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In the Ministry of Education National Implementation Framework III: 2011-2015 there is this
to say The quality and effectiveness of the education system depend heavily on the quality
of its teachers. They are the key persons in determining success in meeting the systems
goals. In view of this, the calibre of teachers and the status of the teaching profession are of
paramount importance. The educational and personal well-being of learners in schools, thus,
hinge crucially on teachers competence, commitment and resourcefulness. This statement
notes the strategic role teachers play in the education sector which is the backbone of the
social economic development of the country yet largely the teaching profession has been met
with apathy and efforts at change and transformation met with great resistance with regards to
perceptions, social ills and other vices. The role of ensuring that the teacher education
programs in Zambia are persuasive or influential enough to turn the student teachers into
agents of change is not only imperative but critical for the current and future state of
education in Zambia. This essay therefore is an effort at suggesting a systematic way of
influencing student teachers to become agents of change in their current state and as leaders
in the field of education in the future.
Definition of concepts
Teacher education programs refer to tertiary education aimed at identifying, educating, and
placing highly qualified teacher-leaders in institutions of learning. Perraton (2010), teacher
education generally includes four elements: improving the general educational background of
the trainee teachers; increasing their knowledge and understanding of the subjects they are to
teach; pedagogy and understanding of children and learning; and the development of practical
skills and competences.
An Agent of change according to bass (1990) is a persons whose acts affect other people
more than other peoples acts affect them. And agent of change is thus an individual whose
acts, words and lifestyle influences positive change by others imitating and influencing them
or the system. Agents of change therefore operate within the given system to instil change
and transformation. In this regard therefore, student teachers become agents of change within
their teacher education programs as students hence policy advocates for the teacher training
program as well as the training programs to be provided to their learners. Further, student
teachers can be agents of change in their schools, communities and workplaces. But what is

Change, as Rosa Beth Moss Kantar (1984) puts it, is the process of analysing the past to
elicit the present actions required for the future. It involves moving from a present state,
through a transitional state, to a future desired state. The process starts with an awareness of
the need for change. An analysis of this state and the factors that have created it leads to
diagnosis of the distinctive characteristics of the situation and an indication of the direction in
which action needs to be taken. Possible courses of action can then be identified and
evaluated and choice made of the preferred action It is then necessary to decide how to get
from here to there. Change is generally seen as a complex process. It is often argued that the
only constant thing in nature change. Research suggests that teachers, next to students, are
the most powerful influence on their colleagues and that the work of teacher leaders can
trump the efforts of policy makers or administrators to change practice.
Teacher education in Zambia
The ministry of education notes that there are 14 public Colleges of Education in Zambia
out of which eight train teachers for the primary school level; two train teachers for the junior
secondary level (Grades 8-9); two provide teacher training for senior secondary level (Grades
10-12); and two provide in-service training. Further, David Livingstone and Kitwe
Colleges of Education also offer Early Childhood, Care and Development Education
(ECCDE) training. In addition, two Technical and Vocational institutions namely, Luanshya
TVTC and Evelyn Hone provide teacher training. There are three public and 16 private
universities offering training at degree level. The entire education system produces an
annual output of 4,500 teachers.
Teacher education however as generally noted has great mismatches which desperately need
to be addressed hence call far and wide for its profesionalisation. The need for specialised
knowledge is greatly underscored. This knowledge base is derived from a combination of
theories bind research that professional gain through reading, reflection, observation and
experience. It includes terms facts, principles and concept that help us understand why
children behave as they do. It provides guidance regarding which intervention strategies
might be useful and which are not. Acquisition of relevant content happens as a result of
prolonged education and specialized training (Morrison, 2006; Horwitz, Darling Hammond
& Bransford, 2000).
In the teaching fraternity, it is noted that there is general lack of skill based knowledge
(Ministry of Education, 2012). Skills as noted by Gazda et al., (2005) consists of observable

