By Abdallah Zbir
By Abdallah Zbir
Morocco World News
Chicago, October 2, 2012
In the world of today, challenges are increasing in the field of education. The demand of professionalism and quality is now a concern of most educational experts. Schools and academic institutions are forced to shift their attention towards the development of their personnel’s abilities to operate their duties in the most effective manner. A manner that can encourage and enhance a culture of improvement and a spirit of success.
Traditional methodologies and strategies in education administration, teaching and learning are no longer able to satisfy students’ needs and meet their expectations. On-campus schools seminars and one-time training sessions have failed to allow schools’ staff an adequate training.
Different research projects and academic studies reveal a shocking reality: our schooling system is in crisis and staff development programs centered on traditional approaches are alarming. Staff development programs traditionally referred to as ongoing learning opportunities available to teachers and administrative personnel are in urgent need for reform and change. Our instructional philosophies and our manageable practices initiated respectively in 1975, 1975, 1995, 1978, 1988 and 1999 by special academic committees as the “Commission Spéciale de l’Education et de la Formation” known as COSEF failed to allow a productive and effective educational discipline. The report by the World Bank ,titled “the Road Not Traveled: Education Reform in Middle East and North Africa,” 2008, ranked Morocco in 11th Place among 14 countries of MENA and strongly referred to issues of inadequacy in Moroccan education. This places our schooling system in jeopardy and should necessarily move us to stronger efforts and more impressive steps into change.
Effective professional development is seen as increasingly vital to school success and teacher satisfaction with schools today facing an array of complex challenges. Larger demographic bodies of schools, the excessive use of technology among students, ethical issues and the quality of behavior demonstrated by schools’ personnel and partners and the ambiguity categorizing the visions and missions of our schooling structure have been stressing the need for teachers and administrators to to be able to build stronger academic knowledge and direct their attention to more considerations of the challenges of today.
Directors in Human Resources are encouraged to plan and implement new criteria in developing and conducting their Staff Development Programs so they can respond to a more flexible schooling system and vary their training menus. Study- groups sessions, cooperations and partnerships with colleges and higher education institutions, Web-based training seminars and workshops and on-campus projects can be effective alternatives and serve the need for quality.
Teachers’ engagement in research projects, continual processes of summative and formative assessment, data collection and analysis, follow-up activities, and collaborative partnership with various components can ensure significant gains in teachers’ development and consequently students’ achievement. Our students’ need for high quality teaching activities and a productive academic sphere left no option for workshop models of staff development. Numerous studies in the world of academia reveal and provide significant number of various practical and applicable pedagogies that can be used by schools and permit higher standards of excellence and efficiency. In one of its studies, the Consortium of Chicago School Research concluded that “high quality” professional-development programs—i.e., those characterized by “sustained, coherent study; collaborative learning; time for classroom experimentation; and follow-up”—had a significant effect on teachers’ instructional practices.”(Smylie et al., 2001). The study also found “a reciprocal relationship between strong professional-development offerings and a school’s overall “orientation toward innovation,” suggesting the two feed off each other.” (Smylie et al., 2001).
To conclude, the change of school policies and pedagogies is no longer optional. It is imperative. Administrators are required to vary their option and allow a more flexible approach to their staff development. The new elements of our schooling system i.e. motivation, innovative leadership and community support are forcing our schools to provide greater instructional opportunities and significant financial support so every member of the schools’ teaching and administrative teams can receive adequate and sufficient training. Without changing the infrastructure of our academic sphere and without practices that can identify areas of weakness in our schools’ culture. Our schooling system would continue to fail and paralyze our children’s abilities to learn and compete.
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