Hilal KAZU, Demet DEMIRALP
Assistant Prof. Dr. Firat University, Faculty of Education.
Problem Statement: Teacher training programs are expected to provide teachers with life-long learning competence and enable them to practice this competence after graduation in all areas of their lives. In this way, teachers who undergo qualified pre-service training in accordance with the concept of life-long learning will shape the education system as their practices will renew themselves, and they will train future generations accordingly. However, at the point at which these expectations are implemented, the extent to which these teacher training programs are effective in upskilling life-long learning competence is unclear. The views of the members of the Faculty of Education on this topic therefore are important, since they are the programs’ practitioners.
Purpose of the Study: This study was conducted to determine faculty members’ views on the effectiveness of teacher training programs (TTP) to upskill life-long learning competence.
Method: The study was carried out with phenomenological pattern qualitative research methods. The study’s working group consists of seven faculty members determined by sampling method. The data were collected via in-depth interviews using semi-structured interview forms developed by the researchers. In analyzing the data, the content analysis approach was adopted.
Findings: The faculty members’ views on the effectiveness of teacher training programs to upskill life-long learning competence were collected under four themes. The themes consist of “pre-service teachers’ possession of the characteristics of life-long learners,” “how TTPs reflect the Bologna Process,” “whether life-long learning competence is upskilled via TTPs,” “the expectations that TTPs will upskill life-long learning competence and suggestions for those programs.” Conclusions and Recommendations: The faculty members’ views show that the Bologna Process is in practice inadequately reflected in the academic activities of faculties of education. The study also concludes that teacher training programs are insufficient to upskill life-long learning competence, to improve pre-service teachers’ self-improvement; the study also concludes that the faculties of education ignore the need to upskill life-long learning competence in the current programs. In order to equip pre-service teachers with life-long learning competence, the faculty members suggest that the programs be updated, be equipped with more basic skills, and prioritize practicing during learning process. In order to achieve all these goals, they recommend reducing the programs’ quota and establishing quality standards by evaluating faculty members’ competences.
Keywords: Life-long learning, Teacher training, Bologna process, Turkey higher education qualifications framework, Phenomenology.