http://www.dfid.gov.uk/r4d/PDF/Outputs/SkillsForDev/Educationalpaper49b.pdf

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/r4d/PDF/Outputs/SkillsForDev/Educationalpaper49b.pdf
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 1
TEACHER TRAINING IN
GHANA – DOES IT COUNT?
Multi-Site Teacher Education
Research Project (MUSTER)
Country Report One
Kwame Akyeampong
March 2003
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 2
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Educational Papers
Department for International Development: Educational Papers
N
This is one of a series of Education Papers issued by the Policy Division of the Department
For International Development. Each paper represents a study or piece of commissioned
research on some aspects of education and training in developing countries. Most of the
studies were undertaken in order to provide informed judgements from which policy
decisions could be drawn, but in each case it has become apparent that the material
produced would be of interest to a wider audience, particularly those whose work focuses
N
on developing countries.
Each paper is numbered serially, and further copies can be obtained through DFID
Education Publication Despatch, PO Box 190, Sevenoaks, TN14 5EL, UK – subject to
N
availability. A full list appears overleaf.
Although these papers are issued by DFID, the views expressed in them are entirely those of
the authors and do not necessarily represent DFID’s own policies or views. Any discussion
of their content should therefore be addressed to the authors and not to DFID.
N
Address for Correspondence
Centre for International Education
University of Sussex Institute of Education,
Falmer,
Brighton,
Sussex
BN1 9RG _ UK
T
+44 +1273 678464
E
[email protected]
F
+44 +1273 678568
N
W www.sussex.ac.uk/usie/cie
N
© Keith M Lewin and Janet S Stuart
March 2003
Front Cover Photograph: David Stephens
DFID
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 3
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Educational Papers
No.1
t
d
e
y
l
s
SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS IN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:
A SUMMARY OF THE
RESEARCH EVIDENCE.
D Pennycuick (1993)
ISBN: 0 90250 061 9
No. 2 EDUCATIONAL COST-BENEFIT
ANALYSIS.
J Hough (1993)
ISBN: 0 90250 062 7
D
o
f
n
No.3
REDUCING THE COST OF
TECHNICAL AND
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.
L Gray, M Fletcher, P Foster, M King,
A M Warrender (1993)
ISBN: 0 90250 063 5
No. 4 REPORT ON READING
ENGLISH IN PRIMARY
SCHOOLS IN MALAWI.
E Williams (1993) Out of Print –
Available on CD-Rom and
DFID website
No. 7 PLANNING AND FINANCING
SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION
SYSTEMS IN SUB-SAHARAN
AFRICA.
P Penrose (1993)
ISBN: 0 90250 067 8
No. 8 Not allocated
No. 9 FACTORS AFFECTING
FEMALE PARTICIPATION
IN EDUCATION IN SEVEN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.
C Brock, N Cammish (1991)
(revised 1997).
ISBN: 1 86192 065 2
No.10 USING LITERACY: A NEW
APPROACH TO POSTLITERACY METHODS.
A Rogers (1994) Out of Print –
Available on CD-ROM and
DFID website. Updated and
reissued on No 29.
No.11 EDUCATION AND TRAINING
No. 5 REPORT ON READING
ENGLISH IN PRIMARY
SCHOOLS IN ZAMBIA.
E Williams (1993) Out of Print –
Available on CD-Rom and
DFID website
FOR THE INFORMAL
SECTOR.
K King, S McGrath, F Leach,
R Carr-Hill (1994)
ISBN: 1 86192 090 3
No.12 MULTI-GRADE TEACHING:
See also No. 24, which updates and
synthesises No.’s 4 and 5.
No. 6 EDUCATION AND
A REVIEW OF RESEARCH
AND PRACTICE.
A Little (1995)
ISBN: 0 90250 058 9
DEVELOPMENT: THE ISSUES
AND THE EVIDENCE.
K Lewin (1993)
ISBN: 0 90250 066 X
DFID
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 4
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Educational Papers
No.13 DISTANCE EDUCATION IN
ENGINEERING FOR
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.
T Bilham, R Gilmour (1995)
Out of Print – Available on CD-ROM
and DFID website.
No.19 GENDER, EDUCATION AND
DEVELOPMENT - A PARTIALLY
ANNOTATED AND SELECTIVE
BIBLIOGRAPHY.
C Brock, N Cammish (1997)
Out of Print – Available on CD-ROM
and DFID website.
N
N
No.14 HEALTH & HIV/AIDS
EDUCATION IN PRIMARY &
SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN
AFRICA & ASIA.
E Barnett, K de Koning,
V Francis (1995)
ISBN: 0 90250 069 4
No.15 LABOUR MARKET SIGNALS
& INDICATORS.
L Gray, AM Warrender, P Davies,
G Hurley, C Manton (1995) Out of
Print – Available on CD-ROM
and DFID website.
No.20 CONTEXTUALISING
TEACHING AND LEARNING
IN RURAL PRIMARY
SCHOOLS USING
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE.
P Taylor, A Mulhall (Vols 1 & 2)
(1997) Vol 1 ISBN: 1 861920 45 8
Vol 2 ISBN: 1 86192 050 4
N
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No.21 GENDER AND SCHOOL
ACHIEVEMENT IN THE
CARIBBEAN.
P Kutnick, V Jules, A Layne (1997)
ISBN: 1 86192 080 6
No.16 IN-SERVICE SUPPORT FOR A
TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH
TO SCIENCE EDUCATION.
F Lubben, R Campbell,
B Dlamini (1995)
ISBN: 0 90250 071 6
No.17 ACTION RESEARCH REPORT
ON “REFLECT” METHOD OF
TEACHING LITERACY.
D Archer, S Cottingham (1996)
ISBN: 0 90250 072 4
No.18 THE EDUCATION AND
TRAINING OF ARTISANS FOR
THE INFORMAL SECTOR IN
TANZANIA.
D Kent, P Mushi (1996)
ISBN: 0 90250 074 0
DFID
No.22 SCHOOL-BASED
UNDERSTANDING OF
HUMAN RIGHTS IN FOUR
COUNTRIES: A
COMMONWEALTH STUDY.
R Bourne, J Gundara, A Dev,
N Ratsoma, M Rukanda, A Smith,
U Birthistle (1997)
ISBN: 1 86192 095 4
N
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No.23 GIRLS AND BASIC EDUCATION:
A CULTURAL ENQUIRY.
D Stephens (1998)
ISBN: 1 86192 036 9
N
No.24 INVESTIGATING BILINGUAL
LITERACY: EVIDENCE FROM
MALAWI AND ZAMBIA.
E Williams (1998)
ISBN: 1 86192 041 5No.25
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 5
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Educational Papers
No.25 PROMOTING GIRLS’
Y
E
EDUCATION IN AFRICA.
N Swainson, S Bendera, R Gordon,
E Kadzamira (1998)
ISBN: 1 86192 046 6
No.32 SECTOR WIDE APPROACHES
TO EDUCATION.
M Ratcliffe, M Macrae (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 131 4
No.33 DISTANCE EDUCATION
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No.26 GETTING BOOKS TO SCHOOL
PUPILS IN AFRICA.
D Rosenberg, W Amaral, C Odini,
T Radebe, A Sidibé (1998)
ISBN: 1 86192 051 2
PRACTICE: TRAINING &
REWARDING AUTHORS.
H Perraton, C Creed (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 136 5
No.34 THE EFFECTIVENESS OF
.
No.27 COST SHARING IN EDUCATION.
P Penrose (1998)
ISBN: 1 86192 056 3
TEACHER RESOURCE
CENTRE STRATEGY.
Ed. G Knamiller, G Fairhurst (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 141 1
No.28 VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
AND TRAINING IN TANZANIA
AND ZIMBABWE IN THE
CONTEXT OF ECONOMIC
REFORM.
P Bennell (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 061 X
No.35 EVALUATING IMPACTS (OF
EDUCATION PROJECTS &
PROGRAMMES).
Ed. V McKay, C Treffgarne (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 191 8
No.36 AFRICAN JOURNALS –
No.29 RE-DEFINING POST- LITERACY
IN A CHANGING WORLD.
A Rogers, B Maddox, J Millican,
K Newell Jones, U Papen,
A Robinson-Pant (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 069 5
No.30 IN SERVICE FOR TEACHER
DEVELOPMENT IN SUBSAHARAN AFRICA.
M Monk (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 074 1
A SURVEY OF THEIR
USAGE IN AFRICAN
UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES.
A Alemna, V Chifwepa,
D Rosenberg (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 157 8
No.37 MONITORING THE
PERFORMANCE OF
EDUCATIONAL
PROGRAMMES IN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.
R Carr-Hill, M Hopkins, A Riddell,
No.31 PRODUCTION OF LOCALLY
GENERATED TRAINING
MATERIALS.
I Carter (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 079 2
J Lintott (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 224 8No.38
DFID
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 6
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Educational Papers
No.38 TOWARDS RESPONSIVE
SCHOOLS – SUPPORTING
BETTER SCHOOLING FOR
DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN
(case studies from Save the Children).
M Molteno, K Ogadhoh, E Cain,
B Crumpton (2000)
ISBN: to be confirmed
No.39 PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION OF THE
ABUSE OF GIRLS IN
ZIMBABWEAN JUNIOR
SECONDARY SCHOOLS.
F Leach, P Machankanja with
J Mandoga (2000)
ISBN: 1 86192 279 5
No.40 THE IMPACT OF TRAINING
ON WOMEN’S MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
F Leach, S Abdulla, H Appleton,
J el-Bushra, N Cardenas, K Kebede,
V Lewis, S Sitaram (2000)
ISBN: 1 86192 284 1
No.41 THE QUALITY OF LEARNING
AND TEACHING IN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:
ASSESSING LITERACY AND
NUMERACY IN MALAWI AND
SRI LANKA.
D Johnson, J Hayter,
P Broadfoot (2000)
ISBN: 1 86192 313 9
No.42 LEARNING TO COMPETE:
EDUCATION, TRAINING &
ENTERPRISE IN GHANA,
KENYA & SOUTH AFRICA.
D Afenyadu, K King, S McGrath,
H Oketch, C Rogerson, K Visser (1999)
ISBN: 1 86192 314 7
No.43 COMPUTERS IN SECONDARY
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SCHOOLS IN DEVELOPING
COUNTRIES: COSTS AND
OTHER ISSUES.
A Cawthera (2001)
ISBN 1 86192 418 6
No.44 THE IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS ON
THE UNIVERSITY OF
BOTSWANA: DEVELOPING A
COMPREHENSIVE
STRATEGIC RESPONSE.
B Chilisa, P Bennell, K Hyde (2001)
ISBN: 1 86192 467 4
N
c
No.45 THE IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS ON
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION IN BOTSWANA:
DEVELOPING A
COMPREHENSIVE
STRATEGIC RESPONSE.
P Bennell, B Chilisa, K Hyde,
A Makgothi, E Molobe,
L Mpotokwane (2001)
ISBN: 1 86192 468 2
No.46 EDUCATION FOR ALL:
POLICY AND PLANNING LESSONS FROM SRI LANKA.
A Little (2003)
ISBN: 1 86192 552 0
No.47 REACHING THE POOR -
THE COSTS OF SENDING
CHILDREN TO SCHOOL
S Boyle, A Brock, J Mace,
M Sibbons (2003)
ISBN: 1 86192 361 9
A
D
DFID
N
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 7
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Educational Papers
No.48 CHILD LABOUR AND ITS
IMPACT ON CHILDREN’S
ACCESS TO AND
PARTICIPATION IN PRIMARY
EDUCATION - A CASE STUDY
FROM TANZANIA
by H.A Dachi and R.M Garrett
(2003)
ISBN: 1 86192 536 0
Other DFID Educational Studies Also Available:
REDRESSING GENDER INEQUALITIES IN
EDUCATION. N Swainson (1995)
FACTORS AFFECTING GIRLS’ ACCESS TO
SCHOOLING IN NIGER. S Wynd (1995)
EDUCATION FOR RECONSTRUCTION.
D Phillips, N Arnhold, J Bekker, N Kersh,
E McLeish (1996)
NOW AVAILABLE – CD-ROM
containing full texts of Papers 1-42
AFRICAN JOURNAL DISTRIBUTION
PROGRAMME: EVALUATION OF 1994 PILOT
PROJECT. D Rosenberg (1996)
TEACHER JOB SATISFACTION IN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. R Garrett (1999)
A MODEL OF BEST PRACTICE AT LORETO
DAY SCHOOL, SEALDAH, CALCUTTA.
T Jessop (1998)
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL.
DFID Policy Paper (1999)
THE CHALLENGE OF UNIVERSAL
PRIMARY EDUCATION.
DFID Target Strategy Paper (2001)
CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL.
DFID Issues Paper (2001)
All publications are available free of charge from DFID Education Publications
Despatch, PO Box 190, Sevenoaks, TN14 5EL, or by email from [email protected]
DFID
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 8
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Acknowledgements
This report, and the studies upon which they are based received assistance from many
quarters. I wish to especially acknowledge the hard work and commitment of the Ghana
MUSTER team: Messrs. Nicholas Kutor, Ben Sokpe, Joseph Ghartey Ampiah and Dr
Jonathan Fletcher.
Special thanks go to Professor Keith Lewin, Dr Janet Stuart (MUSTER Project Coordinators – especially for her proof-editing work and constant encouragement in the
production of this report) and Professor David Stephens. Their critical comments, input
and patience at all stages of the MUSTER work in Ghana contributed immensely to the
outcome of this report.
I wish to acknowledge the insights that came from the seminars with other MUSTER
country lead researchers – Dr Michael Samuel (South Africa), Dr June George (Trinidad &
Tobago), Pulane Lefoka (Lesotho) and Demis Kunje (Malawi).
I also wish to acknowledge the assistance and contributions of the Sussex Graduate
Researchers working on MUSTER: John Hedges, Dominic Furlong and Alison Croft.
The British Department for International Development (DFID) funded the studies upon
which this report is based. The report does not, however, reflect the views of DFID, nor
does it necessarily represent the views of those who contributed to its production. Any
errors of fact or interpretation are the author’s responsibility.
Kwame Akyeampong, Ph.D.
Ghana MUSTER Country Lead Researcher
i
DFID
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 9
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Contents
y
Acknowledgments
a
Abbreviations
r
Preface
v
Executive Summary
vi
e
t
e
R
&
e
1 Background And Context
i
iv
1
4.3 What images and perceptions of
teachers, teaching and teacher
training do beginning student
teachers bring?
41
4.4 Background Experiences of
Family and Schooling
42
4.5 Exploring deeper motivations for 44
choosing teacher training
1.1 Educational reforms: expectations 1
and impact
4.6 Expectations from Teacher
Training
1.2 Teacher training and
teacher quality
4.7 Summary: Policy and Curriculum 47
Planning Consideration
4
46
1.3 The JUSSTEP study findings
5
1.4 Increasing financial investment
into teacher training
6
1.5 Implications of teacher supply
and demand in Ghana
10
5.1 Introduction
49
1.6 The MUSTER Agenda
11
5.2 Characteristics of Training
Colleges
49
5.3 Profile of college tutors
50
2 Research Design and
Methodology
13
5 College Level Training:
Curriculum and Cost Issues
49
5.4 Curriculum resources in college
50
5.5 College teaching
51
2.1 Research design
13
n
2.2 Research methodology
13
5.6 Limiting conditions on
curriculum delivery practices
52
r
2.3 Strengths and limitations of
the study
17
5.7 Trainees’ Preparedness to teach
58
5.8 Teaching practice experiences
58
y
D
3 Teacher Training Development in 19
Ghana
3.1 Introduction
19
3.2 Teacher training: from early to
recent developments
19
3.3 Selection into initial teacher
training
21
3.4 Teacher Training College
curriculum
23
5.9 Qualitative insights into teaching 60
practice
5.10 The cost of training a teacher
62
5.11 Summary
64
6 Post-Training: Newly Qualified
Teachers’ Early Experiences,
Practices and Reflections on
Training
67
3.5 System of Assessment
25
6.1 Introduction
67
3.6 External examination structure
27
6.2 Professional and community
support for NQTs.
67
6.3 How committed are NQTs to a
teaching career?
68
6.4 Preferred instructional strategies
69
3.7 The new system of teacher
27
training: The “In-in-out” model
3.8 College curriculum as
documented
31
3.9 Summary
36
6.5 College preparation for classroom 70
practice
39
6.6 How NQTs relate to poor pupil
performance
70
6.7 NQTs’ evaluation of college
training
71
4 Who Becomes a Teacher?
4.1 Introduction
39
4.2 Who becomes a teacher: profile
of background characteristics
39
DFID
6.8 Head teachers’ views about
73
NQTs’ professional and personal
attitudes to teaching
ii
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 10
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Contents - Continued
6.9 Strengths and weaknesses of
NQTs
74
11
75
1.5 Numbers of pupils, trained and
untrained teachers, and pupil
teacher ratios 1988-1998.
21
79
3.1 Teacher Education in Ghana:
Programme and Qualification
Status
79
3.2 TTC - Core Subject Time
Allocation (per week)
24
7.2 Teacher training: what difference 79
does it make?
3.3 TTC - Elective Subject
Time Allocation (per week)
24
7.3 Changes in becoming a teacher
83
90
3.4 New TTC Programme structure
– Programmes A and B
29
7.4 Comparing trained teachers
with the untrained
92
3.5 Frequency of verbs describing
specific Mathematics Objectives
32
7.5 Summary
34
93
3.6 Mathematics/Mathematics
Education Topics by Year
of Training
8.1 Introduction
93
3.7 Frequency of verbs describing
35
specific 1st year science objectives
8.2 Estimation of future demand of
teachers in Ghana
93
8.3 Teacher demand: implications
for the teacher training system
96
6.10 Summary
7 Insights into the effectiveness of
Teacher Training
7.1 Introduction
8 Teacher Training and Future
Teacher Demand
9 The Way Forward
101
9.1 Introduction
101
9.2 Key emerging issues
101
9.3 Short to medium-term measures 106
Appendix 1 Differences Between
Groups in Response
Patterns by Statements
109
References
110
MUSTER Discussion Paper Series
113
MUSTER Research Reports
115
Tables
1.1 Recurrent public expenditure
per student
6
1.2 MOE Recurrent Expenditure on
Teacher Education (1998)
7
1.3 Allocation of Recurrent
8
Expenditure to Teacher Education
between GES Budget Headings,
1993-1997
1.4 Allocation of Recurrent
Expenditure to GES Regional
Offices and Schools between
Personal Emoluments and Other
Expenditures, 1993-1997
iii
9
4.1 Background characteristics
of student teachers and
beginning teachers
40
5.1 The breakdown of official
term time in three colleges
54
5.2 Number of tutors, and student
distribution by number in each
programme for 1999/2000
55
5.3 Trainees, staff, student-teacher
62
ratios and unit costs for 12 colleges
5.4 The allocation of a college
budget
63
7.1 Pre-test and post-test
scores by college
82
7.2 Pre-test and post-test scores by
gender and performance
category (in %)
82
7.4 Numbers of trained and
untrained teachers observed
90
8.1 Future Demand for
Teachers at Primary Level
94
8.2 Future Demand for Teachers at
JSS Level
94
Figures
1 Recurrent Expenditure on
7
Teacher Education as a % of Total
Recurrent Expenditure on
Education, 1989-1999
2 Research Design Framework
14
3 “In-in-out” model
28
4 Sequence of instructional activity 52
in a mathematics methods lesson
DFID
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 11
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Abbreviations
BST
CA
CRIQPEG
CRT
DFID
ERP
ERRC
FCUBE
Beginning Student Teacher
Continuous Assessment
Junior Secondary School
Junior Secondary School
Teacher Education Project
Centre for Research into
Improving the Quality of
Primary Education in Ghana
MOE
Ministry of Education
NQT
Newly Qualified Teacher
Criterion Reference Test
ODA
Department for International
Development, UK (formerly
ODA)
Overseas Development Agency,
UK (now DFID)
PREP
Primary Education Programme
PSDP
Primary School Development
Project
Education Reform Programme
Education Reform Review
Committee
Free Compulsory and
Universal Basic Education
FST
Final Student Teacher
GER
Gross Enrolment Rate
GNAT
JSS
JUSSTEP
Ghana National Association
of Teachers
GES
Ghana Education Service
ITT
Initial Teacher Training
PTR
SSCE
SSS
Pupil-Teacher Ratio
Senior Secondary Certificate
Examination
Senior Secondary School
TED
Teacher Education Directorate
TTC
Teacher Training College
UT
WAEC
Untrained Teachers
West African Examination
Council
7
D
DFID
iv
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 12
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Preface
I
The Multi-Site Teacher Education Research Project (MUSTER)
T
MUSTER has been a collaborative research project co-ordinated from the Centre for
q
International Education at the University of Sussex Institute of Education. It was developed
n
in partnership with:
f
s
•
The Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
A
•
The Institute of Education, The National University of Lesotho.
i
•
The Centre for Educational Research and Training, University of Malawi.
c
•
The Faculty of Education, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa.
c
•
The School of Education, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine’s Campus,
G
Trinidad.
R
Financial support has been provided over four years by the United Kingdom Department
I
for International Development (DFID).
n
d
The Multi-Site Teacher Education Research project (MUSTER) has explored initial teacher
f
education in five countries – Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, and Trinidad and
–
Tobago. National research teams have collected and analysed data on key dimensions of the
t
training process including the characteristics of those selected for training, the curriculum
i
processes they experience, the perspectives and working practices of those who train
teachers, the outcomes of training, the reflections of newly trained teachers in schools,
Q
analysis of supply and demand for new teachers, and projections of the resource and cost
N
implications of meeting national targets to universalise primary schooling.
I
i
MUSTER has been designed to provide opportunities to build national research and
t
evaluation capacity in teacher education through active engagement with the research
C
process from design, through data collection, to analysis and joint publication. Principal
f
researchers have led teams in each country and have been supported by Sussex faculty and
I
graduate researchers.
s
This volume is one of a series of Country Reports summarising the findings from each
t
country. The more detailed studies on which these are based have been published in a series
l
of 35 Discussion Papers, which are listed at the end of the report.
s
d
v
DFID
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 13
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Executive Summary
Introduction
The MUSTER project offered a window of opportunity to examine the issue of teacher
r
quality in Ghana by exploring pre-service initial teacher training for changes that might be
d
needed to improve the quality and supply of teachers for basic schools. Generally, the
findings of the MUSTER studies point to the need for bold changes to institutional
structures, and for a review of traditional conceptions and practices of learning to teach.
Also, it offers policy makers and agencies concerned with improving initial teacher training
in Ghana, analytic insights into the factors which shape the identity, commitment and
competence of primary and junior secondary school teachers.
Furthermore it offers
concrete suggestions and recommendations as to how the enterprise of training teachers in
Ghana can be made more effective and efficient.
Research Methods and Instruments
t
In order to understand the strengths and constraints of teacher training in Ghana, it was
necessary to adopt a research design that would provide various kinds of information, at
different stages in becoming a teacher. This consideration led to a three-stage research
r
framework: inputs – examining the characteristics of those who enter teacher training, process
d
– what they experience in training and its value to them, and outputs – what appears to be
e
the quality of training outcomes. Samples for the studies were drawn from four training
m
institutions located mainly in the southern parts of the country.
n
,
Questionnaires were administered to all three teacher groups – entering and exiting college,
t
NQTs - and different parts analysed to address different questions posed by the research.
Interviews were also conducted to explore particular perceptions, values and attitudes to
issues about teacher training. Short autobiographies were written by beginning student
d
teachers to give some understanding of their earlier experiences with schooling and teachers.
h
Classroom observation in training colleges was undertaken, and college tutors interviewed
l
for their perspectives on what went on during their lessons.
d
In 1999, foundation academic courses, in the first year only, were introduced to improve the
subject knowledge competence of trainees before they embarked on professional training in
h
the remaining two years of training. MUSTER examined how much impact this change was
s
likely to make on student teachers’ competence in mathematics. Analysis was carried out on
D
statistical data related to the costs and financing of teacher education, teacher supply and
demand, etc.
DFID
vi
23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:05 am Page 14
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Executive Summary
Key MUSTER questions
The key questions MUSTER sought to address were:
1.
Who becomes a basic schoolteacher in Ghana? In other words, what characteristics
and experiences appear to define beginning student teachers’ identity?
2.
What do trainees experience in training, and how do they feel about its value in terms
of enabling them perform effectively in the classroom?
3. What insights about the efficacy of teacher training can be gained from attitudes and
dispositions that appear to change in becoming a teacher, and from changes in the
academic knowledge of student teachers? In effect, is there evidence of significant positive
shifts in becoming a teacher that might be attributable to the influence of training?
4. What does it cost to train a teacher and is the cost justifiable, given what we can deduce
about the effectiveness and efficiency of the training system?
5. Is the current system of teacher training capable of meeting the future demand for
teachers in Ghana?
If not, what alternatives might be considered to ensure that
sufficient numbers of teachers are trained to keep up with demand?
Key Emerging Issues
2
The following outlines the salient issues that emerged from the various MUSTER studies.
1. Those who chose teaching enter at a relatively young age. However, not many trainees
enter teacher training straight after their secondary education. The reasons are not easy
to detect from our data. A tentative explanation could be that many do not qualify after
completing secondary education and have to re-sit some examination subjects to meet
academic entry requirements. In fact, our studies show that the majority barely meet
the qualifying grades in English and Mathematics and that the standards are falling. Less
than 30% who qualify possess grades in the top pass category of A, B or C in English.
In Mathematics, the situation is slightly better. The important message about the
qualifying grades of beginning student teachers is that teacher training in Ghana is
unable to attract better academically qualified candidates. This has implications for
prospective teachers’ confidence in teaching, especially their capacity to help pupils
develop deep conceptual understanding of school subjects.
Most student teachers and newly qualified teachers in the study are from the “Akan”
tribe. This is not surprising since all the four colleges used by MUSTER for its studies
were located in southern Ghana, which is predominantly Akan. However, it suggests
that teacher training colleges mainly attract candidates from the regions in which they
are located.
vii
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Executive Summary
In general, between 70 – 80 % of teacher training candidates had no formal experience
of teaching in a primary or junior secondary school before entering training college.
This means that most do not come with sufficient professional capital that could be
relied upon in planning a reflective curriculum of teaching based upon prior formal
teaching experience. Also, most prospective teachers (over 60%) had their own early
formal schooling experience in urban areas, with implications for appreciating the
challenges of professional life in rural communities.
d
The selected background characteristics of the parents of prospective teachers suggest a
e
sizeable proportion to be in primary sector employment. Most parents of teachers are
e
either self-employed (especially mothers) or are teachers themselves. It is possible that
those whose parents are teachers may come with first-hand insights into the socio-
e
economic implications of their decision to become a teacher, and that this will affect
their values, attitudes and commitment to teaching. If that image is a poor one, then
r
this is likely to impact negatively on their long-term commitment to teaching. In fact,
t
most trainees did not expect to remain in primary teaching in the long term. They
preferred a higher status job outside teaching, or a high status position in the education
or teaching profession.
2. Both student teachers and newly qualified teachers stressed that the most commonly
used instructional approach in college was “lectures with tutors dictating notes”. Rarely,
it appears, were opportunities created for more interactive “small group” work or
s
discussions that would place much of the responsibility for developing personalized
y
understanding of teaching on trainees.
r
t
Most rated teaching practice and pedagogic subject matter knowledge as requiring the
t
most emphasis in training. There were also complaints that colleges lacked sufficient
s
instructional materials, such as textbooks and instructional aids.
.
e
Views regarding the experience of teaching practice suggested that it had created deeper
s
awareness of a disjunction between the prescriptive teaching methodologies presented
r
at college, and the real demands of teaching encountered in schools. College tutors
s
seem more interested in ensuring that trainees applied prescriptive teaching strategies,
or demonstrated specific teaching behaviour taught in college, without raising equally
the value of adaptive behaviour in teaching. There appears to be a tension between what
”
college training espouses as constituting effective teaching and what real teaching
s
situations demand. This was reflected in newly qualified teachers’ explanations about
s
effective lessons; mostly their explanations reflected assumptions about the effects of
y
prescribed teaching techniques, rather than about monitoring the effects achieved.
D
According to some Head teachers, newly trained teachers seemed less successful in using
what they had learned effectively to promote pupil understanding.
DFID
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Executive Summary
Trainees felt that a longer immersion in the real professional world of teaching during
4
their training would be useful. However, the evidence showed that what is most needed
is a model of training that emphasizes the importance of teachers’ appropriate
representation of teaching, based upon a situated understanding of teaching that
reflected real classroom conditions and needs. Teacher training appeared to lack focus
on the practical demands of actual teaching, and its implications for practice.
3. It appears that most trainees’ academic knowledge backgrounds are so weak that much
more remedial teaching time than the one year prescribed will be required to raise their
competence to satisfactory levels. Using the Institute of Education’s1 minimum exam pass
cut-off score of 35%, the majority (84%) of beginning trainees with weak entry grades
(classified as D, E, 5, 6) failed the specially designed mathematics achievement pre-test.
Only 2% of the weak graders achieved a score above 60%. About 21% of those with
stronger grades (i.e. A, B, 1, 2, 3) passed and 34% achieved a score above 60%. Post-test
score analysis showed that about 58% of weak graders failed the test and only 4% achieved
scores above 60%. However, about 97% of first year trainees with stronger grades passed
the post-test. Raising the academic entry qualification may seem like the appropriate
action to improve this situation, but this could also threaten supply. This remains one of
the biggest challenges facing pre-service teacher training in Ghana, as generally the
profession appears unable to attract the best academically qualified candidates.
Initial teacher training does not seem capable of altering beliefs and developing new
attitudes and dispositions in teaching. Education planners need to become clearer about
what pre-service teacher training is reasonably capable of achieving, so that the
investments in it can be justified.
As it stands, it is difficult to pinpoint clear
demonstrable evidence of its impact, although further studies may be required to draw
firmer conclusions on this issue.
Rather sadly, there is a total lack of commitment by the education establishment to the
early years of the beginning teachers’ professional life. Three years spent in formal
training does not produce the kind of changes expected or necessary for effective
teaching. It is clear from the evidence MUSTER gathered that most beginning teachers
find the early years of teaching quite difficult, mostly because of inadequate professional
and social support to make the adjustment smooth e.g. the late payment of salaries,
accommodation needs and lack of proper induction into teaching. Newly qualified
teachers often find themselves in a “sink or swim” situation that could further deepen
disappointment with teaching, especially primary teaching in rural areas. Similarly, the
training curriculum does not expose trainees sufficiently to the realities of teaching in
ways that could help them to maintain high levels of motivation.
1
The Institute of Education at the University of Cape Coast is the examining body for post-secondary teacher training
institutions in Ghana. The pass mark is actually 40%, but 35% is accepted under some conditions.
ix
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Executive Summary
g
4. Trend analysis suggests that the cost of training a teacher is only exceeded by the cost
d
of training a university student, and that the cost keeps rising. The average college costs
e
for training a teacher were about US$2,100 over three years (based on data from 12
t
colleges). Analysis of financing of education in Ghana shows that teacher training has
s
enjoyed substantial investment as compared to other sectors of the education system.
The data also indicates that over 90% of the recurrent expenditure allocated to the
training colleges is spent on personal emoluments. “Other expenditure” items that have
h
potential to impact positively on efficiency and effectiveness of training colleges
r
comprise less than 10% of the total recurrent budget allocated to them. This
s
undoubtedly has implications for the quality of training since the very low budget
s
allocation means inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure and an insufficient
.
supply of instructional resources for training.
h
t
The structure of initial teacher training costs needs reviewing so that funds can be more
d
efficiently utilized. MUSTER estimates suggest that typically across the college sector
d
about 75% of direct costs are in student stipends, from which about 40% is deducted at
e
college to run the colleges, 20% in college salaries split between teaching and non-
f
teaching staff about 60/40, and about 5% in non-salary expenses. This situation needs
e
to change, and approaches found which will ensure that more teachers are trained at
costs that can be sustained. This may require a re-evaluation of traditional routes to
becoming a teacher towards shorter periods spent in colleges training, more emphasis
w
t
placed on distance teacher training activity, and increased financial support for intensive
programmes focusing on classroom practice.
e
r
5. The demand for new teachers, and training to reduce the backlog of untrained teachers
w
is more than double the current output from training colleges (currently 41 colleges –
38 public and 3 private). The prognosis appears more challenging if government’s free
and compulsory universal basic education (FCUBE) reform initiative is to achieve its
e
objectives. If a conservative target is chosen (i.e. the achievement of 100% GER by 2010
l
for primary and JSS, representing the condition where there are enough school places
e
for all children of school age) additional teachers are needed over and above estimates
s
which assume that GERs remain constant. Our estimates suggests that the total
l
additional number of teachers needed rises from about 24,000 to 39,000 at primary and
,
from 28,000 to 44,000 at JSS over the period from 1998 to 2010. Translated into
d
annual additional demand, something like 7000 more new teachers would be needed
n
each year to achieve 100% GER at primary and JSS, over and above those needed to
e
maintain current GERs. This implies a total annual demand of 22,000 to 29,000
n
teachers depending on the attrition rate chosen.
