Managing Teacher Education and In-Service Programs: Learning Styles Perspective

Manila Bulletin, June 16, 2010 | Go to article overview

Managing Teacher Education and In-Service Programs: Learning Styles Perspective


The search for quality education has been an elusive dream for us Filipino educators most especially in the public education sector.

While there are dramatic and significant changes made in the curriculum, we still need to see convincing evidence that would otherwise prove an outstanding performance of the majority of Filipino students.

Yet inspite of the various short or long term courses, seminars, workshops and conferences being offered, attended to and participated in by fellow educators in order to enhance their competencies, the quality in the performance of students still has to become known.

What then seems to be the problem? This article focuses on the concerns in the area of teacher education and in-service programs being offered vis-a-vis learning style perspective, diagnosis and suggested practices.

* Lack of research-based instruction. The need for periodic retraining would be understandable if experimental research had shown that new instructional practices produced better results than older practices. Some published studies represent interests of a single advocate in a single organization - suggesting possible bias in favor of the strategy.

* Widespread acceptance of fads. Instead of new practices emerging from research laboratories or field-based school settings, professional and commercial groups periodically develop and promulgate new educational notions. Reasons for acceptance and support is that: a) few teacher education programs teach future teachers to appreciate, feel comfortable with, or conduct research, and; b) many institutions do not require their faculty to engage in, experiment with, or publish research.

* Lack of support and follow-through after in-service. Administrators rarely offer on-site coaching, classroom demonstrations, or feedback when teachers begin experimenting with a new strategy. Consultants make one-time presentation with little follow through, and leave the teachers to undertake the difficult task of translating what was said into practical applications.

* Reliance on individual rather than groups. Regardless of the approach that is being initiated, nothing works well with everyone because of individuals' unique learning styles. Teachers need to analyze for which students one approach is effective and for which it is not.

* Lack of sufficient time. Administrators rarely provide time, advance or continue exposure for interested teachers to meet and plan for the implementation of a new approach. Thus, enthusiasm and efforts dissipate gradually.

* Teachers' lack of research skills. Teachers are reluctant to devote time and energy to experiment after seeing many approaches initially lauded and then discarded. They might be willing to try easy and efficient steps for determining effectiveness of a strategy. …

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