The Effectiveness of a Secondary Teacher Education Graduate Program According to Administrators, Faculty Members and Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this case study is to examine the effectiveness of a Secondary Teacher Education Graduate Program. We collected qualitative data through interviews with two graduate school directors, five department heads, 58 faculty members and five students at Ege University. We conducted a descriptive analysis technique on the data. According to the results, there are many problems concerning the program such as high quotas of students, unsatisfactory selection of students, lack of motivation for the program and the courses both among the students and the faculty members, insufficiency of the faculty members in the areas of knowledge and pedagogy, inefficiencies in the management of the courses (especially of the practical courses), lack of specific institutions and persons responsible for the program. Furthermore, the program does not reflect the innovations in teaching and the changes in secondary education. The participants mainly suggested administrative solutions for the program.

Key Words

Secondary Teaching, Teacher Training, Pre-service Teacher Education Curricula.

Teacher training is one of the most significant factors that affect the quality of secondary education (Rots & Aelterman, 2008; Volante, 2006). In some countries, secondary teacher education is carried out at undergraduate level (e.g. Poland) and in some others at graduate level (e.g. the Netherlands) (Şahin, 2006). In France, teacher training is examination-focused but at the same time includes more teaching practice compared to its counterpart in Turkey (Foster, 2000). Akyüz (1993) and Esme (2001) consider 1948-the date when DarülmuallimÎn was opened, as a significant start for teacher training in Turkey (Milli Egitim Bakanligi Ögretmen Yetistirme ve Egitimi Genel Müdürlügü [MEB ÖYEGM], 1995). When secondary teacher training from this date until 1982 is scrutinized, it is observed that many institutions have been opened and closed, such as DarülmuallimÎn-i Âliye, Yüksek Ögretmen Okullari, Egitim Enstitüleri, and that the names of the institutions were changed. The secondary teacher education has been carried out by universities since 1982, first as pedagogical formation then as graduate programs. Secondary Teacher Education Graduate Program (STEGP) was initiated in 1997 (YÖK, 1998a; YÖK, 1998b; YÖK, 2005) constituting a shift to graduate studies, later, in 2007 and 2008 (YÖK, 2006; YÖK, 2008); some alterations were made (based on Resmi Gazete, 1983) to the titles, credits, and descriptions of the courses. Graduates from the faculties of science and faculties of arts can apply for the program and attend teacher education courses for three semesters. This article presents the results of a study that investigates the effectiveness of the 1997 version of this program which includes 14 courses of 45 credits for three semesters.

The studies which assess the program from a general point of view have revealed that STEGP have some benefits for the students (Aycan, Aycan & Türkoguz, 2005; Çakiroglu & Çakiroglu, 2003; Deniz, Görgen & Sahin, 2005; Memduhoglu & Topsakal, 2009), and most believe that the program has changed their perspectives (Aycan et al., 2005; Baser, Günhan & Yavuz, 2005). On the other hand, Baser et al. (2005), Eryilmaz (2005), Kaya-Sengören et al. (2007) and Ünal and Özsoy (2004) have set forth the insufficiency of the program in providing teaching competency. Additionally, in many studies, students have declared that they find the program duration long (Aycan et al., 2005; Baser et al., 2005; Deniz et al., 2005; Karakus, 2008; Semerci & Çerçi, 2002, 2005). Karakus (2008) and Aycan et al. (2005) set put forth that the students consider the program not as a graduate program but as a teaching certificate program (see, Kavcar, 1999).

Purpose

The study is a part of a longitudinal project (Ünver, Bümen & Basbay, 2008) that evaluates all the courses in the program and their effectiveness with regard to the views of the main stakeholders of the program (administrators, faculty members, students). …