This paper investigates professionalism in mathematics teacher education and its influence on teacher practice in Liberia with special reference to the KRTTI and ZRTTI. In the study, we used samplesize of 100 teachers and 23 administrators. We employed a combination of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The quantitative approach used was a self-administered questionnaire and the qualitative approaches included use of interviews and an observation guide. The study reveals the following findings: a teacher’s professional education does affect his/her practices on the job. This means teachers who have basic professional training exhibit better practices than those who do not. It was also observed that there is a significant correlation between on-the-job teacher training and teacher practices. Additionally, the study found that continuous professional development of teachers has a very significant positive relationship with teacher performance practices. This implies that teachers who engage in continuous professional development are best suited to showcase better performance practices as compared to those who do not. The study also made the following findings:
• Teachers in Zorzor District rated higher on continuous professional development and teacher practices than those of Kakata District
• When matched up against those of Zorzor District, teachers of Kakata District showcased better performance practices springing from on-the-job training
• As far as basic professional education versus teachers’ performance practices is concerned, teachers of Zorzor District stand above those of Kakata District
Based on these findings the study concluded that basic professional education, on-the-job training and continuous professional development are factors affecting the performance practices of teachers in ZRTTI and KRTTI. If these areas are properly attended to, our teachers and students will keep pace with the current standards of others in the world.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN