Educators Speak: Continuing Education

Manila Bulletin, May 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

Educators Speak: Continuing Education


A continuing professional education program for teachers aims to provide updated knowledge and latest trends in the profession. It includes well-planned learning activities and resources intended to raise teachers’ professional competence in delivering quality education, at the same time that it enhances their ethical and moral values.Teachers, to whom the responsibility of guiding and nurturing young minds is entrusted, must continue to strengthen their inherent qualities and technical skills to develop the much-needed expertise in the education arena which is now dominated by modernization and internationalization. It is in recognition of the need to motivate and encourage teachers in the field to persevere in continuously preparing themselves to meet these challenges, that a call is sounded for them to respond positively to this laudable program of reorientation and retraining now being undertaken as part of the present educational reform agenda.Teaching imperativesKnowledge of the subject matter. More and more will be expected of teachers in terms of their subject matter competence, which is achieved by an unceasing search for updated content. Necessarily, they must not only be grounded in the basics of the discipline and steeped in recent trends, but more importantly, they must also be well versed in initiating and sustaining valuable continued learning. They must be sensitive, daring, and ready to explore and widen the scope of the content they are teaching.Pedagogical competence. New and tested effective teaching methodologies are the salient demands for a conducive learning atmosphere. While some of the traditional means still work, decisive innovations will surely facilitate the acquisition of current content. Skill in planning, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness of a method is of paramount importance in achieving a learning objective. Exchange of “best practices” during a faculty assembly is a rich source of additional learning and advancement.Technical skills. A continuing education program will adequately prepare teachers for a dominantly technology-based learning environment. Teachers should gain proficiency in developing technical skills and creativity in using the technologies most appropriate to the kind and nature of learning desired. Hence, the need to provide for good intensive exposure and training through a wide repertoire of progressive teaching styles, as well as adequate field experiences and practicum. With the acquired technical know-how, teachers can guide their students in searching for the right data and information through the use of audiovisual media. They will be effective in providing such assistance only if they have been sufficiently trained for it.Professional and personal values. Knowledge and skills will undoubtedly be enhanced and continually nurtured if some professional and personal values are firmly developed. Teachers whose main responsibility is to mold the minds of the young should be imbued with such values as critical-mindedness, innovativeness, and persistence, thus inspiring students to develop and internalize the same. The sharing and caring attitude is inculcated to warm the hearts and spirits of the young as they grow to become professionals. Teachers must model a deep sense of responsibility, commitment, and integrity worthy of emulation. Their training must enable them to instill in their students a heightened willingness and readiness to continue learning through adulthood.Continuing education initiativesToday, teachers realize that their initial training and induction into the field will prove ineffective if they do not adjust to the rapidly-changing teaching environment; hence, the awareness that they have to improve and update their knowledge and skills in order to catch up with the demands of a global society.To effect a smooth transition to a knowledge-driven society, the major proponents of change must undergo continuing retraining through the following:1) Short-term sessions a. …

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