Teacher Education Reforms and Teacher Professional Standards: How Can We Help Teachers to Cope with Changes and Challenges in Education?

Dr Sani Ibrahim,
Putehyah Bt Md Dom
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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
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr Sani Ibrahim

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia

Dr Mohammed Sani Bin Ibrahim is currently a lecturer and Head of Department of the Educational Planning, Administration and Policy Analysis, Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia. He had obtained numerous certificates and diplomas from local and overseas institutions. Among them are Advanced Diploma in Education from the University of London(1977), MInstAM(Dip) – Diploma in Administrative Management from the Institute of Administrative Management, Kent, United Kingdom (1980), Diploma in Effective Speaking and Human Relations from the Institute of Successful Leadership(USA)(1982), Diploma in Design and Development of Training Programs from the International Training Institute, Mosman, Sydney, Australia(1984), Advanced Consultancy Skills from the University of London(1992), Educational Policy Analysis from the University of Harvard, Cambridge, Boston, USA(1994). He obtained his Ph.D. from the National University of Malaysia. He has wide experience as a teacher, deputy principal of a secondary school, lecturer and head of department in various teacher training colleges, Assistant Director and later Principal Assistant Director at the Teacher Education Division, Ministry of Education, Malaysia. He was a principal of the Mohd Khalid Teachers' College from the period 1986-1988. He had launched many prominent programs for teachers. He has presented the Government of Malaysia for several times at the international conferences organized by ASEAN, APEID and UNESCO and had conducted numerous researches at the local, regional and international levels on educational planning, educational administration, and teacher education. He had written more than 800 papers of which many had been published in journals and monographs at the national and international levels. His areas of specializations and interest are educational planning, educational administration, educational policy analysis, teacher education(pre-service, in-service and continuing professional development programs), sociology of education, technical and vocational education, music education, human relations and many others.

Putehyah Bt Md Dom

Deputy Principal, Malay Language Institute of Malaysia

Ref: L05P0533