Professional Development for Education

Teachers are faced with many challenges in the classroom. Starting with the pressure to develop challenging exams and grade papers on time to the time deadlines of creating their lesson plans, the job seems to be never ending. However, teachers are also faced with accomplishing their main job role of a superior communicator to the students in the classroom. Unless they communicate in an exceptional manner, their students will never be able to learn correctly. Teachers working in multicultural education face an additional dilemma as they must now enhance their communication skills because of both cultural and language barriers in the classroom.

Before entering the multicultural education environment, there are a few things that teachers must do to prepare. Educators must first familiarize themselves with the cultural differences of all students who attend the school in which they teach. The best way for the teacher to bond with the students is to share a common interest or have a way in which to initiate conversation. Therefore, the teacher should be aware of the cultural uniqueness of each and every student. Showing a liking to individual students is a way in which to gain trust and form bonds.

Additionally, the teacher must decide how they can improve their current teaching strategy. They do not want to alter it too drastically because that will confuse the students, but at the same time there is always room for change. Teachers can ask their students for suggestions as to how they can improve their performance in the classroom. Together, the teacher and students will make the learning process much more effective and efficient.

How does one go about this process? Well, there are three approaches to teacher professional development. The first is individual research to enhance their knowledge base about multicultural education. During this process, the teacher should recognize the demographic of the area in which they teach. For example, if his or her class consists of many Hispanic students, the teacher may familiarize him or herself with traditions of that culture or learn how to speak some basic Spanish vocabulary.

The second approach is to attend lectures on specific topics related to teacher professional development. Multi-racial awareness activities will expose teachers to the different learning styles that their students portray. Research has shown that cultural groups learn in unique ways due to their history and values. Additionally, teachers will learn the reasons for the cultural differences, which root back to philosophy and social customs. Teaching strategies, such as role-playing and simulations, may help some students learn better as opposed to the ordinarily used lecture style of teaching. Once the teacher decides on the most effective strategy, he or she will notice success in their overall student performance and will feel rewarded.

Lastly, teachers learn through their own experience. This allows the teacher to learn about multicultural education firsthand by combining classroom-based learning with field-based experience. Once in the classroom interacting with the students, the teacher will be able to observe the different learning styles of the students and will be able to better plan for the future. Teachers should not be afraid to implement a unique teaching style because it may succeed in the multicultural environment.

Teacher professional development must comprise resources and ideas for teachers to use in allowing themselves to learn about cultural diversity. After completing the development process, teachers will have broadened their instructive knowledge, improve their skill set, and alter their beliefs, attitudes and understanding of working with a diverse variety of students. Although the task may be daunting, the overall outcome is beneficial and will make the teacher a successful communicator.

Factors to designing a curriculum in Education

It is impossible for an educational program to exist and progress smoothly without the existence of curriculum. A good Curriculum is a foundation for any developmental projects in the education system as it determines what should be learnt in addressing the needs and aspirations of the learners as well as the society. It is the total program of instruction offered by the school which includes the content and learning experiences or daily classroom practices centered on meeting the educational aims, goals and objectives. These learning experiences can take place within and outside the school environment as learners interact. Like many other concepts, curriculum has many definitions from different scholars and policy makers. However, it is not the focus of this paper to explore the definitions of curriculum. This paper is focusing on internal and external factors one would look at when designing a curriculum.

In order for you to develop insight into the methods you can use to deliver teaching content, it is important to understand how a school-based curriculum is designed. This is the focus of this paper.

For the purpose of this paper, school shall be defined as a social institution designed to give formal learning to children. As a teacher, you are aware that a school curriculum is a programme of selected content and learning experiences offered by a school and capable of either modifying or changing learner behaviour.

Included in this definition are the following ideas:

• There is a source from which content and learning experiences are selected.

• One or more people select content and learning experiences. Their selection is based on specified criteria and/or influenced by a number of factors.

• The learner should experience a change in behavior after completing a programme. Ideally, the behaviour

Kochhar, (2008:67) defines curriculum as “the instructional and educative program through which the pupils achieve their goals and aspirations of life”. The curriculum consists of components/elements such as the curriculum intent, content, learning activities, learning experiences and lastly evaluation. All these components of the curriculum are interrelated and important for an effective curriculum implementation.

