Is that Teacher Training any good?

As per an OECD report, nearly 89% of teachers across 23 countries were involved in some sort of a professional development program. Informal dialogue to improve teaching as well as being enrolled in relevant courses saw more than 80% participation rates from teachers. Taking a cue from global teacher training trends, the MHRD has decided to train 11 lakh teachers across India under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. These include nearly 6 lakh government and 5 lakh private school teachers.

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In the last 13 years, nearly two-thirds of World Bank education projects had teacher professional development components. Still, Teacher training remains a drop in the bucket relative to national expenditures.

Do we need more programs to fill the gap? Sure! But do we know how good are the ones we already have?

In 2016,  the World Bank searched for existing instruments that would help them map the nature of Global Teacher Training Programs.  But came up with naught. So, it created its own teacher training survey instrument. It surveyed 26 of the world’s largest Teacher Training Programs to arrive at a host of features that characterized an effective Teacher Training Program.

This, along with our own extensive experience helped us list the features that are clear winners. These are what distinguish a Great Teacher Training Program from a good one.

1 Additional Reference Material

While the course modules are critical, the additional reading material has a significant impact on what can be considered a successful Teacher Training Program. This material encourages teachers to go beyond the prescribed training curriculum to research the ambit in its entirety. The repository of additional reference material could be in the form of reading material, webinars & Academic Research papers among others.

It is important here to make the distinction between ‘Reading material’ for teacher training & ‘Teaching Material’ for student learning.

2Impact on Classroom Engagement

The impact of a program on the teacher’s ability to make her subject and classroom more engaging also emerged as a critical factor. Helping students make the connection between a subject and its real-life application helps in improving learning outcomes.

3Delivered through Blended Learning

A training program that includes online modules with elements of physical training or intervention is an effective format for the teacher of this era.

4‘LIVE’ Programs

Just like school textbooks, training program curricula is often outdated. This can defeat the whole purpose of training. Updated knowledge through outdated course modules is not achievable. Continuously updated as per latest global trends, techniques, and practices in the teaching domain. This adds the “LIVE” component to an otherwise static program. The course should be modified with the correct exam patterns, student learning techniques, etc.

5Regular Assessments

A program that integrates assessments at regular intervals can help teachers monitor their own pace and depth of learning, identify gaps and supplement with support from additional reference material provided during the training.

Feedback from candidates

Integrating feedback from candidates who have/are undergoing the program, to improve it is a mean task. But, a seriously evolved training program does that effectively to make it ‘learner-centric’. This is also a major factor in making the program ‘LIVE’ through organic, learner-led improvements

To know more about globally best-selling teacher training programs from UCLA Extension

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