TRAINING EDUCATIONAL STAFF: VISION AND REALITY IN PRE-SERVICE AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING
Quality assurance in education is a highly discussed topic among experts in education as well as in general public. Ensuring this vital task in schools is closely related to quality of teaching staff, their pre-service education and controlled continuous professional development (CPD). The paper will present analysis of these two aspects of teacher training in Slovakia.
In the first part of the paper the main focus will be on pre-service teacher education. The ratio of theoretical and practical training will be compared and discussed, together with their interrelation and role in teacher training and teaching career. Considerable attention will be paid to teaching practice at schools. Means of checking and assessing of this part of will-be-teachers training will be presented, including examples of innovative approaches and best experiences.
The second part of the paper will describe the current situation in the field of teachers´ CPD in Slovakia. Though it is legally underpinned, the ideas of legislators, providers of training and teachers differ substantially. Legislators and providers´ ideas of CPD is to educate teachers predominantly in the field of the subjects they teach, whereas teachers expect more training and advice in methodology of teaching, administrative tasks connected with teaching job and in the area of solving some difficult educational situations. In the paper examples of CPD courses on offer by institutions involved in the CPD training will be analysed and compared with the data collected from a questionnaire research on expectations of teachers related to their further education and their professional competences development. One of the main discrepancies, for example, is connected with the fact (as the research showed), that 98 % teachers feel quite confident in the subject knowledge they teach whereas the majority of CPD courses are aimed at the development of subject knowledge of practicing teachers.