Academic journal article Education

Assessment of the Turkish Teacher Training Process through Academicians' Views

Academic journal article Education

Assessment of the Turkish Teacher Training Process through Academicians' Views

Article excerpt

Introduction

The most effective instrument for the humans to communicate with their environment is language. The social existence of the humans begins at birth. The individual, who is part of the social whole learns about his/her environment through language; shares his/her ideas and feelings with the people through language. In this respect, the individual's interaction with his/her environment is significant.

The individual who learns his/her mother tongue from the close environment in early ages has teachers and school mates with the start of school in addition to family and friend circle with whom s/he is interacting. Through language, the individual acquires novel information in the school period. First language education is a process which influences success in all of the lessons in school learning which starts with primary school (Erdo an and Gok, 2009: 2). Therefore language is one of the basic elements of the learning and teaching process. Both the importance of language on one's life and the importance of interaction in language education give rise to the need for qualified teachers. For teaching, the society and the members constituting it necessitate considering the environment with which the individual interacts (Kilic and Acat, 2007: 22). Therefore, all teachers, especially class and Turkish teachers have significant duties in terms of maintaining accurate and effective use of Turkish.

The teacher is one of the most significant variables of the learning and teaching environment (Sonmez, 2001:136) and at the same time the basic element of the educational system (Celikten, anal and Yeni, 2005: 208). Today, teaching is recognized as a profession which requires specialized knowledge and skills undertaking the roles of planning, implementing education and teaching activities, and management of educational institutions (Bircan, 2005: 207; i man and Acat, 2003: 236). Therefore, the teacher is a specialist of education and training in terms of encouraging and supporting student learning. Teaching profession requires:

a) Compliance with professional and ethical standards,

b) Self-efficacy,

c) Developing analytic and reflective strategies,

d) High-level knowledge on the topic to be taught

e) High level literacy and knowledge of mathematics (Van , 1998: 165).

The traditional views that a teacher carrying these features is the only source and transmitter of knowledge have been replaced with more contemporary approaches and the teacher has reached the position of teaching the ways of learning to students (YOK/World Bank, 1998: 1). Teacher training is a critical process (Yenilmez and Cemrek, 2008: 82). The teacher has a direct influence on the education and the quality of education (Yanpar Yelken, 2009: 2079). In this respect, it is an unquestionable fact that field knowledge is one of the foundations of teacher training programs (Temizkan, 2008b: 464). Above all, candidate teachers should be competent in their field knowledge (Schelfhout et al., 2006: 875). A teacher needs to have field knowledge as wells as a certain level of general culture and professional knowledge in order to execute his/her profession in an effective way (i man, 2006: 155). In addition, the training given to candidate teachers should correspond with the program applied in schools (Korthagen, Loughran and Russell, 2006: 1038). As of the 1997-1998 academic year, faculties of education have been restructured by the Council of Higher Education (YOK) and a minor program was started, ignoring the available course programs in Turkish education departments (Ozbay, 2005a: 313). The absence of this practice in the current program can be considered as a significant step for the professionalization of teaching Turkish. The program applied in Turkish education departments prior to the 2006-2007 academic year was frequently criticized in terms of the program applied, course content and distribution (Guzel, 2004; 0zbay, 2004; Ozbay, 2005a; Guzel, 2005; (Cifci, 2005; Kavcar, 2005; Cemilo lu, 2005; Sa ir, 2005) and new programs were recommended. …

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