D
The magnitude of the increases needed appears substantial – between two and three
times current output will be needed to maintain the existing GERs, and to cover
DFID
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Executive Summary
demand generated by population growth, attrition and reduced drop out. What perhaps
1
is more disturbing is that the levels of demand could not easily be met by expansion of
the current system. The analysis suggests that policy makers may need to consider
T
radical measures to increase the supply of teachers, but without compromising on the
i
quality of their training. This is an urgent matter. MUSTER has proposed a number
g
of options: introduce more than one route to train as a teacher e.g. introduce a modular
E
route to teacher training, explore the possibility of training colleges providing INSET
e
for “untrained teachers” rather than removing them, introduce incentives that would
b
encourage more secondary leaving students to consider a teaching career, even if it is for
c
a shorter term.
f
c
f
Conclusion
s
An important objective of recent education reforms in Ghana has been to improve access
and participation in basic school education, and enhance the quality of teaching and learning
I
outcomes (MOE, 1994). Both have implications for teacher training: improving access and
a
participation means more teachers have to be trained; enhancing quality of teaching and
i
learning means improving teacher quality through more effective training. The evidence
r
produced by the MUSTER studies suggest that Ghana needs to rethink seriously its teacher
training policies if the projected goals of basic education quality are to be met. Traditional
T
practices are grossly insufficient to meet the challenges of producing the quantity and quality
e
of teachers needed to deal with the changes expected in basic schooling in 21st century
i
Ghana. Cumulatively, the evidence gathered by the MUSTER studies point to the need to
i
take a serious view of the methods of teacher recruitment, incentives to make teaching
F
attractive especially at the primary level, and greater emphasis on continuing professional
E
development programmes provided through structured institutionalised INSET and a
•
mandatory internship programme for beginning teachers.
•
•
K
c
m
d
s
t
d
2
f
3
s
xi
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Chapter One
s
1.1
1 Background and Context
Educational reforms: expectations and impact
f
r
Teacher Education in Ghana has until recently not attracted much attention by way of
e
intense structural and curriculum reform. Changes began rapidly after the advent of the
r
general education reforms of pre-tertiary education in 1987. The initial emphasis of the
r
Education Reform Programme (ERP) in 1987 was on increasing access, improving
T
educational inputs, and restructuring the education system2. This had become necessary
d
because inputs in education had deteriorated considerably as a result of a declining economic
r
climate evidenced by the real value of government financing for education falling sharply
from 6.4% of GDP in 1976 to 1.4% by 1983. Thus, from 1987 a great deal of resources were
channelled into providing textbooks, instructional materials, building new schools etc. to
fulfil the vision of expanding educational access and providing the basic materials that
schools needed to improve teaching and learning.
s
g
In 1994 an Education Reform Review Committee (ERRC) was set up to evaluate the
d
achievements of the 1987 reforms. It found that although the ERP had achieved increases
d
in enrolments and improvements in school facilities, teaching and learning outcomes
e
remained significantly poor.
r
l
The overarching message of the 1994 ERRC was that the expansion of access to basic
y
education and increases in physical inputs could not be sustained unless accompanied by
y
improvements in teaching and learning in schools. In response, the Government of Ghana
o
initiated the “Free, Compulsory and Universal Basic Education” (FCUBE) Programme.
g
FCUBE3 was launched in 1996 and was designed to address the weaknesses of the 1987
l
ERP in two five-year phases from 1996 to 2005. It had three main goals:
a
D
•
improved access to, and participation in, basic education with a specific focus on girls
and the poor;
•
•
enhanced quality of teaching and learning outcomes;
improved efficiency in the allocation, management and utilisation of fiscal, material and
human resources in the education system (Ministry of Education (MOE), 1994).
Key elements of FCUBE included improvements to access through the rehabilitation and
construction of school facilities, the fostering of full-scale community ownership and
management of schools, and measures to increase education participation by girls and
disadvantaged children. To improve quality in teaching and learning, pre-service and inservice teacher training programmes were targeted for reform to ensure well-qualified
teachers. The management efficiency component of FCUBE involved decentralisation and
district capacity building, more effective monitoring, supervision and evaluation of
Before 1987, education in Ghana consisted of a six-year primary, four-year middle; a seven-year secondary and a three or
four-year tertiary.
2
“FCUBE” became “fCUBE” when the Government sanctioned the charging of schools fees for certain items (e.g.
school books) in 1993.
3
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1 Background and Context
education sector programmes and activities, and more efficient financial and personnel
•
management.
•
•
Until the FCUBE initiatives, the 1987 ERP activities appeared to suggest that by increasing
•
educational inputs and restructuring the curriculum of pre-tertiary education, particularly
•
primary and junior secondary, quality in education would emerge. However, evidence from
(
assessment of student learning and achievement carried out after five years of ERP initiatives
indicated that much more was required if significant gains in student learning outcomes
T
were to be achieved.
s
e
Evidence emerging from small to large-scale evaluation studies of pupil performance
s
suggested that perhaps teacher quality in terms of effective teaching was lacking. For
t
example, research conducted by CRIQPEG (the Centre for Research into Improving the
r
Quality of Primary Education in Ghana), at the University of Cape Coast showed that
t
despite the reform efforts, pupils’ achievement had not made any significant gains, and were
d
in fact embarrassingly poor. The CRIQPEG studies revealed that even at grade 5, 40-50%
of children tested could not decode typical passages from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th English
T
grade books. Only about one-sixth of grade 4 children and one-third of grade 5 children
s
could decode a reading passage with at least 70% accuracy (CRIQPEG Report, 1995).
(
From 1992 yearly criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) were initiated by the Primary Education
Programme (PREP) of the Ministry of Education to monitor progress in pupil achievement.
(
The 1992 CRT scores, reported as the percentage of students reaching a score of 60% in
(
English and 55% in mathematics, revealed only 2.0% of pupils achieved the criterion pass
(
score in English and only 1.1% in mathematics. In 1996, the CRT results showed that only
(
5.5% and 1.8% of pupils had achieved criterion pass scores in English and Mathematics
respectively. It was becoming clear that any progress being made was disappointingly slow.
(
(
The CRT results also showed pupils at private primary schools achieving significantly
superior test results, with a mean score of 61% in English and 47% in Mathematics,
(
compared with mean scores of 33% and 28.8%, respectively, in public schools (MOE/PREP,
(
1996). The CRT results raised a number of questions. But perhaps the most pressing was
(
why public schools staffed with predominantly trained teachers performed at significantly
lower levels than private institutions with staff who were mostly untrained? Was teacher
(
education failing to prepare effective teachers or was the problem one of ineffective school
management?
School information data collected as part of the MOE/PREP CRT
administration suggested that private schools had certain advantages over public schools that
T
l
might explain the differences. These were:
•
•
•
2
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1 Background and Context
l
•
Greater control and supervision of teachers
•
Effective School Management Board
•
Interest of parents in what their children learn
g
•
Open days which bring teachers, parents and children together
y
•
Availability of proportionately more instructional materials
m
(MOE/PREP 1996:28)
s
s
Thus, it seemed that effective school management systems, community participation in
school development and increased instructional materials in schools were key factors in
explaining the differences in performance between public and private schools. If that were
e
so, it raises some fundamental questions. Should more resources be invested into in-service
r
training, supply of instructional materials, school management and community participation,
e
rather than increasing investment in pre-service training of teachers? Or should pre-service
t
training focus more on school-based training? Unfortunately, the empirical basis for
e
deciding which strategies to adopt has been missing.
h
The MOE, in trying to understand the reasons for low achievements among pupils in public
n
schools, suggested the following factors as among the key causes:
(i)
Lack of learning materials, and teachers’ failure to make use of textbooks,
n
equipment and other learning materials;
.
(ii)
n
(iii)
Inadequate funding by Government on non-salary recurrent expenses;
s
(iv)
Insufficient use of teacher – pupil instructional contact hours;
y
(v)
High levels of pupil and teacher absenteeism;
Unmotivated teachers owing to unattractive incentives, ineffective sanctions and
s
w.
poor social appreciation of the roles of teachers;
(vi)
An overly ambitious curriculum burdensome to both teachers and pupils;
(vii)
Ineffective pre-service teacher training and inadequate in-service teacher training to
y
,
introduce teachers to the new curriculum;
(viii) Non-interactive mode of teaching;
P,
(ix)
Weak supervision, both in school and by district/circuit supervisors and inspectors;
s
(x)
For the Junior Secondary School, a lack of workshops and equipment and qualified
y
r
technical teachers.
(Ministry of Education 1995: Brief on FCUBE to Cabinet).
l
T
t
D
This list is suggestive of four main areas to which poor pupil learning outcomes may be
linked. These are
•
Ineffective system of teacher training – (i), (vii), (viii);
•
Ineffective system of teacher and school supervision – (ii), (iv), (ix);
•
Inadequate funding and lack of support for teachers in terms of incentives – (iii), (v), (x)
DFID
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1 Background and Context
•
Over-ambitious school curriculum when viewed in terms of content coverage and time
1
availability - (vi).
J
The MOE’s list suggests that teacher quality development at pre-service level and the
G
professional working environment of teachers require the most attention. The Government
h
of Ghana’s FCUBE initiative in 1996 targeted these two areas for further improvement.
c
1.2
Teacher training and teacher quality
In 1999 an evaluation of the World Bank-supported Primary School Development Project
(PSDP) indicated that teachers were not meeting professional expectations. The study
reached the conclusion that the management and utilisation of instructional time was a
T
fundamental problem which undermined the quality of education in public schools. It
c
revealed that high teacher absenteeism, frequent loss of instructional time, poor
(
instructional quality, poor management, and inadequate textbooks were major problems
i
(Fobih et. al., 1999).
A
From the early 90s there had been clear dissatisfaction with initial teacher training in Ghana.
i
A National Commission on Teacher Education set up by the Ministry of Education in 1993
a
captured the major concerns:
a
l
[The Teacher Training Colleges] are inefficient in producing effective teachers since
the trainees and the tutors have so little exposure to actual schools and classrooms,
and academic content is taught and tested above practical teaching methodology.
[Also] the college curriculum does not differentiate sufficiently between primary and
junior secondary methodology (Ministry of Education 1993, p. 23)
The Commission’s contention was that teacher training had not placed sufficient emphasis
on developing teaching expertise from a school-focused orientation. Professional educators
commenting on the problem of teacher quality also echoed this point. K. A. Awuku, a
respected Ghanaian teacher educator, saw the problem as an overemphasis on trainees’
academic knowledge instead of focusing on methods of teaching (Awuku 2000).
I
Unfortunately criticisms leveled against teacher training have lacked any backing from
c
empirical analysis to reveal where the system might be failing.
i
To date, the best available study on possible problems of teacher training in Ghana was one
A
commissioned by the Teacher Education Directorate (TED) with financial assistance from
q
the British Overseas Development Agency (ODA), now DFID. The study was an evaluation
q
of a teacher education project (Junior Secondary School Teacher Education Project,
c
JUSSTEP: 1989-1993), targeting five subject areas for reform (Mathematics, English,
t
Science, Technical Skills and Education) in 38 Teacher Training colleges.
4
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1 Background and Context
e
1.3
The JUSSTEP study findings
JUSSTEP worked on the assumption that the most serious problem with teacher training in
e
Ghana was college instructional practices. JUSSTEP had pointed out that training colleges
t
had adopted an approach to teaching and learning that was highly didactic and teachercentred (GES/TED/ODA, 1993). According to the JUSSTEP reformers,
Learning [in training colleges] was heavily examination-oriented.
Students were
largely the passive recipients of “content” and “theory” while methodology and
practical teaching strategies were largely ignored (p. 1).
t
y
a
The central thrust of the JUSSTEP reform was therefore to up-grade the professional
t
competence of college tutors and to disseminate ideas on appropriate teaching methodology
r
(e.g. student-centred pedagogy) through INSET workshops and tutor-supported
s
instructional materials.
After four years of the reforms, JUSSTEP concluded from its evaluation of the project’s
.
impact that “tutors (were) positive about the new methodologies and in certain areas such
3
as Mathematics, Science and Technical Skills (were) applying a more student-centred
approach”. But the reformers added that the impact of JUSSTEP initiatives had been
limited by
e
,
…certain major structural constraints; the main ones being an overloaded curriculum,
y.
excessive student-tutor ratios exacerbated by insufficient tutors per subject, over-
d
enrolment, high staff turnover, and lack of classroom facilities.
These factors,
combined with pressure to cover the syllabus and prepare for examinations, present
an excessive workload in terms of teaching and assessment requirements and act as
s
major impediments in the effective implementation and adoption of new
s
methodologies in teacher education in the training colleges (GES/TED/ODA,
a
1993: p1)
’
.
In effect, JUSSTEP attributed the lack of sustained impact of its reforms to structural
m
constraints that, it felt, had undermined the student-centred instructional approaches it had
introduced.
e
A notable methodological limitation of the JUSSTEP study was its exclusive reliance on
m
questionnaires to gather data.
n
questionnaires tend to lack the depth of insight into practices that are often the product of
,
complex conditions, values and beliefs. Including qualitative approaches would have helped
,
to explain and understand how structures actually restricted instructional strategies.
D
DFID
Although useful in aiding broad generalisations,
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1 Background and Context
1.4
Increasing financial investment into teacher training4
Analysis of financing of education in Ghana shows that teacher training has enjoyed
substantial investment as compared to other sectors of the education system.
Table 1.1 shows the recurrent cost per student by educational level over the period 1992 to
1998 adjusted for inflation using constant 1996 US$ prices. It indicates that the relative
differences in the unit costs by level of education have changed during the 1990s. Unit costs
at the primary level have remained fairly constant but have declined in the most recent
period despite the FCUBE. Unit costs for Junior Secondary School (JSS) have also fallen
back to their 1992 levels. By contrast expenditure per student at the Senior Secondary
School (SSS) has increased significantly. The unit costs of technical and vocational education
have increased since falling in the mid-1990s. The unit cost of Polytechnic students has
more than doubled between 1992 and 1998. Over the period, the university student unit
cost declined by 37.5%.
Table 1.1: Recurrent public expenditure per student (constant 1996 US$ 1 = c1637)
Level/Type of Education
1992
1995
1998
Primary
36.79
44.25
41.75
JSS
66.76
86.55
67.96
SSS
77.44
153.88
168.00
Vocational/technical
188.37
139.04
299.54
Teacher education
246.62
442.60
617.31
Polytechnic
102.18
131.80
209.63
University
1376.94
1123.87
855.91
R
a
o
2
F
E
Source: Adapted from data in MOE 1999: Appendix 4.1; World Bank 1998:16
But by far the most dramatic change in unit costs has been the increase in cost per student
in teacher training. In real terms, the annual unit cost of teacher education increased by
79.5% between 1992 and 1995, and then by 39.5% between 1995 and 1998. The numbers
in the training college system during this period remained fairly stable at around 18,000.
Most of the costs of teacher training (77%) lie in the payment of salaries of tutors, wages of
ancillary staff, and the allowances given to teacher trainees. The remaining 23% is used for
administration and other running costs. Table 1.2 shows this.
M
s
o
s
4
See Akyeampong & Furlong (2000) and Akyeampong, Furlong & Lewin (2000) for expanded analyses and discussions.
6
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1 Background and Context
Table 1.2: MOE Recurrent Expenditure on Teacher Education (1998)
Division
Recurrent Expenditure
d
o
e
s
t
n
y
n
s
t
)
Percent of Total
Billions of Cedis
General
820.0
2.2
Manpower
178.3
0.5
Training
105.7
0.3
CRDD Inspectorate
27.6
0.1
Teacher Education
1.0
2.9
GES Secretariat
89.4
0.2
Supply and Logistics
59.5
0.2
Central Administration
5.8
15.6
Teacher Training
28.8
76.9
Management
463.3
1.2
Total
37.5
100.00
Recurrent expenditure on teacher education covers the costs of the teacher training colleges
and the management of the college system. As a percentage of total recurrent expenditure
on education this was estimated at 6.7% for 1999, a significant increase from its share of
2.7% in 1989, despite decreases in the years 1991, 1996, and 1997 (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Recurrent Expenditure on Teacher Education as a % of Total Recurrent
Expenditure on Education, 1989-1999
8
7
t
y
percent
6
5
4
3
s
2
.
1
f
0
r
D
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Year
Ministry of Education documentation does not refer to any specific policy to increase the
share of the recurrent education budget given to teacher education. Throughout this period
of reform, however, the government has consistently articulated its objective that all teachers
should receive pre-service training to improve the quality of teaching and learning in classrooms. To
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1 Background and Context
achieve this goal, in 1992 the government significantly increased the allowances paid to
i
teacher trainees, and from the mid-1990s onwards the number of teacher trainees increased
o
dramatically. This has been referred to by the MOE as a successful strategy for recruiting
c
more candidates into teacher training and by implication providing more qualified teachers.
T
As the MOE has noted:
t
At the heart of the effectiveness of education reform is the classroom teacher… With
u
the reforms, an increasing number of trained teachers are being placed in the primary
and junior secondary schools. The increase in pay for teacher trainees in 1992 has also
T
provided a stronger incentive for candidates to enter the teaching profession, and has
c
resulted in a rare expansion of the teacher training colleges (MOE, 1994:16, emphasis
i
added).
t
f
But the key question is whether this increased financial investment into teacher training has
p
been directed at those areas that have the greatest potential to improve the quality of
t
training?
O
Table 1.3 presents data showing how the total recurrent budget to teacher education was
i
allocated between two budget headings for the years 1993-1997.5
t
r
Table 1.3: Allocation of Recurrent Expenditure to Teacher Education between GES
Budget Headings, 1993-1997
Year
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
Average
1993-97
GES Headquarters
1.9%
1.5%
4.4%
3.0%
5.7%
3.3%
GES Schools and
Regional Offices
98.1%
98.5%
95.6%
97.0%
94.3%
96.7%
Source: Finance and Administration, MOE, 1998
A
Although there has been some fluctuation in the distribution of recurrent expenditure to
G
teacher education between the two budget headings, the proportion allocated to the Ghana
i
Education Service (GES) Schools and Regional Offices averaged over 96% of the total
d
between 1993 and 1997.
T
Data disaggregating the GES Schools and Regional Offices teacher education budget
l
between the administrative functions of the Regional and District Education Offices and
t
expenditure by the training colleges could not be obtained. In the absence of this
i
5
The Ministry of Education makes allocations to the teacher education recurrent budget under two headings: Ghana
Education Service (GES) Headquarters’ Services, and GES Schools and Regional Offices. Recurrent expenditure on
teacher education under GES Headquarters’ Services budget heading is used to finance the management of teacher
education system at the national level through the Teacher Education Division (TED). Recurrent expenditure on teacher
education under the GES Schools and Regional Offices budget heading is used to finance the administration of teacher
education at the regional and district levels and cover TTC running costs.
8
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s
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1 Background and Context
o
information it is assumed that the former is negligible relative to the latter, such that data
d
on expenditure under the GES Schools and Regional Offices heading is taken to be
g
comprised almost exclusively of training college running costs.
.
The data presented in Table 1.4 below summarise actual recurrent expenditure for the
training colleges in terms of budget item 1, “personal emoluments”, and other expenditure
h
under budget items 2 to 56.
y
o
The data indicates that over 90% of the recurrent expenditure allocated to the training
s
colleges is spent on personal emoluments. “Other expenditure” items that have potential to
s
impact positively on efficiency and effectiveness of training colleges comprise less than 10% of
the total recurrent budget allocated to training colleges. This undoubtedly has implications
for the quality of training since the very low budget allocation means inadequately and
s
poorly maintained infrastructure and an insufficient supply of instructional resources for
f
training.
Often the increased financial investment in initial teacher education has been justified as an
s
important step in increasing the number of trained teachers in schools (MOE, 1994). Yet
the evidence suggests that a large proportion of teachers, particularly at the primary level,
remain untrained.
Table 1.4: Allocation of Recurrent Expenditure to GES Regional Offices and Schools
between Personal Emoluments and Other Expenditures, 1993-1997
Year
Personal Emoluments
7
Other expenditures
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
92.9
94.8
91.7
92.7
94.5
7.1
5.2
8.3
7.3
5.5
Source: Finance and Administration, MOE, 1998.
A 1996 World Bank report on the Basic Education Sector Improvement Programme in
o
Ghana shows that in some districts between 50 to 70% of teachers remain untrained, mostly
a
in rural districts. This is an indirect indication that perhaps trained teachers
l
disproportionately refuse to accept teaching positions in poor rural communities.
Thus, increased investment in teacher training to attract more candidates may not necessarily
t
lead to sufficiently trained teachers for all schools. More complex factors may be influencing
d
trained teachers’ choices and decisions with regard to whether they remain in teaching and
s
if they do, for how long.
D
Each budget heading is further divided into expenditure items. Item 1 represents expenditure on personal emoluments salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff, and allowances paid to trainees; item 2 travel and transport; item 3 general
expenditure; item 4 maintenance, repairs and renewals; and item 5 supplies and stores. In theory budgetary allocations are
fixed and cannot be transferred between items.
6
7
Personal emoluments consist of salary payments to teaching and non-teaching TTC staff and trainee allowances.
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1 Background and Context
1.5
Implications of teacher supply and demand in Ghana8
T
r
The teacher supply and demand situation in any education system implicitly asks about the
capability of the training system to meet increasing demand for teachers. To meet the goals
of education for all children, training colleges must be capable of producing sufficient
P
numbers of qualified teachers to keep up with population growth.
T
N
FCUBE intended that by year 2000 universal entry to grade 1 would be achieved, 95% of
N
pupils would complete Primary 6 (P6) by 2005 and enter Junior Secondary School (JSS),
%
and 85% of those entering would complete JSS3 successfully. These aspirations have direct
O
implications for teacher education’s capacity to prepare an adequate number of teachers who
Q
are well motivated and committed to staying in teaching longer at both primary and JSS
levels.
T
The basic parameters which determine the demand for new teachers in Ghana at primary and
r
JSS level are: the growth in the school age cohort, the need to increase participation rates
p
to levels that ensure all children complete the basic cycle, the numbers leaving teaching who
o
need replacing (attrition), and the aspirations to limit increases in the pupil-teacher ratio to
(
maintain quality. In addition those who are currently untrained will need upgrading to
t
minimum levels of qualification to ensure that all teachers are trained.
s
The age cohort of six-year olds was about 582,000 in 1998 (MOE 2000) of whom 457,000
P
were enrolled, giving an intake rate of about 78%. Primary school enrolment in 1998 was
e
2.29 million, and 1.31 million at JSS. Gross enrolment rates (GER) across the primary cycle
w
averaged about 73% in 1998, having fallen from nearly 80% in the early 1990s. At JSS level
t
gross enrolment rates were stable through the 1990s at around 58%. Over the period from
p
1988 to 1998 the school age population of 6-14 year olds grew by nearly 4% per annum
(MOE 2000).
T
o
Changes in the number of pupils, qualified and unqualified teachers and the pupil-teacher
t
ratio are shown in Table 1.5
t
From the table it can be deduced that the total number of teachers at primary level has fallen
1
over the last ten years, whilst enrolments have grown by 37% with the effect that the average
pupil teacher ratio has increased from 26:1 to 36:1. But the pupil to qualified teacher ratio has
T
remained fairly constant at about 45:1. At JSS level the number of teachers has increased by
q
16% and the number of students by 24%. Overall pupil-teacher ratios have increased
t
marginally to 20:1 and the pupil per qualified teacher ratio has fallen to 23:1. Also from the
s
table, we see that about 12,700 primary teachers and 5,100 JSS teachers remain untrained.
1
8
See Akyeampong, Furlong & Lewin (2000) for expanded analysis and discussion
10
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1 Background and Context
Table 1.5: Numbers of pupils, trained and untrained teachers, and pupil-teacher
ratios 1988-1998.
e
Primary
s
t
1988
Pupils
JSS
1993
1998
1988
1677100 2047300 2288800 610100
1993
1998
645000
755200
Teachers
65300
67800
63700
32600
33800
37700
Number qualified
37500
46400
51000
22200
25500
32600
f
Number unqualified
27800
21400
12700
10400
8300
5100
,
% Unqualified
42.6
31.6
19.9
31.9
24.6
13.5
t
Overall PTR
25.7
30.2
35.9
18.7
19.1
20.0
o
Qualified teacher PTR
44.7
44.1
44.9
27.5
25.3
23.2
S
Thus although the number of trained teachers has increased, this has not led to significant
d
reduction in the trained teacher to pupil ratio, which suggests that increased access to
s
primary education may have outstripped the colleges’ ability to produce sufficient numbers
o
of qualified teachers. (It is important to point out that in general large pupil-teacher ratios
o
(PTR) are found in urban areas and low PTRs in the more rural areas of the country). But
o
there may be other reasons that need exploring to develop effective policies that improve the
situation.
0
Producing sufficient numbers of qualified teachers, as FCUBE envisages, requires that we
s
examine two critical issues – are traditional routes the most cost-effective and productive
e
ways to increase teacher supply? Secondly, what conditions of training and of the beginning
l
teaching phase might be undermining greater interest and longer-term commitment to
m
primary and JSS teaching?
m
The Multi-Site Teacher Education Research (MUSTER) Project offered a unique
opportunity to examine these and other issues that might lead to better understanding of
r
the underlying forces and conditions responsible for the quality of the teaching force,
teacher training and teacher retention particularly at primary level.
n
1.6
The MUSTER Agenda
e
s
The MUSTER project has provided the opportunity to gather a wide range of qualitative,
y
quantitative and official statistical data to explore initial teacher education in Ghana. We felt
d
that any attempt to understand more comprehensively the efficacy of the teacher training
e
system had to address the following fundamental questions:
.
D
1. What characteristics and experiences appear to define beginning student teachers’
identity? Answers to this can become the basis for examining the appropriateness of the
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assumptions behind the starting points of training, and inform curriculum planning
2
decisions.
I
2. What do trainees experience in training and how do they feel about its value in terms of
w
enabling them to perform effectively in the classroom? Answers to this would lead to a
a
better understanding of programme content and delivery quality, and whether it
r
promotes a philosophy of teaching and learning that fosters deep commitment to pupils’
s
learning.
s
3. What insights about the efficacy of teacher training can be gained from the attitudes and
A
dispositions that appear to change in becoming a teacher, and from changes in student
q
teachers’ academic knowledge? In effect, is there evidence of significant positive shifts in
t
becoming a teacher that might be attributable to the influence of training?
F
4. What does it cost to train a teacher and does this cost appear justified by the evidence
a
of training outcomes? What are the implications of the structure of costs for programme
t
restructuring and curriculum planning?
2
5. Will the current system of teacher training be capable of meeting the future demand for
teachers in Ghana?
If not, what alternatives might be considered to ensure that
E
t
sufficient numbers of teachers are trained to keep up with demand?
c
Before discussing the findings in more detail, it is necessary to provide an overview. Chapter
2 describes the study framework and methodology. It also discusses the limitations of the
2
MUSTER study. Chapter 3 presents descriptive information about initial teacher education
development in Ghana up to recent reforms. The findings of the study are reported mainly
A
in Chapters 4, 5 and 6. In Chapter 4 findings relating to beginning student teachers are
s
presented. Chapter 5 provides findings relating to curriculum delivery and college training
u
costs. Chapter 6 focuses on newly qualified teachers (NQTs), their early professional
f
experiences and attitudes, and evaluation of their professional attitudes and performance
e
from the perspective of Head teachers. Chapter 7 provides data on the effectiveness of
teacher training via an analysis of the rise in student teacher achievement, attitudes and
A
dispositions that change in becoming a teacher, and finally, differences in instructional
c
characteristics between some NQTs and untrained teachers (UTs). Chapter 8 takes on the
a
implications of future demand for teacher training and possible scenarios for addressing
F
future needs. In Chapter 9, the key issues that emerged from MUSTER work in Ghana are
summarised and concrete suggestions made as to possible steps that might lead to greater
F
improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of initial teacher training.
a
9
c
w
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Chapter Two
g
2.1
2 Research and Methodology
Research design
In order to explore teacher training in Ghana to understand its strengths and constraints, it
f
was necessary to adopt a research design that would provide various kinds of information,
a
and at different stages in becoming a teacher. This consideration led to a three-stage
t
research framework: inputs, process and outputs (see Figure 2 below). Basically, the three-
’
stage design was intended to capture systematically the experiences and perspectives of
student teachers in becoming a teacher.
d
A mixed method approach was used to gather data, depending on what the relevant
t
questions were for each stage. This enabled as much information to be gathered as possible
n
to develop multiple understandings of initial teacher training in Ghana.
Figure 2 overleaf is a diagrammatic representation of the research framework. It shows three
e
arenas with key questions that define the relevant issues investigated and was later used as
e
the organising framework for reporting the data and findings.
2.2
Research methodology
r
t
Each level of the design (Figure 2) required different methods to collect data in response to
the particular research questions asked. To ensure consistency, data in each arena was
collected using the same teacher training colleges9 .
r
e
2.2.1 Samples
n
y
At the “input” arena, a random sample of 100 beginning student teachers (BSTs) was
e
selected from each of four Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs). The total of 400 was made
g
up of 265 male and 135 female student teachers. Furthermore, 18 BSTs (9 male and 9
l
female) were selected to write autobiographies about their family life and schooling
e
experiences. Of the 18, a dozen also participated in focus group interviews.
f
d
At the training “process” arena, data was collected mainly from final year trainees who were
l
completing training. A total of 300 final year student teachers (FSTs), comprising 184 males
e
and 116 females, were surveyed for their views and evaluation of their training experience.
g
For more in-depth analysis of the training experience,
e
r
D
Focus group interviews were conducted with 12 of the FSTs (6 males and 6 females). A preand post-achievement test in mathematics was administered to 378 beginning student
There are 41 Teacher Training Colleges in Ghana. 38 of them are state-run and the remaining 3 are private. All four
colleges selected for the study came from the state-run institutions. The 4 colleges are all located in the south of Ghana
with one in an urban area and the remaining three in semi-urban locations.
9
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Figure 2: Research Design Framework
t
s
i
(INPUTS)
Pre-training level:
A
•
What are the characteristics of beginning student teachers in initial teacher training?
•
What criteria are used to select trainees?
•
What do trainees bring into training in terms of their images, experiences and
expectations of the teaching profession?
•
What are the implications of the beginning student teachers’ backgrounds and
shaping factors for training and policy?
c
p
i
c
p
T
s
t
a
l
•
•
•
(PROCESS)
o
College Training Level:
q
TTC Curriculum Framework
From the design and content of teacher education, what philosophy of teacher
education underpins the curriculum?
L
Delivery of the Curriculum
What strategies and processes are employed in the training of teachers?
How do trainees perceive the value of their training?
I
t
a
N
Cost per student per college
How are college budgets determined and utilised?
d
2
M
c
•
•
14
(OUTPUTS)
t
Post-Training
q
Does the TTC experience result in enhanced capabilities?
- In retrospect, what do NQTs perceive they have gained or not gained from the
training programme?
Q
- How do images and expectations of the teacher and teaching change on
becoming a teacher?
r
- What significant differences in insight, competence and understanding of
teaching exist between NQTs and UTs?
E
- What are the school and classroom effects on the performance of NQTs?
g
What are the key policy issues that arise from an analysis of cost?
- What are the implications of cost analysis on training program options?
e
t
o
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2 Research and Methodology
teachers. The purpose was to determine whether beginning student teachers had made
significant improvements in mathematics after completing one year of college remedial
instruction.
