Reform Proposal Author: Mrs.

Jayshree Singh, Lecturer, DIET Varanasi State/Group: Uttar Pradesh/2

TITLE

Strengthening

monitoring

practices

for

improved classroom instruction

Introduction This proposal is aimed at improving the existing system of teacher education at District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) in V a r a n a s i , Uttar Pradesh. This project will specifically apply towards improvement of the process of monitoring and evaluation in regard to implementation of child centered teaching methods and strategies in elementary schools. The scope for this improvement will include the participation of regular classroom teacher. This reform has the purpose of preparing professionally competent & committed teachers and maintaining the consistency and standards of performance of a regular teacher.

Context and Rationale I am working as a lecturer at District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), located at Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh since six years. We are seventeen teacher educator including the Principal to

arrange different programs at DIET. The primary activity of the DIET is teacher training and capacity building of resource person to conduct decentralized training and adapt training designs to meet district needs. DIETs must therefore develop into institutions of excellence for teacher education at district level for both in-service and pre-service. For a high quality teacher education program, engagement with schools and the concern for school improvement is necessary. I work as a teacher educator for pre-service and in-service training programs and my duties include selection, training and orientation of candidates. I also work as a mentor in assigned blocks to monitor the qua lity of teaching learning process by

providing academic & resource support to in -service teachers and the school administration. The academic and resource support includes lesson planning, content updates, solution to pedagogical issues and application of innovative me thods and strategies of teaching . The concept of IFIC (In -service program, Field Interaction Innovative coordination) wing of DIET tends to be functional and instrumental in its character . For this first and the foremost work of DIET is to provide a professional forum for elementary teachers

throughout the district. Apart from training it may also serve as a district level study center to contribute quality to teacher education. One of its function is to evaluate and monitor the quality and efficacy of in -service programs held in and outside the DIET, and to strive for their continuous improvement . A major indicator of quality of training is its relevance to teacher’s needs. But most such programs are not

organized according to actual needs of the teachers and school follow-up has also failed to take off, and cluster level meetings have not been able to develop into profession al fora for teache rs to reflect and plan together .

Reasons and background for selection of Topic
According to NCF-2005 guidelines the purpose of training is to understand the process of learning in real classroom context and also is to acquire capacities to apply and explore innovative methods and techniques of teaching. In order to apply these techniques it is essential to understand types, behaviors and needs of students and to develop and adapt different techniques based on these needs and learning styles of student population. The IFIC wing of the DIET was expected to have a vibrant relationship with the field in regard to training and monitoring. However its main focus has been reduced to training. These days one hears demands that DIET faculty should visit schools. Unfocused visits without any sense of how this is expected to contribute to the academic development of school is arbitrary activity, and apart from educating the DIET faculty can contribute very little to academic needs of schools themselves. When carried out as one off-visit, they only serve as ‘inspection visits’, however, if carried out with a plan and scope for subsequent regular visits these interactions can lead to proper teacher mentoring. According to NCF, 2005 guidelines, Monitoring for quality must be seen as a process that enables and provide constructive feedback in relation to the teaching and learning processes within specific classroom context. The monitoring system put in force must be carefully analyzed in relation to its objective and the norms and practices that are to be institutionalized to achieve the objectives. It must

provide for sustained interactions with individual schools in term of teaching and learning processes within the classroom context. In last couple of years DIET organized and conducted trainings related to National Curriculum Framework (NCF-2005) and Right to Education Act (RTE-2009) named ‘Sambad’.Almost all the teachers of elementary schools were trained and made aware of the recommendations suggested by these documents in context of classroom practices. In spite of these trainings and guidelines regular teachers are generally found to be practicing their own traditional style of teaching, which lacks use of innovative teaching methods and fails in maintaining the quality and standards of teaching and learning. This approach has very little opportunity for students to actively participate in the process of learning. Child-centered pedagogy means giving priority to children’s expressions which we do not find in real classroom situations. Participatory and collaborative learning and teaching emotion and experience need to have a definite and valued place in the classroom. A lesson plan or unit plan for an inclusive class should indicate how the teacher alters the ongoing activity to meet the different needs of children. Such roles demand that teachers be equipped with an adequate understanding of curriculum, subject content and pedagogy, on one hand, and constant and efficient application of diverse teaching strategies on the other hand. Hence, in order to improve the current academic system and to facilitate successful and continuous implementation of these teaching practices in regular classroom, a structured, constant & effective process of monitoring and evaluation needs to be strictly applied. The academic and resource support and guidance can be in form of facilitating further trainings, seminars, workshops, establishing resource and learning centers(TLC) for teachers and teacher educators and development of locally relevant TLM or teaching aid. Teacher professional development (capacity building) cannot be an event but rather is a process which includes training on different innovative practices, linking the theory with practical in real classroom situation and on-site support to the practitioners to refine their practices for further improvement. So, once the training is provided by the DIET, the next step should be followed by systematic and meaningful academic support by the mentor so that

