• Orientation and induction of newly hired teachers


    Part II

    LAST week we scanned the web to know how newly hired basic education teachers in several countries are introduced into their respective ministry or department of education. The teacher education spectrum begins from the time a freshman is admitted in a teacher’s college to the time he graduates and obtains a license to teach. For the next phase, he undergoes an orientation and a much longer program referred to as induction.

    Common to the several sources for definitions of orientation and induction is that orientation and induction are established on a nationwide practice, formalized and codified. In fact, a regional learning community would have its manual on orientation and induction quite in detail. Common to our sources is that the induction is designed “a comprehensive, coherent, and sustained professional development process,” “organized by a school district to train, support, and retain new teachers, which then seamlessly progresses them into a lifelong learning program.” <http://imoberg.com/files/Unit_A_ch._3_–_Breaux_Wongexcerpt.pdf>. For more about induction as earlier described, please refer to this hyperlink, which inadvertently was missed in last week’s column. <https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/educator-quality/mentoring-induction-beginning-educators>.

    In our case here in the Philippines, when a new graduate passes the LET and, fortunately, is hired in a public school, he undergoes an orientation after which he goes through the “in service” phase consisting of sessions throughout his years until retirement. The themes, content, length and format of sessions vary from region to region. In brief, there had been no nationalized orientation, induction and in-service for new hires, as previous research in the late nineties by the Teacher Education Council revealed.

    Some background—the Teacher Education Council: RA No. 7784, approved on Aug. 4, 1994, 04 August 1994 provided for the establishment of Centers of Excellence and the creation of a Teacher Education Council(TEC) with initial funding for Council operations from the Trust Liability Account of the Department of Tourism. The Act aimed “to provide and ensure quality education by strengthening the education of teachers nationwide through a national system for excellence for teacher education” <com/republicactno7784.htm#.V2ucW1R954>.

    Eleven members compose the TEC. Distinguished “nationally or internationally” in teacher education practice—one member each representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and the areas in English, Science, Social Science and Mathematics—were appointed by the President of the Philippines for a three-year term. The other four members are ex-officio—from the Commission on Higher Education, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Professional Regulations Commission and the Secretary of Education as chair of the Council.”

    The TEC-initiated Teacher Induction Program (TIP). A study initiated by the TEC revealed that our public school teachers undergo orientation in their respective districts subject to the plans—form and content—of their respective heads. In contrast, several Southeast Asian countries showed that Singapore and Japan had a definite system of orientation and induction lasting from six months to one year as revealed by a similar TEC study.

    Thereafter, teachers undergo regular in-service training. Further research and consultations with different teacher education audiences in strategic regions helped the TEC draw a rough plan of orientation and induction for newly hired teachers within the first three years of their service in public schools. The draft was subjected again to consultations, was revised, and finally got the consensus of the TEC and approval of the DECS Secretary.

    Intended for key school officials and other personnel involved in the mass implementation of the TIP, the TIP Manual “explains the rationale, goals and objectives,” “and outlines the proposed details of implementation.” It also “gives an overview of the design and contents of the 17 different modules designed to be self-instructional and supported by mentoring at the division and school levels <http://www.depedgov.ph/sites/default/files /memo/2006/DM _s2006_036.pdf>.

    Besides the informative and instructional modules, a major component of the TIP was a five-week training in content and innovative instructional approaches and techniques in the four subject areas of science, mathematics, English and social science. The third component was a mentoring scheme for principals/school heads, designed to sustain the training acquired from the one-week training. Try browsing over the modules. Module One on Educational Laws, Surveys, and Programs and Projects of the DepEd and the other modules are available at <https://www.scribd.com/doc/76126002/Module-1-Educational-Laws-and-Surveys-Programs -and-Projects-of-the-DepEd>.

    Consultants from Australia helped us draft the training design for the four subject areas and corresponding trainers training. The Jan. 2006 DepEd Memo No. 36 announced the mandate of the TEC to hold orientation seminars for the piloting of the TEC flagship project “to systematize a nationwide TIP.” After a year of piloting and called for improvements for the formal TIP one-week training, DepEd and CHED jointly chose official providers from among the Teacher Education colleges/schools of private and charted universities.

    The Philippine-Australian Project Basic Education (PROBE) was just through with its final year (1996 – 2001). Hence, PROBE grantees of Teacher Education colleges in every region having had a six-month trainers course in Australian universities lent their expertise as trainers of the TIP. With biannual funding from the DepEd to official provider HEI’s, the formal one-week TIP training in the said four-subject areas had a life span of seven years, beginning in early 2006 until 2012.

    K-12 enters, TIP exits. After 2012,training for the K-12 curriculum took over priority for funding. As a response to RA 7784, assessments proved that the TIP, indeed, provides and ensures “quality education by strengthening the education and training of teachers through a national system of excellence for teacher education.” We hope for the future resurrection and revision of a comprehensive Teacher Induction program.

    Teresita Tanhueco-Tumapon, PhD, is one of the Philippines’ most accomplished educators and experts on institutional management in colleges and universities. Her studies included not only education and pedagogy but also literature, general science and history. She studied not only in the topmost universities in the Philippines but also in Germany, Great Britain and Japan. She headed chartered institutions, was vice-president for academics and for external relations and internationalization. She is copy editor of the Liceo journals, an internationalization consultant and professorial lecturer on-call and at the Graduate Studies of Liceo de Cagayan University (in Cagayan de Oro City). She holds a Lifetime Professional Achievement Award from the central office of the Commission on Higher Education.


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