Teachers' reports of their in-service training needs and design preferences

Download
2012
Gökmenoğlu, Tuba K
Policy makers, school and district leaders, researchers, industry, and parents are all increasingly concerned with improving the quality of education in schools. Therefore, teachers need to welcome and keep themselves up-to-date about the improvements, developments, and educational reforms. At this point, in-service training of teachers is one of the most urgent concerns of teacher educators and policy makers. Although there is a widespread view on the importance of teachers’ professional learning, how design and process should be handled is still questioning issue. The purpose of this study was to determine the kinds and qualities of in-service training that teachers needed. Professional development designs’ three elements were highlighted in this research. Content refers what designer of professional development expects teachers to learn; form denotes the context, materials, schedule, and evaluation in which learning takes place; audiences are targeted group of teachers who needs to participate some certain programs. Via survey design; data were collected from 1730 teachers, and analyzed through ANOVA and Structural Equation Modeling. Teachers reported an occasional need for Guidance and Special Education, Preparation for Inter/national Exams, Self-development, Professional Teaching Knowledge, and Technology Use, and reported medium satisfaction with previous programs. They also reported their preferences for in-service training program format. All these results were discussed together, and combined as design elements of training programs. Determining what teachers need and prefer and how they learn best made it possible to provide suggestions for Turkish teacher training policy to maximize the match between teacher needs and the content and process by which those needs are met.