Teacher Education Programmes and the Acquisition of 21st Century Skills: Issues and Challenges in Nigeria

Abstract:

Teaching is a versatile field that requires at all times the correct identification of indices of developments in the society. This responsibility makes it imperative that teachers be an embodiment of a constant search for updated knowledge in various fields of life, i.e. latest information, skills and breakthroughs. A concern for teacher quality brought about an ongoing argument over what should constitute the significant portion of a teacher training programme - the knowledge of what to teach or how to teach it? While there is yet be a conclusive end to the debate, Obanya (2004) noted that gone is the past where all that was required of a teacher was subject matter knowledge. This platitude is becoming more apparent for the 21st century where rapid technological development implies that knowledge is no longer a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for the individual. It is rather an asset, which constantly has to be updated. The teacher therefore needs to be equipped with an acceptable standard of general studies of which ICT is paramount. Improving teacher education programmes then is a worldwide concern; with special focus on developing countries, since no education (country) can rise above the quality of its teachers (National Policy on Education, 2004