Lecturer: Dr. Carol Hordatt Gentles
Course: Theories and Practices of Teacher Education
COURSE CODE: EDTE 6003
University of the West Indies, Mona Campus
“The responsibility for Jamaican teachers’ professional development lies with teachers themselves. The fact that they do not understand this is because the quality of people we are recruiting into the profession is poor.”
Teacher autonomy in professional development is both a right and a responsibility of the individual teacher. This can be furthered by the collaborative development of capacity within school communities working together to support professional development through joint planning and execution of professional development activities and events. It is the responsibility of the school to provide mechanisms and resources to ensure both individual teachers and groups of teachers have equitable access to professional development. It is sad to say that many colleagues view professional development as a work procedure but not as a continuous development of competencies to deliver ones roles and responsibilities. The fact that they the majority of the teaching profession do not understand this is not because of a poor quality of teachers being recruited but because there are no implemented structures on how professional development is executed within the schools or delivered from the Ministry of Education. Until it is viewed as pertinent to ones’ personal development and is conducted in a meaningful way, this requirement to continue in the profession may lose the general objective for providing continuous training to develop individual competencies. Quality professional development has the power to increase educators’ knowledge of academic content and teaching skills, while changing the norm of what may Jamaican teachers believe about student learning and how they interact with students. Not all Jamaican teachers’ have bought into how powerful...
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