Teacher Education

Teacher EducationTeacher education is evolving and developing into a profession in itself. It is an important area in which the trainer is getting trained. And it is important, as these are the people who will spend maximum time with the young generation during their formative years.

Teacher education could be synonymous with teacher training and teacher development, but there is also a marked difference between the two. Basically, teacher education is a program that trains graduates to work in schools as teachers. It is a process or a course that an aspiring teacher has to undergo before she can get into the profession. Here, she receives training and educational information that will tell her how to impart the knowledge she has to the students. The course is an essential prerequisite, and the would-be teacher will attend lessons and lectures, and learn theories and new developments in the profession. She will get comprehensive training in material preparation for classes, methodologies, evaluation processes and standards, curriculum development and management of classrooms.

Almost all major universities in the United States of America offer graduate programs in teacher education and training. These courses include comprehensive studies and research on not only the major subjects of the student, but also methods of imparting information to schoolchildren in the best possible way. Columbia University, for example, has one of the largest training colleges for teacher education in America. They focus not just on training teachers for schools, but also at evolving a new generation of leaders who understand education in the broadest possible sense of the word.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education sets the standards for quality teacher education in the United States of America. This council is responsible for the accreditation of schools and colleges in the country, and ensures that only professionals with integrity and knowledge reach the students. Started in 1951, the council sees to it that the accredited schools maintain specific minimum standards in the quality of education as well as quality of teachers.

E-Learning for High School Students Through MOOCs

High School StudentsA few issues ago, we had done some extensive research and spoken to a number of experts to bring you an article on e-learning and how learning online is becoming very popular with college students. We had especially delved into MOOCs-Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)-that offer online education to anybody around the world. Some of the popular MOOCs offered today have been started by the best universities in world, offering courses from their institutes: platforms/initiatives such as Udacity and Coursera (Stanford University) and EdX (Harvard and MIT). These e-learning websites allow top universities and professors to share their knowledge with the world and give everybody a chance to study something they have a passion or interest for. And the best thing about these courses? They are usually free, although there is sometimes a charge to get certifications.

The time taken to complete a course depends on the subject and complexity, but generally last anywhere between four to 12 weeks. A course typically involves a professor and his team of teaching assistants (who are often students from the college itself). This team uploads around five teaching videos a week and registered students have to complete a weekly assignment based on these videos. The course also incorporates a discussion forum involving all the students who have enrolled, allowing everyone to discuss the subject, their assignments, and clarify their doubts. Generally, e-learning courses award students a Certificate of Mastery on successful completion of the course.

MOOCs are generally meant for college students so that they can supplement what they learn at college or take a course that they are not formally pursuing in college. But we had recommended that high-school students also consider enrolling in some of these MOOCs since they could offer a range of benefits to the motivated student who wants to get ahead in academics and learning.

And co-incidentally enough, EdX has just announced the launch of a high school initiative-a set of 27 new MOOCs in a wide variety of subjects, specifically geared to high school students around the world. The EdX high school MOOCs are developed by many of the best universities in the world, including UC Berkeley, Rice, MIT, Georgetown, and Davidson among others. The objective is to offer high quality, engaging, and interactive courses to prepare high school learners for postsecondary studies.

The 27 MOOCs cover subject areas ranging from mathematics to science, English and history, and even college advising and are intended at providing students around the world the opportunity to pursue challenging, advanced coursework. Learners will be able to enroll in all 27 EdX high school courses for free. EdX will also offer students a verified certificate option for a fee that will vary by course. Currently, 22 high school courses are open for registration and all 27 will launch within a few months.

I would like to reiterate some of the benefits that a student can look forward to from enrolling in a MOOC, either an EdX one, or any other:

You can supplement your high-school knowledge by taking college-level courses in your chosen subjects.

Students have the option of selecting courses that they are interested in and studying them in-depth, even if they are not studying these subjects in school. You may be studying science in high school, but can always take an online course in English Poetry from Wordsworth to Eliot!

These courses enable a person to study something they are passionate about but may not be pursuing in the future, so you ‘can have your cake, and eat it too’!

The discussion board and group chats are beneficial – they lead to interactive learning and are also helpful for finding out more information on a particular aspect.

There is a variety of activities and assignments to complete within the courses that can enhance one’s learning – so it’s not just textbook learning.

You can test your competency and interest in a certain area to see if you want to take it up in college.

Most importantly, it prepares you for how college will be in terms of rigour and structure.

So what are you waiting for? Check out MOOCs now and enroll in one now!

Options In Pursuing Post Secondary Education

completing secondary schoolRight after successfully completing secondary school, individuals pursue post secondary education to obtain degrees, learn a specific trade, or simply gain advanced knowledge about a particular topic of interest. Pursuing post secondary education is considered a milestone in anyone’s educational career since this level is optional and is already beyond the requirement as prescribed by the law.

Options In Pursuing Post Secondary Education

This level of education comes in a variety of flavors undertaken in a university, a college, or a special training institute. It covers a wide variety of specialized topics such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, history, literature, as well as the engineering and marine sciences. Specialized trainings taken after secondary school such as culinary arts, welding, interior design, and other vocational courses are also categorized under this level of education.

In colleges and universities, post secondary education is also referred to as tertiary education, while higher education is a broader term used to refer to academic programs encompassing both undergraduate and graduate courses. Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) academic degrees are typically conferred to individuals who successfully complete a tertiary education program. These programs usually last between four and five years. Engineering courses take at least five years to finish depending on individual performance. Programs in the pure sciences and the arts, on the other hand, are accomplished within a span of four years.

Entrance into the big universities can be very competitive and expensive. As an alternative, individuals finishing secondary school may opt to enroll in vocational institutes or trade schools offering specialized trainings to mold skilled workers. Training certificates are awarded to individuals who successfully complete such programs, which usually take from two to three years.

A major distinction between post secondary courses in universities or colleges and training institutes or vocational schools is the level, diversity, and amount of coursework undertaken by enrollees. In universities and colleges, formal training begins with an advanced general review of the basic sciences and basic communication skills collectively known as prerequisites necessary to advance towards the degree. Training institutes and vocational schools, on the other hand, take shorter time to finish since trainees are directly exposed to the necessary skills needed to be mastered.

Graduates of post secondary education programs are likely to land in better-paying jobs compared to those who just earned secondary school diplomas. While only a chosen few are able to hurdle the competitive entrance exams in prestigious universities, other individuals wanting to pursue higher education enroll in institutes where special trainings are offered.