actions that, when used in combination, represent mastery of certain strategies which can be
observed, learned, and evaluated. According to Pragh (2005) it is only when a person
performs the entire combination of strategies correctly that it can be said that he or she has
demonstrated that skill. The need for universalised skilling is imperative if all learners are to
benefit effectively from the teacher. Skills therefore are not the teaching methods, practices or
ethics but strategies of effectiveness in the teaching methods, practices and ethics. Student
teachers must therefore strive to be agents of change in the strive to acquire and dispatch
specialised knowledge as well as skill based knowledge and practice and as future leader and
administrators ensure these are well established within the education fraternity.
Standard of Practice is a guide to teacher professionalism and professionals perform their
duties/tasks with standards of practice generally accepted in the field (Feeney & Freeman,
1999). These standards however are set by the ministry of education and are but universal
such that they tend to be controversial in the specific fields of education such as special
education, early childhood education, adult education. The lack of adherence to professional
standards is a key mismatch which has led to poor delivery of education.
Luck of continuous development amid teachers, students and even lecturers has greatly deprofessionalised both the teacher training programs and the teaching practice itself. This is
because to keep up with the standards in their field professionals participate in continuing
education throughout their careers. They constantly upgrade their knowledge and skills by
attending workshops, conferences, participating in professional organizations, reading
professional journals, and pursuing additional schooling. Professionals treat learning as a life
long process that continues throughout the course of their careers and this should be more
pronounced in both the teacher training and teaching practices where acquisition and
impartation of knowledge is the career.
While in the current teacher training programs aspects of educational philosophy and ethics
are part and parcel, the need for adoption of standard code of ethics for teachers in Zambia is
imperative as the major ethical standards are set by the employers hence a further need for
professionalization or professional conduct in ethical terms. Generally the ethical lapse in the
teaching fraternity has resulted into child abuse, professional misconduct, unethical
behaviours and loss of confidence in the teachers, schools and the teaching practices hence
greater need for reform and change which should start with the student teachers in the teacher
training programs.

The student teachers as agents of change

Teacher in view of the above can therefore be seen as change agents in various ways which
1. Community change- this entails the role of a teacher as a community development
worker and in used of their influence to bring about societal change.
2. Institutional change- the teacher can be an agent of change in his/her workplace to
bring about policy, technological, and ethical changes as well as help build a greater
and better service delivery system.
3. Learner centred change- the teacher can influence change in the learners as one of the
key influences in the character formation stages of life.
4. Education system change- with the many ills noted above in the education system,
student teachers can work within to influence change but also advocate for change as
they grow and implement it as they assume leadership roles.
1. Community change agents
In many studies conducted in Africa, teachers assume the role of a community development
worker and it has been noted that they play a very critical role in providing community level
change. Here, Community work is concerned with the development and empowerment of
communities through facilitating the active participation of people in addressing issues that
affect them collectively. It can be done in a variety of contexts: in neighbourhoods, with
specific groups (e.g. women, Travellers), with partnership groups, local authorities and state
agencies. He notes that teacher as community development change agents play roles of
planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating community development efforts as well
as reporting, public speaking, marketers, models, guides and demonstrators.
The student teacher therefore has greater potential to influence change at community level in
addressing a lot of social ills by providing literacy and education, ensuring sensitisation of
communities, pupils and parents in the needed aspects of social change, developmental
projects, advocacy works and community development efforts. This is primarily because in
many rural communities, teachers are highly esteemed and honoured and have an almost
unmatched influence on pupils and their communities as a whole.

2. Institutional change agent

This relates directly to the practice of teaching and teaching service delivery practices,
modes, ethics, professionalism and activities. In a study conducted by Karajagi, (2012) the
following were reported finding on the roles of student teachers as school change agents:
1. There is acritical pedagogy-oriented student teaching model, where urban student
teachers challenge the conditions they find and feel empowered to change them.
2. the diversity of their environments facilitates for their demand for creative measures
in which they can use their richness in diversity backgrounds to better educate all
3. Student teachers were explicitly technicians at the teaching art hence became agents
of social change in a more abstract/epistemological teaching environment, and this
commitment was manifested in their practice and interactions with their guiding
teachers and their schools.
4. The student teachers focus on grouping students and building community in the
classroom were the ways they communicated their social justice agenda in their daily
practice hence providing both the mobility skills as well as motivational atmosphere
for institutional social justice.
5. The introduction of new work ethics, emphasis on professionalism and dedication to
effective service delivery as well as introduction of new technologies and policies.
Given the above findings therefore, the student teacher can be an agent of change firstly
as a model of change by providing the practical examples of the needed institutional
reforms, bring in divergent views from new trends in the teaching profession, introduces
better and new educational technologies, skills and policies for institutional and student
benefits, help build and mobilise advocacy for greater institutional reforms due to their
greater social skills as noted in the study above.
3. Learner centred change-agents
While analyzing the spectrum of manpower development, the teacher maybe seen as the
center that permeates to all sectors. The students produced depend mainly upon the teacher.
The teacher's lifestyle reflects a pattern the students absorb and internalize consciously and
unconsciously in their association with one another.
In an examination of the societal patterns of population, it is the teacher who produces the
future professionals. It is also observed that one can trace some imprints of the teacher's
behavioral patterns, training skills, concepts, beliefs and practices among the students that

