ingredients of a transformative large scale teacher development program


One of the more interesting talks on day 2 of the conference (not a particularly inspiring day, to be honest) was about a large scale teacher development program in Bangladesh run by the Open University (with a number of partners, including BBC).  The program is called English in Action and the presenter’s name was Michael Solly.

Here are the ingredients for a successful and transformative project –

  • ongoing teacher support (sustainable model)
  • we need to go to them, rather than get them come to us
  • video observations: need to reflect the actual environment, not shot in a BC classroom with 5 or 6 students.
  • Peer guidance, counselling and mentoring is vital to success of a long-term project
  • video clips of authentic classrooms
  • linked to the curriculum
  • EIA’s videos have a narrator who describes what’s going on in the classroom – this would be a good idea for our videos – videos are made available on a SD card (for mobile devices) (we could use viddler and smartphones for this)
  • importance of peer observations, reflections and discussions – teacher journals
  • incorporates language development as well as teaching competencies development
  • provide teachers guides, self access material and coursbooks, linked to the curriculum

Some provisos

EIA is involved in all aspects of pedagogy, including the creation of a course-book and a teachers guide to help teachers with the curriculum – i think this is a major factor in the transformation of pedagogy in a country.  EIA were given pretty much free reign by the ministry of education.  They had lots of financial backing.  They had a very long time frame in which to tinker with the program (about 10 years!)

Check out the EIA website – for more details


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