An objective of the study was to capture some aspects of teaching and learning in the
colleges to gain insights into the philosophy of teacher education and pedagogy. For this
purpose, 7 male tutors and 2 female tutors were each observed teaching and later
interviewed. The observations and interviews were conducted in 3 of the colleges. 55
college tutors in the four colleges answered a questionnaire that sought their views and
perceptions about trainees and the teacher training process.
The “output” arena focused on the early experiences of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in
school and examined how they perceived their experiences in the light of their college
training. As Feiman-Nemser & Remillard (1996) point out, “ if we want to understand how
and why teachers learn what they do … we have to investigate both what the experience was
like and what sense teachers made of it” (p. 80). In all 134 NQTs participated in a survey
of their perceptions and experiences of college and in schools. The NQT survey
questionnaire was similar to that given to BSTs and FSTs in two sections: the bio-data and
Likert statements. Also eight head teachers were interviewed to provide further insight into
the experiences and performance of NQTs in schools.
In addition, classroom observation followed by interview was carried out with seven NQTs
and four untrained teachers with the same number of years of teaching experience as the
NQTs. This data, though limited in terms of sample size, did offer preliminary insights into
differences that might exist between trained and untrained teachers.
2.2.2 Survey Questionnaire
MUSTER sought to gain some broad understanding of teacher training in the various
countries and this required the use of surveys. The development of survey instruments for
the study therefore became a major task of MUSTER.
After development, the
questionnaires were pilot-tested and refined before final administration.
Questionnaires covering similar topics with minor variations were administered to all three
teacher groups and different parts analyzed to address different questions posed by the
research.
Each of the questionnaires had a biographical section relating to age, sex, religion, ethnic
group, language spoken at home, family members who are teachers, parents’ level of
education, and occupation. The student teacher questionnaire also included a variety of
open-ended questions requiring longer responses. For the beginning student teachers, these
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covered best and worst memories of schooling, views on life at teachers’ college and career
2
ambitions. For the final year student the questions focused more on the college curriculum
with particular emphasis on teaching practice experience. The newly qualified teachers
I
provided data relating to their early school and community experience, classroom teaching
e
and training college experiences.
t
r
A common feature of the questionnaire for student teachers and newly qualified teachers was
the Likert items section, consisting of 20 structured statements with categories from strongly
2
disagree (scored 1) to strongly agree (scored 4). In all 834 student teachers and newly
qualified teachers responded to these items. Factor analysis was performed on data from this
A
component of the questionnaire and the conceptual groupings derived were used to explore
c
the response patterns of entering (BSTs), exiting (FSTs) and newly qualified teachers
o
(NQTs) (see Chapter 7).
c
b
a
2.2.3 Interviews
c
No structured instruments detailing predetermined questions were used for any of the
w
interviews. However, the key topical issues were used as the organizing framework for
t
asking questions. Student teachers’ questions sought to explore particular perceptions,
c
values and attitudes to issues about teacher education. For example, FSTs were asked about
i
the aspects of classroom teaching they felt least prepared to handle and what they liked or
r
disliked most about their training.
N
t
2.2.4 Classroom Observation
i
A classroom observation guide was developed to collect data about the college teaching and
learning experience, and the teaching experience of newly qualified teachers. No explicit
T
structure was imposed on the observation. For all the classroom observations, two observers
p
sat through lessons and produced as detailed as possible notes on the lessons as they
T
unfolded. No attempt was made to make judgments in the recording of lessons. The two
f
researchers later discussed the written records to reconcile details and explore emerging
s
issues.
I
Interviews with the tutors immediately after teaching provided further data to enable
g
observed practices to be put in their proper perspective and to validate interpretation.
t
s
The classroom observation schedule for NQTs and UTs focused on teaching styles,
f
classroom management and relationships with pupils, pupil learning activities and fluency in
s
the language of instruction. Each teacher’s lesson notes were later inspected (where they
i
were available) to evaluate their adequacy, relevance of content and coverage.
1
T
16
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r
2.2.5 Autobiographies
m
s
In all, 18 beginning student teachers produced short autobiographies that focused on their
g
early life experiences of parents, teachers and schooling. In producing the autobiographies
the student teachers were provided with brief guidelines to focus their writing on the issues
relevant to their early years of schooling and experiences with teachers.
s
y
2.3
Strengths and limitations of the study
y
s
At the beginning of MUSTER, we searched for a design that would allow us to draw firm
e
conclusions about the efficacy of teacher training in the individual countries. In the course
s
of the research, we kept returning to the question: does training, as it exists in the different
country systems, make a significant difference and at what cost? Unfortunately, with time it
became clear that, at best, we might be able to provide insights into the processes of training
and the conditions and factors that appear to shape teacher training. Arriving at very firm
conclusions about the efficacy of training and what it was that clearly made the difference
e
was going to be more difficult to determine. For a start, our design was too broad and as
r
the study progressed we increasingly became aware of the complexities of factors that affect
,
change in becoming a teacher. Also, the limitations of the survey data, most obviously that
t
it comes from a cross-sectional and not longitudinal study, meant that we could not interpret
r
results from a strictly developmental perspective.
Nevertheless, the strength in what turned out to be a broad and holistic approach lay with
the extensive qualitative insights that were gained from observations and interviews. Such
insights provided contextual meaning and understanding of teacher training in Ghana.
d
t
The study has other limitations worth pointing out. Although the research design (input,
s
process, output) suggests a developmental research perspective, this was not the intention.
y
The “input, process and output” analogy was used mainly to present the various study
o
findings in a more coherent and consistent manner. But, in the process, it was possible to
g
suggest likely factors that influence the process of becoming a teacher in Ghana.
In one of the Ghana MUSTER reports10 we cautioned the use of surveys to arrive at broad
e
generalizations of a complex phenomena such as the processes and experiences of teacher
training.
Experience in using other research tools (e.g. interviews) has alerted us to
sometimes ambiguous or predictable responses even after refinements from pilot testing. We
,
feel that this is often a reflection of the unfamiliarity of many of our research subjects with
n
surveys, which leads to their treating research questionnaires as “official” inquiry
y
instruments that might reflect on them and their institutions. Assurances to the contrary
D
10
See, Akyeampong K, Ampiah J, Fletcher J, Kutor N & Sokpe, B (2000) MUSTER Discussion Paper 17: “Learning to
Teach in Ghana: An Evaluation of Curriculum Delivery”
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2 Research and Methodology
were given, but we took no chances and tried to use in-depth interviews as much as possible
3
to enable us to have greater confidence in the data and interpretations.
T
Although interviews and classroom observation were used to provide rich qualitative data,
o
the samples used were often quite small. In qualitative research this may not be considered
s
a weakness since the emphasis is on developing meanings and depth of understanding rather
than producing generalizations. Nevertheless, carrying out more interviews and classroom
3
observations through a “grounded theory” (Guba & Lincoln, 1989) approach might have
enabled firmer conclusions about the efficacy of teacher training in Ghana to be made. The
T
scope of issues being covered by the MUSTER project, together with time constraints, made
A
the extensive use of interviews and observations difficult to achieve. All the same, rich data
f
were collected through the interviews and observations and in conjunction with the surveys
t
generated valuable insights into teacher training in Ghana
i
T
b
s
t
t
C
T
s
w
C
I
r
t
P
A
D
h
t
C
W
e
s
18
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Chapter Three
e
3.1
3 Teacher Training Development in Ghana11
Introduction
This chapter examines the development of teacher training in Ghana. It describes the range
,
of teacher training programmes and qualifications, focusing on the three-year post-
d
secondary course run by 41 initial training colleges in Ghana.
r
m
3.2
Teacher training: from early to recent developments
e
e
The Basel Mission opened Ghana’s first teacher training college in 1848 at Akropong-
e
Akwapim. This started a tradition of teacher education founded by missions training teachers
a
for their schools. Following independence in 1957 and a strong government commitment
s
to developing human resources, more teacher training colleges were opened to cater for the
D
increase in demand for teachers created by the expansion in school enrolment rates.
The history of the development of teacher education in Ghana is a chequered one, often
based on ad-hoc programmes to meet emergency situations and needs of the education
system. As the needs of basic education have changed over time, teachers have been required
to undertake more institutional training to upgrade. Consequently, Ghana has built up a
teaching corps comprising different categories of teachers. These are summarised below.
Certificate “A”
The four-year Teacher Training course was established in 1930 for the training of middle
school leavers to teach in the primary and middle schools. It attracted middle school leavers
with the best qualifications since teaching was quite highly respected as a profession.
Certificate “B”
In order to meet the increasing demand for more teachers at the primary level due to the
rapid expansion of the education system, a two-year Certificate “B”, post-middle school
training programme was introduced in 1937.
Post-B Certificate “A”
As a result of further expansion of the education system, at the time of the Accelerated
Development Plan in 1951, a new two-year programme was introduced for Certificate “B”
holders which enabled them to upgrade to a Post-”B” Certificate “A” after a period of
teaching experience in the classroom.
Certificate “A” (Post-Secondary)
With the expansion of secondary education, in 1950 a new two-year programme was
established for secondary school leavers to train them to teach in middle and secondary
schools. These graduates were awarded the Certificate “A”.
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3 Teacher Training Development in Ghana
In summary, at certificate qualification level, initial teacher training moved from a four–year
G
course to a two-year course. Then the two-year course for teachers with some classroom
T
experience changed to two years straight from middle or secondary school.
t
“
Two-year Specialist/Three-year Diploma
t
These were teachers trained in specialised subject areas. The two-year programme covered
t
specialisation in Home Science, Physical Education, Music, and Art. It was later upgraded
t
to a three-year diploma course to embrace more subject areas such as English and
Mathematics. This programme was introduced in 1962, and was open to all Certificate “A”
teachers with some classroom experience.
All the programmes described above have been phased out and replaced with the three-year
Post-Secondary Teacher Training Programme leading to certificate “A” qualification. This
programme was introduced in 1978 with the main purpose of improving the professional
competence of trained teachers. Presently there are 41 teacher-training colleges; all but three
are public training institutions, offering courses leading to the award of the certificate “A”.
Of the 38 government-run colleges, seven train female teachers only, one is an all-male
technical-oriented college, and the remaining 30 are mixed. Out of the 38 public colleges
only one is non-residential. All colleges prepare teachers for both primary and JSS levels.
In 1993, the Education Commission on Teacher Education recommended the setting up of
only two levels of teacher education. These are:
T
•
4-year straight degree programmes for graduates from senior secondary schools;
and
•
3
2-year post-diploma degree programmes for practising teachers.
T
These have been partially implemented but the post-secondary certificate route to a teaching
s
career still remains. The Education Commission’s recommendation appeared to be an
s
attempt to reduce the time it took to train a teacher to degree level and also to reduce the
costs. As it stands, a certificate “A” graduate will require a further five years of training to
T
achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Education, making the total length of training to graduate
a
level, 7 or 8 years (see table 3.1).
C
i
In reality it may take between 10 to 11 years for a certificate “A” teacher to upgrade to
o
graduate status if one takes the three-year mandatory teaching service before eligibility for
s
further study into account. Obviously, this has serious cost implications and appears to
a
justify the 1993 Education Commission’s recommendations outlined above.
1
W
S
1
e
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r
m
Graduate Teachers
There are two types of full-time graduate teachers in Ghana. One group, with professional
training, (have at least a diploma qualification in general education) is classified as
“professional graduate teachers”. The other group, without professional training, is referred
to as “non-professional graduate teachers”. Graduate teachers are usually posted after their
d
training to senior secondary schools and teachers’ training college. However, not all college
d
tutors and secondary school teachers are degree holders. Some hold diplomas only.
d
”
Table 3.1: Teacher Education in Ghana: Programme and Qualification Status
Level
r
s
l
e
.
e
s
Duration of
Course
Entry Level
Certificate
Awarded
Post-secondary
level
3 Years
Completion of
Secondary School
Post-secondary
Certificate “A”
Higher
education (nongraduate level)
2 Years
Completion of Post- Diploma Certificate
Secondary and having
taught for 3 years
Level of teaching
after certification
Primary and junior
secondary
Either post-secondary
teacher training or
senior secondary
Higher education
3 years or 2 years
Teachers holding
(undergraduate level) for post-diploma BEd Diploma Certificate,
or Senior Secondary
Leaving Certificate*
BEd. Degree
Either post secondary
teacher training or,
senior secondary
school
Higher education
(postgraduate level)
Post-Graduate
Certificate in
Education
Senior secondary
schools or postsecondary teacher
training colleges
1 Year
Holders of graduate
degrees e.g. BSc, BA
f
* The entry qualification is higher than for the post-secondary level.
The studies contained in this report focused on the training of certificate “A” teachers.
3.3
Selection into initial teacher training
Traditionally, admission into training colleges followed a two-stage procedure12. First was the
g
selection of candidates who met the minimum entry qualification. Next, each college invited
n
selected candidates for interview and to take short tests in core academic subject areas.
e
o
The two candidate groups eligible to apply for entry into the TTCs were ‘O’ level holders,
e
and non-‘O’ level holders with Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE).13
Certificate. The minimum entry requirements for non-‘O’ level holders were four credits
including English and Mathematics, and one other pass; SSCE holders needed a minimum
o
of five grade E’s to qualify. Candidates could accumulate the minimum requirements over
r
some years if unsuccessful at the first attempt. Under the new 2000 selection system these
o
academic entry requirements remain the same.
D
Since 2000, selection procedure has changed. Candidates for teacher training have to pass an entrance exam set by the
West African Examinations Council (WAEC). This is after they have achieved a minimum aggregate of “24” in the Senior
Secondary Certificate exams.
12
The SSCE was introduced in 1994 and ‘O’ levels gradually phased out. 1997/1998 was the last year of ‘O’ level
examinations.
13
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Candidates with ‘A’ level qualifications were admitted on their ‘O’ level results, because the
T
criteria for selection were based strictly on ‘O’ level performance. Of course, candidates with
m
‘A’ level presumably have the requisite ‘O’ level qualification grades. There are, however,
i
very few ‘A’ level applicants. Most colleges tended not to admit applicants with ‘A’ levels,
b
because they questioned their commitment to teaching; ‘A’ level student teachers have been
w
known to abandon their training for university once they were able to improve their ‘A’ level
c
grades.
A
Prior to 2000, applications to TTCs were first filtered through a centralised process
a
conducted by the Teacher Education Division (TED). This phase was to ensure that all
p
candidates had the minimum qualifications before being considered for admission by the
a
training colleges. TED in consultation with college Principals drew up a shortlist of
a
applicants for interview and entrance examinations conducted at each college. The number
s
attending interviews was roughly double the number of places available. The entrance exams
n
were developed by each college with the result that tests varied greatly across colleges in
s
terms of content, scope, structure and difficulty. All written exams focused exclusively on
o
English and Mathematics. In addition to written examinations, a selection panel consisting
of the principal and senior tutors interviewed candidates before final selection.
3
An example of selection criteria used by one college is illustrative of the kind of qualities
3
expected:
T
➣ Appearance (5 marks);
r
➣ Good communicating skills (correct use of tenses, expressions) (10 marks);
t
➣ Interest in teaching/teaching experiences (5 marks);
u
➣ Knowledge of teacher education trends/structure and trends of basic education (5
marks);
u
➣ Knowledge of subject matter in elective area (10 marks); and
3
➣ Grades in elective subjects (15 marks).
S
The criteria show about 50% of total scores was allocated to background academic
d
knowledge, comprising knowledge of subject matter and qualifying grades. This weighting
a
suggests that colleges placed a high premium on a candidate’s academic knowledge
background.
T
g
The official selection procedure described was intended to be meritocratic, but in practice
(
the colleges often came under pressure from prominent people in the local and educational
T
communities (commonly referred to as “protocol”) to admit candidates other than the best
P
qualified. This practice appeared to be widespread throughout the colleges. From interviews
conducted in the study colleges, it appeared that the number of applicants admitted through
U
protocol varied between ten percent and one-third.14
e
14
Data from preliminary fieldwork conducted by D. Furlong, October-December, 1998.
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e
The main advantage of this selection procedure identified by college principals was that the
h
minimum entry requirement weeded out those without adequate qualifications, and the
,
interview and examinations identified those who, despite adequate qualifications, were not
,
best suited to the teaching profession. The main disadvantage according to the principals
n
was that they did not have a totally free hand due to protocol. Also, interview selection
l
criteria varied from one institution to the other.
Apart from the entry qualification criteria, all aspects of this selection system have been
s
abandoned in favour of common entrance examinations in English and Mathematics, and a
l
paper testing aptitude for teaching.
e
automatically eligible for admission into a training college. The effect of this procedure
f
appears to be a drastic reduction in students admitted into training college. In the 2000
r
selection process some colleges are known to have been able to admit only about half the
s
number of candidates who originally applied. In effect, colleges have been removed from the
n
selection process, which has been entrusted to a uniform external examination system
n
organized by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
Once students passed the exams, they were
g
3.4
s
Teacher Training College curriculum
3.4.1 Structure and Process of Curriculum Development
The Professional Board of the Institute of Education at the University of Cape Coast
regulates the curriculum for initial teacher training (ITT). Subject panels composed of
training college tutors, and a subject chief examiner from the University of Cape Coast
undertake the review of syllabi for the TTCs. Panels periodically review college curriculum
under very specific guidelines from the TED who set the agenda for curriculum planning.
3.4.2 Old TTC course structure
Since 1987, the TTC course had been undergoing constant changes. In this section we
c
describe the main structure of this system prior to the significant changes that took place
g
after 1998.
e
The three-year TTC Certificate “A” course for basic education was structured as follows:
general education (30 per cent); academic education (30 per cent); and, professional studies
e
(40 per cent). General education comprised eight “core” subjects taught in all the 38 TTCs.
l
These were, Basic Mathematics, English Language, Basic Science, Ghanaian Languages,
t
Physical Education, Cultural Studies, Education and Agricultural Studies.
s
h
D
Under the “academic education” component of the programme, each student took two
elective subjects chosen from science-based subjects (group one) or vocational subjects
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3 Teacher Training Development in Ghana
(group two). Subject availability varied from college to college with some specializing in
F
group one subjects and others in group two subjects.
c
f
Three of the 38 colleges offered group one elective subjects only, while twenty-one offered
t
group two elective subjects only and 14 offered both.
3
Time allocation was in terms of the number of periods per week with each period consisting
of a 40-minute lesson. Officially, all colleges provided 33 weeks of instruction per year.
T
Colleges, however, had the flexibility to organize their own schedule, but were required to
t
inform the Teacher Education Division. Time allocation per subject (both core and elective)
r
per week across each year of study is shown in Tables 3.2 and 3.3 below. For example, a
e
teacher trainee taking mathematics as an elective subject had six periods of mathematics a
f
week in years one and two, and ten periods a week in year three.
I
t
Table 3.2: TTC - Core Subject Time Allocation (per week)
q
Core Subject
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Mathematics
4
4
0
t
Science
4
4
0
N
Agricultural science
3
3
0
a
English language
5
5
5
Education
6
6
6
S
Cultural studies
3
3
0
m
Physical education
2
2
0
r
Ghanaian language
3
3
0
f
30
30
11
p
Total
a
Table 3.3: TTC - Elective Subject Time Allocation (per week)
C
Students select two subjects from
either Group 1 or 2
Elective Subjects
Year 1
Year 2
a
Year 3
Mathematics
2
2
10
Agricultural science
3
3
10
Science
2
2
10
Technical skills
7
7
8
e
Physical education
6
6
10
t
English literature
5
5
12
s
Social studies
5
5
12
Vocational skills
5
5
12
Life skills
5
5
12
French
7
7
12
C
t
GROUP 1
e
r
GROUP 2
1
T
t
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n
For the second and third years each subject area was divided into two parts: academic subject
content knowledge and professional knowledge (methodology). The Education course
focused on issues related to theory and practice of education and child psychology. Student
d
teachers during their training spent eight weeks on supervised teaching practice.
3.5
System of Assessment
g
r.
The system of assessment in the colleges has virtually remained the same throughout teacher
o
training reforms. The Institute of Education of the University of Cape Coast has sole
)
responsibility for conducting certification examinations and engages University teacher
a
educators to set questions for its exams. College tutors are also invited to submit questions
a
for consideration by the Institute examiners. College tutor involvement is to ensure that
D
Institute examiners are familiar with learning outcome expectations as defined in college
tutor questions. With time what has tended to happen is that previous examination
questions have come to define certification assessment standards leading to a situation where
the examinations drive most of curriculum delivery in the colleges (Akyeampong, 1997).
No statements of standards have ever been developed to guide the teaching, learning and
assessment of student teachers in the training colleges.
Selected tutors from the training colleges mark the examination scripts at a central residential
marking centre, after which an award committee of the Institute of Education reviews the
results and makes recommendations to the Professional Board15 of the Institute of Education
for approval. At award meetings chief examiners present reports on candidate performance
pointing out specific problem areas of the student teachers. These reports are circulated to
all the colleges for their study.
Certification assessment scores are composed of two parts – 70% from external examinations
and 30% from internal continuous assessment.
Continuous Assessment (CA) was introduced in 1990 to offer an opportunity for college
tutors to improve the link between training and assessment. It was hoped that this would
encourage the development of skills, knowledge and abilities considered necessary for
effective teaching but difficult to validly assess using external written exams. Because college
tutors were largely given responsibility to develop CA tasks with the only guidelines
specifying general rules of operation and scoring, there have always been doubts about score
reliability.
The Professional Board of the Institute of Education comprises principals of all the training colleges, Director of
Teacher Education, a representative of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), a representative of WAEC,
the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and all the Deans of the University of Cape Coast
15
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A study by Akyeampong (1997) revealed numerous problems with the practice of CA in
3
training colleges. Among the most significant findings of his study were the following:
T
1. Tutors’ continuous assessment practices gravitated towards external examination
r
requirements and continuous assessment was perceived and implemented as
C
supplementary rather than complementary to examinations. The study revealed that a
d
major constraint to change is the political focus on summative assessment conditioned
M
by the examination culture.
i
2. Many tutors and teacher trainees recognised the importance of continuous assessment
c
for promoting professional learning and instruction. This was not, however, put into
s
practice. Instead, it reflected commonly accepted theoretical knowledge about the
s
function of continuous assessment.
p
r
3. Generally tutors made very little use of continuous assessment results for formative and
professional development purposes. The main reason for this was the lack of will on the
T
part of tutors to use continuous assessment in this way because of the increased
w
workload this generated. Also, for some there was a lack of understanding of how the
c
continuous assessment process and results could be used to promote teaching and
a
learning outcomes.
f
e
4. Time available for assessing students on a more regular and systematic basis was limited.
c
This problem had arisen because of the short college year resulting from extracurricular
and examination activities that took up a considerable amount of term time. Tutors
S
preferred to use the scarce time available to teach in order to complete the syllabus
a
before external examinations.
t
b
5. Institutional support for continuous assessment in terms of professional guidance for
p
tutors was non-existent. Again, this seems to reflect a lack of proper orientation and
g
inadequate training in the management of continuous assessment at the institutional
c
level.
t
l
6. The system for monitoring and moderating continuous assessment was lacking, leading
to no uniformity of practice across colleges.
3
According to Akyeampong (1997) the fundamental problems of CA in the training system
I
stemmed from poor conceptualisation of its functions in the teacher training context.
d
r
s
t
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n
3.6
External examination structure
The structure of external examinations has remained largely unchanged. What is described
n
represents the main features of the training college external examinations that are still in use.
s
Concrete proposals for a new assessment regime in teacher training have yet to be
a
developed.
d
Most external exams consist of two papers. However, starting from 1999 student teachers
in the first year take only one paper in the academic subject content areas. Academic subject
t
content knowledge papers are subdivided into two sections. The first section is made up of
o
short structured questions and multiple-choice questions for some subjects. The second
e
section of the paper often requires more elaborate written responses. Professional knowledge
papers (methodology) also have two sections: the first section requiring short answer
responses and the second section, more extended responses.
d
e
Teaching Practice (practicum) and “long essays” (to be phased out and replaced with project
d
work) require student teachers to write on a topic related to teaching and learning, and are
e
considered separate examinable subjects examined by college tutors. Candidates are not
d
awarded a certificate unless they have passed teaching practice. However, very few students
fail teaching practice and the long essay examinations. The pass mark for all external
examinations, teaching practice and long essay is 40%. Under some conditions, 35% may be
.
considered a pass.
r
s
Students who fail in more than two subjects, apart from the long essay and teaching practice,
s
are deemed to have failed the entire teacher training examination. Students who fail one or
two subjects, apart from the long essay and teaching practice, have to re-sit and pass them
before being certified. However, students in this category are allowed to take up teaching
r
positions in schools whilst preparing to re-sit failed papers. In effect, all student trainees are
d
guaranteed a teaching position after training irrespective of whether they pass the final
l
certification examinations or not. If they still do not pass after two attempts they are made
to withdraw from teaching. Re-sit teachers receive “untrained” teacher salary, which is a
little less than what certified teachers receive.
g
m
D
3.7
The new system of teacher training: The “In-in-out” model
In this section the highlights of the new proposals for training are presented. A policy
decision was made in 1999/2000 to adopt an “In-in-out” model of initial training to
replace the three-year full-time “In” programme. Under the “In-in-out” model students
spend two years in college training, while the whole of the third year is spent learning to
teach in a school. The details of the model are still emerging. Materials are being developed
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to support the “Out” year and the college curriculum is being adapted for a two- year cycle.
a
Figure 3 shows the diagrammatic representation of the “In-in-out” model.
d
c
Figure 3: “In-in-out” model
e
“IN”
“IN”
Curriculum:
Curriculum:
(i)
(i)
(ii)
Foundation
Curriculum(under
Curriculum Studies
3
development)
Academic Courses
and Methodology
(Subject Content
(CSM) in all
materials reflecting
Knowledge)
subject areas
Classroom
Education Studies
Teaching
Education Studies
(ii)
(Introductory
(iii)
Education Course)
(iii)
a
“OUT”
School attachment
On-Campus
(iv)
at end of 1st year
Project Work
(i)
(i)
Promotional
(ii)
on foundation
academic courses
Mentor-ship
4
•
Final External
•
External Exam in
Examination of
CSM
Classroom-Based
Continuous
Teaching
Project Work
Assessment
Experience
(ii)
s
T
Assessment:
(i)
A
o
training
Assessment CSM
(iii)
Distance learning
Classroom-Based
Assessment:
Examination based
(ii)
teaching Practice
Assessment:
First Year
(i)
•
•
F
Mentors and
f
selected college
tutor assessment of
s
teaching
The rationale behind this scheme appears to be that the training process should incorporate
adequate opportunities for relating theory to practice, and the best way to achieve this was
to situate a substantial part of training in the school context.
An innovative feature of the scheme was that recruitment of candidates for teacher training
would be carried out by district offices in accordance with needs of schools in the districts.
Recruited trainees were to be sponsored by districts and bonded to teach in the district for
an agreed minimum period. This was to solve the problems of poor staffing in rural schools.
This initiative was suspended after initial implementation difficulties that were brought upon
it by inadequate preparation and implementation strategies. For example, it seems that some
districts might have found it difficult to project their teacher requirements needs in the
absence of a mechanism for reliably estimating trends in teacher supply and demand.
U
A framework for the assessment of teacher trainees under the “In-in-out” model is yet to be
t
finalized. But it is emerging that an emphasis will be placed on college and school-based
a
28
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.
assessments. Both second and third year assessments are of particular interest because
during this period trainees are expected to spend an extensive period of time in actual
classrooms developing practical teaching skills. During this period, therefore, assessment is
expected to relate more to the development of teaching skills than to conceptual knowledge
alone.
3.7.1 An Overview of the 1st two years of the “In-in-out” model
Although the new proposals for TTC course structure have yet to be fully implemented,
some changes to the training programme have occurred. This section provides an overview
of the changes that began in 2000.
The TTC course remains a three-year programme consisting of 33 weeks per year for all the
41 teacher training colleges. The major components of the restructured curriculum are:
•
Foundation Academic and Introductory Studies in Education;
•
Education Studies;
•
Curriculum Studies integrated with methodology; and,
•
Practicum and other practical activities.
Foundation academic and introductory education courses are to be undertaken during the
first year of training. The three remaining aspects of the curriculum are taken during the
second and third years. Table 3.4 shows the new programme structure and content.
Table 3.4: New TTC Programme structure – Programmes A and B
Programme A – Lower & Upper Primary Programme B –Upper Primary and JSS
e
Ghanaian Language and Culture
English
s
English
Mathematics
Maths
Religious and Moral Education
Environmental Studies
Music and Dance
g
Religious and Moral Education
Science
.
Music and Dance
Physical Education
r
Physical Education
French
.
Integrated Science
Agricultural Science
n
Agricultural Science
Pre-Technical Skills
e
Life Skills
Pre-Vocational Skills
Social Studies
e
Under the “In-in-out” programme colleges offer either programme A or B courses. Those
e
taking programme “B” courses will select for their electives two subjects from the list and in
d
addition select two subjects from programme A.
D
DFID
There are no elective courses for
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3 Teacher Training Development in Ghana
programme “A” student teachers since they study all the subjects listed. These programme
t
divisions take effect after the first year academic knowledge courses, the same as the subjects
s
listed under programmes “A”. In effect, student teachers in programme “B” will specialise
(
in four subjects after the first year.
S
Year 1 Curriculum & Assessment
a
The first year foundation academic study is intended to build upon and consolidate the
b
academic knowledge background of student teachers. It is argued that most trainees possess
o
weak subject background knowledge which undermines their confidence and ability to teach
effectively. The development of subject-specific content knowledge, therefore, is set at a
T
different time (first year) from the curriculum studies and methodology, and practicum.
k
Introductory courses in education are also to be offered in the first year.
p
o
A concern expressed many times by Ghanaian teacher educators is that there is insufficient
training time for developing pedagogic knowledge and the skills of teaching. It appears the
P
new programme arrangements are intended to redress this concern by having the two years
T
of training focused entirely on developing pedagogic knowledge and teaching skills.
➣
Year 1 assessment comprises internal and external promotional examinations. Student
➣
teachers who fail these examinations are made to withdraw from the training on the
➣
assumption that they lack a sound subject knowledge background for professional
development in teaching.
A
In the first year five subjects are externally examined. These are: Environmental & Social
s
Studies or Technical Skills, Integrated Science or French (offered in one college only),
b
English, Ghanaian language and Mathematics. First year students must pass, i.e. attain a
c
minimum of 40%, in all five subjects or pass in four, with the fifth subject not below 35%.
o
A student passes also if he/she scores 39% in two subjects and 40% and above in the other
d
three subjects.
3
In addition, student teachers must also pass four internal subjects: Religious & Moral
Education, Music & Dance, Physical Education, and Vocational Skills. Students who fail
T
three or more internal subjects can re-sit these internal examinations before the beginning
e
of the second year. Those who fail the re-sits in the internal are withdrawn. Irrespective of
i
performance in the internal exams, a student who fails only one external examination
s
component is automatically withdrawn. Thus the first year examinations are very high
stakes.
U
i
Year 2 Curriculum and Assessment
o
For the second year, emphasis is placed on curriculum studies and methodology in all
r
subjects. The idea behind courses in “curriculum studies integrated with methodology” is
“
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e
to forge closer links between pedagogic knowledge and strategies for teaching the various
s
subjects in primary and JSS. The second year curriculum also includes on-campus practicum
e
(teaching practice).
Student teachers are assessed in all second year subjects through college-based continuous
assessment and external exams. The modalities for passing second year examinations are still
e
being worked out, but indications are that student teachers will be allowed a certain number
s
of re-sits before proceeding to the third year “out” training.
h
a
The structure of the first two years of training emphasizes the acquisition of subject content
.
knowledge and pedagogic content knowledge as a pre-cursor for training in classroom
practice. It indicates that prior to the “out” stage, trainees must have acquired a repertoire
of specific knowledge and skills considered necessary for effective teaching.
t
e
Practicum and Teaching Practice
s
The proposed practicum elements in the first and second years are as follows:
➣ School attachment for observation of teaching and work practice;
t
➣ On-campus teaching practice;
e
➣ Project work based on the planning and construction of teaching/learning materials and
l
classroom-based action research.
