Month: May 2018

Goodbye Professional Development. Hello Professional Learning!

We are all agreed on one thing: Learning is imperative for growth.

As Educators, You embrace this mantra for students.

So while there is a deep awareness about customizing Teaching Techniques based on multiple student learning styles and intelligences’, learning for teachers was and often still is, a case of a homogeneous, one-size-fits-all approach.

The quintessential format of Professional Development involves:

  1.  Group Workshops
  2.  Generic Observations
  3.  Learning Support groups

Professional Development is largely focused on achieving training goals of the School itself. But not necessarily translated into practice, or monitored for impact, if it is.

Introducing, Professional Learning:

The new-age avatar of Professional Development is all about brewing your own Learning.

It consists of:

  1. Personalized Learning Goals
  2. Relevance of material
  3. Practical usage


Learning cycle


Teacher Education



Professional Learning: Global Reflections

Finland flagFinland: The intensive approach

The Finnish education system is considered to be a leader in innovation for Teacher Development. The success of the Finnish teacher training program is attributed to its focus on intensive research. The teachers are required to undergo the Bologna training cycle which requires that prospective teachers must undergo a bachelors and masters coursework. All through the coursework, theory and practice are given equal importance. These are split into three broader sections:
• Orientation
• Intermediate Practicum
• Advanced Practicum

This is followed by intensive supervision by experienced faculty members at the University teacher training schools and local partner schools. What makes the process unique is the joint participation of students and teachers in research projects and seminars to promote critical thinking.

This ultimately helps prospective teachers gain critical insight into real-life classrooms and student behaviour and how to implement their own classroom learning techniques.


USA flagCalifornia, USA: The experiential approach

While the entire country does not exemplify an ideal environment for Teachers, the state of California is an outlier.
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has incorporated classroom management as the newest aspect of its teacher training programs. Teachers are now required to demonstrate the behaviour management approaches they learnt of during their pre-service training while handling real classrooms.

As an additional measure, a 3-step process is being imparted to check on the trainee teachers’ competence in classroom management through:
• Candidate surveys
• Mentor Teacher surveys
• School-site leader surveys

The state has begun implementing this to ensure that positive classroom climate is maintained and that restorative justice is being taken care of. The focus is on post-training classroom outcome.


India FlagIndia
India is a late riser in the Global Teacher Development movement. It has recently launched the Samagra Shiksha program for school education which also takes into account the previous teacher training program implemented by the Govt. But India is the land of polarities, and therefore, the state of Training in Public and Private Schools differs vastly.
In a bid to keep up with Global standards for Teaching and Learning, Private schools in India are now largely looking at Alternative Teacher certification offered by prestigious Global Training entities. “While the awakening to the need for highly credible Professional Learning for teachers is relatively nascent, Indian schools are embracing our program. This clearly shows the urgent need for Globally etched and locally adopted learning opportunities for Indian teachers“, says Ann George, India Head for UCLA Extension’s Global Counseling Certification.



To craft a Professional Learning experience for your faculty

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Assam Valley: Excellence in Teacher Development

Assam Valley School

Based on the belief that liberal education is imperative, the Assam Valley School (AVS) was founded by the Williamson Magor Education Trust in 1995. Located amongst the lush tea gardens of Assam, AVS is a co-ed residential school which is affiliated to CISCE Board.

Some of AVS’s key facilities:

  • AVS Sunnyside for KG to Class 4th for wards of staff and day scholars. The main school has classes from 5th to 12th
  • Value education, Life skills, Travel excursions have been incorporated as integral part of the school curriculum
  • The school has 47 different types of activities, sports and social service initiatives each having dedicated facilitators

The school not only has an extensive focus on student development but has taken additional steps to keep its teachers on the forefront in terms of professional development.

Some of the key initiatives being implemented for teachers are as follows:

  1. Professional Learning Goals (PLGs)

Learning goals

Professional Learning Goals as a technique for teacher development has been gaining prominence in developed nations. According to a study conducted in USA, goal setting has gained prominence with every 10 out of 12 teachers setting result based goals for themselves. In addition, as per a study conducted in The Netherlands there were approx. 2.97 goals set by teachers with 92 learning goals in total.

At Assam Valley this global practice is being incorporated through its PLG program.  The program intends to spot the potential areas of growth for teachers to enhance the student learning experience. Every teacher observes and lists down the goals that they are working towards and submits a document for review. At the end of the academic year, the school collects evidence and showcases the improvements made by the teachers towards the success of their outlined goals.

