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Issues in teacher

Professionalism and
quality assurance

My focus
How do we build professionalism in teaching?
How do we ensure quality in teaching and

teacher education?
The professionalization of teaching: at the
various sites where teachers learn to teach.
How can we make quality teaching and
student learning the heart or professionalism
and how can we develop and ensure this
professionalism over time?

How do we learn to teach and refine

the craft?
Initial teacher education programme during

student teaching
On the Job - The first years of teaching. the
school as employer
Quality assurance the structures that
ensure quality and professionalism

The teacher education

4 pillars of Content, Methods, Theory or
Education courses and Student teaching

What should student

teachers learn that will link
to later learning at other
stages of a career?

Skills & tools to study teaching

Habits and skills necessary for the ongoing

study of teaching in the company of

Collaboration with other teachers needed to
learn demands and possibilities of teaching
Skills of question posing, observation,
documentation, interpretation and analysis.

Skills & tools to study teaching (cont)

Disposition and desire to question and

The norms of professional discourse such as
respecting evidence and other perspectives,
the vocabulary of teaching, and ways of
conversing about teaching.

The site for Student teaching

Student teachers learn habits, attitudes and

dispositions that can last a long time.

We must provide the appropriate learning
environment in the school where teachers learn the
practice of teaching.

having a classroom designed for such learning,

a teacher who provides guidance and direction, who
can be a good model,
opportunity to discuss, think, and talk about teaching,
subject matter, teaching and bases for action

The site for Student teaching (cont)

The proper school culture

Focus on high expectations

Learning on the part of teachers and students

At present we have situations where the young

teacher is discouraged from trying out new
ideas from being conscientious, from using
teaching methods and materials from college

More collaboration and co-ordination among

the various stakeholders in teacher education

the colleges, the schools and the Ministry of
Education which oversees policy with respect
to learning the practice of teaching.

The first years on the job

The paradox and difficulties of learning during

the first years

Doing and learning
Performing and creating meaning in students
Uncertainty about outcomes
Workload overload and stress
Students who do not learn

What we know can happen

First year teachers given the most difficult class or

the class with many students having learning or

behaviour problems.
Student teacher or the beginning teacher gets the
message that newfangled ideas from the college do
not work or will only tire you out.
Culture of leave alone and work alone, of politeness,
and a disinclination to confront differences and

What we know can happen

The culture of the school works against

reform minded teaching and improvement

This does not build professionalism.
The culture of the school how to change it
must be addressed if we want to enhance
professionalism and teacher quality.

Supervision and support

at the school site are

Possible approaches
Different models for providing new teacher support.

E.g. mentoring
Well planned programmes of induction made a
difference to teaching quality and to teacher
The research. Teachers who experienced a good
induction programme with competent mentors, and
who understood their role were less likely to leave
teaching after 3 years and were more likely to
express satisfaction with teaching.

Maintaining quality
But to maintain professionalism and ensure

quality, we must in addition, consider the

ways in which quality and professionalism
can be structured into the profession.
The question is How can we make quality
teaching and student learning the heart or
professionalism and how can we develop and
ensure this professionalism over time?

What we must insist on

So if we want to professionalize teaching and

maintain standards of quality, these two

conditions for teacher learning must exist
conditions for the student teacher to learn
and pick up good habits and dispositions and
the tools to study teaching,
conditions for good mentoring of newly
qualified teachers.

The result
If we achieve these basic conditions on which

to build our profession, we will go a long way

in achieving quality as well as professionalism
We will set the stage for the
professionalization of teaching

Maintaining quality
This question has become more urgent as we

move toward a graduate teaching force.

Greater emphasis and scrutiny on the
colleges as institutions of higher learning,
Greater scrutiny on the profession to maintain
standards of teaching and the standards of
degree granting institutions.
Quality assurance and accreditation have
therefore become issues of increasing

How should this be done?

How can we make quality teaching and student
learning the heart or professionalism and how
can we develop and ensure this professionalism
over time?

Needed a system of:

Validation and Quality assurance
Ongoing developmental support

What is quality assurance?

In essence, quality assurance is about ensuring that

standards are specific and met consistently for a

product or service (Ellis, 1995, 3).
It describes all the systems, resources and
information that colleges and universities use to
maintain and improve standards and quality.
Quality assurance is essential if a profession wants
to ensure the quality of its product - in this case
student learning - and that members in this case
teachers - adhere to professional standards.

What we now have

The University College of Jamaica (UCJ)

established to register all public and private

higher education institutions
Has assumed role of accrediting tertiary and
higher education institutions that offer general
Accreditation of professional programmes
in medicine, nursing, engineering and
teaching/teacher education - has so far been
carried out by special bodies.

