International Panel: Bridging Policy and Practice
A Focus on Teacher Preparation
Overview of In-service Teacher Education via Collaborative Communities
Background and Focus
The overview of in-service teacher education in the eight countries considers programs promoted by a collaborative community. These may not be all of the models used for in-service in any of the countries singly but do summarize all as much as possible. As noted earlier, the meaning of collaborative community may vary slightly from country to country as is illustrated in the case studies. However, if the program is implemented with teachers' negotiation, we regard this teachers' group as a collaborative community as shown in Figure 1.
If the program was implemented without teachers' negotiation, we regard this teachers' group as a non-collaborative community as shown Figure 2.
In this section, external aspects of in-service were used to survey the trends of eight countries, and, in each case, to examine the following two questions:
For common consideration among the countries, a basic table was formed as shown in Figure 3. Because the system in each country is quite different, it was difficult for some countries to follow this framework. As a result, some countries needed to modify the basic table, or to write a short description instead of using the table.
At what level is the program that is planned by a host organization implemented? (Within school/within district/within state/ et cetera).
Figure 3. Basic table to survey the states in eight countries
To facilitate use of the table, specific symbols were inserted into each cell if there exists such a program. The specific symbols are classified into four items as seen in the following key.(1) Voluntary (Free) => VF
Survey in eight countries
The tables and short descriptions for each of the eight countries follow.
The Case of Brazil
The Case of Egypt
The in-service education program in Egypt in the present context is as follows: The program is implemented without teachers' negotiation, in a non-collaborative community. Almost all of these programs are Compulsory Free (CF).
The Case of France
Each year, each regional educational authority (Academy) issues a framework called "le plan académique de formation" (academic training plan). The "plan académique" is designed via collaboration between teachers unions, representatives, and the inspectorates. This framework lists all the training sessions planned, along with criteria for teachers' application.
The local University Institute of Teacher Training (IUFM) provides the training that is decided upon in the plan. Basically, the local authorities provide the funding, and the IUFM implements the plan. In recent years a drastic decrease in the funding available for in-service training, and an increase in inspectorate's power (to the detriment of the IUFM initiative) has occurred.
Things are a bit different for primary and secondary teachers. At primary level, local primary inspectors use the "plan académique" but have more autonomy than inspectors at the secondary level to design training and to make it compulsory for all teachers that are under their direction.
In mathematics, the important role played by each region's IREM (University of Research in Mathematics Education) is worth noting. The IUFMs delegate a large part of the mathematics training to the IREMs. In addition, the IREMs organize other training sessions not detailed in the official plan. They also represent the National Association of Mathematics Teachers (APMEP), which, like the IREMs, also have regional organizations.
The Case of India
In-service teacher education in India has been and remains a highly unorganized activity. While pre-service teacher education like D.Ed. and B.Ed. certification is compulsorily, no further requirement holds for teachers once they actually enter the teaching profession.
However, a few in-service programs do get held, though in a highly decentralized manner. Unfortunately, the overwhelming reality about in-service teacher education in India is that there are so many schools and so many teachers that all efforts prove inadequate. For significant progress to be achieved, India will probably need to find radically new uses of technology and the media, and radically new organizational structures.
The Case of Japan
The Case of Kenya
The program of in-service education in Kenya is targeted towards Heads of Schools or Department Heads and not much towards teachers. As a result, little in-service teacher education exists within a collaborative community.
The Case of Sweden
*National Center for Mathematics Education
The Case of the United States
*This varies from state to state.
Some Trends in In-service Teacher Education in the Eight Countries
Comparing the tables and short descriptions, can suggest some similarities and differences in the general aspects of in-service teacher education program. Most countries treat teachersŐ negotiation in in-service teacher education with some exception (Egypt, Kenya). Programs organized by associations are implemented at the national and state level in some countries (USA, Japan, India) but not in other countries (Brazil, Sweden). TeachersŐ motivation to attend in-service teacher education with teacher negotiation might be classified into three types.
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