Linking Pre-service Teacher Education and In-service Teacher

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  • Linking Pre-service Teacher Education

    and In-service Teacher Training for

    Effective Results in Indonesia

    Feiny Sentosa and Rina Arlianti

  • 2

    Linking Pre-service Teacher Education and In-service Teacher

    Training for Effective Results in Indonesia

    Feiny Sentosa and Rina Arlianti


    Teachers need ongoing professional development in order to ensure they provide good

    quality education using teaching strategies appropriate with the changing needs of the

    students. They also need to ensure that they are implementing the curriculum in alignment

    with government policy. This paper touches upon three main areas in relation to teacher

    education and continuing professional development that are important areas of focus of

    PRIORITAS, a USAID funded basic education project in Indonesia (2012-2017). First,

    the paper looks at how the project ensures a whole school approach to in-service

    teacher professional development through training and regular school cluster meetings.

    This approach to training offers practical strategies to putting in place student centered

    teaching and learning which is meaningful and educationally enjoyable. The paper also

    examines how the pre-service education programs can be linked with in-service

    professional development that emphasizes practice. This is to ensure that the programs

    provided by teacher training institutes can equip future teachers to teach effectively

    immediately after graduation. Lastly, good practices resulting from this teacher training

    need to be scaled up to be sustainable. This can be achieved through commitment and

    improved management and governance at the school and district levels.

    1. Introduction

    This paper elaborates the main approach implemented in relation to teacher education and

    continuing professional development for teachers of basic education, based on our

    experiences working with the USAID PRIORITAS1 program in Indonesia. The thrust of

    the paper is that a closer link between pre-service and in-service training can have mutual

    benefits both for schools and for teacher training institutes in universities or elsewhere (in

    this paper, referred to as Teacher Training Institutes or TTIs). Schools gain better teaching

    methodology and better school management that supports teaching and learning through

    the whole school approach developed by the project. On the other hand, Teacher Training

    Institutes gain real practical experience from the classroom through the implementation of

    the whole school development activities and other programs such as teacher practicum,

    classroom action research and curriculum improvement. The paper first describes the

    whole school approach which the program is implementing in pre-service and in-service

    teacher training. Then the paper describes how the partner schools and partner TTIs work

    in a two way learning partnership to achieve better results. Lastly, as PRIORITAS only

    works directly with a small number of schools, dissemination of the programs

    implemented by PRIORITAS is a key component to ensure that non-partner schools can

    benefit from these good practices. This can be achieved through increased commitment of

    the local government and improved planning. The programs and activities implemented by

    PRIORITAS go beyond the three main areas described in the paper. The paper provides a

    1 PRIORITAS is the acronym derived from Prioritizing Reform, Innovation, and Opportunities for Reaching Indonesias Teachers, Administrators and Students.

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    brief overview of the PRIORITAS program to set the context within which the discussion

    of the three main topics take place.

    2. Overview of USAID PRIORITAS

    PRIORITAS is a five year USAID funded project designed to improve access to quality

    basic education for children in Indonesia, in line with the Ministry of Education and

    Culture's Strategic Plan (2010-2014). The program started in May 2012 and is currently

    working in almost 100 partner districts in eight provinces, namely Aceh, North Sumatera,

    Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, and Papua.

    The PRIORITAS program design was built on lessons learned from an earlier USAID

    funded program, Decentralized Basic Education (DBE, 2005-2011)2, USAIDs initial

    basic education program in Indonesia, Managing Basic Education (MBE, 2003-2007) and

    other similar programs. To support dissemination of previously implemented good

    practices in former DBE districts, low-level support has been provided to most of these

    districts. The below figure illustrates the roll-out strategy for five years.

    Figure 1: Five-Year Implementation Plan

    Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5

    2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

    Former DBE Districts (46) 40 districts

    Cohort 1 PRIORITAS Districts (23) + 16 Teacher Training Institutes

    Cohort 2 PRIORITAS Districts (22)

    Cohort 3 PRIORITAS Districts (7)

    The program is working closely with national and local partners to (i) improve the quality

    and relevance of teaching and learning in schools through pre and in-service training; (ii)

    develop better management and governance in schools and districts so that teachers are

    receiving support from school administrations to teach better; and (iii) support better

    coordination within and between schools, teacher training institutions and government at

    all levels.

    A core strategy of the program is to work with the selected partner TTIs to develop their

    capacity to design and provide effective pre and in-service teacher training programs

    based on good practice principles. The aim is to strengthen linkages between schools,

    districts, provinces and TTIs to improve the delivery of teacher in-service training and

    support for better governance and management at schools and district levels. In the past,

    donor efforts have focused more on in-service education for already practicing teachers,

    which has meant that graduates emerging from TTIs have not necessarily been exposed to

    innovations in teaching and management, which they may encounter for the first time

    when practice teaching in schools. PRIORITAS seeks to rectify that by ensuring that the

    lecturers of TTIs are also trained in participative and accountable school management and

    community participation, as well as modern and innovative teaching and learning

    2 Decentralized Basic Education program was the cornerstone of the United States assistance to education in

    Indonesia and was designed to directly respond to the Government of Indonesias priorities to decentralize

    and revitalize the education sector. It focused on improving school management and governance and the

    quality and relevance of education in primary and junior secondary schools.

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    approaches and are able to communicate, and more importantly, to model these to their


    For in-service teachers, PRIORITAS is working with 16 primary and eight junior

    secondary schools in each of the program partner districts through a series of teacher

    training activities. For pre-service teacher training, the program is working with 16 teacher

    training institutes (TTIs) and an additional 31 through TTI consortia. Each partner TTI is

    working with six primary and three junior secondary schools as their laboratory and

    partner schools. In total, the program is working directly with 788 primary schools and

    393 junior secondary schools3.

    3. Linking Pre-service and In-service Teacher Training through the

    Whole School Development Approach and Classroom Experience

    Pre-service teacher education in Indonesia is conducted by Teacher Training Institutes

    (TTIs) and requires four years of post secondary education. TTI Programs consist of

    teacher training for primary school teachers and subject specific training for teachers for

    secondary schools. A number of TTIs are also tasked to provide in-service professional

    teacher training for teachers before they are awarded certification. By default, TTIs are

    also one of the service providers for on-going teachers professional development.

    In Indonesia, the pre-service teacher training program tends to be very theoretical and

    lecturers rarely model active learning methodology during microteaching sessions and

    practice teachers are poorly monitored. Recognizing these problems, and the crucial role

    of TTIs in preparing future teachers, PRIORITAS is working to improve the TTIs

    capacity in providing pre-service and in-service training programs that emphasize practice

    using TTI laboratory and partner schools. Therefore, schools and TTIs, as mutual

    beneficiaries, should be working as partners to define the way that can shape the teaching

    profession and the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. PRIORITAS brings

    the partner TTIs closer to the classroom through providing a network of good practice

    teaching schools across districts and provinces in which TTIs can place their students for

    practicums and use for other development activities such as classroom action research

    (CAR). The classroom also provides ongoing feedback to TTIs to continue the

    development of more effective