passed his tutorship. Thus, the kind of professionals manifest both in their private and
occupational lifestyles some traits that their teachers have handed down to them. A honest
and diligent teacher practicing what he preaches, both in the classroom and in the outside
world would transmit these traits in the developing child. On the other hand, a lazy teacher, a
corrupt one, tampering grades, could present unrealistic facts just to consume the scheduled
teaching hours and use stereotypical laboratory experiments not inciting the inquiry of the
student. This teacher will also transmit to the child these practices which unconsciously and
consciously become a part of the child's lifestyle. In effect, this teacher produces a student
with corrupt ideas and practices to the extent of degrading and depleting environmental
resources attributable to his ambition to amass wealth and to deprivation of his fellow men in
the enjoyment and contentment of bios.
Considering the above scenario, the teacher can be regarded as the central factor around
which the developing student revolves and looks up to, especially in his or her formative
years. Thus, the preservation of bios must be emphasised at the early stage of the learning
child. This is the teachable stage, when a child internalizes concepts and lifestyles he
associates with.
The transformation of the student does not happen all of a sudden. It involves three processes
in actualising the three domains of Education - Cognitive, Psychomotor and Affective. The
three processes are:
1. Transmission
2. Transaction
3. Transformation
1. Transmission It is a process generally formal-school based where educational
concepts and knowledge are imparted through a structured system. The main
characteristics of this process are a highly organised, rigid syllabus and methodology,
single textbook, external examinations and external discipline with little or no attention to
students' emotional life. Moreover, it is heavily teacher dominated with high expectations
for the students to acquire or accumulate knowledge after thorough rote-learning
techniques. The primary task of education at this stage is to transmit to the present
generation, bodies of information collected in the past. Further, the transmission
emphasizes the cognitive domain.

2. Transaction It emphasizes students' interactive role in learning, At this stage, it is

found that whatever the teaching goal, it would seem that teachers need to encourage
students to express their views during classroom discussion, in field trips or at any
occasion when a situation arises. It is at this stage that the student's understanding,
intuitive beliefs and alternative frameworks are strongly dependent upon the context in
which they were developed.
In this situation, teachers need to build upon students' prior knowledge and conceptions.
In the teaching-learning process, students interact, to a certain degree, with the teacher,
which reflects the student's experiences and beliefs about his world drawn from the
immediate environment. In this process, there is a high degree of effective teaching, in the
sense that students are able to voice their opinion, ideas and concepts upon which future
directions to meet their needs are conceptualized and made concrete. On the other hand,
teachers are facilitated to identify resources and formulate strategies to respond to the
students' needs. Eventually, rapport is established between the teacher and student,
making the teaching-learning situation a satisfying one.
4. Transformation This is a process by which the effect of the accumulation of
knowledge and concepts triggers the teacher and student to engage in an interaction
stage, exchanging views, ideas, beliefs and practices which when deeply internalised
by the student, become a part of his system resulting in a changed, transformed
individual. Thus, it demands that the teacher be dedicatedly concerned with the needs
and problems, strengths and weaknesses, individual differences of the learners in
particular, and the community in general.
The teacher is therefore a powerful social influence if meaningful change is attainable. And
as further noted by Karajagi, (2012) a change agent teacher ensures:
1. Has a student-centered learning climate within his/her classroom.
2. Uses a variety of assessment methods in addition to standardized tests.
3. Has an expanded definition of back to basics that includes problem solving, higher
level thinking skills, and computer literacy.
4. Have high expectations for all students.
5. Uses a variety of teaching methods in addition to teacher-centered approaches eg.
cooperative learning, hands-on activities, simulations, individualization, peer tutoring,
learning centres.
6. Does not rely solely on the standard state adopted textbooks and teachers manuals.
7. Uses holistic, integrated instruction.

