Dr., Pamukkale University, Turkey.
Statement of the Problem: This study focuses on the quality of teacher educators and teacher-training programs. In Turkey, both education instructors and teacher candidates have complained about teacher-training programs, courses, lack of a good education, and lack of readiness for the teaching profession. Therefore, the current researcher has examined the quality of courses and the efficiency of instructors in the education program at a university in Turkey.
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to determine teacher candidates’ perceptions on the education program at their university in Turkey.
Method: A total of 441 teacher candidates majoring in various disciplines during the 2011–2012 academic year participated. Data were collected via a structured questionnaire consisting of 20 questions in two sections. The first section covered instructors’ qualifications (ten questions), and the second dealt with the education programs in various departments and the courses offered (ten questions). Between March and May 2012 the data were collected at the university. Data were analyzed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS).
Findings: According to the results of the study with regard to instructor effectiveness, almost all teacher candidates indicated that instructors were unqualified to provide progressive, practical training. The teacher candidates’ responses revealed that they expected more practical courses instead of predominantly theoretically based courses. Additionally, the results of the study showed that there were significant differences among teacher candidates’ perceptions according to their gender, class, and the departments in which they studied.
Conclusions and Recommendations: In conclusion, teacher candidates are the customers of education programs and the ones who will teach future generations. In this study they were asked whether they thought that the instructors and the education they received were effective. Overall, they were unhappy with their educational programs and critical of the quality of instructors. Therefore, university administrators should work to improve the quality of instructors and education programs at their schools. Teacher candidates require as much practice as theoretical knowledge, which has been the case throughout the history of Turkish education.
Keywords: Teacher training, quality of curriculum, instructors.