Education CS Prof George Magoha launched the Kenya National Curriculum Policy at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on May 15.
Among the recommendations in the document is to develop and implement a national Teacher Education policy.
During the launch, the CS invited Kenyans to give suggestions on the implementation of the CBC. I offer some insights on how we could re-organise the teacher education sector.
Simply defined, teacher education is an academic undertaking in which student teachers go through a systematic programme involving the development of competencies in professionalism, content, pedagogy and attitudes/values for the levels of learners they are intended to facilitate.
It is one of the critical pillars in the realisation of any curriculum, hence requires to be conceptualised extremely carefully.
It ought to entail academic principles and techniques required to facilitate desired competencies of the learners at the various levels.
In the 21st Century, teacher education ought to produce a reflective teacher – one who is able to critically analyse the expected learning outcomes, the learner characteristics, the institutional and geographical context of the learning process, available resources and the time available.
Then, he or she should be able to construct the best way to teach in the circumstances.
Indeed, teacher education scholarship focuses on teacher cognition — the mental constructs that empower a tutor to function successfully in diverse learning situations.
In Kenya, teacher education takes place at various levels and offers various programmes — Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE), Primary Teacher Education (PTE), Diploma in Secondary Teacher Education (DSTE), Diploma in Special Education (ESE), Bachelor’s Degrees in Education (B.Ed.) Bachelor of Arts (or Science) degree with Education (BAE or BSE), and
Post-graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). The Entry into the ECDE programme is a D+, entry into PTE is CPlain while the qualification for the Bachelors Programme is a minimum of C+ grade, with C+ in at least two teaching subjects offered in the Kenyan curriculum.
We could reorganise the levels of teacher education to include the following: One, Diploma in Early Years and Primary Teacher Education (DEYPTE); two, Diploma in Secondary Teacher Education (DSTE): three Diploma in Technical Teacher Education (DTTE); three Diploma in Special Needs Teacher Education (DSNETE) and four, Bachelors Degree in Education (B. Ed).
The Diploma programmes in teacher and special education are more or less straightforward and could be offered more or less as organised now.
Due to space constraints, I will not discuss them here. I also spare discussion of the Bachelors in Education programme because it has been a subject of an article I wrote earlier. Let me briefly explain proposals for the first two levels listed above.