Teacher Empowerment in Education Practice Strategies

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Teacher Empowerment in Education Practice Strategies Constraints and Suggestions. Empowerment, According to Rappoport 1988 the word empowerment has attracted a number of definitions based on context. used and this is in agreement Page and Czuba 1999 who see empowerment having no clear definition as it is. used across disciplines However they report it as a multi dimensional social process which helps people gain. control over their own lives and society It is social since it occurs in relation to others and it is a process since. it is similar to a journey where people develop through it and where individuals gain and exercise power over. their own practices and circumstances When accomplished in the course of time individuals gain the. authority over something and are able to utilize the knowledge gained Similarly it a transformative process. which when well accomplished socio cultural interactions are enhanced enabling individuals to attain personal. and professional objectives Lastly it can be equated to a vehicle where individuals increase power for and. expand their capacity to criticize issues they find that may be subjective to them or agree with From the above. empowerment can be said to be a process where an individual self discovers his her potential and limitations. in an effort to search for better future, In the education sector educational empowerment can be said to be a process where school participants. develop the competence to take charge of their own growth and from it are able to address or resolve their own. problems by developing mechanism to do so An empowered individual is said to have the skills and knowledge. to act on a situation or even improve it in a positive way However for this to be realized school setting should. provide opportunities for development and a display of competence in handling diverse situations making. teachers to be central in this process Frymier 1987 In the recent past the culture of schools have changes. significantly forcing experienced teachers stop functioning in isolation and start solving problems related to. students learning collectively Rosenholtz 1991 This means that any attempt made to improve schools must. pay attention to individual role in decision making increased opportunities for meaningful and collective. participation in the critical areas of activity of the schools while focusing on organizational goals Therefore the. effort to restructure schools towards improvement is critical and an important component where all stakeholders. teachers administrators and students empowerment cannot be overlooked Murphy Evertson 1990 Short et. al 1991 For it is through the actions of an empowered teacher and administrators that students are made to. benefit Irwin 1991 sees an empowered educator as one who believes in himself herself and his her ability of. action understands the system of domination and dedicates time and energy towards the improvement of. oppressive practices in the society respects others and uses his her power to protect the uniqueness of. individuals Whether working alone or with each other people they are firm practical and passionate dedicated. to the self realization of students in the classroom at school and in the community. Therefore for education systems to be improved the teacher is one of the variables that must be. changed Eleonora 2003 Teachers are expected to respond adequately to the pressing demands of the modern. world and to the growing concerns of the educational community expected to be highly professional and to. have considerable expertise so as to guarantee qualified and successful educational processes and practices. Harpell Andrews 2010 sees teacher empowerment as the confidence to make and the power to enact. situational appropriate instructional decisions that improve the quality of education for students That they need. to have a broader voice in educational affairs of the learners which can only be attained where teacher. preparation as well continued updates of teacher s competence is done Mores so the everyday experiences. faced as well as the numerous challenges demand an understanding and development of mechanisms to be used. to overcome them through effective practices This may be made possible either by participating in decision. making in their area of operation or ensure the existence of harmony and collaboration among all stakeholders. as they are central shapers of education In the process teacher empowerment becomes a crucial process as it. enable one develop personal competence ability to act and even provide an opportunity to demonstrate and. display their competence where opportunity is provided. Thomas and Velthouse 1990 argue that for this to be possible an empowering environment should be. provided because it fosters the development of intrinsic motivations which in turn promote and facilitate a. change in teacher practice The intrinsic change will affect the behavior of the teacher in terms of approach to. work in one s instructional approach materials utilized teaching procedures which eventually leads to a change. in student learning outcomes The teachers perceptions of the improvement in their students learning then. translate into a change in teachers attitudes and beliefs Harpell Andrews 2010 sees this as an attitudinal. shift which leads to increased intrinsic motivation that is necessary for the creation of an empowering. environment, Maeroff 1988 suggests that empowerment begins with the boosting of teacher status where they are treated. like the professionals and by this they retain control over their own practice and over the decisions that affect. their own classrooms It is strongly correlated to task motivation He further provides two additional elements. that are essential for teacher empowerment an increase in knowledge and the opportunity to collaborate with. colleagues where their roles are distributed increasing opportunities for meaningful collective participation It is. for this reason that continued professional development and updating of knowledge needs to be emphasized for. www iosrjournals org 52 Page, Teacher Empowerment in Education Practice Strategies Constraints and Suggestions. without this educators will lack the power to enact instructional decisions in a manner that is appropriate to their. educational situation Velthouse et al 1990 provides four components of empowerment process choice for. enrichment opportunity to have their voice heard provided with the power for control and influence over. instructional process development and display of competence in decision making meaningfulness as concerns. valuing the work done by the empowered teacher and teachers actual influence over what is going on. in school while ensuring their decisions make a difference. Short 1994 outlines six dimensions of empowerment which include professional development where teachers. are provided with opportunities to grow develop learn continuously so as to expand one s own skills and be. able to utilize the knowledge gained to improve their work teachers autonomy in decision making and to be. able to control aspects of their work life which is likely to makes them confident in whatever they do and in. areas that affect directly their work staff workload teaching methods among others their impact and influence. in daily contact has a direct impact on their perception of how the school treats them and which either positively. or negatively affect their daily activities At a personal level how the school treats an individual teacher either. with respect on their professional knowledge and the genuine support from colleagues Lastly is the teacher s. self efficacy which is their perception that one has skills to help students learn and even are competent in. building effective support programs that will in the end produce positive changes in student learning. Therefore owing to dynamic nature of our society especially in the 21st century teacher empowerment. cannot be wished away as education reforms and restructuring of schools is inevitable It is for this reason that. questions such as why is teacher empowerment important in schools What strategies should governments. schools and individuals do to enhance teacher individual empowerment How can schools students and. community benefit from the idea of teacher empowerment. Why should we empower teachers in schools, Teachers need to be empowered so that they can develop the competence to take charge of their own.
