Teachers' Evaluation of Their Pre-Service Teacher Training

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to evaluate pre-service teacher training of a faculty of education based on graduates' responses. The teachers who were the graduates of this institution and currently have been practicing teaching in schools. The study used an instrument entitled as the Pre-Service Preparation of Teachers to Teaching. The instrument was developed by Darling-Hammond (2006). The sample of this study included 228 teachers who were the graduates of Faculty of Education in Marmara Region and were teaching in elementary and secondary schools around Turkey. A Confirmatory Factor Analysis was carried out for validity of the instrument. Five factors were emerged. The results of CFA indicate a good fit. Cronbach alpha and split-half reliability procedures were used to establish reliability. The subscales were found to be reliable. These factors were highly and positively correlated with each other. The teacher responses were compared on these five factors based on gender, experience, teaching level, location of the school, number of students in classroom and school, socio-economic status of schools, and whether teachers had a master's degree or not. t-tests and one-way ANOVAs conducted to see whether there were differences among groups. Teachers indicated that the pre-service training they had received in the faculty of education prepared relatively well on supporting different learning styles. Secondly, they rated equally program and teaching and teaching and learning competencies. They rated professional development the third while they rated their preparation as the lowest on creating a productive classroom. Recommendations were made based on these findings.

Key Words

Teacher Training, Pre-Service Teacher Training, Teaching Practice, Faculty of Education, and Teachers.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate teacher preparation at a faculty of education in Turkey based on the views of the graduates who have been currently practicing teachers around the country. Whether teacher training makes a difference in the professional life of teachers is important. If it makes any difference, how this difference occurs has been investigated by scholars (Darling-Hammond, Chung, & Frelow, 2002; Porter, Youngs & Odden, 2001). These investigations led to reforms in teacher training programs around the world (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, Carnegie Task Force on the Future of Teaching in USA, OFSTED in England) and in Turkey. In 1997, the National Teacher Training Committee (NTTC) had been created and the National Education Development Project was put into effect in 1998, with the collaboration between the Ministry of National Education (MNE) and the Council of Higher Education (CHE) in Turkey. Studies carried out on the teacher education standards and accreditation and reports were published along with these developments (simsek, & Yildirim, 2001; Yüksekögretim Kurulu [YÖK], 2007).

Teacher effectiveness to increase student achievement levels is a major issue in educational research. If the differences among teachers in terms of effectiveness are large, then determining effective teachers and the factors that lead them to be effective are crucial for both educational reforms and basic educational research. If no difference exists among teachers, then other factors for effectiveness may become important (Nye, Konstantinoupoulos, & Hedges, 2004).

The evaluation of teacher effectiveness is not usually based on data. Evaluating teacher training programs based on output is accepted as an important topic that may lead to improvements in teacher training. Certain countries (i.e., US) require evaluations of teacher training programs and whether they contribute to student learning based on measurable data. Higher Education Law in US provides a legal basis for evaluating performances of faculty of education graduates in the accreditation processes of teacher training institutions (Darling-Hammond, 2006). …