Professional Development for Teachers: In-service Training

Since 2024-05-07

In-service training, also known as professional development, is an ongoing process of learning and growth for teachers.

Prof. Mohammad Ahmed Darwish

Professional Development for Teachers: In-service Training

Arab Ministries of Education are committed to the sustainable professional development of their employees. This is why they have placed a strong emphasis on training supervisors and first-rate supervisors, and developing their skills.

Ali Taawinat (2014) confirms that one of the most common methods of practical training for in-service education workers is training courses. These courses involve calling teachers to training centers to receive training for a specific period of time. The aim of this training is to train teachers on new teaching methods, newly introduced educational systems, or to develop certain competencies in the teacher.

 

Recommendations from the Conference on Technical Guidance and Quality Systems in Pre-University Education

The Conference on Technical Guidance and Quality Systems in Pre-University Education, held in 2014 at the Ministry of Education, issued a set of recommendations that were adopted by the National Authority for Quality Assurance in Education (NAQA). NAQA developed a plan to implement these recommendations, which included the following:

  • Organizing training courses for supervisors and first-rate supervisors on the mechanisms and updates that ensure reaching high levels of educational quality.
  • Expediting coordination between the authorities and institutions responsible for achieving the required professional development to reach the desired quality levels, including the Ministry of Education, NAQA, and all institutions and bodies entrusted with a role in achieving educational quality at the level of all educational directorates in the country.
  • Providing supervisors, first-rate supervisors, and their teachers with references, updates, and modern mechanisms to achieve the quality of the educational process, exchanging experiences and activities, benefiting from supervisors' reports and their needs, contributing to solving the problems they face, and activating these recommendations in the programs of the professional academy for teachers.

The Teachers First Program

The Ministry of Education also established the Teachers First program, which was developed in 2018 to serve ten thousand teachers and provide them with sustainable professional development. The message of this program, as put forward by the ministry, is: "In the era of real learning, the importance lies in the way we create and use knowledge to develop the state economically and scientifically. Countries that want to exploit this vast amount of knowledge must first develop the skills of their citizens by expanding their ability to learn, which will make the economies of these countries stronger and more capable of creativity and creating more fields of work and production." (Teachers First program, 2019).

The official website of the Ministry of Education (2018) states that we must start from an important point that has strategic importance at the national level, which is the point of continuous professional development for teachers. By focusing on teachers, electronic teaching tools and credit learning cards will be developed to deliver a rapid model of this system to 10,000 teachers. The teachers were selected to be fully prepared and capable of implementing the planned change.

Updating In-service Training

Ghada Al-Fara (2013) pointed out the need to develop the training that teachers receive during service to keep pace with the latest developments in technology and communication means and to take into account the needs of trainees, updating it regularly.

 

Copriady's (2018) Emphasis on In-service Training

Copriady, J (2018) emphasized the positive impact of in-service training on teachers' professional development and their ability to excel in their teaching practices. He highlighted that in-service training enabled teachers to:

  • Master teaching techniques: Through in-service training, teachers gained a deeper understanding of effective teaching methodologies and strategies, enhancing their ability to deliver engaging and impactful lessons.

  • Develop collaborative skills: In-service training fostered a collaborative learning environment, encouraging teachers to share expertise, exchange ideas, and support each other in their professional endeavors.

  • Acquire technological proficiency: In-service training equipped teachers with the necessary skills to navigate and utilize digital learning platforms and integrate technology seamlessly into their teaching practices.

  • Enhance interaction with digital learning environments: By gaining technological fluency, teachers were better equipped to interact effectively with digital learning environments, creating more dynamic and engaging learning experiences for students.

  • Stay abreast of teaching innovations: In-service training provided teachers with exposure to the latest advancements in teaching methods and educational approaches, enabling them to adapt their practices to meet the evolving needs of students and the educational landscape.

  • Promote positive attitudes towards curricular and pedagogical developments: In-service training fostered a positive mindset among teachers towards curricular and pedagogical innovations, encouraging them to embrace change and continuously improve their teaching practices.

Overall, Copriady's (2018) work underscores the transformative power of in-service training in empowering teachers to excel in their profession and contribute to the success of the educational process.

Definition of In-service Training

The Arabic text also provides a definition of in-service training, drawing from the Glossary of Educational Terms (2003):

In-service training is defined as:

  • Organized and planned educational opportunities: These opportunities provide teachers with the means to enhance their professional, cultural, and academic skills, leading to improved performance, positive behavior, and a strengthened inclination towards the teaching profession.

  • A comprehensive range of activities: In-service training encompasses a wide spectrum of activities, including workshops, seminars, conferences, online courses, and self-directed learning, all aimed at expanding teachers' professional knowledge, inclinations, and skills.

  • A pathway to advanced certifications: In-service training can also serve as a stepping stone towards acquiring higher qualifications and certifications, further enhancing teachers' professional standing and credibility.

In essence, in-service training is a continuous and multifaceted process that empowers teachers to remain current, adapt to evolving educational demands, and excel in their role as educators.

 

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