The evidence could be in the following formats:

  1. Peer observations
  2. Student assignments
  3. Video recordings
  4. Feedback from students, colleagues, parents as well as the heads of department or from the Head of School.

In order to assist their teachers with goal setting, AVS has been implementing Active Learning strategies in the classroom. These include:

  1. Workshops that revolve around active learning strategies
  2. Assessments & evaluations
  3. Using technology in the classroom
  4. Socio-emotional learning
  5. Flipped classroom
  6. Drama in teaching
  7. Teacher exchanges with national and international schools.

2. Affiliations:

Some of Assam Valley’s key affiliations are with the following organizations:top schools in india

3. Professional Development Certification from UCLA Extension:

Global Career Catalyst

The Global Career Catalyst (GCC) Certification from UCLA Extension is Asia’s first career counseling certification for teachers. The school’s goal is to create a Guidance Advisors program, which will consist of all the senior teachers with 5 students under each teacher’s guidance.

These teachers will assist the Class 11th and 12th students in identifying best careers and best-fit universities. They would serve as an in-house mentor who would have specialization of a particular stream (say, Sciences, Humanities, Commerce) and would guide students belonging to that particular stream.

In addition, the careers unit will administer, guide and create the overall structure for this comprehensive program. So instead of having 3 counsellors, as per the standard school norms, the aim is to train all the senior teachers and then gradually incorporate the middle and junior school teachers in this program.

Assam Valley School GCC
Pioneering batch of Assam Valley School’s ‘Globally Aware Teachers’

The school has been recognized nationally on various platforms :

Education World India School Rankings 2017-2018

  • 3rd in Academic Reputation
  • 1st in Co-curricular Education
  • 2nd in Sports Education
  • 2nd in Infrastructure Provision
  • 3rd in Value for Money
  • Future 50 Schools Shaping Success 2017-2018
  • British Council International School Award 2017-2020
  • NDTV Education Award recognising schools of excellence

AVS’ Principal Ms Sonya Ghandy Mehta believes in leading by example and was one of the first faculty members to sign up for the program.

Ms Sonya Ghandy Mehta
Ms Sonya Ghandy Mehta


In a world where information gets outdated so quickly, it is essential that teachers always remain students: Learning, Unlearning and Relearning.

 Ms Sonya Ghandy Mehta Principal, The Assam Valley School


Want your school to be GCC Certified?

To schedule a discussion with Emily Jonathon, School Advisor-Asia Support Team, UCLA Extension


How Ahlcon International School stresses on Teacher Development

Ahlcon International, one of the leading schools in the country stresses on the development of its most important assets-its teachers. This is one of the essential ingredients to ensure that quality education is being imparted to its students. The school has implemented continuous professional development initiatives for its teachers like UCLA’s Global Career Catalyst certification program, Microsoft’s Professional Development Program for teachers, etc.  Let’s have a look at what the school’s principal, Mr. Ashok Pandey thinks about Teacher Development.

Want your school to be GCC Certified?

To schedule a discussion with Emily Jonathon, School Advisor-Asia Support Team, UCLA Extension




Global Career Catalyst: Revolutionizing Teacher Training


Did you know that almost 86% of high school students are concerned about their higher education with just 8% students attributing guidance received from school? Does this not ring a bell that the same high school students who happen to be the future of the nation, are in fact confused about their own future? The MHRD’s directive to provide teacher training to 15 lakh teachers signals the need for continuous professional development for teachers. It is indeed the need of the hour, as a trained teacher would be better prepared to address students’ doubts about their future. UCLA extension’s Global Career Catalyst (GCC) is one such program which aims to address a teacher’s continuous professional development by making them aware and globally certified.

What exactly is GCC all about?

Global Career CatalystGCC is Asia’s first career counseling certifications in partnership with UCLA ext. which is one of the Top 20 Universities in the world. GCC offers a blended case study based program where teachers are trained by experts online as well as through physical interventions. Your teachers get to learn about the in-trend techniques in counseling that are prevalent not only in India but across the globe. With over 2,000 certified teachers and having achieved a 90% customer delight, this is one of the most sought-after teacher training programs in the country.


How does your school benefit from this program?

Your school benefits through a four-fold benefit from this program which have been mentioned as follows:

  • Guided students and parentsGuided students and parents: Since teachers spend the maximum amount of time with a student in school, they are more aware of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Upon using their learnings from the GCC program, they are better prepared to serve as first level counselors to students and their parents. Your school teachers become influential catalysts who will promote your school’s learning environment.