In view of the above statement. The designing of a curriculum is also affected by some external Factors, like cultural, political, economic expectations from the parents, government and employs. Resource s (human materials resources) is also vital when designing a curriculum. Do you have enough money and manpower to design a curriculum or not? ; One has to look at other researchers or documents when designing a curriculum.

However, there are also internal factors faced when designing a curriculum. The population of pupils in country, gender issues, attitudes, values which leaner’s have. Are the leaner’s able to interpret the curriculum inclusive of the teachers make sure that when designing a curriculum, you see to it that skills that teachers have in the country will suit them. The curriculum should also incorporate the physically challenged, for them to benefit from it.

It is also vital to note that the curriculum should be taken to the right teacher by the relevant authorities and the structure of administration should help to implement the curriculum. Nevertheless short comings may come on the way because of lack of building, receiving materials and equipment to use.

Assuming that the school curriculum developers design their curriculum with the child in mind, there are a number of factors that they need to consider. These are described below.

Learning in any country is guided by its national goals and philosophy. These are influenced by political considerations to ensure national identity. Curriculum development can be centralised at the national level or decentralised to the local level. In case of Zambia curriculum development is affected by the current education policies, such as ‘Educating our future, 1996 policy”.

According to Commonwealth of Learning (2000:8) “The central pattern of curriculum design is further influenced by the number of subjects in the national curriculum.” In support of the above, normally, a school cannot include on its list a subject that is not on the national curriculum, so the school curriculum is limited to what the national list has to offer.

In addition to national goals, the school curriculum is influenced greatly by the mental, physical and emotional requirements of the child. The school curriculum developers look at the child’s level of development and maturity. The juniors should be given what they can handle in terms of depth and quantity. For example, in science at the primary level, there is more concern with the systems and processes that affect the learner’s life without giving the principles and theories behind them. At higher levels, the physical, chemical the principles and theories that explain them. The level of complexity increases as the mental capacity of the learner develops.

Learning experiences increase in intensity and complexity with increased manipulative skills. Thus the physical condition of the learners also influences the selection of subjects and experiences. One cannot teach art appreciation to children in a school for the blind and under normal conditions; one would not teach music to the deaf (Ministry of Education, 1996).

Another factor that influences curriculum development is resource availability. By resources, we are referring to learning facilities, materials and personal factors such as qualification and experience. A school should not select a subject merely because other schools are offering it. A secondary school should not offer computer science if it has no electricity, or opts for rugby if there are no grounds and trainers qualified to coach the sport. The developers must look at the resources that are available before selecting a subject for the school. commerce, economics, science and accounting make a lot of sense because they will help the learners to acquire skills needed to produce goods and services. To humanists, it makes sense to include literature, history, science and geography. The content and learning experiences provided by a school should have cultural relevance for its learners.

Planners should consider what the environment could offer to the learner and how the environment can be exploited to facilitate the teaching and learning process. For example, if the school is located in a desert area, you might think of offering a course on crop science and farming in arid environments.

In addition, to the mentioned factors above, (Child, 1977) notes that, “evaluation system also influence curriculum development.” In other words, you should also note that the designer of a school curriculum should consider the system and strategy for the evaluation of the curriculum. Practical assessments for certain subjects such as chemistry require special equipment and apparatus that the school might not be able to afford.

Learners might be frustrated if they followed a course of study for which they were not assessed, because where there is no assessment, there is no certification. In addition, the instructors teaching these subjects may not take them seriously. Without commitment from both the teacher and the learners, teaching these subjects wastes time and money. It also would not make much sense to offer a subject in a trade that required industrial testing equipment if the school could not expose the learners to the same environment and conditions found in industry. These examples stress the need to consider evaluation seriously.

The computer technology of the 21st century influences curriculum development at every level of learning. Learning centers and classrooms increasingly provide computers as requisite interaction for studies among students. Technological multimedia use influences educational goals and learning experiences among students. Undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer technology increases in popularity.

