Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
Professor Claude Packer, president of The Mico University College, has stated that the culture of teacher training must change in Jamaica to better assist in national development.
"We need to build a learning community, one where teachers recognise the importance of research," Packer told The Gleaner at Mico Research Day 2013 at the institution's Cross Roads, St Andrew, campus yesterday. The theme for this year's staging was 'Institution Building Through Research: Responses in a Time of Crisis'.
"Gone are the days when you make notes for teaching and you own them for 10 years and use them every day. It doesn't make sense anymore because things have changed so much," he said.
"Students' ideas and interests change so much, so you have to constantly research things to stay on the cutting edge of knowledge for understanding and so we believe we must instil change in the current generation of teachers," he added.
Packer said if we looked at what students are achieving in science, mathematics and language, we would realise the need to train teachers for national development as "we have to ensure that we can build institutions to cater to these needs and we only can make this through research".
CRUCIAL TO EDUCATION
Packer added: "The Mico wants to lead in this area as a teacher-training institution that excels in research. The teacher is probably one of the most powerful influences on the child's mind, so they have to understand how the child learns and what makes the child comfortable. Research is crucial to education for every teacher in this generation."
Packer also congratulated the Graduate School of Education and Institute of Technological Education and Research for leading the charge in cementing a research culture within The Mico.
"We want teachers in training at The Mico to embrace this line of thought so that they are very clear on the importance of continuous research to enhance good teaching and to create knowledge to empower our people and thus national development," he added.