BUILDING THE RELEVANCE OF ELEMENTARY TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN THE ACQUISITION OF COMPETENCIES FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
This study aims to build the relevance of elementary teacher education program in the acquisition of competencies that teachers must have in three teacher education institutions in West Java, Indonesia. Indonesian government has stipulated that teachers must possess four standard competencies, i.e. pedagogic, personal, social, and professional competencies. These competencies are evaluated based on the existing curriculum design, the implementation of such curriculum in the field, lecturers performances, and teachers performances. This study employs mixed method analysis on respondents who are selected through purposive sampling, which consists of (1) vice rectors for academic and student affairs, (2) heads of quality control units, (3) heads of curriculum development teams, (4) deans and first vice deans of Education Faculties, (5) directors and first deputy directors of regional campuses (Purwakarta and Serang Campuses), (6) heads of elementary teacher education programs, (7) lecturers of elementary teacher education programs, (8) supervisors for on-the-job trainings, (9) graduates who have been working as elementary school teachers, and (10) headmasters that employ those graduates. The findings of this study indicate that to produce professional future teachers, the four standard competencies have been well-distributed in various courses from the first to the eight semesters and have been perfected through professional placement programs. Other aspects that should be developed to ensure the graduates become professional teachers are problem solving and communication skills. To answer the challenges of constant changes in the demand for educational quality, curriculum changes are not necessary. Instead, teachers’ competencies should be continuously developed by visionary and highly adaptable leaders.