Although there is talk of introducing teaching practice assessment based on professional
l
standards and presented in the context of student teacher portfolios, to date this has yet to
,
be developed. The current method of teaching practice with its five-point scale has been
a
criticized for emphasising summative evaluation of teaching practice. It appears the intention
.
of any new proposals is to shift the focus onto professional standards as the vehicle for
r
developing and assessing teaching.
3.8.
College curriculum as documented
l
l
This section presents an overview of two college subjects, mathematics and science, as
g
examples of the philosophy of current curriculum content. As noted earlier, first year work
f
is devoted to subject content knowledge. The second and third years cover curriculum
n
studies and methodology.
h
Under the “In-in-out” model of training all training college syllabuses are to be organized
into units. Each unit is organized under the following headings: topical content, specific
objectives, teaching / learning activities, and guidelines for assessment. Each unit has a
l
recommended time allocated to it in the syllabus. For example, in mathematics, the topic
s
“Sets” is allocated 6 periods. A period is equivalent to 40 minutes instructional time.
D
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3.8.1 Mathematics Teacher Education Course
Aim and Objectives
The aim of the mathematics education course as stated in its syllabus, is to equip teachers to
teach effectively the revised basic school mathematics curriculum. The specific objectives are
A
to:
e
i
(i)
Consolidate student teachers’ ‘O’ level GCE or SSCE mathematical knowledge,
(ii)
a
Increase confidence in teaching mathematics through a problem-solving approach to
(iii)
(iv)
mathematical learning and understanding of the nature of mathematics,
T
Develop understanding of mathematical content and processes for school
k
mathematics,
t
Develop mathematics pedagogical content knowledge.
a
c
Organization of 1st Year Content
c
Each topic in the syllabus has corresponding specific objectives that begin with the phrase,
“
“students will be able to …” followed by action verbs such as, “describe, solve, identify,
T
perform etc.” The frequency of verbs used to state specific objectives is illustrated in Table
e
3.5 below. There are no mathematics subject matter textbooks written specifically for
p
training colleges. Tutors and students rely on books written for ‘O’ and SSCE level and
h
pamphlets written by some college tutors.
B
Table 3.5: Frequency of verbs describing specific Mathematics Objectives
Cognitive
Verbs
Solve/Calculate/Determine/Perform
I
Frequency
s
29
t
Carry Out/ Derive
e
Identify
13
s
State/Define
2
s
Recognise/Realise
2
f
Describe
2
t
Discover
1
o
Interpret
1
t
Construct
6
Demonstrate
1
Practical
w
Organization of Year 2 & 3 Course
Student teachers learning to teach mathematics have one main course textbook, entitled,
“Mathematics for Teacher Training in Ghana – Tutor’s Notes and Student Activities”. A
group of college tutors and a British ODA mathematics advisor wrote this. According to
the authors of this volume their aim was to:
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… Develop an approach to teaching mathematics which involves active participation
by students and pupils rather than passive compliance (Mathematics for Teacher
Training College – Tutors Notes and Student Activities TED, 1992 p. 1).
o
e
Activities in the book are practical and designed to involve trainees in investigating,
exploring, and discussing basic mathematical concepts. The writers stress that this approach
is to help decrease the use of static lecturing. College tutors are expected to use the activities
as starting points to initiate discussion and investigative work in mathematics.
o
The second year syllabus has 28 “pedagogical content knowledge topics”, 6 “curriculum
l
knowledge” topics, and 1 topic on “knowledge of learners and their characteristics”. The
third year syllabus has the following breakdown: 7 “pedagogic content knowledge” topics
and 3 “curriculum knowledge” and 1 topic on “knowledge of learners and their
characteristics” (Table 3.6 below). From the table, it can be deduced that “pedagogic
content knowledge” takes up 51% of the topics, “subject content knowledge” – 32%,
,
“curriculum knowledge” – 13% and “knowledge of learners and their characteristics”- 3%.
y,
Therefore, the second and third year mathematics course has been designed with an
e
emphasis on pedagogic content knowledge.
r
psychology orientation.
d
historical accounts of the contributions made to learning mathematics by Piaget, Dienes and
A few topics have either a historic or
For example, the topic “the nature of mathematics” provides
Bruner. Other aspects deal with the psychology of learning mathematics.
In summary, the mathematics course for prospective teachers emphasizes mathematics
subject matter and mathematics pedagogic content knowledge. Knowledge of learners and
their characteristics takes up a small proportion of the course (3%). Although the syllabus
emphasizes learning to teach mathematics in practical and experiential contexts, it is not
stated whether the topics would have to be studied using real classrooms as laboratory
settings for the learning experience environment. For example, the topic “teaching decimal
fractions” is presented in the texts without suggestions or practical work experience of how
to blend it with knowledge of particular pupils in specific situations. The emphasis is rather
on generalised conceptual knowledge for application at a later date in classrooms (e.g.
teaching practice). Similarly, the topic “Learners and their characteristics” is generalized
without reference to activities that explore the learning characteristics of real pupils.
,
A
o
D
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Table 3.6: Mathematics/Mathematics Education Topics by Year of Training
Year
Number of Topics
Category
1
22
Content Knowledge
2
23
- Pedagogic Content Knowledge (teaching
5
- Pedagogic Content Knowledge (characteristics
of specific mathematics topics)
of mathematics and psychology of learning
mathematics)
3
Total
6
- Curriculum knowledge
1
- Knowledge of learners and their Characteristics
7
- Pedagogic Content Knowledge
3
- Curriculum Knowledge
1
- Knowledge of Learners and their Characteristics
68
T
a
a
3.8.2 Science teacher education course
F
Science programme designers stress that the syllabus is intended to adequately prepare
prospective teachers to teach General Science, Integrated Science and Environmental
Studies (comprising Agricultural Science, Life Skills and Social Studies) at primary and JSS
g
l
a
school level.
Y
Aims:
T
The aims stress good understanding of scientific concepts, practical orientation to learning
science, gender sensitivity in teaching science and popularization of science at the basic
school level.
f
i
s
d
Objectives and Organization of Science Course:
d
As in other training subjects, the first year is devoted entirely to learning science as a subject.
Second and third years focus on curriculum studies and methodology in science.
s
l
s
The first year programme consists of 6 courses – 2 in each term - and in all covers 26 topics.
Cognitive objectives focus mainly on knowledge, understanding and attitudes. Table 3.7
summarises the frequency of various verbs used to outline specific content objectives for the
first year course.
T
a
s
i
t
s
4
m
s
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Table 3.7: Frequency of verbs describing specific 1st year science objectives
Cognitive
Verbs
Number
Explain
24
Identify
23
State/mention
15
Distinguish
2
Describe
11
Classify/group
3
Practical
Measure/estimate
8
Demonstrate
6
Make/Construct
3
The verbs emphasise cognitive instructional objectives, but the teaching and learning
activities outlined in the syllabus stress action-oriented activities, suggesting that practical
activities are to be used to develop school science concepts.
For the first year the syllabus suggest the following instructional strategies: class discussions,
e
l
S
group discussions, experiments, demonstrations, field trip visits, observation, construction, and
lecturette, in that order of frequency.
This emphasizes a “student-centred” learning
approach to science.
Year 2 & 3
The year 2 and 3 science syllabus is expansive and has yet to be finalized. However the
g
c
framework of the science syllabus prior to the adoption of the “In-in-out” model offers some
insights into the philosophy underlying learning to teach science. The five parts of the
syllabus termed “professional studies” are the following; (i) nature of science – using mainly
discussion and lecturette, (ii) importance of primary and JSS science teaching - through
discussion of school science objectives, (iii) activity method of teaching primary and JSS
.
science, (iv) other methods of teaching science e.g. demonstration, discovery, discussions,
laboratory etc., (v) first hand study of primary and JSS science syllabus and, finally (vi)
special topics e.g. improvisation of science resources, field trips etc.
.
7
e
D
The mathematics teachers’ syllabus makes room for learning about pupil characteristics
although this appears more theoretical than practical, whilst this is not mentioned in the
science syllabus. In both subjects, there is heavy emphasis on practical goals but not much
is said about locating it in a real classroom context at the time of learning. It would appear
that even if college teacher educators want to locate learning in actual classrooms, the
structure of college training would make this difficult to achieve. Topics are timetabled in
40-minute slots per teaching period (some topics take two periods), which would appear to
make it difficult to meet many of the goals if tutors intended to situate learning in actual
schools or even use the exploratory learning techniques advocated.
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3.9
Summary
i
s
The most significant change in initial teacher training in Ghana is the change from a threeyear “in” college training to two years in college and one year “out”. This seems to be a
T
move to make training more practically focused and ensure that prospective teachers have
t
better insights and understanding into the actual job of teaching. It reflects an increasing
a
desire of the MOE and Ghanaian teacher educators to see teacher training include more
s
experience of learning on the job. What is however not clear is how the experience of
s
learning to teach in this context will play out – whether it will promote a different attitude
s
and conception of teaching, or will simply be used to reinforce ideas of teaching from incollege training16. For example, it is not clear how it will promote a different attitude and
I
conception of teaching that makes teachers more sensitive and responsive to teaching
t
contexts – in other words, develop practical knowledge of teaching from a deep
r
understanding of local teaching settings and contexts. As it stands, teacher training in
a
Ghana does not appear to be reconceptualised sufficiently enough to change attitudes and
values about teaching so as to improve pupil learning and development. The conception of
A
learning to teach does not appear to have gone far enough for even the “out” period, to
t
make concrete experiences the foundation of reflective practice. The “out” period seems to
likely reinforce the idea that learning to teach is essentially a two-stage process. First, one
learns the theory, mostly in a de-contextualised sense, and next one applies it in real
classrooms. This conception limits schools as the most fundamental clinical environments
in which a practical knowledge of teaching and effective practice can be developed. Since
the “In-in-out” programme began in 2000, it will be 2002 before the first cohort of “out”
students experience training based in schools. In the concluding sections of this report we
speculate on possible scenarios of the “out” training based on some of the findings of the
MUSTER studies.
Another important change is the system of selection. Currently this is based on performance
in ‘O’ level or ‘SSCE’ examinations, with qualifying results followed by an entrance
examination in Mathematics, English and Aptitude to Teaching. This move appears to be
an attempt to standardize selection and ensure that the best candidates, in terms of
background academic knowledge and aptitude for teaching, are selected. But it could lead
to reductions in the numbers eventually considered for training especially if pass cut-off
scores are set too high to select the best. This has implications for teacher supply and
demand.
Of the changes in initial teacher training perhaps the area where least change has occurred
is in assessment policy. Certification by examination continues to be regarded highly. The
At the time of writing this was still being developed. Indications are that distance learning materials will be used during
this phase and student teachers will have the opportunity to interact with college tutors at specific stages of this period to
review learning. It is not clear how college tutors and school teachers (mentors) are to cooperate in supporting student
teachers’ classroom learning. This would appear to be the biggest challenge.
16
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3 Teacher Training Development in Ghana
introduction of continuous assessment appears to have done little to change this
stranglehold of examinations on teacher training in Ghana (Akyeampong, 1997).
a
The short overview of the mathematics and science courses as documented suggests that
e
training is expected to be practical, requiring that student teachers engage in hands-on
g
activity in developing teaching knowledge and skills. But, as has been pointed out, what
e
seem to be missing are the direct and practical linkages to particular pupils in specific
f
situations. The observations of college teaching, reported below, suggest such linkages are
e
seldom made explicit.
d
In the remaining chapters the findings of the studies into teacher training are discussed. As
g
the discussions in these chapters unfold, issues raised by developments in teacher training are
p
revisited to highlight some of the relationships and their significance for curriculum planning
n
and development.
d
f
All student teachers and beginning teachers used in the studies of this report were in the
o
three-year “in” college programme and as such their experiences reflect this context.
o
e
l
s
e
”
e
e
e
e
e
f
d
ff
d
d
e
g
D
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4
T
b
t
a
f
4
F
b
t
T
w
t
d
e
f
M
t
b
I
“
i
I
p
t
1
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Chapter Four
4 Who Becomes a Teacher17
4.1 Introduction
This chapter first analyses the survey data relating to personal characteristics and family
background from all three samples: those entering college, final year students and NQTs. It
then takes a closer look at the cohort of beginning student teachers, drawing on both survey
and qualitative data to analyse some of their background family experiences, their motivation
for teaching and their personal memories of best and worst schooling.
4.2
Who becomes a teacher: profile of background characteristics
From the four training colleges studied it was possible to construct a profile of the
background characteristics of those who become primary and junior secondary school
teachers in Ghana. Table 4.1 enables us to draw some conclusions about this background.
Those who choose teaching enter at a relatively young age, and if they remain in teaching,
will have a career life span of about 36 years. Not many NQTs – about 40% – enter teacher
training straight after secondary education. The reasons are not easy to detect from our
data. A tentative explanation could be that many do not qualify after completing secondary
education and have to re-sit some exam subjects to meet academic entry requirements. In
fact, the table shows that the majority barely meet the qualifying grades in English and
Mathematics and that the standards are falling. Less than 30% who qualify possess grades in
the top pass category of A, B or C in English. In Mathematics, the situation is slightly
better.
It is not surprising that most student teachers and newly qualified teachers are from the
“Akan” tribe. All four colleges sampled for the study were located in southern Ghana, which
is predominantly Akan.
In general, between 70 – 80% of the samples had no formal experience of teaching in a
primary or junior secondary school before entering training college. Most prospective
teachers (over 60%) had their early formal schooling experience in urban areas.
17
For a fuller account see Akyeampong and Stephens (2000).
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4 Who Becomes a Teacher
Table 4.1: Background characteristics of student teachers and beginning teachers
Beginning
Students
c
o
Final Year
Student
Newly Qualified
Teachers (2yrs)
Age: (mean)
21yrs
24yrs
27yrs
g
Predominant Language: Akan
87%
84%
86%
i
No experience –
74%
80%
77%
t
Some experience -
26%
20%
23%
a
t
Teaching Experience:
d
Entry into training:
Direct from secondary school –
33%
48%
(2-5 years) 63%
(1-4 years) 47%
‘SSCE’ English (D & E)
82%
76%
64%
‘SSCE’ Maths (D & E)
65%
53%
63%
Waited before entering
4
Entry Grades
B
(Majority Grades)18
b
➣
Parents’ background profile19
➣
Father:
➣
(a)
Teacher
21%
23%
(b)
Self-employed
32%
35%
(a)
Teacher
14%
22%
t
(b)
Self-Employed
79%
61%
i
A
Mother:
Primary School Area
(a)
Urban
61% 87%
F
(b)
Rural
39% 13%
f
134
r
Sample Size
300
400
The selected background characteristics of parents suggest a sizeable proportion to be in
primary sector employment. Most parents of teachers are either self-employed (especially
mothers) or are teachers themselves. It is possible that those whose parents are teachers may
come with first-hand insights into the socio-economic implications of their decision to
become a teacher, which will impact on their values, attitudes and commitment to teaching.
If that image is a poor one, it is more likely to affect trainees’ and beginning teachers’ longterm commitment to teaching.
T
t
t
S
t
a
The background characteristics of the student teachers have implications for policies on the
starting points and structure of training, particularly in view of the weak academic
backgrounds of the majority. This creates additional burdens for teacher training colleges as
they seek to improve the academic knowledge background of trainees to enhance their
Based upon 78% student teachers who were products of the new educational system and therefore had SSCE
qualification grades. Grades D & E and grade 6 are lower ends of the pass grade and represented the weakest in pass
grades. The grades for NQTS include ‘O’ grades 5 & 6.
19
Jobs classified under self-employed are relatively low-paying entrepreneurial jobs – predominantly farming and trading
c
O
➣
18
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4 Who Becomes a Teacher
confidence in teaching. If the teaching profession is not attracting the best students in terms
of academic achievement, it may have to offer remedial tuition to strengthen prospective
teachers’ subject knowledge mastery. Since some teachers are expected to teach at JSS where
greater demands will be made of subject knowledge mastery, this issue is clearly very
important. A weak subject knowledge background could also make it difficult to acquire a
deep conceptual understanding of subject pedagogy. It would appear that the new teacher
training programme, in which the first year is completely devoted to remedial work in
academic subject knowledge, could address this problem (see chapter 3).
4.3
What images and perceptions of teachers, teaching and teacher training do
beginning student teachers bring?
Beginning student teachers come with a positive expectation of themselves as to what they
believe they can achieve as teachers. Most of them agree that:
➣ Teachers can improve the academic performance of slow learners (59%)
➣ Teachers should be trained to teach all age groups (93%)
➣ The most important thing a teacher can do is to teach pupils facts (86%)
About 60% of them disagreed with the statement that “teachers are born and not made”,
thus suggesting a good proportion are likely to see training as a means to make fundamental
improvements in their capacity to teach.
From a constructivist teaching perspective, the view that teaching is mostly about presenting
facts to pupils is rather disappointing, and presents a clear challenge to teacher training to
replace this with a more interactive and co-operative understanding of teaching and learning.
n
y
y
o
.
-
The majority of student teachers (62%) felt that pupils learn more from asking questions
than from listening, which may be indicative of a positive predisposition towards questioning
techniques in teaching.
Student teachers generally believe that children need to be divided into ability groups to be
taught well (60% expressing this view). In many Ghanaian schools, particularly those in rural
areas, teachers are confronted with multi-grade classes which makes demands on teachers’
e
c
s
r
D
competence to teach pupils of very mixed ability.
On statements related to teacher training the beginning student teachers felt that:
➣ Teacher training should involve more methodology and less mastery of subject
knowledge (66.3%)
➣ Teacher training should involve at least a year’s teaching practice (79.1%)
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Generally, the responses suggest that beginning trainees expect training to focus more on
4
practical aspects and less on theory. However, as the entry grades indicate, there is a definite
T
need for prospective teachers to improve their subject knowledge competence.
c
Beginning student teachers appear to think positively of their career choice. A majority
t
(89%) disagreed that they would have preferred to go to a Polytechnic rather than go to
e
teacher training. About 76% felt friends thought they were fortunate to be training to
become a teacher. Although these data suggest beginning student teachers are keen on
P
teaching, other MUSTER qualitative data which probed further motivations for teaching,
t
suggest that this interest may not be deep (see Akyeampong & Stephens 2000). Extrinsic
➣
factors such as trainee stipend and study-leave-with-pay seem to be more powerful factors
➣
that influence interest in teacher training. Data relating to these are discussed in more detail
➣
later in this chapter.
➣
4.4
➣
Background Experiences of Family and Schooling
➣
4.4.1 Experiences of family
➣
A key feature of experiences of family life that might have some relevance to training is the
insight they offer into teacher role identity. The autobiographic accounts of early family life
A
experiences painted a picture of children struggling to continue with their education due to
k
financial constraints within the family.
Stories often highlighted the teachers’ role in
a
motivating parents to make financial sacrifices to ensure their children completed secondary
s
education. Other stories highlighted how teachers influenced pupils’ lives, particularly in
t
overcoming learning and social obstacles.
i
a
The data suggest that teachers have influence on students’ lives beyond the school and
classroom setting.
T
t
My parents were not well off to provide me with all the necessary things that I needed to assist
w
me in my academic work. At times I was sacked from class for owing school fees and had to
t
stay at home until my parents were able to pay my school fees. There were times when my class
t
teacher, Mr Morgan, visited my parents at the house and advised them to take good care of
o
me especially in providing for my education. (Student Teacher)
t
s
Similar stories raised a number of important questions: In the discourse of teacher training,
what emphasis is given to the teachers’ role as a social worker? What is understood about
I
teachers’ work outside the classroom that ultimately influences pupil learning and
a
performance?
D
Such questions seek answers that highlight the importance of greater
contextualisation of teacher training to reflect the real needs of children’s academic and
f
social development.
d
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n
4.4.2 Best Images of Schooling
e
The images of best and worst experiences of schooling that trainees bring into their training
can become fruitful sources of reflective practice discourse in the college. Having student
y
teachers articulate and reflect on their images of best and worst schooling experiences can
o
encourage reflection on their own developing practices in teaching.
o
n
Positive images of teaching and teachers that beginning student teachers held were that of
,
teachers:
c
➣ resourceful in improvising teaching methods
s
➣ capable of applying effective approaches to teaching to promote student learning
l
➣ demonstrating good interpersonal relationships but also acting to provide moral
guidance to children
➣ knowledgeable in the subjects they teach
➣ capable of contextualising learning to make it easy for children to access knowledge and
understanding
➣ with humanistic and liberal values benefiting both children and the school-community.
➣ with high level of commitment to their job as reflected in their punctuality and
dedication to helping children overcome learning difficulties.
e
e
A lot of these images are consistent with research regarding what effective teachers should
o
know and be able to do (Black & Howard-Jones, 2000). Thus beginning student teachers
n
already come with a positive understanding of what it means to succeed as a teacher. These
y
should provide starting points for exploring with them their own developing conception of
n
teaching as they progress through training. If some trainees perceive effective teaching more
in terms of one set of attributes than the other, then what may be required is drawing
attention to equally important positive attributes to ensure balance.
d
The curriculum question is how teacher education pedagogy could use some of these images
to foster a discourse of learning to teach, which trainees can easily recognise and identify
t
with. How could positive images be used to develop a conception of teacher effectiveness
o
that addresses the challenges of education reform to improve learning and achievement in
s
the Ghanaian school system? Also, how could these images be incorporated into standards
f
of teacher training and assessment? These and similar questions could guide a conception of
teacher education that draws on and extends familiar images of teaching that beginning
student teachers bring into training.
,
t
In chapter 5 we point out that the central focus of training in the colleges appears to be
d
acquisition of teaching skills and knowledge mainly in de-contextualised teaching settings.
r
Developing personal agency in teaching, where teachers are movers of change and
d
facilitators of learning, would require inclusion of some positive teacher attributes and
D
dispositions that student teachers seem already aware of. The challenge is for teacher training
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programmes to depart from a model of teaching fixed on discrete behaviours, and which
t
overlooks the value of positive teacher attributes already experienced by student teachers,
j
towards one which is grounded in real teaching environments that they can identify with.
t
4.4.3 Worst images of schooling
Student teachers’ recollection of their worst school experience featured mainly corporal
punishment. Caning would often be meted out for poor academic performance or failure to
answer teachers’ questions in class. In general, trainees perceived these as counterproductive
but others felt it served a moral purpose by shaping character and motivating hard work.
We could argue that a teacher’s ability to control and manage learning processes, using
I
strategies that promote respect for students, is a sign of a constructive conception of
t
teaching and learning. The many references to caning as a strategy used by teachers to foster
a
learning and maintain discipline therefore suggest the inability of some teachers to create
l
and maintain a learning environment that reflects the needs of all students, particularly lower
achievers. This is an issue relating to classroom management - important if effective teaching
T
and learning is to take place in classrooms.
a
l
Poor school facilities, not having enough teachers, undisciplined teachers (not attending
r
class or coming late or drunk) and images of being labelled as low achievers were also
t
recounted as some negative experiences of primary school.
o
c
Again, except for the many references to teachers’ use of the cane, the worst images are quite
similar to those recounted in other research reports (e.g. Black & Howard-Jones, 2000).
B
F
It is interesting to note that no reference was made to instructional practices specifically
a
described as poor, as was done in the case of describing good teachers. The methodological
u
approach may account for this (we did not specifically ask trainees to reflect and write about
methods of delivery of worst teachers). Nevertheless, the fact that, given an open invitation
➣
to write about their worst school experiences, images that reflect poor instructional
➣
strategies were not triggered, may suggest that poor personal characteristics of teachers leave
➣
a greater impression than poor instructional characteristics.
4.5
➣
Exploring deeper motivations for choosing teacher training
B
4.5.1 Further education through “Study leave with pay”
o
Some beginning student teachers believe teaching will win them respect from society.
Others see teaching as offering job security. However, the most compelling incentive to
enter teaching seems to be the opportunity it offers for entering university whilst being paid
a
w
2
t
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4 Who Becomes a Teacher
h
to obtain a degree for teaching at senior secondary level20, or for upward mobility to obtain
,
jobs considered of higher status and offering better remuneration than teaching. Some of
the reasons for choosing the teacher training route were:
A teacher can further his or her education and there is also study leave with pay
l
You can further your course at the University to become a secondary school teacher
o
e
Through teaching one can become an officer (join military) …and even join politics
to become a prominent person
g
In fact, both student teachers and newly qualified teachers clearly indicated that primary
f
teaching was not of long-term interest to them. They feel it has a low status image in society
r
and requires enormous personal energy as compared to teaching at the secondary school
e
level.
r
g
The desire to move out of primary teaching at the first opportunity raises serious questions
about the returns from high investment in training primary teachers, if those trained are not
likely to be there long enough for society to reap the benefits of the investment. There is
g
really nothing wrong with teachers wanting to further their education at the university level
o
to enhance their competence. But if investment in further training tends to move teachers
out of primary teaching or out of teaching altogether, then the policy seems
counterproductive and perhaps needs review.
e
Beginning trainees were aware of the price they had to pay to achieve their personal goals.
For example, they were not ignorant of the poor conditions of service and other challenges
y
associated with teaching, especially at primary level. Some of the references to the
l
unattractive nature of teaching were:
t
n
l
e
➣ Working in deprived areas and the danger of catching disease;
➣ Language (teachers may be posted to teach in areas where the spoken language may be
unfamiliar) and accommodation problems;
➣ Potential conflict with community members and parents – particularly being blamed for
pupils’ poor academic performance, and
➣ Public scrutiny of lifestyle because of the expected role model image of teachers.
But, as indicated, it seemed that deeper reasons for accepting teacher training were because
of the opportunity it offered to pursue further education at little or no cost to the teacher
y.
o
d
D
and because of the possible reward of being able to teach at secondary school. Perhaps
without these incentives fewer would have opted for an initial career in primary teaching.
Three years of teaching after graduation from college is a statutory service condition that entitles the newly qualified
teacher to study leave with full pay
20
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4 Who Becomes a Teacher
The evidence suggests that certain factors and conditions conspire to make teacher training
c
an attractive option, but ultimately these do not serve the good of primary teaching. Factors
that contribute to this are: the weak academic grades that are accepted for teacher training,
T
an attractive trainee stipend, and chance to obtain a degree with financial support from the
o
state. All of this leaves primary school teaching the poorer.
m
t
Policy makers need to recognise that many student teachers aspire to move up the teaching
i
ladder, and that this aspiration may affect commitment and attitude to teaching at primary
c
school level. The policy challenge is to make primary school teaching attractive enough to
s
encourage greater interest and commitment to it.
s
Expectations from Teacher Training
4
4.6
Beginning trainees expect that after training they will be equipped with specific teaching
I
knowledge and skills, but also they would have developed social life skills.
i
This expectation that training will equip student teachers with life skills (personal and social)
➣
appears rather odd, as this vision is not articulated in training goal statements and curriculum
documents. But college tutor surveys and interview evidence suggest that college norms
and culture are expected to play a significant role in shaping a future teacher role identity
that requires acquisition of some social life skills. Generally college tutors interviewed
➣
believed that training colleges should be responsible for instilling a sense of discipline and
responsiveness to duty through administration of strict rules and regulations; these seem
intended to communicate to prospective teachers the importance of certain social behaviour
➣
qualities that define their identity in society.
But by contrast many student teachers felt that the strict college rules and regulations
undermined their personal self-worth and ability to exercise control over their lives in
college, as these two statements suggest.
➣
We are treated like primary school pupils. We are not allowed to regulate our lives
The type of training we receive here is somehow like military training. If you prove
to be recalcitrant in the college, you are punished
Colleges, it appears, feel responsible for developing some important personal and social skills
I
that they think prospective teachers must possess in order to be successful teachers. But it is
h
important that the methods they adopt to achieve these goals do not undermine student
e
teachers’ personal worth, as this could erode prospective teachers’ sense of personal agency
s
in teaching. For example, stringent college rules and regulations may eventually undermine
r
prospective teachers’ ability and confidence to take greater responsibility for managing
c
46
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4 Who Becomes a Teacher
g
change in communities, schools and classrooms.
s
,
The authoritarian environment of training colleges is most likely a reflection of the history
e
of how teacher training colleges were developed in Ghana.
Most colleges started as
missionary institutions with a culture of strict discipline to train ministers, catechists and later
teachers. Others were originally traditional secondary schools which were later converted
g
into training colleges, but which have maintained similar organisational and cultural
y
characteristics as secondary schools. To move towards a true sense of developing practical
o
skills and dispositions important for effective teacher performance will require a significant
shift in how colleges view student teachers and train them.
4.7
g
Summary: Policy and Curriculum Planning Consideration
In general, the issues that emerged from the study of the students’ background which are
important for policy and curriculum planning consideration are the following:
)
➣ It is important for teacher training to attract better academically qualified applicants or
m
to introduce remedial programmes that can rapidly improve their mastery of subject
s
content knowledge prior to professional training.
y
d
➣ Primary teaching suffers from a poor image even among beginning student teachers.
d
Incentives that may help to raise the image and status of primary teaching, and
m
encourage longer-term commitment to it, are needed to change attitudes towards it.
r
➣ Student teachers arrive in college with rich background knowledge of teaching from
family and educational experiences. To achieve greater relevance and meaning in their
s
training, it seems important for teacher educators to tap into this rich background of
n
knowledge and understanding.
➣ Clearly, student teachers feel some college rules and regulations stifle autonomy and
initiative and this may be dealing a deathblow to that personal teacher agency so much
needed for school improvement and change. It is important that the goals of training
e
make clear those values that it expects trainees to acquire, and adopt positive strategies
that instil confidence in prospective teachers’ personal agency in teaching.
s
In summary, the images, experiences, and expectations of beginning student teachers
s
highlight who they are, and what they bring with them into training. There are several issues
t
emerging from beginning student teacher background, dispositions and attitudes that could
y
serve as leverage for a greater contextualisation of teacher training in Ghana. The issues
e
raised by the findings are pertinent for selection, training and the early years of a teaching
g
career.
D
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Finally, the effectiveness of training is affected not only by sound curriculum planning and
realisation but, as beginning student teacher voices suggest, by the impact of authority
5
structures, rules and regulations operating within teachers’ colleges.
I
t
w
i
p
f
i
5
S
s
c
w
r
c
b
s
C
a
s
a
o
W
d
c
C
d
p
e
A
i
b
t
a
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Chapter Five
5 College Level Training:
Curriculum and Cost Issues
d
y
D
5.1
Introduction
In studying college training, surveys and interviews with existing student teachers in their
third and final year of training were used. College classroom observation and interviews
with college tutors were also conducted. The data provided insights into the processes
involved in teacher preparation; what trainees valued most and least about the training
process and why. We also explored the theory-practice links in curriculum delivery and the
factors that have been influencing this relationship. Finally data relating to curriculum and
internal costs are presented and the implications explored.
5.2
Characteristics of Training Colleges
Structurally and operationally, training colleges in Ghana resemble the traditional senior
secondary school system. Most were started as missionary institutions to train ministers,
catechists and later teachers. Others were originally traditional secondary schools which
were later converted into teacher training colleges. Typically, institutional structures include
residential boarding facilities, a dining hall, classrooms with seats arranged in rows and
columns facing a chalkboard (seating between 40-50 students), a small library, staff
bungalows, an administrative block and playing grounds for sports activities. Those with
strong missionary roots have a chapel.
Classrooms often have no visual aids or instructional storage facilities. Science laboratories
are usually poorly equipped and small in size. In one of the study colleges a single laboratory
served practical work for physics, chemistry and biology, and had a seating capacity of only
about fifty. College libraries are small in comparison to student population. For example, in
one college with a population of about 550, its library could seat only 30 students at a time.
We observed that the newest collection of books in the four colleges studied were books
donated during the JUSSTEP programme which finished in 1993. Most of the library’s
collection was old and appeared rarely used.
College life for student teachers outside formal teaching and learning is characterised by
daily chores such as weeding compounds, fetching water (particularly in colleges without
pipe-borne water supply), and by organised co-curricular activities e.g. games, choir singing
etc.
Although generalized, this portrait of training colleges highlights their many constraints as
institutions for training teachers. For instance, intake into teacher training is limited by
boarding space. Resources and facilities are limited and favour more theoretical studies than
the practical work expected of a curriculum for training teachers. Staffing is limited by
availability of college housing facilities, and suitable accommodation outside the college is
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5 College Level Training: Curriculum and Cost Issues
often scarce. Life of students on the college campuses seems too highly structured and
b
regimented. This may be a legacy of the missionary roots of most of these colleges. But, in
c
the extreme, it may create a feeling of dependency on authority; it could undermine the
e
spirit of autonomy and responsibility that trainees need to internalise for effective
o
professionalism once they start full-time teaching.
