Teachers owe the responsibility of guiding and teaching learners, their duties include providing learners with knowledge and understanding of a subject but they themselves need training before they are ready to become teachers in schools in Nigeria; they need teacher education.
Teacher education is the training of teachers both before their appointment as teachers and during their jobs as teachers, it’s function is to improve their skills and knowledge, and to provide them with resources so that they can become effective at their jobs. Teacher education is continuous, i.e. if anything of relevance changes in the system of education in Nigeria such as the curriculum, teachers are introduced to those changes and are trained to adapt to them.
Educating teachers is important because it helps to boost the standard and quality of education. There are components or elements that form part of the features of teacher education, these elements make it function properly, and we are here to share some of them with you.
Here we go.
Elements of Teacher Education In Nigeria
These components or elements are like the pillars of teacher education, as each element we explore is vital to the success of teachers education.
Education courses are supposed to be flexible from the onset, so that it could be updated with new information (knowledge). It is for this reason that curriculums change, textbooks get revised, and teaching tools are upgraded.
Likewise, teacher education courses have to be flexible, to allow room for improvements or changes. Teachers are at the forefront of learning and education, so it is only logical that teacher courses are updated on a timely basis.
Also, teacher education needs to be applicable in current situations, so that what teachers teach is relevant in today’s era.
Many are of the opinion that teachers should be given on-the-field training, that is, they should be exposed to a real job with kids to teach, with an older teacher to supervise them. That would really magnify their experience.
As a matter of fact, this is one of the best forms of teaching, and this method of educating teachers is widely popular in our higher institutions. Regular lecturers are given new trainee or ‘assistant lecturers’, they help them out with work and lecturing students. In return, they learn from the vast experience of the former lecturer.
One of the major elements of teacher education is that it supports incremental growth, that is, teacher education should progress slowly but steadily. Because long-lasting change can only be realised through a slow and steady pace.
There should be enough time for the teachers to absorb the theories they have learned and to put it into practice.
Another major element of teacher education is having teacher forums. These are places where teachers form a community either online or offline, and they can express their worries, thoughts, experiences, and give one another advice.
This forms a great component of teacher education. It is important to have a sort of meeting place for teachers to discuss what methods worked for them and what didn’t and why that is. They can share from their own personal experiences so that other teachers can learn from their achievements or mistakes.
Online forums are ideal for these kinds of exercises because it has various advantages over meeting in-person. Firstly, if the online medium is something like a Facebook group, there could be an unlimited number of participants. Secondly, documents and different multimedia file types such as images, videos and PDFs can be shared through the online forums.
There are many other merits to engaging in online teacher forums that we cannot possibly mention. As an added bonus, there are teacher education courses you can take online.
This component of teacher education values community effort because teachers come together to solve their problems and to improve, using each other’s knowledge and experience.
Any teachers education program has to have a way of measuring the teachers’ progress, and a way of holding the teachers accountable for results. They have been provided with resources and training, which took time and effort, it is time to show results.
Teacher education courses or programs should have a system of checks and balances, to measure and determine progress from the teachers, and to measure progress from the teacher education program in its entirety.
That way, the Government and other education bodies can determine the effectiveness of the teacher education they are providing and whether it is meeting their expectations. They can then improve on it, and establish suitable solutions wherever necessary.
Teaching is a work that mainly affects the community at large, the whole community has to come together in order for teachers to perform significantly well.
There needs to be cooperation from leaders, parents, and other members of the community, to bring about a cohesive force that will ensure the success of teaching as a profession, this is so because they are the ones guiding our future generations.
Just as this applies to normal teaching, it also applies to teacher’s education. Teachers that are being trained need to experience that support and cohesiveness from the community. In essence, teacher education needs to have a way of attaching itself to the community.
For instance, it needs to have a means of listening to their complaints/suggestions and they have to work together to find a solution, since teacher education is all about improving teacher’s skills, knowledge and attitudes, it is imperative they find a home in the community, i.e. find support with the community.
One of the main objectives of teacher education is to work with teachers towards improving their skills, and this can be done by providing them with the right resources.
Resources can be; lesson templates, textbooks, teacher education conferences, guides, educational websites, etc., or it can even be providing the sources where they can get these materials.
Of course this includes training them on how to access these resources and providing guidelines for their use.
The elements of teacher education are almost limitless. Anything that can be attributed to teaching or training teachers is considered one of the elements of teacher education.
And it has been around for ages, some of it has evolved while some things have been changed or added. By reviewing and acting upon these elements of teacher education, the standard of education in Nigeria can witness positive changes over time.