Learning Styles and Teacher Education (Part Two)
MANILA, Philippines - Let's gear up for the K-12 Curriculum by beefing up our teacher training programs!
This discussion is a continuation of an overview of the concerns in the area of teacher-education and in-service programs being offered vis-a-vis the perspective, diagnosis and suggested practices of the Dunn & Dunn Learning Styles model.
8) Lack of teacher training responsiveness to external agencies. Many public and private organizations, education departments, university committees and legislative and citizen groups have suggested revised practices for teacher training, but have apparently been unable to make substantive changes. It may be that only well-focused determination could help an entrenched bureaucracy, perhaps using some of these practices developed externally, to change from within.
9) Lack of respect for education department personnel. Education agencies have been accused of: a) imposing mandates without providing funds for implementation; b) being unable to provide leadership; and c) encouraging widespread use of across-the-board practices, regardless of their appropriateness at each local setting.
10) Quality of teacher applicants. Although many enrollees are inspired and enthusiastic, others are spelling-impaired, grammatically illiterate and content-deficient. Due to teacher shortages, "emergency" certifications have been granted to inadequate persons who often are assigned to schools with the most number of difficult-to-teach students where, subsequently, they do little other than to try to "control" behavior.
11) Disparate criteria for determining teaching excellence. IQ may not assess adequately a person's potential for excellence as a teacher. Alternatives include: a) continuing professional and personal growth; b) devotion to students; c) creativity; d) ability to develop innovative resources; e) willingness to work without concern for long hours, energy or competitive salaries; and f) having students who have positive attitude towards learning and attendance and who perform well on standardized tests, especially those who were underachieving.
12) Urban schools and minority students. It is possible that the quality of teaching is grossly inadequate only in urban schools attended by poor children who are members of minority groups. It is here where the disparity of academic performance within a particular family is pronounced-with three or more children, one will do well, another will perform adequately and another will be bored or frustrated on an almost daily basis.
13) Special education and need for in-service training. Parents are led to believe that special education is a legitimate classification for students who are unable to learn. But if future teachers are taught to identify and teach to their student's learning styles during their initial training, the need for frequent retraining would be drastically diminished (and the need for classifying students as requiring special education will be reduced). …