|Counting the Cost of Teacher Education: Cost and Quality Issues (CIE, 1999, 37 p.)|
|5. A Framework for Exploring Costs Before, During and After Training|
It is fundamental to judgements of the efficiency of training systems that those who are selected for training are individuals who are likely to successfully acquire the competencies identified as the subject of the training. The predictive validity of selection methods should be high. If it is not, wastage will be excessive, and many who start programmes will fail to acquire competencies and become certified. Thus, whatever the costs of training per student, these have to be adjusted to take into account wastage arising from non-completion, and questions must be put related to whether better selection might improve the quality and quantity of those trained.
There may also be significant costs (and benefits) associated with different patterns of selection independent of their predictive validity. In particular, where selection takes place from amongst those who are already teaching or who have substantial periods of school experience, several considerations come into play. Selection may be more reliable since it can be based partly on judgements of performance in schools. Those applying for training may also be self-selected in the sense that some will decide that teaching is not their preferred career on the basis of their experience in schools. The work pre-training students undertake in schools may also be a net benefit to the costs of the school system.
Lastly, the attributes of those trainees selected constitute a starting point for training. If the assumptions made about trainees' characteristics are false, and subsequent training curricula and pedagogy are based on these, it is unlikely that appropriate competencies will be acquired efficiently. To be more specific, it may be assumed that students are fluent in the medium of instruction of colleges and schools. In some developing countries entry scores on language tests indicate that this is at best an optimistic assumption. It is also not unusual in some countries to find substantial proportions of new students minimally academically qualified in subjects for which they are being trained. If these students are confronted with subject-based curricula, which proceed from an assumption of, for example, mastery of basic mathematics at school level, they may well find the content and expectations of courses very difficult.