Teacher Competence, Teacher Performance and Student Achievement

Manila Bulletin, December 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Teacher Competence, Teacher Performance and Student Achievement


Byline: Dr. CONSUELO C. CANLAS-CALLANG

STUDENT achievement has always been regarded as resulting from the amount of effort exerted by a teacher in the then Teaching and Learning Process and now Facilitating of the learning process.

The role of the teacher, therefore, is held paramount as seen in studies done here and abroad on teacher effectiveness; correlates of student achievement, etc. It thus follows that the kind and quality of teaching performance, which is equated with teacher competence, can only be gauged using student achievement as seen in performance on division tests; national achievement tests, board exams both here and abroad, and employability of the graduates of any given course.

Abroad, teacher competence has been the subject matter of research on content of teacher examinations. It was found that the content validity of the National Teachers Examinations given by the Educational Testing service from 1940-1976 "was at least as high as that of any similar test" in that the test measures candidates academic knowledge of the subject matter they would teach. This was as reported by Dunkin in 1997. In the Philippines, teacher examinations, which are given every year, probably would have more or less the same kind of validity, although there can probably be some doubts raised about that. It was reported sometime ago, that at least once, the teacher licensure examination was haphazardly prepared. The problem has probably been addressed since. Considering how important teacher competence is, it is downright alarming how sometimes even the least competent among applicants are given the reins of the classroomparticularly when the clientele are young children. This is a most dangerous practice, for it is a requirement that young learners should be guided by experienced teachers. However, given the prevalence of "second coursers" in education, who may not necessarily "fit into the category of competent" even if they do pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers, sometimes school owners are not aware that the problem is very real. Many of those who have not mastered the science or art of teaching are allowed to teach to the detriment of education. To become competent, a teacher candidate, or a licensed teacher, must continually upgrade himself/herself in terms of knowledge; skills; values and the motivation to excel in ones area of discipline. This is why language courses; personality development seminars; skills enhancing training must regularly be part of the practicing teachers life. An 18 units supplemental course in Education is not sufficient for the purpose envisioned.

Not only must the teacher be knowledgeable about teaching strategies; assessment techniques; lesson planning; motivational strategies and have developed a good command of the language of instruction; the competent teacher knows how to do/conduct classroom based research (es) and utilize results in the classroom, as well as be a pleasing companion to the learners, his co-teachers and the community-at-large. Competent teachers know that the over-all growth and development of the student is the goal for those who teach.

Some (who are in the field) think that only "bright" teachers succeed. Nothing can be farther from reality. Even teachers who did not "shine brightly" while in school may become competent later. How? Aptitude! If a teacher to-be passes an entrance examination in a teacher training institution, this is indicative of the fact that given the desired training (for four or five years) the candidate is likely to benefit from teacher training and end up capable and competent. However, as in any other profession, the teachers job demands periodic upgrading of skills, knowledge and competencies. This is revealed by researchers and studies.

This is doubly insured by a natural predilection for the activities done in school; artistic tendencies; interest in music or dancing and a natural liking for people then you have one very likely candidate for teacher competence. …

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