Teacher Training for Capacity Building and Competence
Imparting 21st century skills to millennials is an oft-discussed topic in the pedagogic circles today. While it is essential to equip students with the desired skills, training teachers to enhance their teaching competencies is equally important. In-house teacher training gains significance in this context. Teachers, as we all realise, are the makers of all professions. When we understand that the future of a country lies within the four walls of a classroom, just recruiting qualified teachers is not enough. Training of teachers at regular intervals in both subject competence and classroom methodologies will empower teachers to enhance the quality or effectiveness of education.
Ideally, schools should infuse the joy of learning in the children while at the same time encouraging teachers to implement innovative teaching methodologies that they have learned in the training programmes. This, in turn, will create a healthy and interactive relationship between students and teachers.
The capacity building programmes initiated by CBSE bear testimony to the fact that workshops and training programmes are being looked upon as pedagogic platforms for teachers to enhance their competence and skills. Training programmes also help teachers to keep up with the dizzying pace of digitisation and to establish a network with their colleagues across regions to share knowledge and applications of technology in the teaching-learning process. Training empowers teachers to develop innovative yet comprehensive pedagogy, appropriate teaching skills and a positive attitude towards the diverse learning needs of the students.
Identifying need-based training programmes
Schools must plan training programmes tailor-made to suit their teachers. These training sessions should empower teachers with the ability to articulate concepts, especially the boring and tougher ones, into consumable bits that will effectively support a varied set of students. To equip teachers with improved skills, it is essential to incorporate integrated learning techniques into the curriculum.
Effective communication skills are mandatory for all teachers. Enhancing their language competence gains priority as errors in grammar and lexis may distort the message conveyed by the teacher. Additionally, teachers should be trained to blend technology with the curriculum. Provisions should be made to provide continuous professional development of teachers through a blended model. Teachers must get a hang of innovative pedagogy, interactive assessment techniques and use of technology in the integrated teaching environment to enliven the teaching-learning process.
Teachers with all the required skills and knowledge tend to push out the boundaries of their learning and teaching, looking for new topics and ways to teach. Effective training program for teachers keeps them updated with the latest methods and encourages them to implement an integrated learning approach in the curriculum.
It is apparent that teaching and learning are dependent on each other. Just reading a textbook does not imply proper teaching, similarly just listening to a lecture by the teacher does not make a student understand the subject. To make this teaching-learning process effective, the teacher should understand what would make the classroom session interesting. This is where an integrated teaching approach plays an essential part to make the teaching sessions more engaging and interesting.
Trained teachers: Building an efficient student learning environment
The capacity building of teachers should be focused on changes in pedagogies and these changes should be a reflection of new skills, knowledge and positive attitudinal change to enhance the teacher-student relationship. Equally important, capacity building can be seen as an enhancement to upgrade the skills, knowledge and overall turnaround of the teachers.
Teachers’ training and professional development is a necessary ingredient to support innovative and beneficial teaching. Current training is unable to cover tough spots and follows a one-size-fits-all approach. Ideally, such a platform will democratize both access to and creation of content by teachers. A teacher is always a learner. Conducting group discussions with professors and academic experts will serve as a scaffold for the teachers. With the slew of changes proposed in the National Education Policy, the teacher will need to be guided both in teaching and in evaluation. For e.g., the CBSE has introduced MCQs for maths, physics, and chemistry in Class XII. Teachers definitely need training to set application-oriented MCQs that evaluate students on subject knowledge and creative thinking capabilities.
In the US, medical professionals need to be recertified by the medical board by taking up an examination once every two or three years. I strongly feel that teachers who are profession-makers must take up an examination at least once in five years to recertify their eligibility to continue their service in institutions. Such a system will help in creating quality teachers whose competence leaves an indelible mark on the learners.