5
The characteristics of college institutions make any attempt to radically restructure their
programmes for an increased practical focus a big challenge.
W
t
5.3
Profile of college tutors
o
From a questionnaire distributed to tutors in all four colleges it was possible to construct a
5
profile of college tutors. About 60% of the tutors were between the ages of 41 – 50 years.
21
Nearly 15% were over 50 years old. Only about 27% were between 26 to 40 years old.
T
p
Male tutors were in the majority (76.4%) to females (23.6%). About 71% had a Bachelors
degree and 3.6% (2), possessed a Masters degree.
The rest (25.4%) had a diploma
qualification.
(
H
p
Since college tutors were training students for primary and/or junior secondary teaching,
t
we explored their own teaching experience prior to tutoring. About 70% had taught at JSS
t
before. The majority (about 43%) had taught at JSS between 1-5 years, and 27.2% had
a
taught for more than five years. About 60% had no senior secondary teaching experience.
I
Slightly more than half of the tutors (55%) had no primary teaching experience. The rest had
s
primary teaching experience ranging from 1-5 years. Most tutors in the study colleges
e
(about 60%) had about ten years college teaching experience. About 40% had more than
c
ten years experience.
(
This profile reveals important characteristics worth noting. College tutors have more junior
S
and senior secondary teaching experience (JSS & SSS) than primary. Most tutors are middle-
f
aged or above which is consistent with the varied range of teaching experience at secondary
c
(JSS & SSS) and primary. Generally, the career trajectory of college tutors appears to reflect
d
the career path aspirations of student teachers i.e. to move from primary to higher teaching
o
levels. In fact a lot of student teachers interviewed desired one day to become college tutors.
l
“
5.4
Curriculum resources in college
“
e
From the survey, few student teachers said they owned school textbooks (24%). The
a
majority borrowed textbooks from schools in which they did teaching practice (90%). There
m
was a feeling that curriculum resource materials were in short supply in colleges as revealed
l
The response rate was quite low. For three of the colleges it was about 55%. In the fourth college we retrieved only 3
questionnaires after several attempts. Thus, the data reported here has to be treated with some caution.
a
21
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d
by the following statistics: about 95% felt more primary textbooks, and 94% college subject
n
course books were needed for training. Furthermore, 89% felt reference books and 79%
e
education books were in short supply. Therefore, colleges seem to lack an adequate supply
e
of books and materials for training.
5.5
College teaching
r
We observed how some college tutors delivered their lessons, in order to try to understand
their underlying objectives and the philosophy of their instructional practices. The lessons
observed were science, mathematics, education, English and religious studies.
a
5.5.1 Methods of teaching subject content
.
The college tutors observed used a mixture of instructional approaches, but with some more
predominant than others.
s
a
(a) Transmission of knowledge
Here, tutors lectured their students. The students were hardly engaged in active
participation and only occasionally asked questions for clarification. For example a tutor
,
teaching “construction of triangles” lectured and gave out specific instructions for students
S
to follow: e.g. students were shown how to construct triangles (given different conditions),
d
and finally they were assigned specific tasks whilst the tutor circulated to inspect their work.
.
In other lessons, tutors distributed information with only occasional input from the
d
students. Tutors who used this approach predominantly justified it by explaining that it
s
ensured good coverage of the syllabus, in view of the limited college time available to
n
complete teaching before external examinations.
(b) Student-centred teaching
r
Students engaged in discussions and debates on topical issues, with tutors acting as
-
facilitators. Only one science tutor (female) used this approach exclusively. Generally, tutors
y
claimed student-centred learning promoted better understanding since students had to
t
defend their views or answers. Students’ active participation saw them producing, creating
g
or extending knowledge and made these lessons very lively and engaging. In one typical
.
lesson (education), the tutor led students to debate different types of need under the topic
“motivation”. They went on to engage in extensive discussions about what constitutes
“safety” when determining safety needs, and the tutor only offered points of clarification to
extend the discussions. In a later interview, this tutor explained she often used the discussion
e
approach because of its versatility in generating a wealth of information, and also because it
e
made learning more interesting. This approach was also observed in an English literature
d
lesson. Two tutors out of the nine observed used a predominantly student-centred
D
approach.
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(c) Question and answer approach
t
In this approach tutors mainly asked questions and used students’ answers to further develop
s
the lesson. The strategy seemed also to be an attempt to increase student participation in
t
lessons. Two tutors used this approach (science and English) very often, and later explained
that students had been required to read relevant material prior to the lessons. Furthermore,
F
its effectiveness was dependent on the availability of reference materials. Questions were
p
intended to reveal students’ understanding of assignment reading and encourage them to
l
share in the development of the lesson.
a
t
In the science lesson where this approach was used almost exclusively, the tutor asked as
p
many as forty-seven questions in a 40-minute lesson. It was often a two-way interaction,
s
and included students also asking questions of their own volition. The tutor explained that
F
she learnt to use this approach to teaching from her science methods course at university.
l
a
5.5.2 Teaching pedagogical knowledge and skill
a
Pedagogical knowledge was transmitted through lectures interjected with questions and
B
answers, and occasionally by a demonstration of a teaching apparatus (e.g. use of fractional
t
board) by the tutor. A typical example is that of a mathematics tutor using “multi-base
a
blocks” to teach the concept of place value. The lesson followed a three-stage process,
c
illustrated in Figure 4:
a
a
Figure 4: Sequence of instructional activity in a mathematics methods lesson
T
Tutor demonstrates method:
•
p
Uses structured apparatus to demonstrate two-digit addition, without
grouping and with grouping e.g. 24 + 35, 38 + 45
l
Students demonstrate method:
•
A few students demonstrate solving similar addition problems using
apparatus. Other students and tutor offer assistance and make comments.
Diagrammatic representation of addition problem illustrating the use of
the apparatus:
•
Tutor poses several two-digit addition problems. Students illustrate addition
procedure diagrammatically in their notebooks. Approach emphasizes
symbolic representations of solving addition problems.
5
5
F
o
u
There was a lot of rhetoric about the “activity-based” approach, or “student-centred”
B
learning. Further investigation revealed that it was mostly perceived as physical involvement
e
with manipulative materials, or greater student participation in lesson development through
I
the question and answer technique.
w
q
Each tutor who was observed and interviewed felt their teaching approach stressed particular
b
aspects of learning to teach. For some, this was a matter of establishing close links between
s
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theoretical pedagogic knowledge and school subjects. For others, this meant ensuring
p
students had a good conceptual understanding of subject content knowledge to enable them
n
to teach concepts accurately.
d
,
From classroom observations in the three colleges, it appeared that while student teachers’
e
professional learning focused mostly on pedagogical content knowledge, we observed very
o
little or no discussion on issues relating to the contextual application of teaching strategies
and what potentially different teaching situations might require of the teacher. Learning to
teach seems to mean building up a repertoire of teaching strategies to convey concepts in
s
primary and junior secondary school subjects. The impression created was that mastering a
,
set of teaching strategies defined the professional identity of a classroom teacher. But as
t
Feiman-Nemser & Remillard (1996) point out, “whereas lack of knowledge and skill may
limit what teachers can do, having them does not guarantee their wise use” (p. 71). What
appeared missing in our classroom observations was the importance of affective qualities,
attitudes and dispositions towards effective teaching.
d
Before concluding, it is important we point out a limiting condition that seemed to shape
l
the nature of curriculum delivery as we observed it. Out of the 33-week training time only
e
about 8 weeks was spent on school-based training (i.e. teaching practice) and this was after
,
college-based training. Undoubtedly, this reinforced the view of learning to teach as first
acquiring a store of theoretical knowledge and understanding of teaching for later
application in actual classrooms.
There were other conditions that seem to influence tutors’ instructional practices and
perhaps their willingness to engage in activities that might have enriched teaching and
learning. The three most significant are discussed next.
5.6
Limiting conditions on curriculum delivery practices
5.6.1 External examinations
From interviews there were indications that the external exam system exerted some influence
on attitudes towards teaching. For example, we suggested to one tutor how he could have
used a more co-operative approach to teaching and learning to enhance understanding.
”
Basically he disagreed and suggested that this would rather encourage student copying in
t
exams. To discourage this from happening, he required independent seatwork in his class.
h
In another case, a tutor insisted students produced clearly illustrated diagrams of how they
would use manipulative material to teach addition involving two-digit numbers. When
questioned why he insisted on this, he pointed out that this was to ensure his students would
r
be able to answer accurately exam questions that asked for explanations on how to use
n
similar apparatus to teach number concepts.
D
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Tutors alluded to the “hidden”, or sometimes open, pressure from students to teach in ways
5
that maximised their chances of scoring high marks in the external exams. In a case study
of assessment practices in three training colleges, Akyeampong (1997) suggested that the
I
ITT examination system might be a disincentive for college tutors to engage in instructional
l
practices that have greater potential to enhance professional learning experiences.
s
i
t
5.6.2 Training time available
e
With external examinations looming, an overcrowded syllabus, and many extracurricular
activities, engaging in professional learning activities that would require extensive work by
W
students seemed unattractive to college tutors.
o
m
An analysis of three TTCs by Akyeampong (1997) revealed that in the three-year course
w
approximately one-third of that time was actually spent on activities directly related to
i
classroom instruction and assessment (see table 5.1). Moreover, this excluded time lost due
i
to tutor absenteeism, tutor lateness, and other regular college disruptions. This limited
t
time-frame for curriculum delivery undoubtedly affects the quality of instructional practices.
T
Tutors interviewed pointed out that sometimes student teachers resisted work which they
a
felt did not reflect the demands of external certification exams. Such attitudes also
1
encouraged lecturing and note taking. During fieldwork we observed a keen interest in
p
supplementary texts written by tutors. Most of these had been written as exam preparatory
texts and included solutions to past examination questions.
Table 5.1: The breakdown of official term time in three colleges
Term
1
2
Official Approximate contact Examination time
term time
time for teaching
(weeks)
(weeks) and learning (weeks)
12
11
Other activities/events
(weeks)
Year 1:
10
Year 1:
0
Year 1:
Years 2&3:
6
Years 2&3:
0
Years 2&3:
Teaching Practice (TP):
4
Orientation/Settling:
1
Sporting Events:
1
T
Year 1:
7
Year 1:
2
Year 1:
2
s
Years 2&3:
3
Years 2&3:
2
Years 2&3:
TP:
Total
10
33
p
4
t
Examination preparation: 1
o
Sporting Events:
3
2
1
Year 1:
7
Year 1:
2
Year 1: Exam Preparation: 1
W
Year 2&3:
4
Years 2&3:
5
Years 2&3
1
d
Year 1:
24
Year 1:
4
Year 1:
5
f
Year 2&3:
13
Year 2&3:
7
Years 2&3:
13
2
Source: Akyeampong, 1997
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s
5.6.3 Curriculum and teaching loads22
y
e
In the training colleges almost all teaching is organised in standard classroom settings (grid-
l
like seating arrangements typical of the school system). Lessons are scheduled according to
subject-specific contact hours, meaning that often a tutor’s teaching load is viewed strictly
in terms of fixed classroom contact time with students. A common complaint of tutors was
that teaching loads were excessive, making it unrealistic to provide extensive learning
experiences that could potentially increase already heavy workloads.
r
y
We tackled the issue of tutors’ workload in two of the four colleges to ascertain whether the
often referred-to impact of teaching load on instructional practice reflects lack of
management efficiency or was an organisational problem. Furthermore, we explored
e
whether it is possible, or indeed reasonable, to reduce tutor-student contact hours and
o
increase student group work by means of projects, investigations, reflective assignments and
e
individualised study, to take advantage of the possibilities these offer for improving learning
d
to teach.
.
The distribution of students on each of the programs in the two colleges used for this
y
analysis is shown in Table 5.2. The overall staff-student ratio was as follows: College A –
o
1:15, College B – 1:21. At the time of the study, Colleges A and B ran slightly different
n
programmes
y
D
Table 5.2: Number of tutors, and student distribution by number in each programme
for 1999/2000
Programme/Number of students
College
Number of
Tutors*
GTTP
PTP
SSP
Total
A
35
470
256
-
736
B
45
500
-
197
697
* Excludes Principals of the colleges
GTTP – General Teacher Training Programme, PTP – Primary Training Programme, SSP – Subject
Specialist Programme
The Ghana Ministry of Education (MOE) policy on staff recruitment stipulates that staffstudent ratio should be 1:15 and tutors should teach between 32 – 36 periods a week (a
period is equivalent to 40 minutes). Based upon this policy, College A would be considered
to have a high staff-student ratio of 1:21 and College B a ratio of 1:15, which satisfies the
official requirement.
We assumed that a tutor teaches different student groups of 15 students for each period to
deduce the following results. For a staff-student ratio of 1:15, a tutor has to be in face-toface classroom contact with a minimum of 480 students in a week (15 students per period
22
See Akyeampong, Furlong & Lewin (2000) for a detailed account.
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x 32 periods), and a maximum of 540 students a week (15 students per period x 36 periods).
s
This translates to an official teaching load in student-hour terms ranging from 320 per week
t
to a maximum of 360 student-hours per week.23 We compared this to the actual teaching
e
loads of tutors in the two colleges.
f
o
The actual average teaching load in student-hours for College A was 458 and the estimated
contact time with students was 12 hours. The average number of periods per week was 17
I
(ranges from 3 –18). A tutor in this college averaged 278 student periods a week. In College
b
A, the tutor-student ratio fell within the official figure of 1:15. But viewed in terms of
N
student hours, tutors had larger loads than implied by the official standard. However this
p
was achieved by using group sizes that averaged 40. The consequence was that the average
s
number of teaching hours that a tutor actually taught was only 12 per week for the weeks
of normal operation.
T
e
Our data illustrated a wide range of teaching loads across the tutors, arising from their
p
specialisations, the elective choices that students make, and choices made about teaching group
a
size. Most tutors taught both first and second year courses and therefore had to prepare
h
materials for both. Although 71% of tutors in college A taught more than 360 student hours
per week, they were actually in contact with student groups for 12 hours on average. Thus
M
it appears that inefficiencies have arisen from uneven workloads across staff with different
f
specialisations, whereby some are relatively heavily loaded and others have fewer periods
with small groups.
•
•
In College B none of the tutors was able to meet the MOE minimum teaching load of 32
•
periods a week, partly because the college had a favourable staff-student ratio. Our analysis
revealed that the number of student periods a tutor worked in a week ranged from 51 to
A
736. The average time a tutor was engaged in teaching was 363 student periods a week - a
m
figure much higher than college A. Also tutors in college B on average taught 7 classes
s
(average size 52) a week, with most teaching two levels e.g. year 1 and 2. The average
m
teaching load in student hours a week of 614 was considerably higher than College A, with
d
97% exceeding the notional Ministry guidelines. However tutors taught on average 12 hours
b
a week, the same as in College A, because of the larger average group size.
c
c
Recruitment of staff is done exclusively by the Principal of a College, whose only guiding
r
rule is to keep within the officially recommended staff-student ratio of 1:15. It is clear that
the guideline is also sometimes ignored. It leads to situations where some departments are
I
understaffed and overburdened, whilst others are overstaffed and under-utilised. For
t
example, although College A had the full complement of staff (using the 1:15 ratio), the
u
f
Student-hours appears to provide a better picture of workload. Each period of 40 minutes for a 32 or 36 period
schedule works out to be a minimum of 21.3 contact hours and a maximum of 24 contact hours respectively. In studenthours terms this is between 320 – 360. (i.e. 21.3 x 15) Therefore the more the student-hours the greater the work load
because of the number of students to deal with and its implications for the organisational demands of student learning.
23
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.
social studies department had only two tutors teaching a total of 70 periods a week, whereas
k
the science department had five tutors teaching a total of 48 periods a week. The physical
g
education department had three tutors sharing a total of 27 periods a week. It would appear
from this analysis of teaching load in the two colleges that the problems emanate from both
organisational structure and curriculum demand.
d
7
Issues about staff-tutor ratio and tutors’ workload are complex and their resolution may not
e
be simple as they raise a lot of challenges that touch on policy, politics and practice.
f
Nevertheless, any serious attempt to improve curriculum delivery to yield positive
s
professional learning outcomes will need to face the challenges it presents, and search for
e
strategies that are efficient and cost-effective.
s
The MUSTER data on tutor loads do indicate that there may be some scope for more
efficient utilisation of staff. Average class contact times of 12 hours per week (about 2 hours
r
per day) do not seem excessive, especially when coupled with the large amounts of time
p
allocated to assessment tasks. Group sizes could be smaller, with larger numbers of contact
e
hours, if it was thought this would improve the quality of learning.
s
s
More fundamentally, the problem of efficient utilisation of staff revolves around three main
t
factors:
s
2
•
Relatively small size of colleges,
•
Number of subjects in the curriculum and
•
Willingness and ability of tutors to teach two or more subject areas.
s
o
A review of policy in these areas might produce opportunities to expand enrolment,
a
maintain student contact, and deepen learning experiences, with modest increases in staff-
s
student contact time. Currently colleges do not appear to have an obvious incentive to
e
manage staff time more efficiently. Teaching-group sizes are not monitored, and making
h
deployment more effective would bring no clear benefits to the college. Perhaps the real
s
barrier to more efficient utilization of staff is the manner in which the content of the
curriculum is structured and delivered. Because the content is packaged for delivery in a
classroom environment, and framed in terms of predetermined knowledge and skills
g
required for teaching, a transmission mode of instruction is favoured.
t
e
It is conceivable that once the curriculum model shifts towards one in which student
r
teachers take more responsibility for how it is developed, shaped and documented, based
e
upon their learning experiences, this will free “time and space” for staff to acquire more
D
flexible roles. For example, with a de-emphasis on “tutor delivery of content knowledge of
teaching”, college tutors could then focus attention on creating suitable learning experiences
for student teachers, and assist them, through cooperative activity, to learn teaching through
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such experiences. But this will require a complete reconceptualisation and reorientation of
➣
teacher training pedagogy and structure, as well as redesigned instructional materials.
➣
➣
5.7
➣
Trainees’ preparedness to teach
➣
Almost all trainees felt unprepared to teach at least one school subject. These trainees
➣
perceived their competence to teach a subject in terms of the level of mastery they achieved
at secondary school. This has implications for promoting confidence in teaching subjects in
T
which student teachers have weak backgrounds. Subject content knowledge teaching at the
w
training college would appear to be critical in raising the confidence and competence levels
w
of trainees. Later data is presented on the likely impact colleges can make in raising trainees’
d
mathematics achievement level (see chapter 7).
o
Other trainees perceived preparedness to teach in terms of the amount of knowledge and
I
skills acquired at college. But overall, adequate exposure to teaching through teaching
K
practice was considered the most significant factor in being adequately prepared to teach. In
t
summary, three issues stood out as significant in the final year students’ perception about
f
their preparedness to start classroom teaching:
t
c
➣ First, subject content mastery level prior to entering teacher training college.
➣ Second, acquiring an adequate repertoire of teaching knowledge and skills at college,
F
➣ Third, and perhaps the most important, whether adequate exposure to teaching had
been gained through supervised teaching practice.
➣
In the case of teaching practice, the perception seemed to be that more teaching practice
would ultimately help attune their teaching knowledge to practical situations. This
perception is in actual fact a reflection of “conventional teacher education” – an approach
➣
which “reflects a view of learning to teach as a two-step process of knowledge acquisition
and application or transfer” (Feiman-Nemser & Remillard, 1996, p. 79).
In the next section, survey data is presented about the teaching practice experiences of
student teachers.
5.8
Teaching practice experiences
Survey data showed that the majority of trainees spent between 16 to 20 days in each of their
➣
teaching practices. This worked out to be 32 to 40 days teaching practice for the entire
three-year training. If the data is taken to be typical of the two teaching practice sessions of
training – one in the second year and the other in the third year, a measure of the quality of
this experience is the number of lessons student teachers were able to teach and the
supervisions received. From the survey data the following picture emerged:
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f
➣ About 3% had not done any teaching at all at their last teaching practice
➣ 26% had taught between 1 and 4 lessons a week
➣ 22% had taught 5 to 10 lessons a week
➣ 16% had taught 11 to 15 lessons a week
➣ 24% had taught 16 to 20 lessons a week
s
➣ 9% had taught 21 lessons and above
d
n
To put this data into perspective and understand its significance, we needed to compare it
e
with the average number of lessons a typical primary school teacher was expected to teach a
s
week in Ghana. This ranges from 30 to 32 lessons a week (lessons are about 30 minutes
’
duration). Thus, trainees were teaching relatively few subjects when on teaching practice,
or they may have been avoiding teaching some subjects altogether.
d
In a study of management of instructional time in some Ghanaian public primary schools,
g
Koomson et al., (1999) observed that, on average, less than three subjects were taught in
n
the 24 schools studied. The study also revealed mathematics and English as the most
t
frequently taught subjects. Thus, the quality of teaching practice, in terms of subjects
taught, could be a reflection of instructional practices in schools which, as Koomson and his
colleagues’ note, is rather lax.
From survey data the following general observations about teaching practice were reached:
➣ The majority of trainees (82%) did teaching practice in a primary school, and 18% in a
junior secondary school. Less than 1% did teaching practice in a kindergarten. Trainees
e
s
may therefore not be experiencing adequate exposure to junior secondary teaching,
even though most prefer teaching at this level.
h
➣ College tutors were the main teaching practice supervisors, supervising about 86% of
n
trainees on more than one occasion. About 68% of trainees reported that they had
received some supervision from class teachers. Other education professionals such as
head teachers, teachers from other classes, and circuit supervisors accounted for less than
f
50% student teacher supervisions. Although trainees received supervision from a wide
range of professionals, this was not necessarily considered very productive. In fact,
trainees felt that suggestions about how to improve teaching lacked consistency between
the different professionals. Better co-ordination and training seemed needed in the
organisation of teaching practice.
r
➣ College tutors’ methodology notes appeared the most relied-upon reference for
e
preparation to teach. About 88% indicated they relied mostly on these. College peer
f
teaching activity was found useful by 73%, while input from interaction with primary
f
school teachers was the least supportive activity (53%).
e
D
➣ About 94% and 89% respectively indicated they found discussion with tutors and tutors’
methods notes most useful in preparation for teaching. Other inputs such as school
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visits, discussions with primary and junior secondary teachers and peer teaching were
c
also considered valuable in developing insights about teaching. However, these inputs
seemed not as highly valued as tutor notes and discussions with college tutors. Project
W
work was least valued.
a
➣ More than half the students reported follow-up activities after teaching practice, as the
e
following figures show: assignments based on teaching practice (68%), individual
t
discussions with class teachers (63%), individual discussions with college tutors (63%)
s
and whole class discussions with methods tutors (56%).
a
➣ To improve teaching practice, trainees suggested increasing all aspects of teaching
practice preparatory inputs. This seemed to be an indication that despite the variety of
B
preparations, the total effect was still unsatisfactory.
p
u
The survey findings on teaching practice create two important impressions:
i
r
(i) Although training inputs from outside the college are valued e.g. from head teachers,
T
and classroom teachers, greater value is placed on college preparation e.g. teaching
c
method notes.
H
a
(ii) Although teaching practice supervision is received from a wide group of education
professionals, student teachers did not perceive the varied input as necessarily
C
productive. The lack of a framework of professional standards for assessing and
a
enhancing student teachers’ practice, which all supervisors could be trained to use,
m
seems to be the main cause of this problem.
w
c
Interview data generated more in-depth insights into trainees’ experience of teaching
t
practice and is the subject of the next section.
C
5.9
Qualitative insights into teaching practice
l
s
Student teachers unanimously declared that teaching practice represented the most
a
insightful experience of learning to teach. By that they meant that without real classroom
teaching experience as part of training, they might not have known what challenges faced
•
them in a teaching career. As one student put it, “[Teaching Practice] exposed us to the
•
type of job we opted for”.
From the interviews, we gathered that student teachers had become more aware, through
•
teaching practice, that teaching was much more than simply applying a set of pedagogical
strategies. Rather it involved dealing with real problems of children’s learning which could
T
not be specified beforehand, as college training seem to suggest. Some practical difficulties
a
recalled were: problems of learning readiness, pupil absenteeism that obstructed sequential lesson
delivery, lack of instructional resources, teaching children with mixed learning abilities,
60
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e
communication difficulties due to poor English language background of pupils..
s
t
We noticed from observing tutor lessons that learning about teaching was often presented
as an unproblematic task as long as one applied certain teaching strategies. College training
e
emphasized the correct format for writing lesson notes, preparation and use of structured
l
teaching and learning materials, etc. Both college classroom observation and interview data
)
suggested that learning to teach is presented as a simple two-stage process: pedagogical skills
and knowledge are acquired in college first, followed next by its application in classrooms.
g
f
But the kind of difficulties student teachers faced suggests the need to rethink this
philosophy of learning to teach.
To develop a positive approach to conflicts and
unstructured classroom problems, it would be useful for pedagogical skills to be developed
in full understanding of its implications for actual classroom practice.
In other words, the
real world of teaching must feature more in the discourse of teacher education in Ghana.
,
This has the potential of making learning to teach more sensitive to the idiosyncrasies of
g
children’s learning experiences and behaviour, and other real life classroom problems.
Hopefully, such an approach would create in prospective teachers more critical reflection and
a sense of personal agency in teaching.
n
y
College tutors seemed more interested in ensuring that trainees applied specific strategies
d
and behaved in a predefined “appropriate” manner. Trainees talked about their experience
,
mostly in terms of trying hard to ensure a specific teaching strategy or instructional material
was applied in teaching. There was less reflection on pupil learning characteristics, or
classroom settings, as critical domains for understanding and developing appropriate
g
teaching strategies.
College textbooks and tutors’ methods notes could also have influenced this image of
learning to teach, since they are based predominantly on the application of specific teaching
strategies. Such texts in subjects such as mathematics, science or English teaching rarely
t
addressed issues such as:
m
d
•
What student or classroom characteristics would support the use of a specific strategy in
a “typical” classroom?
•
What possible teaching constraints would make application of certain strategies
problematic and what should teachers do in such situations?
•
What attitudes and dispositions should teachers have to promote effective teaching and
learning?
e
h
l
d
These and other similar questions could highlight the importance of critical reflection and
s
adaptive behaviour in teaching.
n
,
D
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5.10 The cost of training a teacher24
We turn our attention now to estimating the costs of training a teacher. Teacher training
takes three years to complete and an analysis of the training costs has implications for any
restructuring proposals to make it effective and more cost-efficient.
Data from 12 colleges indicated that average college costs per trainee were about US$680
per student (Table 5.3). However, training costs varied from about US$550 to as much as
US$1000, which in this sample is unrelated to size. Typically colleges are small in terms of
total enrolment (average 450 in this sample and 500 across all colleges) and have about one
member of teaching staff to 15 to 20 students.
T
Table 5.3: Trainees, staff, student-teacher ratios and unit costs for 12 colleges
College No of Trainees
s
Teaching Staff Student-Teacher Ratio Unit Cost (US$)
1
445
23
19.3
553
2
440
22
20.0
592
3
535
28
19.1
614
4
489
21
23.3
686
5
600
41
14.6
676
6
309
20
15.5
459
7
494
34
14.5
940
8
358
22
16.3
727
9
436
27
16.1
550
10
494
34
14.5
637
11
519
22
23.6
688
12
364
20
18.2
1004
Average
457
26
17.9
677
t
m
w
o
p
y
T
c
m
m
s
m
p
e
The structure of college financing is unusual in the sense that most of the costs lie in the
value of stipends for trainees. This can be illustrated with reference to budgetary data from
s
i
a particular college for year 2000 (see Table 5.4). In this case, there are about 320 students,
30 teaching staff, and a total of 48 non-teaching staff.
A
c
This specific case confirms MUSTER data across the college sector. Typically about 75% of
direct costs are in student stipends, 20% in college salaries, split between teaching and nonteaching staff about 60/40, and about 5% in non-salary expenses. College running costs are
concealed in this budgetary allocation system. Trainees, we noted, did not receive the entire
value of the stipends since a proportion was held back and used by the colleges for operating
costs. Estimates indicated that about 40% is deducted from payments to trainees and
allocated to purchases of food, equipment, learning materials etc.
24
For fuller account see, Akyeampong, Furlong, & Lewin (2000)
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o
W
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5 College Level Training: Curriculum and Cost Issues
Table 5.4: The allocation of a college budget
g
y
0
s
f
e
Category
Percentage of Total
Teaching Staff Salaries
12.8
Non Teaching Salaried Staff
3.3
Daily Paid Staff
3.9
SSF
2.5
Miscellaneous
0.3
Trainee Stipends
76.8
Vehicle maintenance etc.
0.1
Total
100
The scope for cost saving is limited by the main parameters identified above. Increasing the
student-staff ratio would have reduced costs per student but ratios above 20:1 might be
thought to be unsuited to conventional curriculum delivery. The only element of costs that
might be reduced relates to students’ stipends. But judgments would have to be made
whether the proportion that is withheld is efficiently allocated, and whether the proportion
of the stipend paid directly to students for living expenses (excluding what the colleges
provide in the form of board and lodging) is appropriate. The latter is about US$ 330 per
year out of a total unit cost of nearly US$700.
This unusual cost structuring has implications for ways in which efficiency gains might be
constrained. A first-order analysis of college costs indicates that, as currently structured,
most costs are variable and rise directly with the numbers of students. This is because so
much of the cost is in stipends. Increasing average college size from current levels, which are
small by international standards, ought to reduce unit costs as fixed costs are spread over
more students. This would not result in significant savings in this system since it is only
perhaps 10% of the costs that could be regarded as fixed within different ranges of
enrolment. It would be logical and managerially useful to separate budget running costs and
e
m
student stipends, and to separate fixed and variable costs. Currently there appears to be no
incentive to increase the efficiency with which resources are used.
,
Another important issue relates to the implications of training costs for reconceptualising
curriculum delivery in ways that promise enhanced professional learning while achieving
f
e
e
g
more cost-effective training outcomes. The indications are that trainees in college utilize
only a part of the time allocated and budgeted for in-college training (Akyeampong, 1997).
With most training costs being in the form of student teacher stipends, it appears logical to
attempt to maximize returns on such investments through engaging trainees full-time in
strategies for active professional learning and development.
d
D
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5.11 Summary
l
s
Learning to teach involves a whole range of professional learning experiences, which begin
e
even before the initial training phase, and continue well into the teacher’s professional career
a
(Feiman-Nemser & Remillard, 1996). This chapter has described the college context and
the students’ views and experiences of training and teaching practice. Conditions that may
T
be responsible for shaping college tutors’ instructional practices were also discussed. Finally,
e
the issue of internal costs of training was examined.
w
Pulling together all of the evidence from this range of data sources, the following issues
5
appear critical for improving college training.
C
5.11.1 Model of learning to teach
w
o
The study evidence suggests that college training focused mainly on subject content learning
o
and on acquiring teaching knowledge and skills. The model of training could be described
i
as additive since it aimed to increase teachers’ repertoire of teaching knowledge and skills for
future application in school.
•
Recent research into teaching suggests that teaching strategies are not effective in
themselves, but rather, that situations, contexts and pupil characteristics are what determine
•
appropriate teacher actions or behaviour. Consequently, transmitting generalized knowledge
and skills of teaching for some future application is unproductive, because effective teaching
•
activity is far too complex to be reduced to the simple application of predefined teaching
strategies (Darling-Hammond, Wise & Klein, 1999).
5.11.2 Resources for learning to teach
F
s
The main resources for learning about teaching in the colleges were primary and junior
t
secondary school textbooks, college textbooks and tutors’ notes. The majority of students
c
appear to have access to school textbooks but feel that more textbooks, especially those for
p
primary and junior secondary classes, are needed in the colleges for study reference and
practical use. The colleges visited also lacked audio-visual equipment.
