Transforming teacher trainees into teachers of the 21st century

prof. Zuzana Straková, PhD., University of Presov, Slovakia;      Abstract: Education has been facing many challenges in the last decade as a reflection of societal changes, globalisation, or technological development. These changes generate the need to implement and incorporate new elements into education in order to help the young generation to function to their highest potential and to equip them with those skills their future employers will require. However, teachers in order to teach for the future need to reconsider not only how they approach their students but also the subject matter and the ways their students handle it. This cannot remain without consequences at the level of pre-service teacher training and new skills and areas need to be implemented into the core syllabus of teacher preparation. This study presents the results of a survey conducted via questionnaire among teacher trainees in their final year of pre-service training. Its aim was to measure the level of their confidence in developing critical thinking as one of the global skills in their lessons as well as their opinion on the implementation of critical thinking into teaching and into teacher training. The results indicate that although trainees feel clear about what critical thinking is, they feel a high level of uncertainty about how to create conditions for its development. The results clearly indicate that they expect a higher level of support during their pre-service training so that they are better prepared to face the challenges of fine-tuning their teaching to the needs of their future students.

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