Teachers / Educators
Teachers/educators are the major pillars in the teaching and learning process. Without an appropriate focus on teachers, access, quality and equity of education for all is not feasible. The quality of teachers/ educators has been found to explain significant differences in learning outcomes. Equitable deployment of qualified teachers/educators also has a significant bearing on the distribution of learning outcomes and thus equity1. There are clear indications that provision of quality education tends to have a greater impact on the most vulnerable or deprived students2 and thus providing quality teachers/educators to all schools and educational institutions is one important way to address the problem of inequity. As new and more complex roles are ascribed to teachers/educators, coherent and adequate selection, preparation and continuous professional development strategies must be in place to endow those entrusted with teaching with the required knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, and retain them in the profession.
This Analytical Tool focuses on teachers/educators as a critical subsystem that can support or impede MS from achieving the goal of quality education for all. The Analytical Tool is one of 14 tools in the UNESCO General Education Quality Diagnostic/Analysis and Framework (GEQAF) designed to help MS to assess all aspects of their education system to improve quality and equity. It is is particularly linked to the analytical tools on the teaching and learning processes will serve as a guide for reflection and not as a prescription of a particular choice, or of a particular method to analyze the issue of teachers/ educators and education quality.
The paramount question to be addressed by this toolkit is to what extent the teachers/educators sub-system has been a major factor in explaining the quality problems we face in our education system. This question can be addressed by a thorough analysis and reflection on the systems and mechanisms we have in place for attracting suitable and motivated individuals to the teaching profession, for selection and preparation of teacher/educator candidates, their recruitment, deployment, retention and their effective management for the delivery of quality education. (See: Teacher policies on Preparation, Recruitment and Retention of teachers). At each of these critical stages, from initial entry into the profession to the delivery of quality education, we need to pose some fundamental questions to identify the factors affecting the ability of our teachers/ educators to deliver quality education to our learners.
The diagnostics of the teachers/educators sub-system will facilitate the identification of areas of strength to build on and also areas of weaknesses and gaps to address. The diagnostic and analysis of both strengths and remaining challenges should lead to the formulation of action plans focusing on the most critical challenges, if addressed, can unlock great potential for improving the education system to deliver equity and quality.
Diagnosis and analysis
Entry into the teaching profession
1. Who is attracted to the teaching profession and why? Do we have data on the profile of those applying for teacher/educator training? (See: Examples of countries which managed to attract the best students to the profession)
2. How well do our criteria for selection into training of teacher/ educator (e.g. minimum qualification, attitudes and values, motivation) and selection modalities (e.g. exam, interview) reflect the type of teachers/educators we want to train?
Training of teachers/educators
1. What is the profile of the trainers of teachers/educators? How are they trained, recruited, remunerated? Does the financing of training institutions reflect the central role teacher/educator training plays for quality education?
2. How well does teacher/educator assessment reflect the competencies expected of new teachers/educators? Is practical training assessed? What are the modalities of assessment?
3. Has the efficiency of our teacher/educator training programs in imparting teachers/educators with the expected knowledge and skills been analyzed? Is there any analysis of the impact of trained teachers/educators on learners’ achievements? (See: Analyzing the quality of teacher training programmes)
4. How has in-service and CPD program been effective in raising the quality standard of our teachers/educators? Do we have evidence of that? (See: Examples of enhancing the effectiveness of in-service teacher training)
Recruitment, deployment and retention of teachers
1. What mechanisms are in place to attract and retain the best qualified people to teaching? Have they been effective? What is the extent of teacher/educator attrition in our country? Why did these teachers/educators leave?
2. Are there mechanisms in place for the best teachers/educators to be recognized and rewarded for their teachin
3. Are qualified teachers/educators deployed equitably throughout all educational levels, educational settings and in line with curriculum requirements? What are the mechanisms in place to ensure that teacher/educator deployment is equitable and the mechanisms are applied consistently?
Management of teachers/educators
1. What mechanisms are in place to support teachers/educators at all moments of their career? Do they foster a feeling of motivation and promote increased performance of teachers?
2. What forms of supervision and performance evaluation are in place and how effective have they been?
3. To what extent do teachers/educators participate in planning and decision-making at all levels of the educational system (See: Participation of teachers / educators in policy and decision-making)
Priorities for action
1. What are the key areas and binding constraints to be addressed urgently to achieve major improvements in the quality of our teachers/educators current and future?
2. What are the knowledge gaps which need to be filled for a
evidence-based policy and practice?
3. What are the required actions to deal with the priority constraints
and the identified knowledge gaps?
4. Who does what and when? What will be the coordination mechanism to effect the changes in a cohesive and systemic way?