  • Globally aware teachersGlobally aware teachers: Usually teachers might possess a specialization in a specific domain and thus might not be aware of careers arising out of a student’s desired area of interest. A science student having interest in economics could be guided to a potential career in economics through her Physics teacher! History would no longer be associated with archaeology but could also promote interest in architecture by an interested future science student and thus improve his learning. Through GCC, teachers would gain insight into the different careers options arising out of other subject streams and provide holistic guidance to them.


  • • Organic classroom discussionsOrganic classroom discussions: Imagine a top listed future lawyer in your school’s civics class! This could turn into a reality as teachers, post their GCC certification would be able to incorporate career and college discussions as extensions to their subject. A teacher would be able to trigger students’ interest and get a productive classroom engagement around careers.


  • More productive Parent-Teacher interactionsMore productive Parent-Teacher interactions: Your school’s Parent Teacher Association would no longer remain the same. The focus would not just be on marks but incorporate a long-term view in terms of the student’s aspirations. Teachers would be better adept to address parental pressures on their ward(s) and address the career and course issues keeping in mind the student’s interests. Through a GCC certified teacher’s intervention, a doctor parent might realize that their daughter’s interest might not be into science but more in design. So from an early age, they would prepare her for a career where she aspires to be.


  • UCLA CertificationUCLA Certification: Your school gets an edge as it becomes certified by one of the Top Ivy League universities. It can then be used on your marketing collaterals, to guide prospective students and parents, to serve as a benchmark in the industry and to get your school recognized on a global platform.







Want your school to be GCC Certified?

To schedule a discussion with Emily Jonathon, School Advisor-Asia Support Team, UCLA Extension

Click Here



Some of the Top School Awards in the World!

Taking a cue from last week, where we shared 3 globally renowned teacher recognitions, this week we shed the spotlight on 3 globally renowned school recognitions that lay great emphasis on Teacher Development.


global schools award The Global School Awards

This award is designed to recognize those schools who have implemented robust global learning practices.  Currently, it is exclusively for schools based out of England and the Isle of Man.



  • Develop a framework to promote global learning
  • A coveted add on to your school’s profile
  • Exclusive right to make use of the Global Schools Award logo



Participating schools need to factor in a number of parameters before their submission. A few of them are mentioned as follows:

  • The school should have a global dimension in its vision statement and curriculum,
  • Participation by teachers and students in Global Dimension activities with periodic review(s)
  • At least one of the school teacher(s) should have been trained on the global curriculum

Click here to know more about this award.



International School AwardInternational School Awards

Accredited by the British Council, this award aims to recognize schools who have a notable global element in their curriculum. Over 1000 schools have been granted this award since its inception in 1999.



  • Gives an opportunity for students and teachers to learn about other cultures,
  • Prepares students with skills for life and work in a global economy, and
  • Provides your school with a brand new global identity



A few of the parameters have been mentioned as follows:

  • International projects pertaining to National or International Curriculum should be incorporated in classrooms
  • Educators to be involved in some sort of professional development
  • Increase in awareness among students about global themes through undertaken activities

To know how you can be a part of this program, click here.



Future50Future 50 Schools Shaping Success

A first of its kind school recognition, driven by Fortune India and Univariety to identify the best Indian schools.




  • Certifies most progressive schools of the country
  • Dedicated Scholarships for Students
  • Detailed Evaluation Report audited by PWC
  • Digital Knowledge Sessions, and
  • Engagements with Parents



Participating schools need to perform well in 8-factor criteria, a few of which have been explained as follows:

  • Intellectual Stimulation and Exposure opportunities for students
  • School’s support for teachers and their continuous professional development
  • School governance, the role of students and teaching staff in administrative activities
  • Careers, Admissions and Extra-Curricular Achievements

Click here to get your school featured in the 2018 edition of Future 50 Schools.


Teacher development is one of the key criteria in all of the above-mentioned awards. Do you know WHY? It’s the quality of our teachers that impact a student’s academic results, brings about a conducive environment in schools and leads to organic discussions within classrooms. It is through a teacher’s continuous professional development that a school grows and its students are directed to better-informed career paths.


Want your teachers to be trained on global trends and become certified mentors to the students?

To schedule a discussion with Emily Jonathon, School Advisor-Asia Support Team, UCLA Extension

Click Here