By Ashley Young,2014-01-18 02:46
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    TEACHER TRAINING & TEACHER DEVELOPMENTPenny Ur Teacher training refers to the preparation of teachers for professional practice through formal courses, usually university or college based, and usually resulting in accreditation (BATEFL, PGCE, RSA Dip.TEFLA, etc). Teacher development, on the other hand, is learning carried out by practitioners already working in the classroom, and implies informal learning either individually or in collaboration with colleagues. The distinction has developed further than this. The term 'teacher development' (hereafter TD) was coined in the 1980s as something separate and different from 'teacher training' (TT), and in reaction against over-rigid, over-behaviouristic models of teacher training. The distinction is not just one of initial pre-service (training) versus continuing in-service (development). Today, the two terms are often used with more specific, contrasting meanings, implying differing approaches to the nature of professional learning, and carrying socio-political connotations. Pre-set structure versus developmental process TT is based on a set syllabus and has a course structure and system of assessment. In TD there is no pre-set syllabus, time-structure or external assessment. The teachers themselves decide what and how they want to learn, get together to do research and share experience and knowledge, and they evaluate the results themselves. Transmission versus personal processing of knowledge In TT, teaching/learning is based on a transmission model: the trainer informs, models and advises, and the trainees take on board the information and skills they are taught. In TD, the starting point is the teachers' own experience; new information is sought and shared rather than being imposed; it is then learnt by being reflected on, tried out, processed in terms of personal experience and finally 'owned' by the teachers in whatever form they find appropriate. Professional function versus whole person TT stresses the cognitive development of trainees and their knowledge and skills as professionals. In TD there is considerable stress on the development of the 'whole person' rather than just the 'teacher'. One-off versus ongoing TT takes the form of one-off courses, beginning and ending at predetermined times and taking place at pre-set locations. TD is more flexible, and is an ongoing, even lifelong process. Authoritarian versus democratic TT implies an authoritarian regime: the trainee is told what to do by the trainer or institutional authorities. TD on the other hand implies a democratic regime: the teachers are involved in decision-making. Thus TT disempowers the individual teacher/trainee and places authority in the hands of the 'experts'; TD empowers the individual. Oversimplified? Note that the above definitions are over-simplified in order to make their point clearly. Certainly in TT there is room for input from the trainees based on their own experience; certainly there is room for input from 'experts' even within a TD framework. But I believe I have fairly described the general thrust of the distinction. Satisfactory? Neither model on its own, of course, is entirely satisfactory. TT provides a structure, systematic syllabus and clear criteria for evaluation, but it may be over-rigid and out of touch with participants' needs. It ensures that incoming teachers do not have to 'reinvent the wheel' and that they benefit from the contribution of more experienced and knowledgeable practitioners and academics; but it under-uses the teachers' own experience and reflection. TD has other advantages. It gives teachers

    the choice of what and how to study, and thereby ensures the learning of meaningful and relevant content; it also stresses the importance of reflection on experience, and the ongoing, cumulative nature of professional pride and confidence. But its flexibility and stress on participant initiative and input may also cause lack of organisation and a 'pooling of ignorance', at the expense of genuine professional/personal progress. Useful? In my opinion, the distinction today has outlived its usefulness. It has certainly been helpful in sharpening our thinking about how teachers learn best, in the same way as Krashen's 'acquisition/learning' dichotomy sharpened our thinking about how people learn languages. But the issue today is not the difference between the two, but rather their integration. We need to evolve a model which combines the best of both in order to design optimally effective professional courses, both initial and continuing. Finocchiaro, M. Teacher Development - a developmental process English Teaching Forum (26/3, 2-3) 1988 Freeman, D. Teacher training, development and decision making: a model of teaching and related strategies for language teaching education, TESOL Quarterly (23/1, 27-46) 1989 Freeman, D. and Richards, J.C. Teacher Learning in Language Teaching Cambridge University Press 1996 Lange, D.L. A blueprint for a teacher development program, in Richards, J.C. and Nunan, D. (eds) Second Language Teacher Education Cambridge University Press 1990 Wallace, M.J. Training Foreign Language Teachers: A Reflective Approach Cambridge University Press 1990

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