Increasingly, says OISE’s Dr. Janette Pelletier, “we see individuals with advanced knowledge, skills and experience choosing to enter the teaching profession. It is not simply a matter of going on to teachers’ college after high school, as was the case in past generations.”
Today’s new teachers have a minimum of a four-year undergraduate degree and a year of teacher education. Some teacher education programs are two years in length and of those, some give master’s degrees.
Teaching is becoming more widely recognized as the key to our future: we need excellence in teaching to give children and young adults the highest-quality education possible. Most programs of teacher education include a focus on research-informed practice so that new teachers are not perpetuating the old models but are learning about the importance of informed and reflective teaching practice.
Teachers are becoming less instructors than facilitators of learning and development, adds UBC’s Prof. Rita Irwin. “They recognize that there are other places to learn besides the classroom, that there’s a need for diverse learning styles and a broad range of subjects, and an expanding role for technology.”