According to Welsh Assembly Government the provisions of education is aimed at liberating talent, to empowering of the people of Wales, as well as meet the job and skills departments, as well as the creation of sustainable future (Randall, 1975). To show its commitment the government supports all stages of learning (Randall, 1975). The 1944 education is one of the most significant changes in education for Welsh. The 1944 Act was geared to aligning the education system in Wales to match standards in other common wealth countries.
The 1944 Education Act also introduced free secondary school education as well as consolidating both church and state schools to ensure both maintained high standards of education (Randall, 1975). Major changes in the education in Wales have always corresponded to major social events as well as political events and particularly election. The year 1988 saw the introduction of ERA which was met with stiff resistance from teachers and parents although that did not influence the then leadership in government to consider revising the policy.
Another significant change took place in 1992 in which schools gained control over the school budges (IMS) as well as a system in which schools began operating independent of the local councils. Other major changes were experienced in 1997 which saw the introduction of smaller class sizes, creation of education action zones to favour marginalised areas as well as the setting up of a general teaching council which aimed at improving the standards of education and at the same time ensuring effective teaching.
Other recent changes in the year 2005 and 2006 have included introduction of Welsh Baccalaureate, which continues to be applied side by side with the long existing GCSE and A-level. Other changes have included introduction of breakfast in primary schools and a play curriculum for 3-7 year olds. Finally if the recommendations of Rees commission on higher education will be adhered to, every qualified student in Wales will continue to study without worrying about fees.
The purpose of education is to ensure subject mastery, which is a vital pre-requisite in any profession. While not all careers are embedded in subject matter, certainly education and subsequent subject mastery is very vital for one to become a qualified professional. This calls for a deep studying and understanding of the usually complex subject matter. The above, points to the importance of the education to the growth of the profession. First of all, education enables professionals to keep abreast with new research findings in their profession.
Since knowledge is dynamic, discoveries of new concepts are common and therefore professionals are better off if they remain in touch with new scientific discoveries concerning their professions. The above is important if professionals are going to be responsive to the needs of their organizations and the society at large. Education is also very important to professionals in that it gives them the necessary skills required to deal with people in their day to day running of their business affairs.
It is through education that, a professional comes into contact with scholarly materials that play an important role in preparing a professional into becoming qualified and shaping their career. Education is evidently important to the growth of any profession; there is a need for the improvement of the training and curriculum so that the kind of education students receive is more responsive to the needs of the clients in the organizations where they serve. It is only through education that professionals can perform their duties more diligently, faithfully and effectively.
In addition, the design of the curriculum programs should be aligned with the needs of the job market. The achievement of the purpose of education is largely dependent on how effective the teaching and learning process is. Effective teaching in England both at the local education authority as well as the higher education has been a subject of study by many scholars and commission. However most scholars concur that, the status of the teacher that is; qualified teacher status or lack of the qualified teacher status plays a very significant role in determining how teachers end up teaching.
Equally important is the commitment and experiences of the teachers. The need for effective teaching is further complicated by the fact that the needs for schools differ widely depending on the facilities available, location as well as the type of students the schools are likely to admit. For example schools located in rural areas or schools serving marginalised communities such as the blacks and immigrants may have to adopt different teaching strategies so as to be effective in teaching. Such schools are likely to go for the strategies, which meet the needs of the vulnerable children they enroll.
When designing or determining the most suitable or effective strategies for schools it is important to bear in mind the level of the pupils. Strategies, which may be effective in primary school level, may fail terribly if applied to higher education level. Developmental stages must be considered by teachers. For example primary school pupils are more likely to experience emotional imbalances than high school students. This calls for teachers to be careful on the way they plan for their teaching sessions.
To counter behavioural barriers to effective teaching (Department for Education and Employment, (1997) suggests several forms of interventions such as behaviour management through training programmes, change of class environment as well as introduction of rewards or punishment to influence behaviour. The effectiveness of teaching in the UK and Wales has in the past been measured by performance of the students. However this kind of measurement is faulty and may place on the teacher a heavy burden of blame when performance is low and at the same time lead to praising of the teacher when performance goes up.
According to (Tiffin, & Rajasingham, 1995. 12-68), there is a lot to effective teaching than the exam results. For instance there is the issue of legislation, the kind of legislation in place can hinder or promote effective learning depending on how well suitable they are. Equally important is the class environment, which may include the size of the class, the facilities available in the school, the level of training of the teachers as well as kind of pupils or students in the class. Very important is the methodology teachers’ use in the teaching.
This calls for the effective teachers to integrate all the applicable learning and teaching methods. The above serves to underscore the fact that teaching is just one component of learning which plays an important role in determining learning outcomes. For the education process to take place in an effective manner several factors are necessary; such include availability of teaching resources such as materials and staff, a conducive learning environment as well as the right working relationship between staff and students, students and parents as well as between staff and student (Department for Education and Employment, 1997).
If the above is lacking the learning process is curtailed, students are likely to perform poorly, teachers are likely to get de-motivated and in general education standards diminish. According to the Department for Education and Employment, (1997. 4 -19) the social context of learning influences teaching and learning. These social contexts may be beyond teachers’ control in most cases. This implies that the kind of school one attended rather than the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the teachers was responsible for the performance.
Pupils provided with an environment of fostering were more likely to excel academically than those pupils put in a social context, which is not empowering. According to (Department for Education and Employment, 1997) effective teaching calls for teachers to put more emphasis on academic learning, good utilization of learning time as well as offering result-based teaching whereby the pupils are made aware of the goals and objectives of the learning process.