Reconceptualization of teacher education: Experiences from the context of a multicultural developing country
Teacher education in developing countries faces great challenges attributable to economic constraints, including shrinking resources, the low status of teachers—exacerbated by declining incentives—and an entirely theoretical approach in teacher training programs. These challenges are further intensified by variations in the trainees’ cultural, regional, and religious backgrounds and by the lack of collaboration between different education sectors. In this context, the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) in Karachi, Pakistan, is attempting to provide contextually appropriate, effective teacher education programs for Pakistan and other developing countries. This article draws on the authors’ personal experiences in the teacher education programs at AKU-IED and on studies that examine the impact of these programs on participants. Several studies show that teacher education transforms teachers’ beliefs and practices if accomplished through more effective approaches. The article discusses how teacher education programs are conceptualized and implemented in the multicultural context of AKU-IED, where the course participants come from various developing countries and diverse backgrounds.