Today, teacher training mostly looks into delivery of the content as set by board or management.
Teachers are mandated to attend and they find the entire session not relating or connecting with their work. The presenter generally looks into presenting hard core content based limited examples designed by some elite institutions under controlled conditions. The end result is that the training takes a back step with teachers not feeling satisfied or elated about learning new things.
Teacher workshops are also on the same stage as training. The control conditions set and the workshops conducted do not give teacher an immense satisfaction of achieving the set goals. Teacher training and workshops are either set
- At the beginning of the academic year – where teacher does not have ample time to plan and set changes in the year’s curriculum
- At the end of the academic year – where teacher mind set is on holidays rather than accepting and working towards a better curriculum for the forth coming year.
Then it is safe to say that “We can take the horse to water, but to make it drink, horse should feel thirsty”
New version of this saying is “Give the horse salt, so that it drinks water as soon as the horse reaches the water”.
Adult learning is different from child learning. Acceptance of this factor is most important when considering teacher training.
Andragogy and its assumptions
Teacher is an adult learner. The focus of this learner is not in attaining knowledge but on implementing the learned. They look towards the outcome rather than on the process. Questions that trainer need to focus is on
- What outcome should they focus during the training?
- What practical applications can be designed to achieve the outcome?
- How time should be scheduled for the implementation during the academic year?
- How task needs to be divided and set for a successful implementation?
- How to provide confidence on errors and mistakes during implementation?
Training should be designed for a maximum of three to four outcomes for a year. Too many result oriented strategies will confuse and dilute the purpose. The outcomes considered, must be the ones which are crucial in fetching noticeable positive change to the set environment. In case, a major change is to be incorporated, focus only on its implementation for the first year. Outcome of the change can be planned for the forthcoming years after ensuring its complete and thorough implementation.
The action plan for the outcome need to be set with substantial academic gap to facilitate teachers to design, try and implement the plan. The outcomes set can have one month gap in-between to revisit and reframe, the missing links.
The task designed need to be split into parts and handed over members with competency in the task assigned. The individuals are to meet regularly discuss and note the minutes of the design and implementation strategies.
Once one activity is complete, an open discussion on the ‘red’, ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ areas are to be done. The leader needs to instil confidence on its design and implementing members about the errors or mistakes committed during the process. Any process is not complete without ‘analyses’ and ‘feedback’. Such analysis and feedback needs to be collected from the stakeholders. The collected feedback should be considered for discussion and reframing only after the set academic year. The outcome designed needs to revisited, with the actual framework and the results obtained towards the end of the set period. This can be compared with the previous year’s results to understand the outcome better. This should be the cycle of ‘training for change’.
Training is not a one day or once in a while process to implement change. It is a continuous process and design of this should be with the members involved, taking their concerns and hearing their pleas.
After all, it is them - who have to implement; not the trainer, not the management.