The poor
A
instructional resource situation clearly undermines the quality of training received in college.
c
w
5.11.3 Teaching Loads
e
Analysis of teaching loads in the colleges suggests that some colleges may not be utilising
instructional time efficiently, and that the problem reflects both organizational structure and
curriculum demand. Generally, a more efficient utilization of instructional time could be
promoted if the philosophy of training shifted towards student-directed professional
64
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learning and the development of teaching. This approach would, however, require a whole
system change to reflect a more professional outlook to teacher training in the colleges. For
n
example, more availability of reference books and materials, as well as increased tutorial
r
activity, would be essential for this to be effective.
d
y
There is also evidence that the extensive and time-consuming assessment system, and the
y,
extent of peripheral extra-curricular activities in the colleges, has implications for ways in
which time available for student-directed learning might be constrained.
s
5.11.4 Quality of teaching practice
Clearly, teaching practice is highly valued by trainees, but it appears to be organized in ways
which do not take full advantage of its potential benefits. To be more productive, the ethos
of teaching practice has to reflect a conceptualisation based on more recent understanding
g
of teacher learning for effective practice.
d
important characteristics.
Essentially its practice needs to reflect three
r
•
It should be centred around the critical activities of teaching and learning – planning
lessons, evaluating student work, developing curriculum – rather than on abstractions
n
e
and generalities
•
e
g
g
It should grow from investigations of practice through cases, questions, analysis, and
criticisms; and
•
It should be built on substantial professional discourse, that fosters analysis and
communication about practices and values in ways that build colleagueship and
standards of practice (Ball & Cohen, 1999).
From the student teachers’ accounts, supervision was not always productive because
supervisors did not seem to share a common understanding of good practice. It suggests
r
the need for training of supervisors (classroom teachers, head teachers, circuit supervisors,
s
college tutors) and adoption of a common framework of standards for effective professional
r
practice.
d
r
Also, if teaching practice is to become more beneficial, it may be necessary to link what
.
colleges do more closely to school settings, with the hope that this will increase familiarity
with pupil background learning characteristics, school ecology, and the common problems
encountered in teaching.
g
d
e
l
D
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6
T
1
2
3
6
I
(
s
A
o
c
a
f
p
r
k
N
i
w
C
t
a
T
a
f
M
t
p
s
m
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Chapter Six
6.1
6 Post Training: Newly Qualified Teachers’
Early Experiences, Practices and
Reflections on Training
Introduction
The newly qualified teachers’ data largely sought to address the following questions:
1.
What are the early experiences of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and what sense do
they make of it?
2.
In retrospect, how do NQTs evaluate their training programme?
3.
How do head teachers perceive the capability of NQTs and what criteria do they use?
6.2
Professional and community support for NQTs.
Induction into teaching is a critical phase in becoming an effective beginning teacher
(Knowles & Cole, 1996). Parts of the survey examined the NQTs’ experience of the
support they received during the early years of their career.
According to NQTs, head teachers provided the most professional support in their first year
of teaching. About 95% indicated that head teachers were the most helpful in adjusting to
classroom teaching.
However, the consistency of the support appears weak, as heads
admitted offering only the occasional tip and advice as and when NQTs approached them
for assistance. Formal school or district induction was rarely organised, and when they took
place topics usually covered were: (1) lesson notes preparation, (2) school and community
relations, (3) organisation of classroom teaching, and (4) continuous assessment and record
keeping. Views about how useful induction courses had been were mixed. About 45% of
NQTs who had received some form of induction said topics that covered general
information about schools, continuous assessment, and organisation of classroom teaching,
were quite useful.
Community support, in the form of providing accommodation and other facilities that made
the transition to teaching more comfortable, was recognized as essential to their early
adjustment to teaching. About 65% said they received help from their school’s ParentTeacher Association (PTA) or School Management Committees (SMC) in finding suitable
accommodation. Other community support came in the form of food items, or help in
farming (especially those in rural communities where food could be a problem).
Most NQTs (about 71%) said they had positive relationships with the communities in which
they worked – which may be taken as an indication of generally constructive community
participation in the welfare of beginning teachers.
In fact, the majority of the NQTs
surveyed expressed positive sentiments about their initial adjustment. For example, 90%
maintained they easily got used to teaching, while 82% felt capable of achieving some
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changes in schools and about 80% felt respected as teachers. Closer exploration of some
(
NQTs’ lives by Hedges (2001) suggests a rather different picture of difficult adjustment to
s
teaching. But this may be a reflection of differences in the experience of teachers working
G
in urban or rural districts respectively. Hedges studied teachers who were sent to poor rural
communities and faced especially difficult circumstances. In the survey, a more diverse
I
group was used, with the majority teaching in semi-urban districts. Thus, it appears that
i
adjustment to teaching depends very much on where a beginning teacher is posted to, with
t
rural areas presenting the most challenging circumstances for NQTs.
u
w
The NQTs surveyed felt the worst problems encountered in life as a teacher related to late
t
arrival of salaries (75%), difficulty in feeding themselves (67%) and suitable accommodation
t
(67%). About 60% also indicated they had problems with transport to district centres to
a
receive their salaries.
M
e
Less common problems encountered were relations with colleagues (25%), language barrier
difficulties with communities in which they taught (30%) and relations with pupils (40%).
6
Nearly half suggested they experienced some difficulties with pupils’ parents. It is not clear
what some of these problems were, but a few of those interviewed complained of parents
T
showing little interest in their children’s education.
d
t
6.3
How committed are NQTs to a teaching career?
T
When asked what they expected to be doing in five years’ time, only about 37% of NQTs
q
felt they might be still teaching at primary or junior secondary school. Some NQTs had
u
ambitions that seem to far exceed what was possible in five years – e.g. to be an accountant
a
(20%) or an administrator (10%). About 10% expected to have left primary or JSS teaching
a
for further studies, and 20% expected to be teaching at senior secondary school. In all over
s
60% expected to quit primary or JSS teaching. When asked what was most likely in five years
t
time, seeking for their more realistic expectations, the responses confirmed the
o
determination to quit primary teaching in the long term - only 3% indicated they might be
t
teaching at the junior secondary and none of them said they were most likely to remain
e
teaching in a primary school, in five years time. Most (84%) hoped to have gone on for
further studies – an indication of their readiness to take advantage of “study leave with pay”
T
after teaching for 3 years. (NQTs surveyed were in the second year of service and had one
s
more year to qualify for study leave with pay). About 13% maintained they would have left
(
teaching for a different job.
f
i
After five years of teaching it is unlikely that all of them would have realised their aspirations.
t
But such intentions to quit teaching, especially primary teaching, clearly indicate a failing of
o
teacher education policy in Ghana to sustain interest in basic school teaching. Hedges’
l
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e
(2001) study provides rich-textured insights into some of the reasons for this, such as poor
o
status, an ineffective teacher welfare system and the weak professional organisation of the
g
Ghana Education Service (GES).
l
e
In conclusion, the survey data on early years of teaching suggests that although formal
t
induction is rare, head teachers and perhaps other teachers are on hand to assist beginning
h
teachers adjust to early classroom teaching experience. However, this seemed sporadic and
uncoordinated, raising doubts about the effectiveness of the inputs. Induction courses,
when conducted, seemed to address issues related to school professionalism and less about
e
the personal, professional or psychological adjustments needed to succeed as a beginning
n
teacher. Clearly, the issue of salaries (linked to their ability to feed themselves), and
o
accommodation, especially in rural districts are the most urgent personal needs of NQTs.
Meeting these needs will undoubtedly help beginning teachers to apply their energies to
enhancing their professional practice.
r
.
6.4
Preferred instructional strategies
r
s
The NQTs noted their preference for question and answer (Q&A) technique, group work and
demonstration as teaching strategies, with Q&A as the most preferred instructional
technique.
The NQTs surveyed said they made least use of the lecture method and role-play, although
s
qualitative evidence from classroom observation suggests that lecturing is quite frequently
d
used (Hedges, 2001). Most NQTs (75%) indicated they found preparation of lesson notes
t
a useful activity. But interview evidence suggests that lesson notes preparation is often seen
g
as fulfilling a bureaucratic teaching requirement and that with time less professional
r
significance is attached to it. According to Akyeampong et al., (1999) although Ghanaian
s
teachers may continue to write lesson notes, their motivation for doing so is fuelled by
e
official requirements. For example, one of the preoccupations of circuit supervisors when
e
they visit schools is the inspection of the teacher’s lesson notes, without much professional
n
evaluation of its role in actual classroom teaching (see Fobih et. al., 1999).
r
”
The respondents reported using a variety of assessment methods in teaching. These included
e
short-answer items (75%), multiple choice and filling the blanks (62%), essay questions
ft
(58%) and practical work (52%). True or false items (34%) and projects (35%) were less
frequently used. The percentages may simply represent preferences and not necessarily be
indicative of actual practice. As Hedges noted in his fieldwork, teachers sometimes ended
.
their lessons with exercises or tests as an evaluation of teaching objectives. Extended forms
f
of assessment such as essay tests seem less practised, perhaps because of pupils’ English
’
language difficulties.
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6.5
College preparation for classroom practice
S
i
Judging from the survey evidence one may conclude that there was a positive relationship
u
between college training and actual classroom practice. Areas where they apparently found
r
college preparation most relevant and useful for teaching were: lesson notes preparation
(67%), subject content (87%), teaching strategies (90%), classroom management and control
A
(92%), assessment methods (90%), attending to individual pupil needs (83%), designing
teaching/ learning materials (TLM) (78%) and using TLM (87%). It appears most regard
•
college notes and other learning materials as valuable for teaching. Over half of NQTs
•
reported that they made use of their methodology notes, books obtained from college and
•
instructional materials for teaching.
•
Hedges’ (2001) case studies of NQTs provided in-depth insights into the quality of this
transfer.
From his studies it emerged that often teachers were unprepared for the
T
peculiarities of teaching settings and did not know how to respond to them adequately.
t
College training did not deal with the concrete nature of actual teaching, as already noted
t
(chapter 5), and therefore NQTs seem to learn from prevailing school practices, some of
which may not be very positive. What strongly emerges from the interview accounts is the
A
lack of “doing” – actually practising and developing understanding of teaching from real
t
learning experiences during college training. Thus, the survey evidence tells only part of the
t
story of how knowledge and skills transfer to classroom practice.
r
h
Lack of instructional resources in schools further compounds the teaching difficulties NQTs
s
faced. Although subject syllabuses seem readily available, instructional guides were often
t
difficult to obtain, and about 78% noted they were provided with “few copies” or had none
a
to refer to. In addition, 60% of the surveyed NQTs noted they were not provided in their
w
schools with relevant reference materials and raw materials for making instructional aids.
6
6.6
How NQTs relate to poor pupil performance
A
About 71% of NQTs surveyed rated their pupils as average achievers. However the
c
qualitative evidence about their teaching and how they viewed pupil learning suggest this
d
was probably an overestimation. About 27% rated their pupils as below or well below
O
average, with only 2% rating their pupils as above average.
a
Repeatedly, NQTs attributed pupils’ poor performance to their low proficiency in English.
m
The in-depth case studies by Hedges revealed a tendency for beginning teachers to blame
r
external factors for poor pupil performance, although some admitted poor teaching was also
c
responsible e.g. teaching above the pupils’ level. NQTs in Hedges’ case studies suggested
m
poverty, pupil absenteeism and house chores prevented pupils from achieving in school.
m
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Some went as far as allude to “hereditary” factors and witchcraft. Although these may be
isolated perceptions, they point to the failure of training to help prospective teachers
p
understand the task of teaching as solving problems, and to encourage them to take more
d
responsibility for improving pupils’ learning and performance.
n
l
Asked what would improve pupils’ performance, most NQTs pointed to the following:
g
d
•
Provision of reading materials and other textbooks to pupils to encourage reading
s
•
Teachers to give more exercises – class work and homework - to pupils
d
•
Encourage pupils to speak the English language
•
Teach to the level of pupils i.e. teachers need to tailor their lessons to pupils’ level of
understanding
s
e
The last two suggestions relate to issues of classroom practice. In particular, the problem of
y.
teaching above the ability level of pupils, also noted by Hedges, might indicate how far
d
training is out of touch with the concrete problems of teaching and learning.
f
e
According to one beginning teacher, English teaching methodology taught at college failed
l
to show adequately how to address problems of reading. The problem may rather be that
e
the methodologies learnt at college were fixed and abstract, and unable to respond to the
real and complex problems of teaching. This is illustrated in the comment of one NQT who
had learnt to be more flexible in applying a teaching method for English reading in an in-
s
service course. From his training he had learnt that the correct approach was to teach “…
n
the key words before giving a model reading [lesson]”. But, he had found it was more “…
e
appropriate for the two to go hand in hand because it gives the opportunity to explain the
r
words in context and not in isolation” (Asebu Teacher).
6.7
NQTs’ evaluation of college training
According to the NQTs surveyed, the most commonly used instructional approach in
e
college was “lectures with tutors dictating notes” (47%). Rarely was “small group” work or
s
discussion employed by tutors in college (15%).
w
Over 60% maintained that more time was needed to study science, mathematics, English,
and for teaching practice. About 70% felt colleges needed to focus more attention on
.
methods (pedagogy) and practical work. But more teaching of subject methodology was
e
rated as the most important thing that could improve the college course – as many as 98%
o
considered this as either “very important” or “important”. Provision of instructional
d
materials such as textbooks and instructional aids were also rated highly (about 97%), as the
.
most needed inputs to improve training.
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Consistently, student teachers and NQTs pointed to teaching practice as the most significant
6
experience of their training. As noted in chapter 5, teaching practice created greater
awareness of a disjunction between the prescriptive teaching methodology presented at
college and the real demands of teaching. College tutors’ emphasis on prescriptive teacher
E
behaviour was evident in the way some NQTs described their teaching practice experience.
a
a
During teaching practice we were taught how to manage the class, some of the things
d
we would have to do in the classroom to encourage pupils learn and some things we
t
should not do. Sometimes when I am teaching I refer back in my mind. For example,
c
‘do not call the name of a student before asking a question in class’ (Kormantse NQT.
H
Emphasis added)
f
c
What emerged from accounts of teaching practice was that college tutors were mostly
o
preoccupied with ensuring that trainees applied teaching strategies, or demonstrated certain
teacher behaviour, without raising equally the need for adaptive behaviour.
There appears to be a tension between what college training espouses as effective teacher
behaviour and what real teaching situations demand. When Hedges (2001) asked NQTs
how they knew pupils understood their lessons, most responses were in terms of applying
teaching techniques, rather than on monitoring the effects achieved. Thus when NQTs
A
spoke about the usefulness of teacher training, this was often in terms of acquiring teaching
p
techniques and not necessarily how teacher training prepared them to deal with the actual
s
problems of teaching. Asked to describe their best lessons and why they considered them so,
f
most gave examples of using manipulative objects, providing practical examples and activities
o
that increased pupil participation in lessons. Although these teaching techniques may have
l
been effective for the purpose intended, there seemed to be undue preoccupation with such
t
techniques, creating the impression that these alone guaranteed pupils’ mental engagement
b
and learning, irrespective of other conditions influencing the technique’s effectiveness.
H
My best lesson is science – light. This was because we had real materials to do some
p
experiments and the children got themselves involved, they brought their own
m
materials and everybody tried to make use of the materials (Moree NQT)
c
t
What made this lesson effective seems to be considered in terms of physical involvement.
t
Hedges made similar observations in his study of NQTs, but added that some teachers
seemed more anxious about connecting to the pupils’ world, which motivated them to make
S
teaching and learning more practical and reflective. Thus, the challenges of real life teaching
b
may eventually cause shifts towards adaptive behaviour. But from our data it appears that not
a
all NQTs are able to respond to pupil learning needs.
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t
r
6.8
Head teachers’ views about NQTs’ professional and personal attitudes to
teaching
t
r
Eight head teachers provided information about NQTs’ professional attitudes, competence
.
and initial adjustment to teaching. Most head teachers (7 out of 8) identified the following
as persistent problems that they encountered with new teachers: reporting late to assume
s
duty (when first posted), and an unwillingness to participate in extra-curricular activities of
e
the school. They however realised that such attitudes might be the result of the difficult
,
circumstances of teaching e.g. finding suitable accommodation, and late payment of salaries.
T.
Head teachers cited instances where NQTs had not been paid their salaries for about four to
five months since assuming duty. They argued that this was likely to affect teachers’ morale,
commitment and classroom effectiveness. As one head teacher recounted his experience with
y
one NQT:
n
For instance, my P1 teacher last year had a similar problem. For more than one year
she never had her pay arrears. So she vacated post for almost 3 weeks to stay with her
r
parents. The children were left without a teacher so they also stopped coming to
s
school.
g
s
According to the heads, some teachers seem to adjust better to teaching and its attendant
g
problems than others. For example, one head teacher had observed that new teachers in his
l
school were punctual and performed their professional responsibilities creditably despite
,
facing possible financial difficulties. It is unclear what helped these to cope better than
s
others. Perhaps such teachers had some external assistance that cushioned the effect of the
e
late payment of salaries. It is unfortunate that after all the investment made in training
h
teachers, very little attention is paid to setting up structures to meet beginning teachers’
t
basic personal needs and thus encourage a more positive attitude to teaching.
Heads generally rated highly personal qualities - dedication, punctuality, respect, and
e
professional capability (perceived mostly in terms of subject content knowledge) - as the
n
most important qualities new teachers needed to possess. The head teachers felt that the
current crop of beginning teachers often lacked these qualities. They expected beginning
teachers to enter the profession with “fresh ideas from college” about teaching but found
.
that not many exhibited this quality either.
s
e
Some head teachers suggested that the lack of commitment and dedication to the profession
g
by some NQTs was because they lacked certain innate professional qualities fundamental to
t
a teacher’s survival in the profession, as the following illustrate:
D
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One thing I have observed is that some of them are not born teachers. I believe that
I
they would leave the teaching service very soon because they find it to be very tedious
r
work
m
b
Most of the students who enter training college don’t enter willingly as in the former
t
days. This time it is just like I don’t have anywhere to go so I have to move in (i.e.
p
to teaching). Some of them are teachers, you could detect from the way they go
o
about their job [born teacher idea]. There are others who enter and would want to
a
use the profession as a springboard and leave the service. So when they come they
W
have a different attitude towards teaching
t
But others felt the problem was actually due to the difficulties NQTs faced in the early years,
which undermined their commitment and loyalty to teaching. As one head teacher argued:
I
f
…When they feel comfortable they would put up their best, think of their pupils and
t
prepare well for class
N
c
Any system of supporting NQTs must deal with the problems of adjustment, particularly
basic accommodation needs, and most importantly the late payment of salaries. Teachers in
6
less affluent communities may not be able to engage in additional work, as others seem to
be able to do, to supplement their income or support them whilst waiting for delayed
T
salaries. There is no doubt that if beginning teachers find their early career experiences
r
traumatic they will lose interest in teaching, and even if they stay in teaching for some time,
they will probably not give their best. Thus the country’s investment in their training will
•
return little in the way of benefit.
6.9
Strengths and weaknesses of NQTs
•
Head teachers generally felt NQTs were reasonably prepared for teaching, but this view must
be interpreted carefully. Without some reference to standards of professional practice that
define the specific professional expectations of beginning teachers, heads’ judgments could
be based on their own subjective criteria and may have overlooked important considerations
•
for an overall judgment on teacher quality.
When head teachers said NQTs were “good all round”, they generally referred to three main
characteristics that did not describe precisely the nature of the “good” behaviour. These were:
•
Had good control over children,
•
Had good command over their subject, and
•
Possessed skills to deliver the lessons.
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t
In contrast the closest they came to pinpointing a specific difficulty of NQTs was the
s
reference they made to problems about “teaching above the levels of the pupils” – generally
meaning their inability to select appropriate content and instructional strategies to reflect the
background needs of pupils’ learning and development. As has been pointed out several
r
times in this report, training appears to focus on building student teachers’ repertoire of
.
pedagogical strategies, thus narrowing the conception of what effective teaching requires –
o
one of which is attention to students’ background characteristics to determine appropriate
o
actions.
y
We believe the prescriptive philosophy of teacher training does not allow this issue to receive
the attention it deserves, which reflects a major weakness of training.
,
:
In conclusion, it is difficult to discern much about the professional competence of NQTs
from the head teachers’ perspective. But one thing is clear - the hardships faced by new
d
teachers as they tried to settle into teaching exert a toll on their commitment to teaching.
No doubt, this is a matter that has implications for their level of effectiveness in the
classroom.
y
n
6.10 Summary
o
d
The following points highlight the key findings about NQTs’ early school experiences, and
s
reflections on training. They also outline some of the implications:
,
l
•
College notes and materials continue to be used and thus play an important part in the
early professional practice of new teachers. This suggests the value attached to such
college inputs, and perhaps also indicates the lack of instructional resources at school.
•
Question and answer technique, group work and demonstration are teaching methods
t
preferred by NQTs. But, it is not clear whether this preference means a commitment to
t
use them in practice. Our observations suggest that the use of group work is rather
d
sporadic.
s
•
NQTs suggested they found daily lesson notes preparation useful. This is encouraging.
But other evidence suggests that bureaucratic requirements and threats from higher
n
education officials, in particular circuit supervisors, tend to force teachers to treat lesson
:
notes as simply badges for inspection (see Akyeampong et al., 1999). With time the role
D
of notes may become merely cosmetic.
According to Fobih et al., (1999) the
atmosphere of threats and sanctions, which accompany inspection of lesson notes when
circuit supervisors visit schools, risks undermining their role in effective teaching.
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•
Head teachers seem to be the providers of frontline professional support for NQTs.
T
However, the support is often in the form of tips and suggestions. We have noted that
n
a more useful approach would be to organise more structured and systematic
t
professional support for new teachers in the early years.
s
t
•
NQTs suggested that they found college training and actual classroom practice similar.
t
Their examples, however, show they perceived the similarities between the two mostly
m
in instrumental terms e.g. lesson notes preparation, use of instructional materials etc.
s
They seemed less successful in using what they had learned effectively to promote pupil
understanding.
C
o
•
Most NQTs indicated that schools they taught in lacked adequate teaching materials
t
and resources. Head teachers felt that this situation undermined the effectiveness of
NQTs. We have argued that situating training more in the context of real classrooms
may help new teachers to deal with real teaching and learning problems, such as
inadequate instructional materials and resources.
•
Community input and support (e.g. helping to find accommodation, occasional gift of
food items) appears to make a difference in how well and quickly some beginning
T
teachers adjust to teaching.
t
c
•
Late payment of salaries – sometimes by as much as 5 months to a year - is a major
m
source of discontent with teaching, which undermines beginning teachers’ commitment
t
and dedication. The effect is that some beginning teachers fail to attend classes, are less
G
caring about their pupils, and are unwilling to engage in extra-curricular activities
•
NQTs clearly did not see themselves teaching in the long-term, especially when it came
to teaching at primary level in rural areas. Most preferred to teach in urban junior
secondary schools. Others looked forward to jobs outside teaching or to the
opportunity to further their education and become senior secondary school teachers,
where it appears teachers enjoy relatively higher status and have better accommodation.
In conclusion, at the early stages of their teaching career teachers are faced with two major
problems. First, the problems of working and living conditions appear to affect beginning
teachers’ morale and distract them from concentrating on classroom teaching. Second,
through the lack of systematic induction into teaching new teachers are for the most part
left to learn to teach on their own. They get very little or no organised professional
assistance as they adjust to teaching.
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.
To address these two major problems, policy should first address the immediate welfare
t
needs of new teachers. The evidence of NQTs’ lack of commitment to basic education
c
teaching suggests an urgent need for policy that would make early teaching experience less
stressful and more rewarding. Considering the relatively high investment in training a
teacher (only university training is more expensive) ways must be found to encourage new
r.
teachers to invest sufficient personal energy in teaching for at least five years. This may
y
mean delaying the entitlement to study leave till after at least five years of service in primary
.
school and making the conditions of service more rewarding for teachers.
l
Clearly, some NQTs are able to cope better in terms of the professional and social challenges
of early teaching, for reasons that are not fully understood. More research may be needed
s
to provide clear answers. But as Feiman-Nemser (2001) has observed,
f
s
no matter what kind of preparation a teacher receives, some aspects of teaching can
s
be learned only on the job. No college course can teach a new teacher how to blend
knowledge of particular students and knowledge of particular content in decisions
about what to do in specific situations (p. 18).
f
g
This important realisation calls for some form of systematic induction into actual classroom
teaching, particularly NQTs’ need to be shown how to teach under less than perfect
conditions e.g. lack of instructional materials, pupil absenteeism, and combined classes that
r
may require mixed ability teaching (see Hedges, 2000). It is also necessary that the teacher
t
training colleges expose prospective teachers to the concrete challenges of teaching in typical
s
Ghanaian schools for longer periods of time, instead of teaching them in the abstract.
e
r
e
,
.
r
g
,
t
l
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7
A
k
t
e
t
R
n
a
o
p
a
I
t
7
I
t
t
p
r
t
h
W
1
c
d
p
t
w
t
R
t
a
t
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Chapter Seven
7.1
7 Insights into the Effectiveness of
Teacher Training
Introduction
A central issue of many investigations into teacher education is whether it is producing the
kind of teachers who can improve schools and enhance student learning. Another is whether
teacher education systems are capable of meeting the increased demand for teachers as
enrolment in basic education grows and access improves. For the MUSTER work in Ghana,
these two issues were of paramount interest because of the aspirations of the 1987 Education
Reform Programme and 1996 Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education reforms. As
noted earlier, part of the objective of educational reforms in Ghana was to improve access
and participation in basic education, and enhance the quality of teaching and learning
outcomes (MOE, 1994). Both had implications for teacher training: improving access and
participation meant more teachers had to be trained, and enhancing the quality of teaching
and learning meant improving teacher quality through more effective training.
In this chapter, we address the latter by presenting MUSTER empirical data that speaks to
the issue of the effectiveness of teacher training.
7.2
Teacher training: what difference does it make?
In the preceding chapters, the characteristics of prospective student teachers and beginning
teachers and their beliefs, values and expectations, were explored. Experiences of learning
to teach were sought from student teachers and, together with other college-based data, a
picture of the philosophy and constraints of teacher training was constructed.
Data
regarding NQTs also yielded insights into some of their early experiences of teaching, how
they viewed their training and teaching, and their strengths and weaknesses as perceived by
head teachers.
What has been presented so far gives some indication of the “felt problems” (Kennedy,
1996) of learning to teach, but little about whether and how student teachers might be
changing as they become teachers. Knowing whether teacher training is making a positive
difference or not is fundamental to any suggestions or recommendations for programme or
policy review and the issues it should target. Research shows that some teachers do not view
teacher education as particularly influential in terms of changing their attitudes and practices,
whilst some teacher training programmes have been known to “…affect the way teachers
think about teaching and learning, students, and subject matter” (Feiman-Nemser &
Remillard, 1996 p. 65). Thus, in one way or another we need to know whether teacher
training is having a positive influence by helping prospective teachers “acquire knowledge,
alter their beliefs, gain skills, or develop new attitudes and dispositions … important to
teaching practice” (Kennedy, 1996 p. 146), or is not making much of a difference.
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There are many ways to investigate whether or how teacher training makes a difference
e
(Kennedy, 1996). For teacher training in Ghana, we were interested in any signs of positive
y
influence in two spheres: (i) improving the academic knowledge background of student
d
teachers, with mathematics as the example, and (ii) improving the commitments, attitudes
and values that might impact positively on professional practice.
A
s
7.2.1 Some basic assumptions
i
G
According to Kennedy (1996) approaches to investigating the effectiveness of teacher
1
education that focus on changes as student teachers undergo training, have credibility issues
r
to address. For example, changes could be due either to student development or to
a
programme impact. The methodological approach may also account for any changes
r
observed, especially if the same sample is used and “over time they learn not only what will
c
be asked but also how to respond” (Kennedy, 1996 p. 144). By adopting a cross-sectional
i
approach to data collection this methodological threat was avoided.
s
Other factors extraneous to the college experience might affect attitudes and achievement of
7
trainees. For instance, attitude change might not be progressive since the experience of
being an NQT is not managed in any systematic way as a continuum which reinforces
a
training. Including NQTs with two years’ experience was meant to explore further the effect
F
of teaching experience and the resilience of teacher training.
t
t
In another approach, we compared the teaching characteristics of qualified teachers with
c
those of untrained teachers to explore any qualitative differences. Although this provided
m
further insights into differences that might be attributed to training, because of the rather
small sample used (4 untrained teachers) and the difficulty of controlling for other effects
M
(e.g. school characteristics) the results must be interpreted with caution.
i
a
7.2.2 Impact of training on mathematics knowledge of trainees
n
25
p
It was noted in chapter 4 that most beginning student teachers have very weak academic
t
grades in mathematics and English. This weakness becomes starker when we examine the
a
chief examiner’s reports on trainees’ academic performance. For instance, the 1998 chief
examiner’s report on the final Part 1 basic mathematics certification examinations revealed
b
that, of 5,797 regular candidates, about 50% scored between 0 and 5 out of 30 in a section
A
containing items requiring simple computational skills (Institute of Education, Chief
5
Examiners Report: Mathematics, 1998).
a
The introduction into the training programme of a first-year course in foundation subjects
E
was intended to improve the academic background knowledge of trainees before they
t
w
25
See Sokpe & Akyeampong (2001) for extensive discussions.
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e
embarked on professional training. Students who failed in any one of five subjects after one
e
year of remedial teaching were withdrawn from college. About 600 hundred students were
t
dismissed when this policy was first introduced in 1999.
s
A study was designed to ascertain whether after a year’s remedial work in mathematics,
student teachers’ mathematics performance would improve significantly. The study had as
its accessible population 1,055 first year student teachers from the four colleges used by the
Ghana MUSTER project. A hundred student teachers were randomly selected from the
r
1998/99 student cohort with a proportional stratified sampling technique employed to
s
retain the male/female proportion in each college. The researchers designed two parallel
o
achievement tests consisting of 40 short-answer type items.
s
requirements of the SSS mathematics syllabus as well as the requirements of the 1st year
l
college mathematics syllabus. An outline of topics was prepared and used to develop test
l
items. In the end, the test scores correlated with the trainees’ mathematics entry grades,
The items reflected the
strengthening the tests’ validity.
f
7.2.3 Summary of Findings:
f
s
a) Survey:
t
From the survey questionnaire about 86% of student teachers said college mathematics
tutors stressed deeper understanding of concepts than secondary school mathematics
teachers.
Also, most (78%) felt their mathematical understanding had improved
h
considerably at training college.
d
mathematics concepts the first time it was presented in a lesson.
About 68% indicated they were able to understand
r
s
Most college mathematics tutors surveyed (60%) felt the 1st year course had helped to
improve student teachers’ mathematics competence. About 73% felt training should not split
academic subject knowledge learning from pedagogical subject learning. Finally, 60% did
not favour dismissal of student teachers after failing mathematics at the end of the first year
promotion examinations.
Most felt that emphasis should be placed on securing more
c
teaching resources e.g. textbooks and reduced teaching loads to allow more individual
e
attention, which would help to improve the pass rate.
f
d
b) Entry Mathematics Grades and Test Results
n
About 40% possessed the minimum grade of E or 6 in mathematics. Also 63% (made up of
f
55% of the males and 79% of the females) possessed generally weak grades of D and E or 5
and 6.
s
Entry grade and pre-test score analysis showed a statistically significant relationship between
y
the two. Generally, the stronger the entry-grade the higher the achievement score, and the
D
weaker the grade the lower the achievement score.
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moderately strong.