8. Incorporates technology in instruction.

9. Takes advantage of all opportunities to continue learning and gain new ideas.
10. Provide a vividly positive model of lifestyle, behaviour and practice.
4. Education system change agent
This a lifelong process hence transcends the internee-ship or early teaching practice to
educational leadership roles and involves major changes of the entire educational system such
that there are policy shifts, program changed and remodelling, curriculum related changes
and transformation of the means, ways, and ends of the education system. Lets briefly look at
the main areas in Zambia possible for one to be a change agent in the education system.
1. The means in the education system- generally refers to the inputs or material,
financial and human resources used in the education process. The Zambian education
system is known for its wastages of resource, abuse of finances, and misplacement of
human resources. as agent o change therefore, there is a call for greater accountability
reforms, human resource recruitment, placement and deployment reforms, more
stringent teacher training programs and standardisation of teacher training and
assessments for both private and public institutions and introduction of modern tools
and technologies. The need for efficiency reforms is therefore imperative if the
education system is to meet its ends.
2. Ways in the education system- this refer to the, methods, standards, ethics and
generally process of teaching. This thus calls for change in educational technologies
and methodologies, creation of clear standards, ethics and practices as well as
ensuring that the teaching process is effective enough to meet the ends of the
educational process and system.
3. Ends of the education system-m this refers to the expected results which may include
literacy, skills acquisitions, civic education or general impartation of needed
knowledge skills and competences for higher education as a means or self-sustenance
as an end. The ends however need change in terms of provision of entrepreneurial
mind-setting, inventive and creative skills based knowledge and ensuring that the
education attained is relevant to both the local and international setting.
In this regard therefore the teacher/educational leaders roles in being agents of change
1. Policy advocacy
2. Policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
3. Policy consultancy

4. Teacher training for change hence institution planned change

5. Combating resistance to change tactfully
The need to for change in the teaching fraternity is inevitable and the role of the teacher as a
change agent a limitless as they relate to community, institutional, student and educational
system levels where they can manipulate means, ways and ends to stimulate or initiate
positive change.

Bass, B.M. (1990). Bass & Stogdills Handbook of Leadership; Theory, research, and
managerial applications. (3rd ed.). New York: The Free Press.
Karajagi, G., (2012) Teachers as Change Agents, Academy for Creative Teaching, R.T Nagar,

Kalbergland M.R., (1972) Development as the Aim of Education, Harvard Educational

Review Vol. 42 No. 4, November 1972.
Moon, B. (2010) Time for Radical Change in Teacher Education Connections February, Vol.
15, No. 1
Perraton, H., Creed, C. and Robinson, B. (2002) Teacher education guidelines: Using open
and distance learning, Paris: UNESCO
The Ministry of Education National Implementation Framework III: 2011-2015
Vlavianos-Arvanitis A.,(1988) (ed.), Bio-politics: The Bio-Environment, Volume of
Proceedings of the First Biopolitics International Organisation International
Conference held in May 1987, 1988. TEACHERS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE
If we were to ask teachers, why they become teachers, most answers that we will get is to
make a difference to the live of students. How do teachers make a difference? At its core,
after going through a period of schooling, students should be more knowledgeable. What
about the attitude and the values of the students? Can we evaluate these changes? How do
teachers play the role as agents of change? First and foremost let us clarify what is agents
of change.

Agents of change are something or someone that causes or leads to change. Where as
In our context, there are two categories of change, quantitative and qualitative change.
Quantitative change is a change that is measurable, such as a persons age, sizes and test
scores. Whereas qualitative change involves quality, such as personal gained through
education and interactions with others, and change in likes and dislikes, interest and
Access to an education system in which people attend schools or enroll in education
courses, would be more or less meaningless if they fail to learn and if there is no change
occurring. Conversely, it is more or less limited, if a school or education system is said to be
high achieving, if its recruitment is on a selective basis, which fails to reflect the diverse
Change is something all societies have to deal with. Teachers often resist change mandated
or suggested by others but they do engage in change that they initiate. This is called
Changes of the mindsets of a whole society must involve all citizens. In order to bring about
change, there must be the thought leaders who define and redefine, elaborate meanings
and necessity of the desired changes. All societies have their own beliefs, attitudes,
expectations, views, concepts and norms. Schooling and success of schooling is the best
vehicle to challenge the mindsets to reflect and reform, thus setting new values and
projecting the desired attitudes towards accepting change and adapting to them so as to be
able to compete in the new era. Without doubt, teachers of quality will be the best agents of
change since they are the ones involved in the process of change and the change they are