Teacher education
Accreditation, validation and quality

assurance in teacher education have been

carried out by the JBTE/UWI for the Diploma
programme in the colleges.
The JBTE has carried out this function in a
developmentally supportive way with ongoing
support and colleagueship with colleges.

Teacher education (cont)

An arrangement of having a specific agency for

quality assurance for professional bodies is similar to

what exists in the UK.
A Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) responsible for
ensuring quality in academic programmes, but
special regulatory agencies established to regulate
professions such as medicine,teaching.
The provision of support in a developmental manner
is similar to what CNAA provided to colleges of
education as they moved to University status.

QA and programmes
The need for developmental support,

validation and accreditation for the purpose of

quality assurance will not lessen as the
colleges become degree granting.
Upgrading to degree level makes this work
even more critical.
Need to accredit programmes and courses
Need to accredit the professional aspects of
the programme.

QA and Institutions
Need to examine and scrutinize institutional

structures and arrangements for the delivery

of such programmes
Need to examine structures and processes
for student development and for continuing
professional development of teacher

What criteria?
There must be a consensus on the criteria for

quality initial teacher preparation

Mechanism for developing, communicating
and enforcing those standards
Criteria must include those related to the
academic programme, the professional
programme and the institutional structures.

Criteria related to the professional

Teaching is one of the most influential professions in

Professional preparation has to take into account (in
addition to others)

the role of the professional in a society,

conditions under which learning about such practice
takes place
the relationship between the college and the schools
where teacher candidates learn about practice.
These must be important considerations in any quality
assurance and accreditation process.

What we know about quality

teacher education
A common clear vision of good teaching apparent in

course work and field experiences

Well defined standards of practice
Extended clinical experiences spread over the entire
Strong relationships among college and school staff
Extensive use of case study methods, teacher
research, and portfolios.
Opportunities to develop the skills to learn about
teaching and to learn from teaching over time.

What we know about quality assurance

in teacher education
Teacher preparation is not like general

academic programmes,
Cannot be accredited by agencies that do
generic accreditation.
The special role of those who know, examine
and can develop those standards must be
The special role of the profession of teachers
must also be acknowledged.

What we can learn

We in Jamaica can learn from the experience

of other countries which have initiated

accreditation and quality assurance at the
tertiary level and in teacher education.

The CNAA (Council for National Academic

Awards) model of accreditation.

Created to address issue of validation and
accreditation of courses and programmes in
the NUS institutions in 1960s
Their experience shows the value of
partnership and colleagueship, and ongoing
developmental support prior to accreditation.

Models (cont)
The TDA (Teacher Development Agency) in

the UK works with colleges in providing frontend development work to colleges of

education before they present themselves for

Models (cont)
The Ontario College of Teachers is is

committed to maintaining the high quality of

Ontarios teachers
Works with colleges and Universities on an
ongoing basis (not only when accreditation
status has be to obtained) to ensure that
standards in teacher education are

The special-ness of professional

Teaching and teacher education are not like general

academic programmes at the tertiary level.

CARICOM recognizes that professions like teaching
require special arrangements
CARICOM has mandated Caribbean countries to
establish a national mechanism for quality assurance
and accreditation for the four professions Nursing,
Medicine, Engineering and Teaching.
Medicine developed regional accreditation body.

Special-ness of teaching
Teachers must recognize what is involved

and what is critical for the development of the

profession at this time.
We need to have a vision of the profession
that regulates itself and that insists on
standards and quality in both the conduct of
professionals and in the teacher education

Special-ness of teaching
We must have a vision of our profession.
We must recognize that generic accreditation

agencies cannot provide us with the support

and learning opportunities needed at this
critical time in our development.

What is needed
Two sets of standards
One set that focuses on the teaching profession:

develops and enforces standards in teaching to

regulate the profession more autonomous and with a
public voice.
develops criteria for professional development for
teachers and the conditions at the school for teachers
and student teachers to learn and improve their craft.
Includes a framework for partnerships with the major
stakeholders in teacher education. Teachers must play
a part in the education of future teachers. JTA can play
a part.

What is needed (cont)

The second set is a quality assurance mechanism for

the preparation of teachers that recognizes the

special nature of professional practice and the criteria
for a good teacher education.
At this critical stage of the development of the
teachers colleges we need development and ongoing
support, not an agency that carries out generic audits
and summative evaluations for the purpose of
The accreditation models that involves partnership
and colleagueship are strong possibilities to consider.

As we move forward to a graduate teaching

force, we as teachers need to

be informed,
be aware of the stakes involved
have a public voice and
safeguard the interests of the profession.

Thank You