Important To Refocus Teacher Education

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Education Minister, Ronald Jones, believes that there must be a re-focusing of teacher education to meet the 21st Century.

This was stressed today as he addressed participants attending the Research Symposium of the School of Education, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, at that institution.

Minister Jones contended that it was necessary to emphasise the use of technology as a core instructional tool in the delivery of education.?? He also stressed the need to consider competence in pedagogies that support the learning of all students in mixed ability classrooms, with a more extensive focus on differentiated instruction.

He further noted that it was important to place focus on the external efficiency of teacher education, which would examine the extent to which teachers consistently apply best practices in the classroom after they have graduated.

"In other words, teachers must demonstrate that they not only have the certification, but the competencies which the certification represents," the Minister said, adding that part of that was "the constant refueling and retooling of skills, knowledge and competencies of teachers, either self propelled or coerced".??

Admitting that he preferred that teachers be self-motivated, he added, "Additionally, the provision of institutional strengthening to redefine the nature of school leadership and provide a supportive environment for teachers in the classroom must become a fundamental complement of teacher training."

Leadership in the profession was also deemed important as the Minister told educators and those in training, "a strong focus on instructional leadership must become the core task and obligation of school principals and the management teams in the schools."??

jgill@barbados.gov.bb

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