to address such problems effectively and efficiently.
Teacher education curricula should be inclusive and emphasize on lifelong learning, development in technology and its applications and strategies for planning viable alternatives to benefit students. Emphasis should be on democratic principles and practices. The institutionalization of democracy will make teachers see the role of schools and their contribution to the development of democratic values, skills and behavior from the global perspective.
It is important to have well-chosen courses that include core content knowledge for teaching and advanced research background. It is equally important to organize prospective teacher’s experiences so that they are able to integrate and use their acquired knowledge in a skilful manner in the classroom, especially incorporating research in whatever is taught so that the 21st century teacher becomes teacher- researcher at heart. Often times, this becomes the most difficult aspect of constructing a teacher education and training programme. The onus of the issue is that teacher education and training should attend to both the what and how so that knowledge for teaching, in reality, shapes the teacher’s practice and enables them to become adaptive experts who are versatile and capable of operating effectively and efficiently in a variety of teaching and learning environments using the tools that have been provided to them during their training.
Come to understand teaching in ways quite different from their own experiences as students.
A common clear vision of good teaching that permeates all course work and clinical experiences, creating a coherent set of learning experiences. Well-defined standards of professional practice and performance that are used to guide and evaluate course and clinical works. A strong core curriculum taught in the context of practice and grounded in knowledge of the child and adolescent development and learning, an understanding of social and cultural contexts, curriculum design, reform, and innovation, evaluation and assessment and subject matter content and pedagogy knowledge and skills.
Extensive use of a variety of case methods, teacher research, performance assessment and portfolio evaluation that apply learning to real problems of practice. Explicit strategies to help students to confront their own deep- seated beliefs and assumptions about learning and students and to learn about the experiences of people different from themselves. Strong relationship, common knowledge and shared belief among school-based and university-based faculty jointly engaged in transforming teaching, schooling and teacher education and training.
There is absolute need for participatory teacher education. In this model, teachers in training should play active role in the training process. They should become participants in decisions regarding the needs to which their training must respond; what problems must be resolved in the day-to-day work environment and what specific knowledge and skills must be transmitted to them. In the participatory model teachers must be self-directed and self-taught. Every aspect of the training must be based on reflection and introspection. The needs, problems, statuses and roles must be clearly defined, examined and analyzed by them. The actual concrete experiences of working with students should be emphasized.
Encourage learners to work together in a cooperative spirit, help each other with their work as well as be able to evaluate themselves. Help learners publish their own work online portfolios. Write a bank of learning activities for learners to access at their own pace. Give learners a wider choice of learning activities according to their own interests and capabilities. Build up a personal portfolio of their best teaching plans so as to share among other teachers. Create exciting learning environment of active knowledge creation and sharing.
The new teacher education and training should not lose site of the power of technology for both teachers and students learning. The real power of technology will come when teachers have been trained well in them and have captured the potential of technology themselves. In this way, teachers would be able to contribute to model the behavior that the students are expected to learn thereby making them to grow up not to be learned monsters but more human, creative and productive
Professional teachers naturally seek answers to questions and solutions to problems that enable them to help their students to learn. They are decision makers; make thousands of choices on hourly basis regarding the choice of texts, literature, appropriate and relevant technology integration, curriculum pedagogy, assessment and measurement. They are highly reflective and sensitive to the needs of their students. They encounter failures and successes. However, much of what teachers have to offer remains a secret. Their key to success is a mystery. Teachers seek multiple means of looking at their world of teaching and learning and that of their students by unlocking the secrets within the classrooms. Research is one of such potent keys to help unlock these secrets.

Challenges in Teacher Education

Unprecedented expansion of teacher education institutions and programs during the past few years characterizes the teacher education scenario of today. With increasing school enrollments and the launch of pan-Indian primary education development programs like Operation Blackboard, District Primary Education Program, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Universalize of Elementary Education, there was a natural increase in the demand for teachers. Added to this, the backlog of untrained teachers in the system and the essential requirement of pre-service teacher certification for appointment as a teacher led to mounting pressure on existing institutional capacity. The demand far exceeding supply, market forces have taken over unprecedented rise in the number of teacher education institutions in most parts of the country.
The National Council for Teacher Education has defined teacher education as a programme of education, research and training of persons to teach from pre-primary to higher education level.
Understanding of and skills for teaching, including content knowledge of specific subject, content pedagogical knowledge for teaching diverse learners, as these are informed by an understanding of assessment and of how to construct and manage a productive classroom.
Another scenario is the changing pattern of world employment. There are so many professions in our modern world and this will multiply in the 21st century. The new directions in teacher education and training should take cognizance of this so that teachers are prepared to play multiple roles and take their rightful positions in the teaching-learning environment to face these challenges confidently. We can only improve the quality of education worldwide for our students if we provide our teachers with the required skills, knowledge and experiences. One which deserves
“TEACHING AS A PROFESSION”