The challenge for teachers is to move the society from mere thirst for news and information
to the passion for knowledge, and to move towards the enlightened search for patterns of
knowledge principles. This principles can become the tools for thinking inculcating long life
learning, mastered by the public after they graduated out of school. With these the school,
university going population as well as population as a whole will become more enlightened,
more mindful and hopefully more rational in making decisions in daily lives and in time of
School/teacher plays the role as agents of change especially for social transformation. By
guidance and support from the MOE through educations policies, six types of the future
a. Students who can contribute to the nation-building and have patriotic value,
b. Students who are able to bring change to/in the society, instill goodwill and do not have
e. Student who are able to communicate in at least 2 languages.
Access to education is partly a matter of education supply and school mapping. The MOE, is
making sure that every citizen in Malaysia has equal access to education, as laid out in the
Malaysian Educational Plan and is seriously carried out and implemented. Access, on the
other hand , is also a matter of encouraging and stimulating demand so that the students is
motivated enough to self access the open opportunity of self acquiring knowledge. Here the
teacher plays the most important role as a change agent of attitudes of students and
In preparing students to be successful future citizens, teachers should lay foundation for life
long learning at school level and play an important part in helping children develop the ability
to learn and to think independently, cultivating the basic skills and attitudes necessary for life
long learning. The Ministry of Education Malaysia focused on the enhancement of
educational instruction in order to foster self education responsibilities, specifically the
willingness to learn independently and the skills needed to cope positively with societal
change. In this era, every student should be equipped with computer skills and the knowhow to access information. Thus many schools in Malaysia are encouraged to develop self
access centres, where students set their own pace suiting to their own style of learning.
Creativity of teachers are much depended upon, tirelessly creating contents, so as to be able
to attract, encourage and motivate students to take the opportunity to use the self access
centres. Modern schools are equipped with at least one computer laboratory, 20 computers
with internet/school net access, accessible for student use. Teachers as agents of change
must have the ability to develop generic skills in students equipping them with the ability to
According to Ibrahim Bajunid, in an article from an education journal, generic skills for life
long learning in the adaptive age includes the following: pg 5 Jun 2002, jld 12.
a. Developing the skills to learn how to learn different kinds of knowledge in different settings
or contexts;
b. Developing skills to understand connection between theory and practice and to use
knowledge relevantly;
c. Developing skills in managing information, including retrieving, analyzing, consolidating,
using and generating new information;
d. Developing ability to express oneself verbally and in writing using various communication

e. Developing personal efficiency and self esteem in self management;

f. Developing teamwork and willingness to share information and collaborate in achieving
g. Developing capacity and positive attitudes towards adaptability and flexibility;
h. Developing problem solving skills encompassing creative and innovative solutions which
are affordable and
of high quality products and services;
i. Developing thinking skills with constructive questioning and reasoning traditions;
j. The continuous development of updating and upgrading competence
As agents of change, teachers should be the one, first and foremost, understand in-depths
the concept of change in educational thought and the concept of lifelong learning. The
barriers between formal, non formal and informal should be demolished, thus removing the
negative educational constructed realities of individual failures in academic achievements. It
is in fact, the integrative concept of lifelong learning, which unifies the concept of
Teaching demands self-awareness, reflection and continual growth. Teachers must be selfreflective, as persons and professionals, understanding that their development occurs over
the course of their careers. They must understand the philosophies and passions that
motivate their teaching as well as their relative positions to the community including the

The challenge to all education is to lay the foundation for change and at the same time to
maintain the best qualities of the present. Every new generation must learn how to improve
and develop society and be able to base theses changes on the traditions and achievements
already established. Teachers have to develop the potentials of the young to their fullest
capacities, as well as providing the tools to cope with changes in their own era. Teachers
should be aware that, in this changing world, what is considered quality education today
might not meet the standard of tomorrow. This is particularly true if we take into
Therefore, long life education is the best equipment to provide the students as future
generation, to confront the challenges in the global market. Be a learning person.







Ibrahim A. Bajunid (2002). Changing Mindsets: Life Long Learning for All; In Educational
Journal. IAB, KPM Malaysia.