Importance of capacity building program for schools. Find the best professional development courses for teachers.

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The education industry has gone through a new wave of change and reform due to COVID-19. Teachers had to rapidly learn and thereby got an opportunity to experiment while teaching and to be creative in their teaching practices. The role and functioning of schools in many countries is changing and this change is expected from the teachers as well.  To successfully build on the requirements of changing trends in education, schools must offer opportunities for high-quality professional development. Here are some recommendations on how schools can achieve success in teacher training program;

Continuous Professional Development
Teacher Training cannot be a series of one-off events. One-day workshops are considered to be one of the least effective modes of training due to the lack of sustained impact on classroom practice. Teacher training program must be a continuous process that needs to be incorporated into a school’s ecosystem. Effectiveness is the main rationale behind the idea of continuous professional development (or ‘CPD’). The following pointers must be kept in mind by schools to ensure successful conduct of CPD from the best teacher training institute in India
  1. Needs-Based Training
For CPD to be fruitful, a school should be sure about what it is preparing instructors for. Educators are very occupied and cannot afford to spend time in training that will not result in a significant impact on their classroom practice. Schools should not make training generic but instead make it needs-targeted. Teaching is complex, and educators' expertise levels may vary across different aspects of teaching. A single educator may be brilliant at content delivery, fair at facilitating group work, and poor at maintaining discipline. A primary teacher might teach great Maths lessons but poor History lessons, and a teacher might have strong digital literacy but faulty spoken English.
Identifying these varieties, training needs can be recognised from multiple data sources like lesson observations, students’ marks and also even direct student feedback. Workshops from the best teacher training institute in India or other interventions can then be set up as per the needs of the school and its teachers.
  1. School Improvement Training Goals
At the point when there can be a great amount to prepare in such a brief period, schools should realize what teacher training program to focus on. After gathering information, the school can prioritise the area of improvement for the school. Ideally, a school's entire group should meet up before the beginning of the academic year to agree on objectives/goals of the school during the year. Those objectives ought to be applicable to the school's improvement needs, ambitious yet achievable, and quantifiable. An example of a goal might be “improve comprehension attainment levels in Class 7 by an average of 20%”, but goals may vary in it’s scope and complexity. This interaction lays out a commonly concurred structure for choosing the school's needs. Similarly, the school's leadership can figure out which teacher training program needs should be addressed urgently and which can be deferred for some other time later.
  1. Training Based Support
One of the best modalities of teacher professional development is training. While the preparation needs of an instructor or gathering of educators are recognized, a compelling method for assisting them with improving is by discussing their challenges, offering direct advice, and demonstrating good practice. This is best when it happens in cycles: for instance, subsequent to noticing an educator's class the mentor can distinguish a particular part of their instruction that can be improved, lead some training, and afterward circle back to a recurrent perception seven days after the fact to additionally assess and uphold progress.
Anybody can play out the role of a mentor. Directors, subject heads, and external evaluators can all conduct supportive observations and provide cycles of positive guidance. Training thus becomes the central part of the CPD ecosystem.
Evaluating the Impact of Training program
Teacher Training program can only be said to be effective if it results in tangible improvements for students. The school improvement plan can be the basis of a framework for judging whether teacher training program have been successful. The chances of success can be increased from the start of the training; the impact evaluation is planned, rather than added post-hoc.
Schools must understand how to evaluate impact. Thomas Guskey’s (2002) has coined five levels of impact evaluation, which are relevant for most schools which I would like to recite:
  1. Participants’ reactions: measured through questionnaires at the end of professional development sessions
  2. Participants’ learning: whether they acquired intended skills, as seen through lesson observations, participant reflections, or short assessments
  3. Organisation support and change: finding out whether implementation was facilitated and supported with sufficient resources, as determined through questionnaires, structured interviews, and even minutes of follow-up meetings
  4. Participants’ use of new knowledge and skills: measured through questionnaires, interviews, reflections, and lesson observations
  5. Pupil learning outcomes: measured through school records
It is worth noting that these parameters for evaluation may be applied not only to students’ marks, but also to their outcomes defined more widely: their enjoyment of learning, progress, participation, engagement in activities, wellbeing, and more. These ideas about successful teacher training program might seem complex, but they are achievable for any school. However, no school should expect to try to incorporate all of its goals overnight. A school will be most successful in teacher training if they break down their goals into manageable steps to reach overall vision. They must be implemented over a period of several months. If the teacher training program is approached correctly, all schools will become self-improving and innovative systems full of outstanding teachers.
Aditya Birla Education Academy is one of the best teacher training institute in India focusing on CPD by working with schools in identifying the goals and curating teacher training programs as per the requirements of the school.
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Tiyasha Chowdhury
Senior Manager - Marketing, Aditya Birla Education Academy & Aditya Birla World Academy

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