How can we become champions for change in challenging teaching contexts?

Date: 5 October 2016

Link to the recorded talk: http://britishcouncil.adobeconnect.com/p9qaluibwr1/

A strong and rapidly growing global evidence base for what makes effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides us with invaluable guidance as to how we can improve provision and support teachers and teacher educators. Recent studies (see links below) point to the importance of a focus on student learning outcomes, external challenge and support, mentoring and coaching, school leadership firmly engaged in academic learning and progress, ongoing and sustained CPD and a strong focus on subject matter knowledge as well as teaching competence. This evidence has recently contributed to the establishment of a new standard for teachers’ professional development that could bring significant change in the way CPD is conceptualised and implemented in England. It has also informed the design of the CPD frameworks for teachers and teacher educators which sit at the heart of our new Teaching for Success approach.

But what’s the starting point for change for individuals working within the reality of large scale, under-resourced, highly controlled and linguistically diverse education systems in many developing contexts around the world? In this session we consider the potential for individual actors within the education system to be CPD change champions, using the evidence and tools at their disposal to both implement and advocate changes that are practical and achievable considering their immediate constraints. We also explore how frameworks have the potential not to restrict and control teacher development, but to empower them to change.

About the speaker:

Alison Barrett MBE is the Global Head of the British Council’s English for Education Systems programmes, which aim to improve the quality of English language teaching, learning and assessment worldwide through collaboratively designed capacity building programmes, consultancy services provided by UK experts or providing access to research and expertise through events and publications. Now based in Dubai, Alison previously spent over two decades working as an English teacher, teacher educator, academic manager and programme manager in East and South Asia. Alison has an MA in TESOL from the Institute of Education, University of London and was recently awarded an MBE for services to the teaching and learning of English in India.

Comments

In this talk, I felt very happy to learn about: no matter what kind of teachers for what levels, we should be better setting some higher goals for not only our students' development, but also ourselves' further developing-zoon.

That's quite right. Teaching and learning are not a short time job, but a whole life-long dream formally and informally. If we don't give us 'higher goals', we will lose the energy to be insist in doing. Higher goals should also motivate us to make self-improving continuously. We need to accumulate new skills, knowledge up-to-date; otherwise, we will be of the out-fashion in our students' eyes. CPD gave us some ideas for future changes. Yeah, we really cannot bear a classroom lasting for many years without creativity, then we need to change.

Meanwhile, this talk not only tell us the importance of higher goals, but also guide us to land them on earth through step-by-step practices layer by layer. Focusing on outcomes of students, interviewing students for feedback, participant-observations, making self-reflections would help us 'down-land' these goals rhythmically. Then, we will also become a good-qualified educator after many years.

Thanks for this talk with best wishes! Hoping I can bring some elements from it into my daily practices

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