their professional competence.
With the rapid increase inhuman knowledge new approaches, new methods of teaching, and new avenues for the teachers are being introduced. If a teacher fails to keep himself in touch with these developments he is proving himself as inefficient and ineffective. In order to achieve this end it is necessary that many great opportunities of in-service education should be provided for teachers.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
The last two decades have witnessed a remarkable amount of policy directed at teacher education and an intense debate about whether and how various approaches to preparing and supporting teachers make a difference. Beginning in the mid1980s with the report of the Carnegie task force on teaching as a profession, the Holmes group (1986), and the founding of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in 1987, a collection of analysts, policy makers, and practitioners of teaching and teacher education argued for the centrality of expertise to effective practice and the need to build a more knowledgeable and skillful professional teaching force. A set of policy initiatives was launched to design professional standards, strengthen teacher education and certification requirements, increase investments in induction mentoring and professional development, and transform roles for teachers (see, e.g., National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future , 1996).
Efforts to restructure America’s schools for the demands of a knowledge-based economy are redefining the mission of schooling and the job of teaching. Rather than merely “offering education,” schools are now expected to ensure that all students learn and perform at high levels. Rather than merely “covering the curriculum,” teachers are expected to find ways to support and connect with the needs of all learners. This new mission requires substantially more knowledge and skill of teachers and more student- centered approaches to organizing schools. These learner-centered approaches to teaching and schooling require, in turn, supportive policies for preparing, licensing, and certifying educators and for regulating and accrediting schools(Darling-Hammond, 1992).
In the last decade, Iranian system of teacher education tries to produce highly skilled individuals who receive regular training and are able to update their skills and upgrade their qualifications. Recent moves towards student centered learning and qualitative assessment have brought Iranian teaching closer to the ideal situation. Students achieve better when teachers have a wide array of skills and adapt these skills to different contexts (Shahmohammadi, 2011). What this study tries to show is about what teachers expect to know and to do at various contexts based on INTASC model standards.
1.4 Significant of the Study
Improving education outcomes is a key priority for any nation around the globe. It is evidently accepted that such an improvement and evolution of education and fundamental change in its system never come true without the evolution in teachers’ attitudes and improving their theoretically and practically professional knowledge. With a look at the axis nationally or internationally propounded for changes in the educational systems, one can make it out that without considering the important role of efficient teachers and potent teacher training program that fulfill the objectives and goals of policy-makers, it is delusive to think of educational evolution and commence a fundamental change.
The Effect of Teachers on the Quality of Education
A number of qualitative and quantitative studies indicate that both teachers’ behavior and knowledge make a difference in their students’ schooling. What the studies try to show is that teacher quality can be achieved through exploiting reliably systematic policy of teacher education as well as in-service programs which are of two benefits of reviewing the known knowledge and merging the knowledge with new educational technologies and curriculum to create a bridge between learning goals and learners’ lives.
1.4.2 Preparatory Programs
Nobody can deny that the prominence of powerful teaching has become more and more important in contemporary society. Standards for learning are now higher than they have ever been before and education is increasingly important to the success of both individuals and nations. Growing evidence reveals that – among all educational resources – teachers’ abilities are particularly key contributors to students’ learning.
Likewise, the demands on teachers are increasing. Teachers need not only to be able to keep order and provide useful information to students , but also to be increasingly effective in enabling students to learn ever more complex materials. Many years ago, teachers were supposed to prepare only a small minority for ambitious intellectual work, whereas they are now believed to prepare almost all students for higher order thinking and performance skills once reserved to only a few.
Teacher education advocates are now certain that there are positive relationships between teacher certification status and student achievement, demonstrating that teacher education plays a role in teacher quality (Darling-Hammond, 1999). Specifically, Darling- Hammond reported that states with the highest proportions of certified teachers tend to have the highest National Education Assessment program (NAEP) scores. Additionally, in a study controlling for student socioeconomic status and school characteristics, Laczko-Kerr and Berliner (2002) found that students taught by certified teachers performed significantly better on standardized tests of reading and language arts (but not mathematics) than those taught by under certificated teachers.
Teacher education programs may vary in any society in accordance with the identity (and perhaps religion). Yet, it is widely accepted that critical components of teacher education programs in any country should include tight coherence and integration among courses and between course work and clinical work in schools. Extensive and intensely supervised clinical work integrated with course work using pedagogies that link theory and practice, and closer, proactive relationships with schools that serve diverse learners effectively and develop and model good teaching.
1.4.3 The Role of Policy Makers
Like the roles of teachers and teacher education programs, the role of policymakers is of great importance in planning the system of recruiting and educating teachers. Goldrick (2009) argues that key stakeholders as well as policymakers can take different potential actions in three positions i.e. higher education, schools and districts, and states. He believes that in many cases actions can be taken by multiple stakeholders; often, such unified action is necessary to move a common vision forward. He suggests the following as the cornerstones of what they can do: making teacher education a university-wide commitment; modifying tenure and promotion systems, establishing a partnership with districts where a large percentage of a pre-service program’s graduates are placed; supporting virtual communities of mentors; providing a “road map” for beginning teachers; designing and implement a high-quality induction program for new teachers; establishing a teacher residency program; creating a commission focused on strengthening teacher education and induction; and strengthening state vision, requirements, program standards, funding and infrastructure for new teacher induction.
1.4.4 Postmodernism and English Education in Iran
In the pre-technology English education in Iran, the teacher is still the sender and the student is the receiver of the educational information. As Safi (1992) states, the early teachers in Iran were selected from studious students without receiving any education. Then we see developments in teacher education in the 1940s in Iran. Dehghan (1950) emphasized the education of qualified teachers. Different teacher training centers were established. New educational policies and many institutes came into existence but still no teacher educating was done.
Iran’s teaching atmosphere is dominated by modernism ideas. There is no vestige of postmodernism in various educational levels. Decisions are taken by the authorities and the educational system is a conservative centralized one. A one-size-fits-all policy is predominant without considering the individual differences. As Freire(1970) mentioned, students are empty accounts to be charged by teachers. Teachers are the mere conveyers of authorities and no allowance to air their own opinions. They have to teach to the test entailing negative wash back.
According to Noora (2008) the nature of teaching in Iran is mainly teacher-centered and they have no opportunities to say about their own expectations of an effective teacher. Therefore studying the characteristics of a good English teacher from the learners’ perspective is of great value and the needs analysis help them improve their teaching quality to fulfill the students’ needs.
In recognizing crucial role of teachers in social and cultural change, Lynch and Plunket(1997) indicated that from teachers must come much of the vision, expertise and cultural sensitivity to interpret and respond to pressure for change and initiate qualitative development in education. If the premise that the teacher is a central element in level of education cannot rise far above the quality
their professional competence.