With teachers a vital factor in developing the nation, particularly with regard to education quality, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has for a number of years been focusing on the development of human resource quality and capacity.
This has been conducted in response to the educational demands of globalisation, both within and outside the region.
This article outlines the “Teacher Professional Standards” guidelines for improving the quality and capacity of teachers.
“Teachers” in this article refers only to educators in public and private educational institutions with educational licences.
In line with the vision to expand the capacity of teachers to the maximum level, the Ministry of Education in 2016 developed the Teacher Professional Standards tool.
This has been created as a guide for all educators for the preparation of teacher training programmes, as well as other training courses, to update the capacity of teachers, using information communication technology (ICT), to meet the demands of the digital age while remaining in line with the expectations of society.
The Teacher Professional Standards are divided into four components: (i) Professional Knowledge, (ii) Professional Practices, (iii) Professional Study, and (iv) Professional Ethics.
Teachers must have professional knowledge in:
Knowledge of Students
•Teachers have to know clearly about students’ learning needs, capacity, academic background and attitude.
•Teachers must be aware of students’ family status and other factors – including social and economic background, disability or ethnicity, for example – that could influence their learning, and understand how to educate accordingly.
Knowledge of Learning Content
•Teachers must be aware of national education policies and the purposes of general education.
•Teachers need to be able to prepare effective lesson plans, understand the content of the curriculum and explain subject content well.
•Teachers have to understand how to integrate content from one subject to another so that students can gain transferable skills and be more willing to learn.
Knowledge of How Students Learn
•Teachers must understand the educational context of the classroom and the wider community.
•Teachers need to understand how students learn.
•Teachers should understand differences in student skills, learning speed and learning styles.
Teachers must complete the following activities:
Planning and Monitoring of Academic Outcomes
•Teachers need to prepare effective lesson plans, understand the curriculum and correctly assess learning outcomes based on the curriculum books for teachers and students, and other appropriate learning materials.
•Teachers have to prepare teaching and learning materials to achieve student learning outcomes and to support the lesson plan.
•Teachers must employ a variety of appropriate ways for assessing student learning in accordance with their needs and talents.
•Teachers ought to follow up student participation and maintain records of student progress.
•Teachers should give feedback to students, parents or guardians on the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Management of Learning Environment
•Teachers must provide a safe learning environment and encourage all students to learn by demonstrating effective classroom management, helping students interact positively with each other and providing an environment which extends learning.
•Teachers should help students become increasingly responsible for their learning, such as through self-learning, mini projects and group reports, among others.
•Teachers ought to participate in school development to support the learning and welfare of both students and colleagues.
•Teachers should use a range of teaching methods to facilitate student learning and meet the MoEYS Curriculum Standards.
•Teachers must meet student learning styles and needs through the suitable implementation of various teaching methods.
•Teachers need to give students opportunities to learn about problem solving as well as critical and creative thinking.
•Teachers ought to make use of all available ICT resources and the library to allow for more effective learning.
Good teaching encourages students and ensures their success in learning, teachers therefore need to perform the following activities:
•Teachers should regularly evaluate their own teaching and plan for professional development.
•Teachers should develop a comprehensive knowledge of ICT skills to be applied to teaching and learning, as well as stay up to date on new teaching techniques.
Participation in Improving Teaching
•Teachers need to have strong positive relationships with students, parents, colleagues and the wider community.
•Teachers should read professional education articles and carry out research to broaden their knowledge, and share these experiences with co-workers to upgrade capacity.
•Teachers must interact with other teachers in professional learning activities.
This involves all aspects of the teaching profession, including having a commitment to best educating students, utilising a professional conscience, working wisely and possessing the necessary knowledge of the MoEYS Code of Ethics and the Education Law.
•Teachers need to participate in the following activities:
•Teachers are to behave responsibly in their duties, including with punctuality and attendance, and the wearing of appropriate dress at school, while demonstrating a willing attitude and taking part in all school activities if possible whether inside or outside of school hours.
•Teachers must be caring for students and work in the interests of students and society.
•Teachers have to demonstrate a strong responsibility to the teaching profession.
•Teachers ought to demonstrate positive models of ethical behaviour and enjoy a harmonious relationship with students and the wider community
•Teachers must use fairness and transparency in all dealings with students, colleagues and members of the community.
With professional standards the most important tool and most accurate measure in building teacher capacity, the Ministry of Education has implemented the Teacher Professional Standards accordingly to raise the quality of teaching and improve student learning outcomes.
"Knowledge is useful only if teachers use it to improve teaching and create a favourable learning environment, using appropriate teaching methods to support students in achieving better learning outcomes to improve the education system for the betterment of humanity".
Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport.