Teacher Professional Development

Education for All and Knowledge Society agendas are challenging the institutional and human resource capacity of education systems around the world. The pressure to provide access and a quality education to learners partaking in 21st Century knowledge -based societies and economies is immense. Teachers are pivotal agents in the drive to transform education systems which is evidenced in the cumulative focus of Ministries of Education across Africa on ICT Teacher Professional Development (TPD). Many educators, business and industry representatives and government leaders believe that creating a paradigm shift in views of learning, coupled by applications of new information technologies, can play a key role in renewing educational systems to bring them into alignment with the needs of a Knowledge Society for All

We’ve been focusing on Standards and Competencies for Teachers, lecturers and instructors with the help of the ICT TPD matrix. The matrix, which was developed by GeSCI in 2009 is based on the UNESCO ICT Competency Standards and each framework in the matrix defines principles and models for ICT integration along a continuum of emerging (basic use), technology literacy (applying), knowledge deepening (infusing) and knowledge creation (transforming) stages.

 

ICT Competency Standards are Important because:

» They make it clear for all to see what is required of a qualified teacher in terms of knowledge, classroom skills, behavior and attitudes.

» They provide a benchmark for teacher institutes responsible for training.

» They help to ensure that training providers provide training programs which meet country priorities as expressed in the ICT competency framework.

» They enable teachers to meet the minimum standards required of them and help them to maintain those standards.

» Parents and the general public can be confident that their children are being taught by educators who have achieved agreed and transparent standards for ICT in Education.

 

Rwanda

Where there are ICT training programmes in developing countries such as Rwanda, the training of teachers is not systematic, often focusing only on basic ICT skills or how to use ICT.1 General subjects at the teacher training institutes are not taught using ICT which would expose teachers to the practical aspects of ICT integration across other non- ICT subjects. ICT skills for teachers should not simply be about how to use technologies but also about why and when to use them in transforming teaching practices.2 Without capacity building of the teachers, the potential and benefits of ICT to address issues of quality and relevance in the education system will not be realized.

In May 2010 the Rwanda Ministry for Education-GESCI partnership and H2 consultancy conducted a series of visits to schools and institutions. The purpose of the visits was to provide directors, teacher trainers, principals & teachers with an opportunity to reflect on where they are with some of their projects and programmes and where they felt there were needs and gaps.

 

The MINEDUC-GeSCI partnership subsequently organised a one day focus group discussion workshop to critically review feedback from the field visits and to localise the ICT TPD Matrix for use in national, institutional and school-based programmes. The localisation of the ICT TPD matrix will pave the way for the development of an implementation road map for building teachers’ capacity to effectively integrate ICT in educational practice. Workshop participants used the GeSCI ICT-TPD matrix to tentatively assess Rwanda’s progress in the six ICT TPD matrix domains with the objective of identifying three priority areas for the coming three years.

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