T
p
c) Pre-test and Post-test Achievement Scores
s
The main interest of the study was to see whether after one year of college remedial tuition
s
student teachers’ mathematics performance had improved significantly. Table 7.1 shows the
mean scores, standard deviation, correlation coefficients between pre-test and post-test
F
scores by college, and paired sample t-test values. The pre-test was administered at the
e
beginning of the first year course and the post-test at the end of the course.
s
T
Table 7.1: Pre-test and post-test scores by college
College
Pre-test
m
Post-test
Paired t-test
m
M
SD
M
SD
R
T
r
KIF
28.5
13.4
43.2
15.1
0.77
13.2*
f
COF
24.7
15.6
37.8
17.4
0.88
15.6*
t
PET
38.8
16.8
48.2
19.2
0.89
11.0*
a
SEW
35.4
15.2
42.0
17.4
0.87
7.8*
t
32.0
16.4
42.8
17.8
0.85
2.43*
m
e
* Statistically significant results
6
A few points are worth noting. With individual college group sizes of about 100 (moderate
6
sample size), statistical significance at the 0.05 level has to be interpreted cautiously. Looking
4
at the size of the mean differences for a score scale which ranged from 5% lowest score to
m
about 80% maximum score in each test, the observed effect (difference between sample
m
means) appears rather small – on average about 11%.
a
Thus, although the results are
statistically significant, the practical importance of the difference seem doubtful when
compared to the score scale of about 75% points. We can conclude that the observed effect
C
probably reflects a small effect and therefore possesses little practical difference.
t
f
The results were also compared on grade category basis: strong graders (SG), defined as
m
those who entered college with grades A-C or 1-4, versus weak graders (WG) with grades
b
D and E or 5 and 6. Table 7.2 shows the results by gender and by grade.
m
Table 7.2: Pre-test and post-test scores by gender and performance category (in %)
7
College
Pre-test
M
Post-test
SD
M
Paired t-test
SD
R
T
Gender Category
s
Male
35.1
16.1
46.9
17.5
0.85
19.98*
Female
26.2
14.9
35.1
15.6
0.81
11.1*
Grade Category
n
b
f
SG
44.6
16.9
56.0
16.8
0.88
15.9*
WG
24.8
10.7
35.2
13.4
0.69
16.3*
* Statistically significant results
82
A
t
2
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The results showed that both male and female trainees gained on their mathematical
performance. Male trainees however, improved more (difference between means is 0.70
standard deviation units apart) than female trainees (difference between means is 0.58
n
standard deviation units apart).
e
t
For both SG and WG, the observed effect is statistically significant. The magnitude of the
e
effect for the WG was much lower than that of SG. For WG, the two means are 0.43
standard deviations apart, whereas the means are 0.67 standard deviation units apart for SG.
Thus, improvement was greater for SG than for WG. Overall, both groups made only
modest improvements. Thus, although the observed effect of a year’s remedial tuition in
mathematics in each college was positive, the practical significance of the effect seemed
rather weak. Even assuming a criterion cut-off score of 50% (half way score) post-test scores
fell below this level except for those with strong entry grades. It is reasonable to conclude
that, although remedial tuition in mathematics improves beginning student teachers’
achievement level, perhaps more than a year of remedial work will be needed to raise scores
to levels that could be considered practically satisfactory. Using the Institute of Education’s
minimum exam pass cut-off score of 35%, the majority (84%) of student teachers with weak
entry grades (D, E, 5, 6) failed the pre-test. Only 2% of weak graders achieved a score above
60%. About 21% of strong graders (A, B, 1, 2, 3) passed and 34% achieved a score above
e
60%. Post-test score analysis showed that about 58% of weak graders failed the test and only
g
4% achieved scores above 60%. About 97% of the strong graders passed the post-test. The
o
message is that the academic knowledge of beginning student teachers may be so weak that
e
much more remedial effort and time would be required to raise their performance levels
e
appreciably
n
t
College mathematics tutors had explained that they often combined classes to reduce
teaching loads and this meant they were unable to give individual attention. College duties
for students, e.g. weeding and fetching water, were cited by tutors as perhaps some of the
s
major hindrances to effective teaching and learning. It would appear that to reap the full
s
benefits of one year of remedial tuition, some college practices have to change to free up
D
more time for private study.
7.3 Changes in becoming a teacher26
A questionnaire was developed and administered to three groups of trainees: beginning
student teachers (BST) in their first year of training, final year student teachers (FST) and
newly qualified teachers (NQT) with 2 years teaching experience. Each questionnaire had a
biographical section relating to age, sex, religion, ethnic group, language spoken at home,
family members who are teachers, parents’ level of education, occupation and years of
teaching before entering training college (see section 2.2.2).
26
See Akyeampong & Lewin (2002) for a detailed account
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The last section of the questionnaire, which was used to evaluate changes in becoming a
t
teacher, contained statements to which respondents could indicate agreement and
T
disagreement using a four-point Likert format with categories from “strongly disagree”
a
(scored 1) to “strongly agree” (scored 4). The items were chosen to reflect important topical
h
issues relevant to teacher education and the teaching profession in Ghana, and were
t
discussed with various reference groups of lecturers and teachers before deciding on a final
t
collection.
t
w
A factor analysis was performed on the responses to the statements to see whether
d
preliminary conceptual grouping was confirmed by statistical analysis. Six factors emerged
m
from this analysis and are:
T
Status: Commitment/enthusiasm for teaching
i
Teacher Control: attitude towards class control and discipline
a
Placement Preference: readiness and suitability to teach at different schools
m
Teaching and Learning 1: attitudes to teachers and teaching
e
Teaching and Learning 2: attitudes to group work
s
Teaching and Learning 3: attitudes to learning
a
r
These themes are groupings justified by the patterns of response with some conceptual
c
congruencies, and represent groups of items where response patterns intercorrelated. This
d
in itself does not mean they constitute unambiguously linked constructs in trainee teachers’
s
minds. They are used here to organise the discussion.
e
s
A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to evaluate the differences between
m
the 3 independent variables represented by the three groups (BST, FST and NQT). Initially,
c
mean responses to the 18 statements were compared across the three groups. ANOVA
o
confirmed that there were differences in agreement between the three groups for 14 out of
p
the 18 statements . (See Appendix 1). No significant difference means that the three
t
samples did not appear to differ at the 5% level, indicating that patterns of response were
b
similar between the samples. Follow-up tests were conducted to evaluate pairwise differences
f
27
among the means of the 14 statements. The results of these tests, as well as the means and
standard deviations for the three groups, are reported in Appendix 1.
F
w
7.3.1 Summary of Findings:
o
a
The findings are presented under the six factor groupings.
t
t
a) Status
t
Beginning student teachers (BST) tend to agree most with the statement that “being a
i
i
27
Statements 2, 6, 13 and 17 showed no differences.
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a
teacher is the best job I can get” when compared with final year students (FST) and NQTs.
d
The differences are significant and progressive, indicating that at the end of training fewer
”
agreed, and the trend continued for NQTs. Mean scores for the statement, “I would rather
l
have gone to University than Teacher Training College” suggest that NQTs are most likely
e
to say they would have preferred university and BSTs least likely. The response to “friends
l
think I’m fortunate to be [training as] a teacher”, suggest that BSTs believe this more often
than either of the other two groups. NQTs are not statistically different to FSTs. For “I
would rather get a higher qualification and do a different job than remain in teaching” BSTs
r
disagree, whilst the other two groups agree. In relation to feelings that “teachers today are
d
more respected than they were before” FSTs and NQTs are most likely to disagree.
The evidence in relation to attitudes to teaching as a profession is not very encouraging. It
is suggestive that positive attitudes to teaching deteriorate as trainees pass from BSTs to FSTs
and become NQTs. The trends appear marked and move from a majority positive to a
majority negative. Many explanations are possible. It may be that as students acquire more
exposure to the realities of teaching in primary schools they become less idealistic, and for
some this encourages a lessening of commitment to teaching and a weakening in their beliefs
about the status of the profession they are entering. MUSTER qualitative evidence
regarding student teachers’ teaching practice experience suggests that once exposed to real
l
classroom teaching there is a “reality shock” leading to belief that teaching is more
s
demanding than had been made to appear during college training (see chapter 5). As a result
’
some student teachers felt frustration and disappointment with their initial teaching
encounters. It may be that the training programme does not expose student teachers
sufficiently to the realities of teaching in ways that help them to maintain high levels of
n
motivation. It may also, as noted earlier, be that problems with unsuitable accommodation,
y,
challenges of working in deprived communities, and conflicts with community members
A
over poor pupil performance, begin to undermine motivation and commitment. So also may
f
peer comparisons with colleagues who did not go into teacher training and who may appear
e
to have more attractive occupational futures. It may, of course, be that the changes would
e
be even more negative if training was not taking place, but this is impossible to demonstrate
s
from this data.
d
Finally we can note that the positive attitudes to teaching shown by BSTs may not be quite
what they appear at first sight. Earlier in chapter 4 we noted that beginning student teachers
often explained their interest in teaching in terms of the opportunities for social and
academic advancement that arise through “study leave with pay” after a short period of
teaching. As noted there, trainees were open about their intentions to move out of primary
teaching whenever the opportunity arose. With the difficult circumstances of primary
teaching and its generally low status in Ghanaian society (Bame, 1991; World Bank 1996)
a
D
it is perhaps not surprising that FSTs and NQTs aspire to get higher qualifications and teach
in a senior secondary school, or do a different job.
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b) Teacher Control
o
BSTs and FSTs are similar in their responses to the item concerning the extent to which
d
caning “is necessary to maintain discipline”, with most disagreeing. NQTs predominantly
d
agree and are significantly more likely to support this view. BSTs and FSTs agree that
2
“caning will not help children do better”. Again NQTs differ and are more likely to disagree,
though in this case their mean score suggests that a small majority remain in overall
B
agreement.
d
a
The real shift therefore is between those in training and those in schools for two years.
e
Plausibly this is the result of experience in the schools, where caning is not uncommon and
g
is widely condoned though officially frowned upon. Student teachers appear to have more
a
liberal views on the subject than NQTs. Beginning student teachers’ recollections of their
worst school experience often featured corporal punishment in the form of caning and this
d
may be why they were predisposed against its use.
T
i
NQTs tend to favour using the cane to maintain discipline, reflecting common practice in
d
schools, and perhaps the lack of effectiveness of their training to use other methods of
i
classroom control. Hedges (2000) points out that most new teachers working in rural
I
Ghana believed in the use of corporal punishment to address problems of ill-discipline. The
a
following quote from a female teacher is illustrative.
s
a
Well, we have been made to understand that corporal punishment is very bad in the
classroom especially when you are using the cane to beat the child, but you see some
M
of the children are just hard nuts, I mean if you talk to them in the form of
s
counselling, unless you use the cane, they don’t care … In fact, talking to them
t
sometimes we didn’t solve the problems but just giving them some whips will…
l
[Female teacher in a rural JSS, quoted from Hedges, (2000)]
i
There is a tension between practice, which often favours some corporal punishment, and
T
training and official policy, which discourage it. NQTs may take their cues more from school
b
norms than from the advice they receive in training colleges.
I
s
c) Placement Preferences
t
Three statements dealt with preferences for placements in schools and whether males and
females were likely to be equally capable teachers. The responses to the statement, “newly
B
qualified teachers should teach where they like” produced strong agreement amongst FSTs.
o
BSTs and NQTs responses were similar to each other, and different to FSTs in their level of
t
agreement. The most obvious explanation of this is that FSTs are most concerned since they
e
are about to be posted. NQTs may have either resigned themselves to the postings they have
a
accepted, or found ways to acquire the postings with which they are comfortable, and are
i
evenly split between those who agree and disagree. Field research evidence indicated that
c
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often NQTs posted to rural districts managed to secure transfers to semi-urban or urban
h
districts. Some head teachers were sympathetic to NQTs’ desire to move to more urban
y
districts, considering the hardships encountered by many, especially female NQTs (Hedges,
t
2000).
,
l
BSTs are more likely than FSTs not to have a preference for the level they will teach at (“I
don’t mind whether I teach at the JSS or primary school level”). Differences between FSTs
and NQTs are not significant. BSTs are most likely to agree that males and females “are
.
equally capable of teaching in primary schools”. The differences in mean scores across all the
d
groups for this item are small and indicate strong overall agreement that males and females
e
are equally capable.
r
s
d) Teaching and Learning 1
The next group of items explored attitudes to slow learners, teachers’ competencies,
innovation in schools, and the perceived difficulty of teaching. Two items – “teachers can’t
n
do much to improve the performance of slow learners” and “it is difficult to bring changes
f
in school as a teacher” - showed no significant differences in response between the groups.
l
In the first case the mean scores were very low, suggesting a high level of disagreement
e
across all groups. Mean scores were also low in the second case. These responses indicate
some optimism about the extent to which new teachers feel they can improve achievement,
and introduce more effective teaching methods that might enhance achievement.
e
e
MUSTER analysis of the college curriculum in action suggested that dominant approaches
f
stressed prescriptive teacher behaviours, rather than critical reflection and personal agency in
m
teaching (noted in chapter 5). Thus although trainees may believe that they can improve
learning it may be that they need much advice and assistance in converting the aspiration
into viable teaching strategies.
d
The two other statements produced significant differences. BSTs are less likely than FSTs to
l
believe that teachers are “born not made”. FSTs and NQTs hold this view more frequently.
It may be that if beginning teachers find their early career experiences stressful, their belief
strengthens that some are more suited than others to the profession, independent of the
training they receive.
d
y
BSTs are less likely than FSTs and NQTs to feel that teaching “is more difficult than many
.
other jobs”. Thus those with more training and experience appear more likely to believe that
f
teaching is more demanding than many other occupations. Perhaps the teaching problems
y
experienced by both FSTs and NQTs e.g. poor English language background of pupils, pupil
e
absenteeism and its effect on instruction etc. (see chapters 5 & 6) had assumed greater
e
importance in their minds as they experienced the realities of coping with their
t
consequences.
D
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e) Teaching and Learning 2
7
Two items, “school children learn best when in small groups” and “it is difficult to teach
children of different abilities unless they are grouped”, were used to see if attitudes to group
W
work appeared to change. In the first case there was very strong overall agreement that did
F
not vary between the groups. In the second, FSTs and NQTs were more likely to agree that
c
grouping was necessary for effective teaching. But, generally, strong preferences for group
i
work persist across all groups.
t
i
School and college observation data indicated that in reality the use of group work, as a
t
teaching strategy, is fragmented and sporadic. It seems that the training curriculum does not
provide many examples of the ways in which group work can be organised given the
I
logistical and spatial constraints of most Ghanaian classrooms. Neither does college work
r
often take this form. Thus though group work is a theme emphasised during training as a
p
teaching strategy and is rated highly by both student teachers and newly qualified teachers,
F
this may be more a reflection of an aspiration than a commitment to using the approach.
d
o
f) Teaching and Learning 3
b
Two statements – “the most important thing a teacher can do is to teach pupils facts” and
d
“school pupils learn more from asking questions than from listening” - addressed pedagogic
n
questions. In the first case there was a strong difference in level of agreement between BSTs,
n
and FSTs and NQTs. Enthusiasm for teaching facts appears to diminish with training and
a
time (though observational data from classrooms suggests this might be more rhetoric than
b
a reality). Nevertheless levels of agreement as represented by mean scores remained high,
even for FSTs and NQTs, suggesting it represents a dominant perspective.
F
s
Responses to the second item produced no significant differences across the groups, though
c
there was strong overall agreement that question-based teaching methods were desirable.
l
MUSTER FST and NQT survey data suggests that the use of question and answer technique
p
in teaching is a valued practice and emphasised during the college training (see chapters 5
c
& 6). This could explain the reason for student teachers and beginning teachers valuing
d
highly question-based teaching.
I
The emphasis on teaching as presentation of facts is not necessarily inconsistent with a
i
preference for using questioning as a teaching strategy. The questioning may of course be
p
predominantly focused on factual recall. The emphasis on teaching facts reflects the deeply
o
entrenched tradition of knowledge transmission practised in Ghanaian schools (cf.
t
Akyeampong et. al, 1999).
c
b
c
t
t
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7.3.2 Conclusions
h
p
What conclusions can we draw from the analysis of data on changes in becoming a teacher?
d
First of all, the initial expectations – that there would be progressive changes in directions
t
consistent with the aspiration of the teacher education curriculum – are at best only evident
p
in a few of the results. A host of reasons may be advanced as possible explanations of the
trends. One plausible reason is that changes or lack of changes are predominantly grounded
in realities exogenous to the college training process. Another could be the result of less
a
than effective curriculum planning and realisation in the colleges.
t
e
In reality, what will transform teachers into effective practitioners may not just be simply the
k
result of effective curriculum planning and realisation, but must include the support of other
a
policies that together work in concert to promote positive change in becoming a teacher.
,
For example, it is clear that most beginning teachers find the early years of teaching quite
difficult, mostly because of inadequate professional and social support, e.g. the late payment
of salaries, accommodation needs and lack of proper induction into teaching. Therefore,
beginning teachers often find themselves in a “sink or swim” situation that could further
d
deepen disappointment with teaching, especially primary teaching in rural areas. Policies
c
need to be enacted that seek to support the professional and socio-economic well-being of
,
new teachers and to foster greater commitment and interest in teaching. Even if the benefits
d
are not sustained, at least for the few years that they remain in teaching their energies will
n
be directed more towards helping children learn than focusing on survival.
,
Finally, the complexity of the changes that might be occurring in becoming a teacher
suggests that we do not locate all the training needed to become an effective teacher at the
h
college level. There is the need, as others have observed, to “conceptualise the content of
.
learning to teach and to sort out what can best be taught and learned at the college level
e
prior to teaching, what can best be learned through guided practice in someone else’s
5
classroom, and what should be learned through structured induction support, and what
g
depends on learning from teaching over time” (Feiman-Nemser & Remillard 1996, p. 66).
In conclusion, although it is important for Ghanaian teacher training to make a significant
a
impact on student teachers that reflects the needs and realities of teaching, other policies and
e
practices are essential to promote teacher commitment and development. Evaluating the
y
overall evidence regarding changes in becoming a teacher, we can conclude reasonably that
f.
teacher training may only make a limited difference even under the most effective
D
curriculum planning, because of the impact of other forces that influence how teachers
behave and what they do in real professional settings. Thus, quite apart from improving the
curriculum to make it more practice-based, our conceptualisation of teacher training needs
to expand and, critically, to include systematic professional support for beginning teachers
to sustain the positive influence of training.
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7.4
Comparing trained teachers with the untrained
T
e
We undertook to compare the instructional qualities of four untrained teachers with seven
c
trained teachers in the Cape Coast district. These teachers, and their school authorities, had
a
agreed for us to observe and interview them. Both group of teachers were observed and
s
later interviewed, so we could arrive at some description of the characteristics of their
t
instructional practice, and form some tentative conclusions about the main differences
t
between the two groups.
n
p
Two of the untrained teachers were GCE ‘O’ level holders, while one was a polytechnic
a
graduate. The fourth had attended a technical institute28.
t
h
Table: 7.4: Numbers of trained and untrained teachers observed
l
Class
Trained
Untrained
P1
-
1
P2
-
-
U
P3
-
1
c
P4
2
1
c
P5
1
1
u
P6
4
-
a
D
Each teacher was observed 2 or 3 times. The observations covered English, mathematics (for
w
all teachers) and either social studies/environmental studies or science. One teacher (female)
t
was observed teaching a Ghanaian language lesson. All of the teachers were teaching in an
s
urban area.
o
t
7.4.1 Summary of Findings
I
The four untrained teachers showed great interest in teaching, as did the sample of NQTs,
“
and felt that although initially they found teaching difficult, with time they had come to
s
enjoy it. All untrained teachers described their best lessons in terms of the subjects they liked
d
best and had enjoyed studying at secondary or technical school. Two quotes illustrate this
p
when they offered reasons for their competence in teaching:
T
I am very much interested in social studies because when I was in school I did
Government
m
m
h
… Because I was good in Mathematics at school, and I had grade 2 in it at the
‘O’ level
o
b
t
28
Some Technical institutes are pre-tertiary but Polytechnics are classified as tertiary institutions.
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Thus, for the untrained teacher, competence in teaching seemed to depend largely on
expertise in academic subject knowledge. The trained teachers also saw subject knowledge
n
competence as important but what distinguished them from untrained teachers was the
d
additional emphasis they placed on pedagogic knowledge as essential to teaching. This
d
seemed to mark an important difference between the two groups. Untrained teachers felt
r
they were particularly handicapped in the preparation of lesson notes, whereas trained
s
teachers felt training had adequately exposed them to the purpose and writing of lesson
notes for teaching. But the untrained teachers felt they were “catching up” on this
professional skill, with support from their head teachers who were concerned that they
c
acquired the skill. However, the quality of head teachers’ professional support for new
teachers seemed inadequate. For instance, one untrained teacher had pointed out that his
head teacher had presented him with a copy of a lesson notes plan and said to him, “do it
like this one”. Clearly, the relevant knowledge that informs the skill will be missing in this
approach.
Untrained teachers emphasised the value of “on the job training” and not surprisingly
cherished the little in-service training they had received. One of them pointed to a short
course organised for primary 1 and 2 teachers on pre-reading skills that exposed him to
useful techniques for teaching reading.
During classroom observation, we noticed that untrained teachers often made faulty starts,
r
which persisted throughout their lessons for most of them. Also we observed problems with
)
their teaching methods. For example, group work was often poorly organised. Pupils in
n
some groups were not attended to by the teacher to facilitate progress in their task, while
others were not given any opportunity to manipulate the teaching-learning materials the
teachers had supplied.
In contrast to trained teachers, we noticed that untrained teachers habitually encouraged
,
“chorus reading” in their English lessons. For example, a primary 1 untrained teacher
o
started a lesson by reading out aloud (not looking into a text) the dictum, “there are seven
d
days in the week. These are, Monday, Tuesday…” followed by pupils repeating in chorus. Later,
s
pupils were invited by the teacher to “read” aloud what had been recited.
To gain insights into the kind of advance preparation both trained and untrained teachers
d
made before teaching we examined their lesson plans. Three of the untrained teachers had
made no advance preparatory notes before teaching. On the other hand, all trained teachers
had carefully written notes, although in two cases we noticed that some important features
e
D
of their lesson plans were not practised. For example, although instructional materials had
been specified in the lesson notes for use in the lesson, they were not available throughout
the lesson.
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Although the study was limited in providing in-depth insights regarding qualitative
8
differences between trained and untrained teachers, nevertheless we can reach some
preliminary conclusions. The untrained teachers appeared more confident in their subject
A
knowledge, but clearly lacked the professional knowledge and skills to enhance their
b
teaching. Trained teachers, on the other hand, exhibited some of the qualities of teacher
e
professionalism emphasised in training e.g. writing lesson plans, applying instructional
t
materials to good effect etc.
q
c
Untrained teachers referred to the “on the job” support they received as making up for their
a
deficit in professional knowledge. But the effectiveness of this support appears doubtful,
since basically the support amounted to receiving occasional tips from head teachers.
8
More focused in-depth studies will be needed to establish if there are clear differences
T
between trained and untrained teachers, and if so, what these consist of.
a
a
7.5
Summary
F
This chapter began by asking whether initial teacher training in Ghana makes a difference in
t
improving subject knowledge background, and the dispositions, attitudes and beliefs
a
important in becoming a teacher. The evidence provided by our data suggests that the effect
a
of training might be rather weak. One thing is clear, trainees’ weak background in subject
i
knowledge, as shown in the mathematics achievement tests, can hardly be improved after a
n
year’s remedial teaching. The problem with this is that weak subject knowledge background
t
could undermine confidence in teaching, thus limiting the opportunity for pupils to be
f
guided into deep learning and understanding of subjects. If teacher training is not attracting
the best candidates, in terms of academic achievement, and is unable to raise the
T
achievement levels of those it attracts, then it faces a big dilemma. Addressing this problem
effectively may lie outside the immediate domain of teacher training institutions, although
1
these institutions should also share in the responsibility to improve the situation, through
better instruction in the subjects.
However, because senior secondary schools supply
candidates for teacher training, educational policies must look at how teaching and learning
there can be significantly improved, because it is clear that better qualified candidates make
2
the most improvement after remedial instruction.
Similarly, the influence of training in altering beliefs, and developing new attitudes and
dispositions, does not appear strong. The point has been made that we need to become
clearer about what pre-service teacher training is reasonably capable of achieving, so that the
investments in it can be justified. As it stands, it is difficult to pinpoint clear demonstrable
evidence of its impact, although further studies may be required to draw firmer conclusions
on this issue.
2
3
c
T
t
e
o
r
3
t
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Chapter Eight 8 Teacher Training and Future Teaching Demand
e
8.1
Introduction
e
t
As explained in Chapter 1, FCUBE reforms have set some important targets to improve
r
basic education in Ghana, one of which is to improve access and participation in basic
r
education. This objective has a direct implication for teacher training, as it means more
l
trained teachers would have to be available as access and participation rates go up. The
question that this chapter addresses is whether the teacher training system in Ghana is
capable of producing sufficient numbers of teachers to meet future demand. The chapter
r
also explores what alternatives may be considered to increase output.
,
8.2
s
Estimation of future demand of teachers in Ghana29
The Ghana MUSTER carried out an estimation of future demand for teacher training over
a ten-year period. Tables 8.1 & 8.2 show the results of this analysis using a number of basic
assumptions.
First, the rate of growth of the age cohort was maintained at its historic level of 4%. Second,
n
the pupil-teacher ratio remained at 36:1 and teacher attrition30 was estimated to be 5%
fs
annually. Third, gross enrolment rate was estimated to remain constant at 72% in primary
t
and 58% in JSS. The number of new teachers that would need to be trained each year is
t
indicated in row 10 for 2000, 2005 and 2010. The additional numbers that would be
a
needed to achieve a GER of 100% are indicated in row 12. Lastly the numbers of untrained
d
teachers requiring training are indicated in row 13. Table 8.2 reports the same projections
e
for JSS.
g
e
The results of these projections reveal the following:
m
h
1.
If the PTRs and GER remained constant, annual demand for new teachers would rise
h
from 5,700 to 9,100 at primary and from 3,400 to 5,400 at JSS i.e. a total of 9,100 to
y
11,300 over the period from 1998 to 2010.
g
e
2.
If all untrained teachers were to be trained over a five year period then demand for
training, but not new teachers, would increase by about 2,500 at primary level and
1,000 at JSS31 or 3,500 a year.
d
e
e
e
s
D
For a more extensive discussion see Akyeampong, Furlong & Lewin (2000)
Teacher attrition rates are difficult to estimate. Over the period 1988 to 1998 Mereku (2000) estimates that training
colleges produced 54,100 teachers who were posted to the basic school system. This figure represents those posted.
There is no data on how long they may have remained in these postings or if they actually took them up. Ten years later
the number was 83,600 – an increase of 23,900 or 40%. Thus the rate of increase in the number of trained teachers
employed over this period was a little below 4%. On the other hand, the rate of posting of NQTs was averaging about 9%
of the number of trained teachers employed over this period. The difference (9-4%) gives an estimate of the underlying
rate of trained teacher attrition from all causes.
31
This would also temporarily increase the demand for new teachers assuming that replacement cover was organised for
those in training.
29
30
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3.
Total annual demand for new primary and JSS teachers would rise from about 12,600
T
a year at the beginning of the projection period to 15,500 in 2005 (the last year of
e
training of the untrained), and to 14,500 by 2010 (after all untrained teachers have been
d
trained). This can be compared to the current total output of about 6000 per year from
the 38 training colleges.
F
Table 8.1: Future Demand for Teachers at Primary Level
Year
i
1998
2000
2005
2010
582223
629732
766166
932158
1
Age group 6 years
2
Primary population 6-11 years
3155758 3413268 4152762 5052470
3
Primary Enrolment
2288768 2475531 3011863 3664391
4
Qualified Teachers
50964
5
Unqualified Teachers
12725
6
No. Teachers needed at PTR of 36:1
63577
7
No. of teachers in post
63689
8
New Teachers needed as a result of
population growth
2543
2751
3347
4072
9
Teacher attrition at 5%
3179
3438
4183
5089
10
Total annual demand for teachers at
constant GER of 72%
5722
6189
7530
9161
11
Total number of teachers needed for
GER of 100%
87660
94813
115355
140346
12
Additional numbers needed to raise
GER 72% to GER100%
24083
26048
31692
38558
13
No. unqualified needing training
12725
i
68765
83663
101789
i
Table 8.2: Future Demand for Teachers at JSS Level
Year
1998
1
JSS population 12-14 years
2
JSS Enrolment
3
Qualified Teachers
4
Unqualified Teachers
5
No. needed at PTR of 1:20
37758
6
No of teachers in post
37728
7
New Teachers needed as a result of
population growth
8
2000
2005
2010
1309780 1416658 1723581 2097000
755162
816783
993742 1209039
32647
5081
40839
49687
60452
1510
1634
1987
2418
Teacher attrition at 5%
1888
2042
2484
3023
9
Total number of teachers needed at
constant GER of 58%
3398
3676
4472
5441
10
Total number of teachers needed for
GER of 100%
65489
70833
86179
104850
11
Additional numbers needed to raise
GER 58% to GER 100%
27731
29994
36492
44398
12
94
No. unqualified needing training
N
i
5081
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8 Teacher Training and Future Teaching Demand
0
These levels of demand for training are substantially above current capacity. But these
f
estimates could be too high or too low. We considered factors that might increase or reduce
n
demand.
m
First the factors that might increase demand:
i)
Trained teacher attrition rates may be greater than the 5% assumed, especially for JSS
teachers. If greater numbers take up opportunities for study leave and higher-level
8
training, they may move out of the basic education sector altogether. MUSTER
0
qualitative data suggests that certainly there is a strong desire for further training that
1
would move teachers up the school level ladder or out of teaching altogether.
ii) Attrition rates related to HIV/AIDS may rise. In other countries prevalence of infection
is greatest amongst the age group into which teacher education students fall. If attrition
9
rates were to reach 10% the number of new teachers needed each year at constant GER
and PTR would increase from about 7,100 to 11,700 at primary, and from 4,500 to
2
7,000 at JSS by 2005. This would create an additional demand of about 7,100 per year
9
by 2005 to be added to the numbers needed, given 5% attrition, leading to a total
demand of over 20,000 a year.
1
6
iii) Drop out rates appear high from P1 to P2 and from P6 to JSS1. According to MOE
statistics, drop out rates appear to have been falling from an average of about 8% to
8
lower levels (MOE 2000). This could have the effect of increasing the number of
students in the system. If the PTR were to remain constant the demand for new teachers
would increase, as would the gross enrolment rate. The magnitude of this effect is
uncertain but it could add substantially to the annual demand for new teachers. If
average drop out fell by 1% per year at least 1,000 new teachers a year would be needed.
0
If the historically high drop out between P1 and P2 was dramatically reduced the
9
number needed would be much greater.
2
Next, we considered factors that might reduce demand for new teachers:
i)
The rate of growth in the school age cohort may slow down. This rate is determined for
8
the next six years by those already born. In the long run a fall from 4% to 3% would
3
reduce demand for new teachers by 25% but this would only have its full effect nine
years after the age group began to shrink. For medium-term planning, reductions in
1
0
8
D
birth rate occurring now are unlikely to be significant.
ii) If repetition is reduced, then the flow of pupils through the school system will
accelerate, reducing total enrolments. However, repetition in Ghana is already low and
appears to be no more than 2%, as a result of automatic promotion. The effects of any
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reduced repetition will therefore be marginal.
e
b
iii) If pupil-teacher ratios were allowed to rise, the demand for new teachers would
diminish. We simulated the effect of allowing PTRs to increase from 36:1 to 40:1 at
p
m
primary and 20:1 to 25:1 at JSS whilst maintaining constant GERs and a 5% attrition
rate. The result was that the numbers of new teachers needed annually would fall from
S
7,500 to 6,800 at primary and from 4,500 to 3,600 at JSS by 2005, a total reduction
i
of about 1,600. It should be remembered that class sizes are often between 25%-50%
f
greater than PTRs at primary level, and 50% to 100% greater at secondary, as a result of
teacher-class ratios being greater than 1:1. Increases in PTR are therefore not desirable.
1
2
In summary the demand for new teachers, and training to reduce the backlog of untrained
teachers, is more than double current output from the training colleges (currently 41: 3
private and 38 public). If attrition rates rose to 10% demand would rise to three times
current output if PTRs are maintained at current levels.
T
The prognosis appears more challenging if FCUBE is to achieve its objectives.
If a
o
conservative target is chosen (i.e. the achievement of GER 100% by 2010 for primary and
JSS, representing the condition where there are enough school places for all children of
8
school age32) additional teachers are needed over and above these estimates which assume
that GERs remain constant. The total additional number needed rises from about 24,000 to
I
39,000 at primary and from 28,000 to 44,000 at JSS over the period from 1998 to 2010.
h
Translated into annual additional demand, something like 7,000 more new teachers would
i
be needed each year to achieve GER of 100% at primary and JSS, over and above those
m
needed to maintain current GERs. This implies a total annual demand of 22,000 to 29,000
t
depending on the attrition rate chosen. Once GER of 100% was achieved demand would fall
u
back to replacement levels of about half these amounts.
l
i
We explored what the implications of these projections were for the teacher training system
in Ghana.
