Let’s take a closer look at the three main challenges and how the British Council is addressing these. 1. Poor quality of in-service training courses Participatory planning Research and experience indicates the need for stakeholder buy-in and ownership, as well as a shared understanding of an innovation (O’Donahue, 2010; Fullan, 2007; Wedell, 2005, 2009). ELT projects are all too often planned by academics who may not have a comprehensive grasp of the challenges of implementation, or by administrators who do not necessarily understand the pedagogical implications of planning decisions. Neglecting the role of the administrator is a common error (Wedell, 2005), and experience has shown us that both academics and implementers need to understand the concepts and rationale underpinning project planning. This in turn provides a forum for solutions to be found and motivation to be built collaboratively. Two activities have proved invaluable: a) joint planning with experienced state government counterparts from other states and b) pre-cascade planning workshops for master trainers and education officers. We will discuss examples of these. a.
The state government of Assam had limited experience of planning and managing in-service training programmes for their teachers. The British Council was requested to work with the State Council for Educational Research and Training and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to train master trainers and support them in training approximately 34,800 teachers. When a largescale training programme is delivered, the impact on the students can be significant if all the teachers are required to attend the training during term time at the same time. The state government of Tamil Nadu had had several years’ experience of planning and providing in-service training for teachers, implementing a new methodology across the state in the mid-2000s. The British Council had worked with the Tamil Nadu government in 2008–10 (O’Donahue, 2010), and so a knowledge-sharing workshop was arranged for a small group of planning officials from both states as well as representatives from the British Council. At this workshop a cascade model for reaching over 11,000 teachers was devised that was considered likely to cause the least disruption to regular teaching and learning across the state. Figure 2 illustrates the final cascade model that was agreed at that workshop.
The design ensured that:
Training could happen in local blocks (sub-district) rather than at the central state or district level
Training could be staggered and conducted in two streams to ensure not all teachers were taken out of service at the same time
British Council Training Consultants (TCs) could be attached to each set of master trainers (MTs).
| Continuing professional development in action
Published on Aug 29, 2014
Published on Aug 29, 2014
The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...