Teacher Education Reforms and Teacher Professional Standards: How Can We Help Teachers to Cope with Changes and Challenges in Education?
The challenges of the new millennium such as the rapid globalisation, the tremendous impacts of information technology, the international transformation towards knowledge-driven economy, and the international and regional competitions have driven numerous educational changes in the different parts of the world. Policy-makers and educators in each country have to think how to reform education for preparing their young leaders to more effectively cope with the challenges in the new era. The paradigm shift in learning inevitably requires corresponding paradigm shift in teaching and teachers' role. Almost every approach to school reform requires teachers to refocus their roles, responsibilities and opportunities—and, as a result, to require new knowledge and skills. The success of efforts to increase and reach high standards largely depends on the success of teachers and their ability to acquire the content knowledge and instructional practices necessary to teach high academic standards. Teachers need to develop various competencies to satisfy the diverse expectations from students, partners, education authorities, the community and the public. The present structure of teacher education cannot accommodate these changes in the teacher's role and the new skills, new attitudes and new knowledge required of teachers in the contemporary milieu. Therefore, we should have a teacher education program which integrates pre-service, in-service and continuing education as required components of the career pattern of all teachers. Teacher education needs a reform! But we need to help teachers to cope with the new challenges posed by the current and the future education reforms. This paper will suggest the various approaches that can be adopted by educational leaders on how to help teachers attaining a higher level of professionalism and at the same time they are able to uphold the proposed teacher professional standards.
Keywords: Teacher Education Reforms, Teacher Professional Standards
Dr Sani Ibrahim
Lecturer, Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia
Putehyah Bt Md Dom
Deputy Principal, Malay Language Institute of Malaysia