T
t
8.3
Teacher demand: implications for the teacher training system
t
t
From the above analysis it is clear that the teacher training system in Ghana would need to
a
increase its output substantially if PTRs are not to increase and the proportion of untrained
teachers is to be reduced.
Second, the magnitude of increases needed appears quite
S
substantial - between two and three times current output will be needed to maintain the
t
existing GERs, and to cover demand generated by population growth, attrition and reduced
g
drop out. Third, achieving GER of 100% by 2010 would require an increase in output of
a
three to four times current levels. Fourth, these levels of demand could not easily be met by
s
t
32
See Colclough with Lewin (1993) for a full discussion of “Education for All” goals and their definition.
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expansion of the current system. It is not feasible to assume that the 6% of the education
budget allocated to teacher education could be raised to the levels necessary. Nor is it
d
plausible that increased internal efficiency could result in gains in output of these
t
magnitudes.
n
m
Several strategies could address the questions raised by this analysis and the issues identified
n
in the earlier description of the teacher education system. The options can be put in the
following way.
f
.
1.
Increase allocation of resources to teacher training.
2.
Increase access to pre-service teacher training colleges by increasing intake of students
d
whilst continuing to encourage the recruitment of untrained teachers, and
3
simultaneously develop an effective in-service system to train them. In other words,
s
operate two routes (of equal quality) to professional teacher qualification.
The remaining sections of this chapter present the different implications of these two
a
options.
d
f
8.3.1 Increase allocation of resources to teacher training
e
o
In chapter 1 we noted that the share of the recurrent budget that teacher education takes
.
has been rising. Few countries allocate more than 6% of national educational spending to
d
initial teacher education. Currently 6% of the recurrent budget amounts to about US$14
e
million. If initial teacher training were to be prioritised within FCUBE, it is conceivable that
0
the amounts allocated could be doubled or tripled for a period until the achievement of
l
universal enrolment and a fully-trained teaching force working in schools at appropriate
levels of pupil-teacher ratio. This observation indicates that the financial challenge is not
insurmountable.
m
Two other observations are also worth noting. Firstly, even if the financial resources available
to the current teacher training system were expanded, it does not seem that the system has
the capacity to double or triple enrolments. It should not be assumed that simply increasing
the scale of the existing system is the best option, given the evidence that MUSTER has
o
accumulated on its efficiency and effectiveness.
d
e
Secondly, it is important to note that a considerable volume of resources is currently directed
e
towards the upgrading of qualified primary and JSS teachers through to diploma and
d
graduate status. These programmes are mostly full-time residential courses with direct costs
f
and a teacher replacement cost (i.e. every student is costing more than twice their gross
y
salary to upgrade). MUSTER studies clearly reveal that most teachers wishing to upgrade
D
tend not to want to return to primary and JSS teaching. Investments should rather be made
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in the training of untrained teachers. This is discussed further in the next section.
t
T
The key question that we feel has to be addressed is: whether some of the public resources
s
currently being used for upgrading should be redirected in the short term to initial training
a
and in-service training of unqualified teachers, some of whom may be the most committed.
c
This would, at least, allow the GER to increase and maintain the pupil-teacher ratios at
t
existing levels in line with FCUBE objectives.
t
e
8.3.2 Increase access by increasing intake (the “In-in-out” model) and training
untrained teachers
T
b
As was noted earlier (see chapter 5), the costs of the current system of teacher training based
t
in the colleges are substantial. Each trainee incurs a direct public expenditure of about $700
o
per year, making the cost of training a teacher about $2,100 over three years. During this
p
time trainees do not teach, except during their teaching practice. There is therefore a
o
notional opportunity cost of three years of a primary teacher’s salary (about $600 per year
r
= US$1,800) to be added to the $2,100 if a full costing is to be made.
The three-year in-college programme constricts the system from expanding as it is restricted
by the capacity of the colleges. Movement towards curriculum and activity structures that
situate a greater part of learning to teach in classrooms might free up college space for
increased intake. The adopted “In-in-out” system looks like providing an opportunity to
increase student numbers.
First, we estimated that under the “In-in-out” model, the output of the colleges would
increase by 50% assuming college plant were utilised at the same level of intensity as has been
happening. New trainees could be admitted during the “out” year. Thus each training
cohort across the college system would increase from about 6,000 to about 9,000. After
three years, annual output would rise to 9,000 with the completion of training of the
existing cohorts.
The “In-in-out” system of training has the potential of raising the number of teachers
produced, although other measures will be required to make it less costly than the full three
years in-college system. As it stands, the efficiency of the training colleges is limited by cost
and curriculum constraints. The way that the colleges are built and run on traditional lines
as secondary schools undermines their ability to increase enrolment at costs that can be
sustained.
Training colleges could be zoned to offer afternoon remedial training for untrained teachers
on a “modular” course system. It would be most beneficial if the curriculum of such
training is closely linked to the on-going classroom teaching experiences of these untrained
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teachers. This would make it more practice-based and relevant to their classroom settings.
To achieve professional parity of esteem, the curriculum for untrained teachers should be of
s
similar quality to the regular “In-in-out” route. If teaching is made both interesting and
g
attractive some may consider entering the profession through the “modular” route which
.
could be structured to last for a year. As we have pointed out in this report, it is important
t
that other incentives are instituted to make such a proposition attractive to students. Thus,
the “modular” route can be used to train the current crop of untrained teachers and
eventually become a viable alternative route to a professional career in teaching.
The discussions in this chapter clearly show that the teacher training system in Ghana may
be in need of radical changes to meet the aspirations of FCUBE, especially in the supply of
d
trained teachers. Although many assumptions have been made to explore the implications
0
of our projections of teacher supply and demand, they have helped to set the stage for
s
possible alternatives for the teacher training system in Ghana. In the next chapter, we draw
a
on all the evidence accumulated by the MUSTER studies in Ghana to present some
r
recommendations for moving the enterprise of teacher training in Ghana forward.
d
t
r
o
d
n
g
r
e
s
e
t
s
e
s
h
d
D
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I
s
t
r
t
f
p
m
n
t
t
a
p
t
s
t
I
e
9
C
•
•
•
100
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Chapter Nine
9.1
8 The Way Forward
Introduction
In chapter 1 the challenges facing teacher training in Ghana were clearly spelt out. The first
set of issues dealt with problems of teacher quality, and the second raised questions about
the capability of teacher training, as currently structured, to deliver the quantity of teachers
required at cost-effective levels to meet targets set by education reforms. But, as was noted,
these issues point to deeper challenges of teacher training reform that touch on certain
fundamental issues concerning the professionalisation of teaching.
For example, the
philosophy of learning to teach espoused by teacher training systems can send powerful
messages about the professional responsibility of a teacher in the classroom. This may be
negative or positive. The MUSTER analysis of college curriculum in action suggested that
the dominant approaches stressed prescriptive teacher behaviours, and this was reflected in
the conception of practice of many newly qualified teachers. In this report, it has been
argued that this conception needs to change to a discourse of teacher training which can
promote a deeper contextualised understanding of teaching, and which can empower
teachers to tackle the challenges and problems of actual teaching in the majority of Ghanaian
schools. These, among others, are critical issues that need to be addressed to make teacher
training count in striving for educational quality at primary and JSS levels.
In this final chapter we summarise under certain key themes the salient issues that have
emerged from the MUSTER work and what they point to.
9.2
Key emerging issues
Curriculum related:
•
The evidence from the MUSTER project suggests the need for curriculum planning that
can maximise the benefits of learning to teach in a school-focussed context. This
requires much more than simply situating most of the training in the school context for
trainees to be familiar with the challenges of teaching.
Rather, a school-focussed
curriculum for teaching needs to be purposely structured to engage prospective teachers
in finding practical solutions to real problems of teaching.
•
A more serious view needs to be taken of prospective teachers’ beliefs when planning the
curriculum for teacher training. Student teachers enter teacher training with very rich
images of teaching and teachers. We have argued that the discourse of teacher training
needs to find ways to engage with the images and expectations of beginning student
teachers.
•
The MUSTER analysis of the college curriculum in action shows that transmission
methods of learning to teach are prevalent and this needs to give way to a more
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8 The Way Forward
interactive approach in order to enhance prospective teachers’ personal agency in
teaching.
•
Prospective and newly qualified teachers all singled out teaching practice as the most
relevant aspect of training. However, the way in which teaching practice is organised
•
and supervised seems to limit the impact it could have on developing practical insights
into teaching. The philosophy of learning to teach is sharply compartmentalised as a
two-step process: college learning of theory followed by teaching practice. This creates
in both student teachers and beginning teachers the mindset that teaching is first learnt
in the abstract and later applied in classrooms. We believe that this does not allow
sufficient understanding of how to blend knowledge of particular pupils and knowledge
of particular content in decisions about what to do in specific situations. Furthermore,
extending the duration of teaching practice is not necessarily the solution, as student
teachers and beginning teachers appear to think. Rather, what needs to be done is to
enrich teaching practice, by presenting teaching as a process of responding to actual
classroom challenges, thereby creating better links between theory and practice.
Structure and outcome of training:
•
There is a total lack of commitment by the education establishment to the early years of
•
the beginning teacher’s professional life. Three years in formal training does not
produce the kind of changes expected or necessary to lead to an effective teacher.
MUSTER evidence about changes in trainee teacher attitudes suggests a decline in their
interest and commitment to teaching with time and experience. Training opportunities
need to be designed to foster positive attitudes to the demands of teaching. This means
providing more structured professional support for NQTs in the early years of their
C
teaching career.
•
•
The shift towards a longer period of training in school, as planned through the “In-inout” model, is sound from a professional perspective, but other supportive changes will
be needed to reap the full benefits. Spending more time training in school does not
necessarily translate into better quality teacher training. To be effective, the curriculum
of school-based training should provide learning experiences which actively draw
trainees into critical dialogue with teachers and other local professionals responsible for
school supervision and management. The goal of this would be to develop in trainees
a situated understanding of how theory can be transformed into practical knowledge for
effective classroom practice.
•
Teacher training is too expensive to leave the outcome in doubt. Trend analysis suggests
that the cost of training a teacher is only exceeded by the cost of training a university
student, and that the cost keeps rising. MUSTER data does not give definitive answers
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8 The Way Forward
n
to the question of the quality of training outcomes. Nevertheless, the insights from
student teachers’ and NQTs’ experience, and the sense they make of it, suggest there is
room for improving the quality of training and its outcomes.
t
d
•
The one-year remedial course may not be sufficient time to turn around the weak
s
academic knowledge background of most student teachers, as the mathematics
a
achievement results indicate. Raising the academic entry qualification may seem like the
s
appropriate action to improve this situation, but this could also threaten supply. This
t
remains one of the biggest challenges that would face teacher training in Ghana, as
w
generally the profession appears unable to attract the best academically qualified
e
candidates. One approach is to promulgate specific subject knowledge standards that
,
trainees are required to meet before initial certification, and to give trainees the
t
opportunity to meet these standards in the course of their training, or soon after. Thus,
o
the policy of withdrawing first year trainees after failing the promotion examinations
l
needs to be reviewed, since the evidence suggests that in one year they may not have
gained sufficiently from remedial tuition to improve significantly. Alternatively, more
effort must be made to make the first year training more efficient, by reducing the
wastage in training time.
f
•
From a comparison with a limited sample of untrained teachers, training does appear to
t
improve some aspects of professional practice in trained teachers. How much of this
r.
actually makes a difference in pupil learning and achievement is unclear from the
r
evidence gathered. More detailed research is needed to provide clear and conclusive
s
answers.
s
r
Costs and financing:
•
Clearly, the structure of costs needs reviewing so that funds can be more efficiently
-
utilized. MUSTER estimates suggest that typically across the college sector about 75%
l
of direct costs are in student stipends, from which about 40% is deducted at college to
t
run the colleges, 20% in college salaries split between teaching and non-teaching staff
m
about 60/40, and about 5% in non-salary expenses. As this report has noted, the
w
structure of training costs have important implications for teacher supply. Unless bold
r
initiatives are taken to maximise the benefits of the cost and financing of initial teacher
s
training in Ghana, in terms of increasing the supply and quality of teachers, the future
r
of basic education will remain bleak. In this report we have put forward a number of
suggestions on this issue, but these are by no means exhaustive. One approach could
be to place trainees in the “out” phase in the same schools where they would eventually
s
begin their first year teaching after graduating from college. The benefit in terms of cost
y
is that no newly trained teachers will be required to be posted to these schools, as
s
trainees will be filling in vacancy positions whilst still receiving training.
D
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8 The Way Forward
Interest in primary school teaching:
T
•
•
A matter requiring serious policy consideration is the lack of interest and commitment
to primary teaching. The problem is complex and therefore the solution may not be
simple and straightforward. But, since primary school teaching builds the foundation for
all formal education, it requires investments and policies that will make it attractive and
fulfilling. Developing policies that reduce the hardships faced by NQTs, especially in
rural areas, should be a first step. The late payment of salaries to beginning teachers
shows insensitivity to the problems they face, especially when posted to rural
R
communities where their personal survival needs may override commitment to schools.
It is a matter that requires urgent action.
•
•
The education system does not seem to support teaching in rural contexts. As Hedges
(2000) showed, poor communication, bribery, exploiting the system and favouritism
were perceived by NQTs to characterise the work of the GES. Teachers cannot and
should not be forced to teach under conditions that undermine their personal self-worth
and status.
The profession of teaching must have embedded in it privileges and
responsibilities that are strictly adhered to. For example, the issue of bonding – the
tying of teachers to their first posting for a specified number of years - needs to be
enforced. But equally, there must be a serious commitment by GES to the welfare of
teachers if bonding is not to be construed as a punitive measure and lead to a deepening
dislike of teaching.
Assessment:
•
The MUSTER project unfortunately could not explore in great detail issues relating to
•
assessment and the training of college tutors to implement assessment. However, in
tandem with the proposals that this report makes, the assessment policy needs reviewing
for teacher certification assessments to become vehicles for promoting abilities and
dispositions characteristic of good teaching, without unduly interrupting the processes
and opportunities for learning to teach. It is necessary to design teacher certification
assessments that, for example, make practical problem-solving competence in teaching a
key feature of teacher certification decision-making. Ultimately, the goal of teacher
certification should be to determine to what extent prospective teachers have “…
acquired the knowledge and judgement required to evaluate what strategies are
appropriate in very different situations and whether (they) can apply these
understandings in practice” (Darling-Hammond et. al., 1999 p. 101). Assessing such
abilities will require more complex assessment methodology than is currently in use.
•
104
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8 The Way Forward
Teacher educators
t
•
Teacher educators seem to have little experience of teaching at the primary level and
e
have no special training in educating teachers for that level. It would appear important
r
that teacher educators are given special training that requires practical exposure to work
d
in the primary teaching field. This, we believe, must be made a relevant qualifying
n
requirement for teacher educators.
s
l
Reconceptualising Teacher Education
.
•
Finally, the radical demands of FCUBE invite reconsideration of perceptions of the
nature of a trained teacher and the career trajectory for professional development. The
s
current system of initial training is heavily front-loaded (all of the investment of teacher
m
training is focused at pre-service level). Three years of full-time training is expensive and
d
risky. There is no guarantee that those who accept a long period of subsidised training
h
will either work long enough to repay the cost, or recoup costs through more effective
d
performance on the job. This calls for greater decentralisation of the process of teacher
e
training. We have suggested the re-introduction of modular training for untrained
e
teachers and those who will choose to enter the profession through this route. There is
f
need for the institutionalization of internships for beginning teachers, and for that to be
g
seen as an integral part of training to become a teacher. Also, contractual obligations
with enforcement strategies that would ensure that the benefits of investment in training
are realised in the NQTs’ subsequent contribution and commitment to teaching,
especially in the more rural schools, needs to be developed.
o
•
It may also be necessary to reorganise teacher education curriculum materials so that
n
they are less close-ended - this is to break with the prescriptive tradition of teaching that
g
has the danger of limiting teachers’ classroom effectiveness. By including more open-
d
ended and collaborative inquiry-based materials, we can deepen practical knowledge of
s
teaching and enhance the personal responsibility that is required to bring about change
n
in schools and classrooms. Such an approach will also elevate the view of effective
a
teaching as a function of teachers’ professional reasoning ability and not of predefined
r
behaviours. According to Shulman (1987), pedagogical reasoning is linked to the
…
practical aspect of teaching through teachers’ comprehension of purposes, subject
e
matter structures, and the ability to transform these through stages of preparation,
e
representation, selection and adaptation. This notion of teaching should underpin
h
teacher education pedagogy in the training colleges.
D
•
It is also important for teaching and learning to be organized so that teacher trainees
take greater responsibility for how the content of learning to teach is developed, shaped
and documented, reflecting mainly their own professional learning experiences. But this
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8 The Way Forward
must be preceded by changes to the organizational structure of training. We ought to
explore how colleges and schools can form training partnerships, and create the space
and time for genuine collaboration between experienced teachers and teacher educators
in training teachers.
•
The current system of teacher training does not have the capacity to meet future
demand as set by FCUBE. Instead of replacing untrained teachers who are sometimes
more committed to teaching because of the circumstances that led to their being there,
4
(see Hedges, 2000), training colleges could provide in-service training for these teachers
by using afternoons or evenings when college classrooms are unoccupied. Similarly,
head teachers would need training to monitor and support the untrained teachers who
are undergoing in-service training in designated college centres.
•
Whatever adjustments are made to the teacher education system to improve quality and
production targets at sustainable costs, the content of the curriculum and learning
experiences of student teachers will have to undergo significant improvements, as has
been suggested in this report.
5
9.3
Short to medium-term measures
To conclude, we propose the following short to medium-term steps to move teacher
training in Ghana forward.
1
The “In-in-out” scheme has been accepted and in principle is a good step, but it has to
6
be based on a conception of teaching that is reflective as opposed to prescriptive. In
particular, the “out” phase of training must seek to empower prospective teachers with
skills, knowledge, and attitudes that would make them change agents in classroom
practice. This would require a school-based training curriculum that is focused on
developing practical knowledge of teaching, and is oriented towards problem-solving.
7
2. A modular course lasting about one year should be set up in some college centres for
untrained teachers. It should be designed so that eventually it can become an alternative
route to a teaching qualification, and of the same quality as the “In-in-out” model. The
real advantage of the modular programme is that it will help to improve the teacher
supply situation, and offer the opportunity for untrained teachers to receive training that
draws on their background experiences of teaching.
3. Colleges as currently structured are rather unsuitable environments for the development
of wider attitudes considered important for teachers to develop in real teaching
situations. In other words, colleges as currently structured do not reflect or provide the
opportunity for developing an adequate sense of teacher professionalism – student
106
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8 The Way Forward
o
teachers are treated more like secondary school students than as adult learners. As was
e
recommended earlier in this chapter, college organisational structures must encourage
s
trainees to take on greater responsibility for professional learning through more
individual and group study of projects based in schools. Too much time appears to be
wasted on irrelevant tasks e.g. weeding and fetching water, that have nothing to do with
e
the objectives of training.
s
,
4. Changing the way teachers are trained as recommended in this report will mean special
s
training for college tutors. Currently, tutors have no training specific to their role as
y,
educators of primary and JSS teachers. If their interaction with student teachers is to be
o
productive in the sense of enabling them to develop a more reflective stance in teaching,
they themselves need to receive training that is sensitive to this perspective of teaching.
The Institute of Education University of Cape Coast must be encouraged to develop
d
courses that are practical-based for certifying college tutors. Structured as an in-service
g
programme, this should eventually become the route to confer the additional
s
qualification status for teaching in a training college.
5. College budgets need restructuring to increase allocation to training inputs, especially
teaching and learning resources, library facilities etc. Student stipends may be the route
to achieving this. Stipends would have to be made more accountable in terms of the
r
proportion colleges take, and how students use the remainder in furthering their
professional development.
o
6. “Study-leave-with full pay” needs reviewing and made more accountable in terms of the
n
benefits to primary education. It appears prudent to attach some conditions to the
h
incentive. Possibilities include “bonding” to teach in a primary school for at least 2
m
years after further training, introducing study leave with part of the payment borne by
n
the teacher, or particular districts sponsoring teachers for further training.
7. Finally, the pre-service and in-service training of teachers has to be re-constructed as
r
equally important routes to teacher training. A certification policy needs to take this into
e
account. For example, teachers could be required to renew certification after about 5
e
years in teaching and this would then attract reasonable increases in pay.
r
certification assessment needs to reflect the practical experiences gained in teaching.
t
This would have the additional advantage of encouraging beginning teachers to commit
The
themselves to remaining longer in teaching (at least for 5 years) before qualifying for
further training. It is important for further certification status to attract some additional
t
remuneration or points that could be used for promotion.
g
e
t
D
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8 The Way Forward
In conclusion, bold initiatives in initial teacher training in Ghana are needed to produce a
sufficient number of teachers with the commitment and competence to improve the quality
of education children receive in schools. The recommendations and suggestions that have
been made in this report offer a number of possibilities based upon the outcome of studies
exploring a broad spectrum of issues relating to the training to become a teacher. Teacher
training in Ghana has not come under the microscope of education reformers as intensely
as, for example, basic education. But one cannot separate the two; in fact, it is fair to say
that the quality of basic education in terms of the quality of student learning outcomes is
greatly influenced by the level of commitment and competence of teachers. Teachers are at
the forefront of basic education quality delivery. Therefore, their training, and other policies
which enhance their well-being and standing in society, needs to be given more serious
consideration in education development in Ghana. Hopefully, this report has raised a
number of issues for policy planners to evaluate and determine appropriate actions. The
report has also offered suggestions about the kind of changes that might be needed to make
the teaching profession more effective in contributing to the quality of basic education in
Ghana.
108
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Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
Appendix 1:
Differences Between Groups in Response Patterns by Statements
a
y
e
s
r
y
y
s
t
s
s
a
e
e
n
D
Statement
Sample Mean
1. I think being a teacher is the best job I can
BST
3.07
get. (0.806)
FST
2.57
(BEST)
NQT 2.26
2. I would rather have gone to the university
BST
2.06
than teacher training college (-0.602)
FST
2.39
(PREFUNI)
NQT 2.81
3. My friends think I’m fortunate to be a
BST
3.04
school teacher (0.602)
FST
2.69
(FORTUNE)
NQT 2.52
4. I would rather get a higher qualification and
BST
2.10
do a different job than remain in teaching
FST
2.80
(0.765) DIFFJOB
NQT 2.90
5. Teachers today are more respected than they
BST
2.51
were before (0.351)
FST
2.15
(RESPECT)
NQT 2.08
6. Caning is necessary to maintain discipline
BST
2.24
in school (-0.828)
FST
2.34
(CANE)
NQT 2.86
7. Caning will not help children do better
BST
3.11
(0.824)
FST
3.06
(NOCANE)
NQT 2.64
8. Newly qualified teachers should teach where
BST
2.59
they like (-0.448)
FST
3.37
(CHOOSET)
NQT 2.56
9. I don’t mind whether I teach in the junior
BST
3.11
secondary or primary school (0.651)
FST
2.76
(NOPREFT)
NQT 2.92
10. Both male and female teachers are equally
BST
3.32
capable of teaching in the primary school
FST
3.13
(0.697) (MFEQUAL)
NQT 3.30
11.Teachers can’t do much to improve the
BST
1.63
academic performance of slow learners
FST
1.66
(0.514) (SLOWLRN)
NQT 1.78
12.Teachers are born and not made
BST
2.28
(0.640)
FST
2.51
(TBORN)
NQT 2.40
13. It is difficult to bring changes in school
BST
2.21
as a teacher (0.510)
FST
2.24
(NOINNOV)
NQT 2.10
14. Teaching is more difficult than many
BST
2.69
other jobs I could do (0.428)
FST
3.12
(TDIFF)
NQT 3.00
15. School children learn best when in
BST
3.54
small groups (0.656)
FST
3.61
(LRNGRP)
NQT 3.55
16. It is difficult to teach children of different
BST
2.94
abilities unless they are grouped (0.725)
FST
3.21
(ABILGRP)
NQT 3.08
17.The most important thing a teacher can
BST
3.44
do is to teach pupils facts (0.654)
FST
3.06
(TFACTS)
NQT 3.07
18. School pupils learn more from asking
BST
3.37
questions than from listening (0.399)
FST
3.43
(LQUEST)
NQT 3.55
DFID
SD
0.96
1.01
0.96
0.84
0.90
0.83
0.91
0.81
0.89
0.94
1.00
0.90
1.11
1.02
0.96
0.88
0.94
0.81
0.84
0.93
0.93
1.07
0.85
0.98
0.86
1.00
0.84
0.80
0.91
0.67
0.78
0.81
0.74
1.08
1.05
0.92
0.96
1.01
0.93
0.95
0.93
0.87
0.62
0.66
0.57
0.88
0.81
0.85
0.77
0.92
0.93
0.80
0.72
0.66
BST
FST
*
*
NS
*
*
*
*
*
NS
*
*
NS
*
*
NS
NS
*
*
NS
*
*
*
NS
NS
*
NS
NS
*
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
*
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
*
*
NS
NS
NS
NS
*
*
NS
*
*
NS
NS
NS
NS
109
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Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
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The MUSTER Discussion Paper Series
f
No 1
Counting the Cost of Teacher Education: Cost and Quality Issues
(January 1999) Keith M Lewin
t,
a
No 2
The Costs and Financing of Teacher Education Malawi
(March 2000) Demis Kunje & Keith M Lewin
No 3
Primary Teacher Education Curricula as Documented: A Comparative Analysis
(July 1999) Janet S Stuart
No 4
“On the Threshold”: The Identity of Student Teachers in Ghana
(April 2000) Kwame Akyeampong & David Stephens
No 5
Malawi: A Baseline Study of the Teacher Education System
(December 1999) Demis Kunje & Joseph Chimombo
No 6
Trinidad & Tobago: A Baseline Study of the Teacher Education System
(July 1999) Lynda Quamina-Aiyejina, Jeniffer Mohammed, Balchan Rampaul, June
George, Michael Kallon, Carol Keller & Samuel Lochan.
No 7
Ghana: A Baseline Study of the Teacher Education System
(September 2000) Kwame Akyeampong & Dominic Furlong
No 8
Lesotho: A Baseline Study of the Teacher Education System
(September 2000) J Pulane Lefoka et al
No 9
Teacher Education in Trinidad & Tobago: Costs, Financing and Future Policy
(August 2000) Keith M Lewin, Carol Keller & Ewart Taylor
,
D
No 10 Costs and Financing of Teacher Education in Lesotho
(June 2000) Keith M Lewin, Vuyelwa Ntoi, H J Nenty & Puleng Mapuru
No 11 The Malawi Integrated In-Service Teacher Education Project: an analysis of the
curriculum and its delivery in the colleges
(February 2000) Janet S Stuart & Demis Kunje
No 12 The Malawi Integrated In-Service Teacher Education Programme and its School
based Components
(June 2000) Demis Kunje & Shadreck Chirembo
No 13 The Importance of Posting in Becoming a Teacher in Ghana
(June 2000) John P Hedges
No 14 Gender Gaps in Schools and Colleges: Can Teacher Education Policy Improve
Gender Equity in Malawi?
(August 2000) Alison Croft
No 15 Newly Qualified Teachers: Impact On/Interaction with the System
(Trinidad & Tobago)
(March 2000) Jeanette Morris & Arthur Joseph
No 16 Careers and Perspectives of Tutors in Teacher Training Colleges: Case Studies of
Lesotho and Malawi
(November 2000) Janet Stuart with Demis Kunje & Pulane Lefoka
No 17 Learning To Teach In Ghana: An Evaluation Of Curriculum Delivery
(August 2000) Kwame Akyeampong, J. Ampiah, J Fletcher, N. Kutor & B. Sokpe
No 18 The Costs and Financing of Teacher Education in Ghana
(December 2000) Kwame Akyeampong, Dominic Furlong & Keith Lewin
No 19 On-the-Job Training: Pre-service Teacher Training in Trinidad & Tobago
(August 2000) June George, Janice Fournillier & Marie-Louise Brown
No 20 Becoming a Primary School Teacher in Trinidad & Tobago, Part 1 The Curriculum
in the Teachers' Colleges
(October 2000) June George, Patricia Worrell, Joycelyn Rampersad, Balchan
Rampaul & Jeniffer Mohammed
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The MUSTER Discussion Paper Series
No 21 Becoming a Primary School Teacher in Trinidad & Tobago, Part 2: Teaching
Practice Experience of Trainees
(October 2000) June George, Patricia Worrell, Joycelyn Rampersad & Balchan
Rampaul
N
No 22 Primary Teacher Trainees in Trinidad & Tobago: Characteristics, Images,
Experiences and Expectations
(January 2001) June George, Jeniffer Mohammed, Lynda Quamina-Aiyejina,
Janice Fournillier & Susan Otway-Charles.
N
No 23 Analysis of the Curriculum as Documented at the National Teacher Training
College in Lesotho
(May 2001) J. Pulane Lefoka & Janet S. Stuart
N
N
N
No 24 The Experience of Training: a Study of Students at The National Teacher Training
College in Lesotho
(August 2000) J. Pulane Lefoka with Mantoetse Jobo, Baatswana Moeti & Janet S.
Stuart
No 25 Teaching Practice at the National Teacher Training College in Lesotho
(May 2001) J. Pulane Lefoka with Mantoetse Jobo & Baatswana Moeti
T
h
No 26 Turbulence or Orderly Change? Teacher Supply and Demand in South Africa –
Current Status, Future Needs and the Impact of HIV/Aids
(June 2000) Luis Crouch Edited and Abridged by Keith M. Lewin
No 27 New Teachers on the Job: The Impact of Teacher Education in Lesotho
(September 2001) Edith M Sebatane and J Pulane Lefoka
No 28 Who Becomes a Primary School Teacher in Lesotho: Characteristics and
Experiences of the DEP Student Teachers upon Entry into NTTC
(January 2002) J. Pulane Lefoka with M.K. Molise, J.M. Moorosi-Molapo, Edith
Sebatane
No 29 Primary Teacher Education in Action: a peep into the TTC classrooms at the
National Teacher Training College, Lesotho
(June 2002) J.Pulane Lefoka and Vuyelwa.M. Ntoi
No 30 Roles and Responsibilities, Institutional Landscapes and Curriculum Mindscapes: a
partial view of teacher education policy in South Africa, 1990-2000
(March 2002) Ben Parker
No 31 Face-to-face Initial Teacher Education Degree Programme at University of Durban
Westville, South Africa
(May 2002) Michael Samuel and Daisy Pillay
No 32 Teacher Education for Transformation: the case of the University of the Western
Cape, South Africa
(May 2002) Maureen Robinson, Tania Vergnani and Yusuf Sayed
No 33 Further Diploma in Education (Educational Management) by Distance Education
at the University of Pretoria, South Africa
(June 2002) Yusuf Sayed, Jan Heystek and Brigitte Smit
No 34 Face-to-Face Training in a Conventional Preservice Programme: a case study at
Edgewood College of Education in South Africa
(August 2002) Vijay Reddy
No 35 South African College for Open Learning: a model of an Inservice Distance
Education Programme for Initial Teacher Education
(August 2002) Vijay Reddy
114
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The MUSTER Research Reports
No 1
Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
(December 2001) Kwame Akyeampong
No 2
Initial Primary Teacher Education in Lesotho
(January 2002) J.Pulane Lefoka with E.Molapi Sebatane
No 3
Primary Teacher Education in Malawi: Insights into Practice and Policy
(March 2002) Demis Kunje with Keith Lewin and Janet Stuart
No 4
An Analysis of Primary Teacher Education in Trinidad and Tobago: The MUSTER
Report (May 2002) June George and Lynda Quamina-Aiyejina
No 5
Researching Teacher Education: New Perspectives on Practice, Performance and
Policy. Report on the MUSTER Project
(June 2002) Keith M.Lewin and Janet S.Stuart
.
D
The discussion papers are downloadable from the following web address:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/usie/muster/list.html
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Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
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23862 DFID Book 49 Ghana 1/5/03 11:06 am Page 135
Country Report One - Teacher Training in Ghana – Does it Count?
DFID
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