Towards Comprehensive Professional Development of Teachers: The Case of Kenya
Gathumbi, Agnes W.
Mungai, Njoroge J.
Hintze, Denna L.
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The quality of the teacher is vital in any country as the teacher not only embodies the sociocultural ethos of the country, but, in practices within the classroom, ensures its continuation and potential improvement. It is also said that no people can rise above the level of its teachers. Developing countries like Kenya peg their development agenda mainly on the provision of quality education. One approach to improving education is through in-service training of teachers, both novice and experienced. Ideally, in-service training programs are professional development programs committed to improving educator practices and growing their facilitation skills. It is through in-service training that educational institutions realize multiple goals, ranging from training teachers in the use of the latest technology, to helping them grow their skills in implementing pedagogical best practices, and sometimes even aiding educators as they innovate in pursuit of improved educational outcomes. This level of professional development requires the support not only of educational institutions, but of cultures and governments as well. For this reason, this paper supports the institutionalization of in-service training as a method of implementing a comprehensive policy for promoting ongoing professional development for educators. This is a position paper drawing largely from literature and the professional development experiences of teachers, which highlights key challenges worthy of attention by policy makers in order to create a comprehensive policy institutionalizing in-service training in Kenya. It is our stand that a comprehensive policy addressing these challenges would transform in-service training programs from their current ad hoc and local tendencies which generally focus on generic aspects of teaching into highly professional development programs which focus on measures such as student learning outcomes.