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
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 – http://www.eiabd.com/eia/ for more details