|A plan for the reconstruction of teacher education in Iraq|
Abdul Hamid Kadhim
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Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Education, Iraq, teachers, Training of
Iraq is passing through one of the most significant periods in her existence as an independent nation. Her various institutions, some centuries old, are being questioned and studied by natives and foreigners alike. There is a general feeling, especially among government officials and educated citizens, that the time has finally come when the countryĂs major needs should be studied for the sake of reconstruction. This explains why the few studies that have already been made in education were received, on the whole, with commendation. This study deals with the problem of teacher education in Iraq. The following paragraphs are devoted to [a] statement of [the] purpose, scope, need, sources[,] and method of study [used in this project.]
Purpose of the Study
The purpose is to propose a "workable÷ and ˘educationally sound" plan for the education of teachers in Iraq. By ˘workable÷ is meant a plan the implementation of which is reasonably possible under such present conditions in Iraq, as available money personnel needed, and the attitude which people, especially responsible officials in The Ministry of Education, are likely to take toward it. By "educationally sound" is meant that an effort is feeing made to have this proposed program harmonize with generally accepted principles and procedures in teacher education, and be appropriate for Iraq, under present conditions. Stated differently, "workability,÷ ˘desirability," and "validity" are the three criteria for evaluating the worth of the Project.
The Scope of the Project
It is not intended either to make an exhaustive study of all [issues] or any [one] issue involved in the education of teachers in Iraq. The first is unattainable under present conditions, even if desirable, and the second is too narrow a study for the purpose indicated. The interest is rather in a general treatment of only the main issues of teacher education in Iraq as they are related to each other. Specifically, the study aims at finding answers to the following five questions:
1. What is the present educational situation in Iraq?
2. How are the Iraqi teachers for the elementary and secondary schools being prepared, and, in the light of modern trends and [the] pressing needs of Iraq, is this education adequate?
3. What are the modern trends in teacher education in the United States?
4. What trends [among] these should and could be utilized in proposing a plan for the reconstruction of teacher education in Iraq?
5. What are the main characteristics of the proposed plan?
The Need for the Study
As will appear in Chapters III and If the study is being justified on various grounds. These could be stated briefly as follows:
1. The failure of teachers to accomplish the legitimate aims of the school. This is not the place to enumerate the aims of the schools, much less to discuss them. Suffice it to say that if the aim of the schools is to guide, sympathetically and intelligently, the emotional, social, mental and physical life of the students, to the end of becoming active and constructive citizens, then the majority of our schools have failed. This failure, of course, is not entirely due to the failure of teachers to do their jobs; it is mainly due, however, to the inadequate pre-service and in-service education that teachers receive.
2. The expressed dissatisfaction of both educators and laymen with the quality of teaching and guidance given to children in schools.
3. The need for the teacher to participate in community life. This is a role which the average Iraqi teacher is unqualified to play. This situation calls for a modification in administration and practices of institutions for the education of teachers.
4. The impact of post-war conditions on the schools. The end of the Second World War necessitates the reconstruction of the various institutions of the nation. This need is even more urgent in education, particularly in teacher education.
5. The present practice of diversification of teacher education in Iraq. In Iraq, today there are teacher training institutions with four-year courses after the elementary school, while there are other institutions for the education of teachers with two, three and four year courses after the secondary school. There is also no provision whereby teacher education institutions could coordinate their work.
6. The much desired and long awaited reorganization of elementary and secondary school curricula and the legitimate demands that this reorganization will make on teacher education.
7. The [regrettable] neglect of in-service education. Iraqi teachers enjoy three-month summer vacations with full pay. In the absence of inner incentive and interest on the part of teachers and the personnel of the Ministry of Education, the overwhelming majority of teachers spend the vacation unprofitably. The Ministry of Education under the Civil Service Law of 1940 is empowered to call in teachers for any educational program provided they enjoy, out of their three-month vacation, at least forty-five days vacation. So far no provision has been made for bringing teachers together for professional growth.
8. The increasing significance of teachers participation in curriculum reconstruction. That teachers should participate in curriculum building is an axiom in modern education. However, it is [not] permissible to allow inadequately prepared teachers to play such a role. Hence, a plan aiming at the reorganization of teacher education is needed.
The main sources relied upon in this study are the following:
1. Published and unpublished courses of study for the elementary and [secondary] schools and for teachers colleges in Iraq.
2. Published and unpublished regulations of the Ministry of Education, Baghdad, Iraq.
3. Selected books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers which deal with: (a) Iraqi in general, and (b) education and teacher education in Iraq and the United States.
4. Official and semi-official reports.
5. The writer's personal experience in the profession as a graduate of one of the teachers colleges in Iraq, as a teacher in a demonstration school, and as an instructor or administrator in three teacher training colleges in Iraq.
Although points of view of authorities in the field are cited, evaluated and relied upon, the main method is that of description and appraisal of relevant data.
Plan of the Work
Chapter II serves as a background and particularly helps in the attempt to answer part of the second question in the list presented earlier, in briefly discussing the pressing needs of Iraq. Chapter III deals with certain aspects of education in Iraq and is believed to contribute to the understanding of the problem under study. Chapter IV describes and appraises practices followed now in preparing teachers for the public schools or Iraq. Chapter V deals with modern trends in teacher education in the United States. Reasons for the choice of this approach are presented. [Chapter] [V] performs a two-fold task: It helps, in the first place, in assembling a set of criteria for the education of teachers in a democratic country; and in throwing, in the second place, a new light on the weaknesses and strengths of teacher education in Iraq which are stated in Chapter IV. Chapter VI, which is the final [one], summarizes the salient points of the study and presents certain recommendations, that is, states the main characteristics of the proposed plan. In the Appendix, the steps that might be taken for [introducing] the study are stated.