Summary and Keywords
Ensuring quality teachers and quality teacher education programmes have been fundamental global concerns over the decades. High quality teachers are critical to the future development of national educational systems and economic vitality. Teachers’ quality and professionalism are closely linked to their professional standards, preparation and development. Teacher education, therefore, plays a central role in preparing quality teacher and also laying foundation for the development of teacher as a professional. Worldwide, professional standards, teacher standards, teaching- leaning standards and teacher education standards are considered instrumental for improving teacher preparation, their quality and professionalism. In this context, it becomes pertinent to deliberate upon the multiple standards frameworks in operation and how these frameworks are informing teacher education programmes for preparing quality teachers.
The discourses on standards and benchmarking provide effective platforms for measuring and improving performance, practice, and knowledge of teachers. Standard framework can be considered a diagnostic approach to the delivery of education which evolves through research and practice to generate new knowledge and to maintain an accountable profession. The analysis of teacher standards in both developed and developing countries clearly indicates that standards contribute to the professionalization of teaching and raise the status of the profession. Therefore standards and quality dimensions form the cornerstone for the teacher education policy, planning, and implementation.
The ideas, concepts, and constructs for standards and benchmarking in teacher education are derived from comparative perspectives and implications on quality dimension processes. The concepts of standards and benchmarks in teacher education around the globe are interpreted and used in diverse ways. The developed countries of the world have specific or explicit teacher education standard frameworks, as per their country-specific expectations and requirements. Countries such as the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Scotland, and Singapore have exclusive standards frameworks for initial teacher education. Singapore and Finland have recognised the implication of teacher education standards and benchmarking on improving teaching profession. The implementation of standards is considered an important part of the solution to the problem of assessment, accreditation, and maintenance of teacher quality by the United States of America and Australia. Acknowledging the potential of standards to raise teacher quality, the East and South Asian countries are using implicit models by drawing essence from teacher, teaching and learning and professional standards frameworks as guiding reference for teacher education .The comparative analysis of standards frameworks across different countries reveals common features such as professional knowledge, professional competencies, professional skills, and professional conduct. Therefore, it can be argued that teaching learning and professional standards make teacher education programmes accountable to deliver quality and to prepare competent teachers.
Though the use of a standards framework is highly acknowledged, it is equally critiqued by many researchers. In order to substantiate the deliberation, the major question of whether standard frameworks are facilitating teacher education or act as a trap can be explored. This question rallies around both the merits and demerits of the multiple use of standards in teacher education. Though explicit and implicit models for teacher education standards are in operation, it is recommended that standard framework should be flexible and dynamic in nature in order to be replicated and adopted by various teacher education programs. Despite the raised criticism, once can argue that standards frameworks are necessary for ensuring teacher education quality. The teacher education framework model necessitates continuous research and innovation support to make it more dynamic and contextual.
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