What aspects of teaching methodologies should teacher training courses cover?

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With the announcement of the New Education Policy (NEP 2020) there has been some path breaking suggestions to bring about education reforms. One of the major reforms suggested is to have the Bachelors of Education course (B.Ed. course) as a 4-year integrated course along with the basic subject domain area like B.Sc. or B.A. The government aims at making this 4-year integrated program mandatory by 2030. The four-year program will help integrate subject specific skills along with pedagogical skills. This will help student teachers to gain deeper insights into subject content along with the classroom teaching skills.
Teacher education is a triangulation of the following: Teaching skills + Pedagogical theory + Professional skills
However, most courses or programs focus a lot on Pedagogical theory and lack in aspects of Teaching and Professional skills. The reason being teaching and classroom management is dynamic and constantly evolving. The best learning can come from teachers who work with students on a regular basis, who are trying out new theories and pedagogies to see an impact and then take inputs based on the feedback in order to see robust practices being implemented in the classrooms.
Teacher training courses must include classroom practices both global and local. So, what are the aspects that an ideal teacher training course should cover? The content can be the same, but within that it should be more practical rather than theoretical and deal with different aspects of the Child and curriculum transaction.
If one considers Modules like ‘Knowing your learner’ – one needs to build in aspects like Inclusive education, gifted learning, Social Emotional competencies of the learner which include current classroom practices. Behavioural management is another key aspect in terms of keeping students meaningfully and gainfully engaged. With the onset of the pandemic, it has become important for teachers to keep students engaged using meaningful tech tools. The teacher training courses should include the classroom transaction practices like the ‘Visible thinking routines’ which fosters Critical thinking and collaboration in the classrooms.
When it comes to modules like Curriculum planning, Lesson plans, and Assessments -it is imperative for schools and teachers to move away from a very textbook centric approach to planning lessons that embed current affairs, the recent history and link it to the real – world problems. Most courses of teacher training do not adapt this approach during classroom transactions and focus on a very syllabus centric approach to completion of the ‘portion’. While it is important to complete the syllabus – it is a great idea to make cross-curricular interdisciplinary approaches to teaching in primary and middle school classrooms. While thinking of assessments – it is always a good idea to look at various types of assessments – both formative and summative. Data-driven assessments are something which practitioners can guide student-teachers on incorporating in classrooms and this is something that cannot be taught well in B.Ed. classrooms.
Teacher training courses should focus on making a local teacher teach both local and global content and concepts that are not being focused on in our classrooms. The one-year diploma program offered by the Aditya Birla Education academy (ABEA) and the BK Birla College is a one-year diploma program – the ‘Post Graduate Diploma in Global Education’. This one-year long course for Pre-service and In-service teachers equips teachers with recent pedagogical practices, skills and competencies.
Teacher education as a whole needs urgent and comprehensive reform. There is a need to bring greater convergence between professional preparation and continuing professional development of teachers at all stages of schooling in terms of level, duration, and structure. Considering the complexity and significance of teaching as a professional practice, it is imperative that the entire enterprise of teacher education be mandated to every organization and that the duration and rigour of programmes should be appropriately enhanced.
Links to other blogs:

How have the teaching methods in schools changed from previous years?

What are some of the Professional Development Courses that Teachers can avail?

What are the eligibility criteria for a post-graduate diploma in global education?

How does a teacher training workshop help teachers in supporting students with special educational needs?

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Dr. Anuradha Sridhar
Head - Curriculum Development & Training, Aditya Birla Education Academy

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