 Curriculum development affect from diversity opens learning opportunities. Social diversity including religion, culture and social groupings affects curriculum development because these characteristics influence the types of topics and methods for teaching information. Developing relevant curriculum takes into account society’s expectations, accommodating group traditions and promoting equality.

In conclusion, designing a curriculum involves the interaction of several participants, reaching beyond the academic wall to impact the entire community. Without an effective curriculum, students would not be able to understand or meet the challenges of society. A curriculum prepares an individual with the knowledge to be successful, confident and responsible citizens.

Importance of Education in Modern World

Education is important because it prepares us with all that is needed to make our dreams come true. It opens doors to brilliant career opportunities. It fetches better prospects in career and growth. Every employer today, be it in the IT sector or any other government offices, wants their prospective employees to be well qualified for the roles they are going to play. They require resources well equipped with modern technology so as to suit his wants. So, education becomes a basic criterion for employment in any sector of the industry. We are weighed in the market on the basis of our fundamental skills and how well we can apply them through proper communication. Education is very important for an individual’s success in life.

Not only career wise but education makes one live a respected life in the society. It gives us knowledge of the world around us as mentioned earlier, its the passport to the world. It develops in us a new perspective of looking at life. It helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life. It makes us capable of interpreting things rightly. Education is not just about reading books and writing exams, but also reading through the lines of the books and applying them in real life.

Education is generally seen as the foundation of society which brings economic wealth, social prosperity and political stability. Higher education helps in maintaining a healthy society which prepares health care professionals, educated health care consumers and maintaining healthy population. As they say ” A good tree always bears good fruits”.

Parents in rural areas are taking up the challenge of educating their children for a better tomorrow, in their tough times too. They are now getting to know the importance of education and how it will help them overcome their poverty. The recent show of KBC proves to be the best example – History was made when Sushil Kumar, a computer operator from Bihar with a monthly income of Rs 6000/-, became the first ever contestant to win five crore rupees on ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati 5’.

Education in overall plays a very vital role in life of each and every individual. This blog is initiated in order to touch the lives of as many people & kids especially as possible to impart the great treasure of knowledge.

Home school versus formal education

The debate among many people is whether homeschooling kids is better than formal education. The former would be fruitful if home school is done the right way. Children adopt a customized curriculum provided by their parents whereas in a private school, they are forced to learn whatever is taught by the teachers. Each child is unique and the style of learning differs from one child to another. Some children are good at grasping information from textbooks and a theory based method would be useful for them but some of them prefer practical method of teaching where it’s easy for them to remember and this kind of an approach is also more interesting to them.

Parents who home school their kids should provide a more pleasing and healthy learning environment for their kids. Apart from academics, children learn to bond with their family, which is an advantage in home school. Good habits can be instilled in them. Apart from concentrating on academics, children have ample time to develop their talents. Everyone learns from each and every task that we do, whether it is routine or a onetime task. Children can go for music classes, swimming, skating etc. They can do well in their academics as well as extracurricular activities whereas there is a time constraint in private schools. Some schools demand children to be more focused on academics than extracurricular activities, as they need more grades.

More often when parents weigh the options of home school and formal education, one major issue is that kids don’t get an opportunity to socialize if parents home school them. At school, children can play together and participate in competitions. It’s easy for them to socialize but peer influence can change the attitude of your kids easily and it’s difficult for parents to know if their kids are being influenced in the right or the wrong way. Children can always interact and get along with other kids who are being homeschooled by their parents. They tend to become more co operative and disciplined. Kids who are homeschooled will get more attention and discussing about their academics and extracurricular activities becomes easy, as children feel more comfortable in such an environment.

Sending your child to a private school is expensive. Course fee, educational trips, projects, cost of resources, transportation are expensive whereas when parents home school they know what exactly their children need and based on that they can buy the required materials. When your kids join the other homeschooled ones, educational trips will be less expensive and sometimes you need pay even a penny. Some people believe that children who are being home schooled will have difficulty in getting college admissions which will lead to less number of career opportunities but that’s not true as most colleges prefer homeschooled children as they are more disciplined and self motivated to learn new things. In home school, every parent struggles to get their children in the right track in the beginning but ultimately they learn how to home school their kids.