Majority of National Teacher Education Results exceed expectations – Report from NCTE Learning Summit

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The National Council for Tertiary Education (NTCE) with support from Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) hosted a one-day Learning Summit for key education leaders across Ghana to discuss how to use evidence for impact in teacher education reform in Ghana.

The event - which took place on Friday 11th August, 2017 at the Mensvic Grand Hotel in Accra- provided teacher education stakeholders with an opportunity to learn key findings from research studies undertaken in teacher education, focused in Colleges of Education and to discuss how they will use this evidence to transform their institutions for the ultimate benefit of Ghana’s pupils across the country.

Delivering the keynote address at the event, the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh  expressed the ministry’s delight that vital research on teacher education has been conducted and emphasized the need to incorporate the valuable data and lessons to the ongoing teacher education reform and the education sector as a whole.

“The Ministry of Education recognizes that to improve the quality of education in this country, we must ensure student teachers have the right knowledge, skills and understanding to inspire Ghana’s children to fulfill their potentials, he said, we believe that evidence is the best driver for reform.”

According to the Minister, ensuring high quality education for all with a focus on teacher education is a top priority for the government as declared by the Ministry in February 2017. He added that a consultative process had been initiated to reform the teacher education sector in Ghana.

Speaking on the importance of evidence by drawing on his own experience of how it impacted on his medical school training, the minister stressed the need for Ghana’s future teachers to receive evidence-based teacher education and training such as an increase in the amount of teaching practice they receive before becoming qualified teachers. “This will enable teachers deliver high quality teaching and learning in schools across the country,” he said.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh tasked stakeholders in teacher education to embrace opportunities that help create change so that all students get the education and training they need. “As a middle income economy, Ghana requires a population equipped with modern skills and knowledge to drive development forward” he said.

Providing context for the event, T-TEL’s Programme Manager, Mr. Akwasi Addae-Boahene, said T-TEL was launched in 2015 by the Government of Ghana supported by UK aid to ensure that teachers received evidence-based teacher education and training in the country.

Since its inception, T-TEL has provided support to the NCTE and the National Teaching council to develop the National Teachers Standards for pre-service teachers and the National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework.

Mr. Addae-Boahene said the framework laid the foundation for the transformation of teacher education policy and design of a new national teacher education curriculum for the effective training of teachers.

“The framework will support system change in teacher education and lead to the standardisation of initial teacher training and ensure that every child’s right to teachers who are able to support high quality learning is met”, he said.

Outlining the focus of the proposed new curriculum, Mr. Addae-Boahene said changes would include:

  • an increase in the amount of time student teachers spend gaining real life teaching practice in schools;
  • moving from exams based assessment to national teachers’ standards requirements of professional portfolios, and;
  • moving from generalist to specialism teaching to ensure all developmental needs were addressed.

 

The research activities were undertaken by T-TEL and its partners as part of the process to drive teacher education reform with evidence and the results presented included:

  • Results from the Midline report on the extent to which the T-TEL programme targets are being achieved showed that when college tutors adopt student-focused practices and behaviours, their students adopt similar practices.
  • A Perception study on the Curriculum Reform process to understand stakeholders' perceptions about the Curriculum Reform process so far revealed that the Colleges want change in the teacher education curriculum.
  • An Evaluation of new and innovative teaching and learning materials in colleges of education showed that the guides for Tutor Professional Development and Teaching Practice are making a difference, but levels of use by target audiences need improvement.
  • Results and learning from training of over 8,000 teaching practice mentors across Ghana showed that mentors find the training very useful. They however have very little use for the handbooks supplied to them.
  • Findings from a survey of ICT capacity in 40 colleges of education revealed that ICT capacity is very low across the Colleges and that Colleges’ ICT systems are extremely vulnerable – to malware, data loss, abuse, etc.
  • A Qualitative Longitudinal Study to explain why and how change is happening in colleges of education found that despite progress in several areas of teacher education and learning, there are a range of tensions constraining Colleges’ ability to deliver deeper and more sustainable change.
  • An evaluation of "Innovation for Poverty Action's (IPA)" Fast-Track Transformational Teaching Programme, revealed that student teachers are implementing the Early Childhood Education (ECE) curriculum though, without ongoing support, their level of implementation drops after they qualify.

Click here to access the Learning Summit Report with outcomes and actions going forward.

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