The schools in America face numerous challenges, such as a high-quality teachers’ shortage and an ever-increasing achievement gap in underserved communities. Since 1983 when President Ronald Reagan commissioned National Commission on Excellence in Education, which came with a seminal report called A Nation at Risk, challenges in American have been discussed. Despite the use of the seminal report to shape the education reforms in American schools, there is still a continued struggle in education and school in America. However, a significant reform that will significantly improve education in the united states is the investment in the reforms of teacher education and teachers. The reform should concentrate on the conception of teaching professionalism in framing and provide a solution to teachers and teacher education issues.
According to functionalists’ viewpoint, professionalism is directly associated with the societal element of the existence of non-professions and professions based on a positive trait that differentiates professionals (Yeom and Mark, 301). The reform in the united states education should thus strive to professionalize teachers by increasing teacher preparation quality (Bulakh et al., 104). The reform to improve the quality of teacher education and teachers should focus on pre-service teacher education and recruitment. For example, in the recruitment of teachers, the united states do not include the recruitment of ablest students to the teaching occupation, and the management and curriculum in schools of education are not theory-driven. Moreover, the length of the pre-service of teacher education needs to be revised to help potential educators to gain relevant professional traits. The teacher education program should adopt programs such as training prospective teachers through a one-year-long internship program and professional preparation education to achieve the required experience. These measures of increasing the quality of pre-service teacher training will, in the long run, improve the quality of teachers and their services, improving the ability of the students to function effectively in society.
Additionally, the quality of teachers can be improved through the introduction of market-oriented teacher compensation. Whereas the reforms after the A Nation at Risk seminal report mainly focused on setting new, comprehensive, and rigorous standards for students, it did not provide relief for teachers in terms of compensation. Even in the case where the government tried to introduce performance-based salaries, the efforts seemed to give the government official and administrators more control over the work of teachers. Low wages among teachers can be one of the causes of turnover among teachers. In some cases, teachers working part-time jobs resulting in low educational outcomes in American schools.
A rationale for teacher professionalization, issues with increased government control, and the idea of teacher autonomy will be addressed in the reform to improve teacher and teacher education quality. The rationale for teacher professionalization should be based on only documents that a conservative teacher association or governmental organizations author, mentioning and endorsing the teacher professional ideas. The issue of increased governmental control can be divided into in-service and pre-service training programs. The government can be involved in accrediting the system for certification programs and teaching institutions for pre-service training. The control of in-service teachers’ training can be left to the local level, where the education is developed to ensure that students can function both at local and national levels. The feeling of loss of autonomy is one of the significant issues among teachers in America, where they are subjected to accountability based on other standards and preparing students for high stakes tests. The reform will give teachers autonomy by guaranteeing their rights to teach and participation in curriculum decision-making.
Bulakh, Valentyna, et al. “Professional training of teachers in the united states as an example for improving the professionalism and competence of pedagogues in ukraine.” Space and Culture, India 7.2 (2019): 101-111.
Yeom, Minho, and Mark Ginsburg. “Professionalism and the reform of teachers and teacher education in the Republic of Korea & the United States of America.” Asia Pacific Education Review 8.2 (2007): 298-310.