The teacher and educational curriculum for developing learners’ competences

The 1987 educational reforms targeted teacher education that changed the curricula of basic education and placed lots of emphases on hands-on activities with student-centred interactional approaches.


In this instance the Overseas Development Agency (ODA)/British Council in collaboration with the Teacher Education Division of the Ministry of Education launched the Junior Secondary School Teacher Education Project (JuSSTEP) with the central thrust to up-grade teachers’ professional skills to disseminate ideas on appropriate teaching methodologies, executed through workshops with tutor-supported instructional materials for student competences as one of the primary goals of educational curriculums (Tall and Razali, 1993).

Competence is a psychological factor that requires an individual to undertake activities to bring effective and desired practical academic performances. It is therefore the ability of the learner to possess and acquire knowledge and skills to accomplish a task.

A competent learner is capable of leading societal advancement by applying the new knowledge and skills to improve practical educational achievements. So, the learners’ attitude in acquiring the new knowledge and skills is vital to competence when they adopt self-determination thinking strategies for the achievement of educational goals (Ryan, and Deci, 2000).

Improved teaching strategies

The search for this improved teaching strategies continue if school leadership consider the effective participation of the teacher who spends time to think about how to improve learning experiences of learners.

To compliment the learners’ experiences, teachers need to provide comprehensive teaching strategies that guarantee lifelong learning that empower the learner to contribute to national development.

In this regard, competence can be acquired by the learners if teachers are committed to effective teaching strategies and are ready to undertake refresher courses to position themselves for diverse teaching approaches.

These professional development trainings equip teachers to deliver appropriate and thought-provoking lessons to learners who will consequently demonstrate the purpose of practical education.

Character of learners

The content of every curriculum focuses on building the character of learners when teachers use social constructivist approach to guide learners to construct their own understanding of concepts and using such knowledge to solve real-life problems for the advancement of self and society.

So, the general aim of curriculums is to develop literate and real-life problem-solving individuals who are confident and able to think creatively to fully participate in the Ghanaian economy as responsible local and global citizens.

This competence is subsequently based on the teaching and learning of various courses or subjects that are fundamental to total education for the holistic development and well-being of every learner.

The competent graduate must therefore demonstrate values such as respect and appreciation of skills diversity to ensuring equity and fairness, commitment to excellence, evidence of teamwork and collaboration, with truth and integrity.

Education guides learners to discover and develop knowledge, skills, values and social responsibility by interacting with the environment which is facilitated by the teacher. If teachers are able to expose learners to having experiences, they become honest, creative, critical thinkers and responsible citizens.

Accordingly, the learners develop intrinsic motivation from their acts of internal satisfaction such as interest, curiosity and enjoyment that are in line with their own values and internal regulation (Chirkov, Vansteenkiste Tao, and Lynch, 2007) with two crucial factors as competence and autonomy that showcase their prowess (Deci and Ryan, 1985).


One of the most important factors in developing learners’ competence is the attitude of the teacher (Meyer and Koehler, 1990). As a result, the strength of teaching lies in the capacity of the teacher to create networks of knowledge between and among concepts to build strong connections for learners’ understanding.

This strategy generates interests and produces the desired results with deep understanding of concepts constructed by the learners.

Culturally responsive instruction is exhibited in cognitive guided instruction, where teachers who possess deep and latent cultural knowledge that is fused with community-based acquaintances, and socially-constructed skills are integral to each student’s life.

In addition to the cultural content knowledge, the teacher needs to have knowledge about the learners by thoughtfully reflecting on their cultural compatibility.

While knowledge is important about how the learner thinks, the teachers’ content, pedagogical cultural knowledge and skills are critical to teaching and learning.

To this end, instructional coherence is seen as an important feature of teaching strategies with empirical support that links teaching and learning to develop student competence (Seidel, Riimmele and Prenzel, 2005).

Subsequently, emotionally intelligent instructors develop learners’ competences through interactive sessions and commitment to helping them to integrate new knowledge to solving non-routine practical problems.

In this connection, problem-based learning (PBL) requires various strategies to facilitate academic instruction with professional flexibility to ensure that learners gain competence as behavioural changes that fit into working environments.

Critical Thinking

In preparing the learners for successful futures, teachers have the responsibility to give learners opportunities to strengthen their skills through critical thinking and problem-solving strategies, creative and innovative ideas, communication and collaboration, cultural identity and global citizenship, and personal development and leadership (NTECF, 2018).

Critical thinking and problem-solving develops learners’ cognitive and reasoning abilities to enable them use knowledge, facts and data to analyze and solve real-life problems to showcase their competences. This skill requires that learners embrace the problem and choose the most appropriate solution with perseverance, questioning and reflecting on issues and taking responsibilities of their own learning to draw conclusions.


Creativity and innovation promote entrepreneurial intentions among learners as they have the ability to think of new ways of solving societal problems, using technology effectively. Creativity necessitates that the learners use their knowledge and skills to unleash their potential to generate new ideas or invention while innovation requires that teachers are to encourage the learners to add value to any creative idea for a more viable solution. These processes require the learners’ ingenuity to think outside the box by using the arts, science and technology.


Communication and collaboration promote learners’ ability to exchange information and ideas and get feedback as they work together towards a common goal when the use of languages, symbols and texts are considered.

As learners’ dialogue and share ideas, they respect, value, and listen to each other’s views to learn. This competence which enhances the development of higher-level thinking, self-management and leadership skills, has the potential of being a recipe for creativity and innovation.

It is therefore, the responsibility of the teacher to select learners’ groups to ensure its effectiveness, considering practical instructions for achieving their collective and individual goals and expectations.

Cultural identity and global citizenship involve the development of learners to foremost put country and service ahead as they understand what it means to be active citizens.

Teachers have responsibilities to inculcate in learners a sense of social awareness to propel the learners to be part of an emerging world community to contribute to its values and practices.


Learners therefore make use of the acquired knowledge, attitude and skills to contribute towards the national and international socioeconomic development.

Accordingly, it is required that learners place premium of being part of the national and global identities over that of their persons. To achieve this, teachers must recognize the cultural identity of each student and transfer that knowledge to all learners to respect every culture for global integration.

Personal development and leadership are outcomes of self-awareness, self-confidence, perseverance, and resilience which the learner identifies to develop talents to fulfil dreams and aspirations.

The learners acquire skills to develop themselves as they collaborate and learn from their mistakes to meet their needs.

This process recognizes the importance of values such as honesty and empathy as they seek the well-being of each other in the group.

In this regard, collaboration and communications support the learners to acquire leadership skills, self-regulation, self-development and responsibilities necessary for lifelong learning bearing in mind the use of the arts and sciences.

Teachers should therefore help learners to take self-assessment test to identify learners’ core values and goals, and analyze what others think about them.

In all these, teachers feel successful when learners perform well academically, irrespective of whether or not they come from a historically disadvantaged background.

Similarly, teachers are frustrated and unsuccessful when learners do not perform well.

The writer is Head, Quality Assurance, Ho Technical University.

Source: Ghana News Agency