growth and be able to resolve their own problems in their everyday practice To develop skills and competence. needed in making important collaborative decisions and a display of commitment that in turn will create room. for significant collaborative participation and democratic understanding It enables teachers exercise power over. their educational lives and even resists controls that are detrimental to their own work It enables them generate. and amplify their voice in educational affairs develop and improve their pedagogical know how enable them to. understand how why what they do which increases their competence in their areas of specialization Through it. teachers are transformed personally and in collaboration with others in an effort to achieve the objectives of the. school It creates a situation where teachers are able to work closely with the school administration especially on. matters that affect them collectively and individually and develop a sense of appreciation which eventually. trickles down to personal activities at classroom level It helps a teacher discover him herself be updated on. new knowledge which when utilized help to transform teachers every day practices in accomplishing of. educational objectives It enables a teacher to undertake critical and transformative actions towards every day. issues and in the process take charge of situations hence establish links between theory and actual practice. Teachers will develop the capacity to reflect and evaluate their academic progress in order to keep abreast with. the societal needs, What strategies should school management and individuals do to enhance teacher individual. empowerment, As a teacher educators and a teachers the authors of this work feel that if the following. recommendations are accepted and implemented there is fairly good chance for providing empowering. opportunities, To create opportunities that are formal and informal for teachers to influence design create. and implement the curriculum hence improve academic qualities for the nation encourage the inclusions of. teachers in community school and national level discussions related to the well fare and. ability of all students to academically achieve at the highest level provide teachers access to. resources financial time opportunities etc to identify and solve problem related to their classroom. in order to ensure they can help all students learn the school management to consider teacher effectiveness for. high performance by use of value added scores based on learner performance using national examination. performance qualitative and end of course work and where this is not used other factors that impede. performance should be looked into so as not to demoralize the teacher teacher evaluation which over time. has not been seen to be objective but punitive rather than a tool to help improve There is need for cultural. shift in belief and behavior in the use of teacher evaluation continued professional development which is. tailored towards teachers identified need based on one s strength or weakness and as such courses be. provided that are aligned to areas of improvement For those who have improved themselves academically. and to reduce high attrition adequate support financial and promotion motivations need to be used More so. www iosrjournals org 53 Page, Teacher Empowerment in Education Practice Strategies Constraints and Suggestions. induction programs should be provided and continued support in order to maintain effective teaching and. development of a mentoring program aimed at building teacher effectiveness and ongoing support However. the extent of such support may be tricky as some principals may not be trained adequately to effectively and. objectively evaluate teachers and ensure customized professional development is provided. School administration need to build confidence in their teachers be allowed to freely express their opinions. regarding the everyday issues in the school and try out new techniques to address problems they face provide a. listening ear to their views and followed by discussion among all those concern until a consensus is attained. Failure to create such a safe environment teachers may be reluctant to make changes or test new ideas and the. inverse may occur where the administration does not offer express approval to teacher s ideas Although. Sprague 1992 thinks such resistances attract opinions from a number of teachers which is better than acting. passively He suggested that institutional resistance could be the starting point which should not be judged. negatively but be assessed if it will contribute to educational betterment and teachers professional development. Through it teacher s voice is heard as they critique each other learn to listen to each other express their. opinions and in the end make decisions effectively and collaboratively and in the long run invoke significant. changes Romanish 1991 Teachers to be allowed to pursue shared leadership to take control over their work. Teacher Empowerment in Education Practice Strategies Constraints and Suggestions Kimwarey M C In this case education should be an empowering process that will enable one to attain a rightful status to claim economic social and political and cultural spheres as well as being able to fully participate in the community However for this to be realized the role of the teacher cannot be

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