Teachers Working in the Periphery: Addressing Persistent Policy Issues
INTRODUCI10N Recently the focus of educational policy has shifted from providing educational access to improving educational quality. This shift is reflected in policy changes directed at teachers. Increasingly researchers, educators, and policymakers point to the teacher as a, if not the, key actor in the successful implementation of qualityimprovement policies, in both developed and developing countries. (Beeby, 1966; Cohen, 1988; Cohen and Spillane, 1992; Fuller and Snyder, 1991; International Development Research Centre, 1981; Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991; Rust and Dalin, 1990; USAID, 1990; Verspoor and Leno, 1986.) Recently, international agencies, such as the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (US AID), have highlighted the ~mportance of teacher preparation in improving the quality of education. This emphasis is evident both in these institutions' research agendas and in the initiatives they support in a number of countries. (Avalos and Haddad, 1981; Fuller, 1986; Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991; Nielsen and Chan, 1990; USAID, 1990; Williams, 1979.) The importance given to the teacher in improving the quality of education is also evident in a recent informal review of World Bank's 93 basic education projects over the last ten years. (World Bank, 1992.) Although this emphasis on teachers represents a remarkable departure in educational policy and budget-allocation priorities in the countries included in this review, it should be noted that only six out of the 93 projects reviewed include provisions to address teachers' recurrent concerns in a comprehensive manner simultaneously affecting teachers' education, recruitment, deployment, and retention.