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Authors: AFE, JOHN. O
Issue Date: 2006
Series/Report no.: Inaugural Lecture Series 64;
Abstract: I am greatly honoured to have been given this unique opportunity to deliver today my inaugural lecture. An inaugurallecture is an initiation ceremony. The idea is that a new appointment to a chair must be accompanied by an inaugural ceremony during which the new professor makes a vow to his profession by giving an inaugural address. A search through the records of this Universityreveals that I am one of the lucky ones to be given the opportunity to deliver his inaugural lecture barely three years of my appointment as Professor of Educational Psychology. I am happy to come from the Faculty of Education to join the rank of professors who have been privileged to give their inaugural lectures. This inaugural lecture is coming as the seventh from the Faculty of Education. Today, I stand before you to speak about an issue of contemporary interest and concern. This issue is very central to the process of teaching and learning and the overall educational development of Nigeria. Simply put, both teaching and learning depend on teachers, for there can be no meaningful socio-economic and political development in any society without teachers. Upon their number, their quality and their devotion, rest the effectiveness of all educational arrangements. Even with the best of educational policy and design and the expenditure of colossal sums of money for education, the ultimate realisation of any set of aims for education depends on the TEACHER,as he will ultimately be responsible for translating policy into action and principles into practice in his interactions with his students. Mr. Vice-Chancellor Sir, I have therefore titled my lecture, “REFLECTIONS ON BECOMING A TEACHER AND THE CHALLENGES OF TEACHER EDUCATION”. In this lecture, the context and conditions of becoming a teacher from the time of being selected into the programme, through the process of training and being retained to teach are discussed within the framework of Teacher Education in Nigeria. First, the concepts and the history of teacher education are examined. Then, some critical issues as well as my personal research efforts on teachereducation are discussed. Finally, recommendations for meeting the challenges of Teacher Education in Nigeria are made. copyright the University of Benin 2006 Writing about the issue of supply and demand of teachers, Coombs (1968, Afe, 1991e) stated that next to students, teachers are the largest, most extensive and crucial inputs of an education system. This fact is also realized by the governments who in various documents recognized the central importance of teachers in the educative process. Some examples abound in literature. In the Second National Development Plan (1970 – 75) and again in the National Policy on Education (NPE, 1981), Government lamented the acute shortage of trained and qualified teachers for the education system. In the Third National Development Plan (1975 – 80), the Federal Government asserted that “The quality of the teaching staff is probably the most important determinant of educational standards at all levels.” Again, inthe NPE, the government declared: “Teacher education will continue to begiven a major emphasis in all our educational planning because no education system can rise above the quality of its teachers” Similarly, (Fafunwa, 1967; Afe, 1989) noted that of all educational problems that beset the African Continent today, none is as persistent or as compelling as the one relating to the training of a competent teacher who directly and indirectly is bound to influence the quality and quantity of services provided by all other teachers and professors, as poor teachers tend to reproduce their own kind. Though teacher education should be regarded as the bedrock for national development (Talabi, 1985; Fafunwa, 1967; Bolarin, 1986;Afe, 1995), the major problems facing the nation has been that of getting teachers of quality. For teacher quality to rise above the education system, a strong teacher education programme is required. It is in the light of the foregoing that I am addressing this issue on Becoming a Teacherand the Challenges of Teacher Education.
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