teacher cannot feel isolated in the field. The purpose of the monitoring is to improve the performance of regular teachers, help them to maintain higher standards of teaching, enhance the interactive learning experience of the learners and facilitate overall academic excellence. In these contexts, the proposed reform project is relevant, significant and justified in the existing teacher education system. Objectives: The reform project is planned with the following objectives. After the implementation of the project, the teachers will be able to: 1. Understand the learning needs and learning styles of the students and to use appropriate methods and strategies for better learning of the students. 2. Build up their own capacity in terms of understanding of classroom practices. 3. Develop skills in classroom transaction and class management. 4. To motivate the teachers through positive feedback and proper recognition for continuous improvement in their work. 5. Realize them the necessity of a member of the PLC for improving the skills of teaching. Sample Initially 3 schools of Lab-Area and 10 regular teachers of those schools will be selected to implement the proposed reform. Once successfully implemented, more schools can be included in the extension of the project. Action Plan

Stage -1 Researcher/DIET Mentor will organize an initial meeting with the Principal, other faculties, Cluster coordinator and Head teachers of selected schools in the first week of January. This meeting will be based on following agenda: 1. To share the experiences and knowledge gained from In-Step program. 2. To discuss the goals and objectives of the reform project, plan, strategy and outcomes to achieve the objectives. 3. To get administrative support from all quarters. 4. To define individual’s role in implementation of the project Participant’s agreement and consensus for future course of action in regard to this project will be created. Researcher will invite the responses and suggestions of the participants.

Stage 2 A three member team comprising of two DIET faculties (including the researcher) and one cluster resource center coordinator (CRCC) will be formed in the second week of January by their mutual consensus. Plan of activities will be developed for the next six month which will clearly reflect the objective of each activity, timeline and resources. Stage 3  Selection of sample will be done on the basis of self-developed school observation check list in third and fourth week of January. Regular

teachers of these schools will be selected on approval and agreement from

the school authority based on interest level, subject expertise and performance record document. A comprehensive assessment of prior knowledge and skills of regular teacher and his/her classroom will be conducted on the basis of self-developed school observation rating scale. The observation of the teacher’s skill will focus on only the areas of setting and use of learning objectives by the teacher, teaching strategies and classroom management skills and assessment skills.  Are objectives aligned to state standards?  Are they specific and clearly communicated to students?  Are they build on prior student knowledge?  Are learning sequenced from basic to complex?  How do the teacher help the students remain actively engaged in learning?  What activities and materials are used to support the lesson objective?  Are they relevant and meaningful to construct new knowledge?  What efforts are made by the teacher to reinforce students?  What strategies are used by the teacher to accommodate the needs and interests of individual students?  What criteria are used in developing assessment tool?  What types of assessment are used to evaluate student learning?  Are they clearly assigned with learning objectives?  Are these assessments helpful in providing evidence of students acquired skill? Stage 4 One week’s orientation program will be held at DIET in the first week of January with all the selected participants to:

 Brief them about the highlights of the vision of the proposed reform project.  Explain them their roles and responsibilities.  Convey them the time line for execution.  Re-train/Re-teach them the innovative and diverse methods and strategies of teaching to be applied for different types of learners during the upcoming project and also later in regular classroom teaching.  Classroom transaction will be based on interactive and participatory, student centric methods.(interactive discussions between teacher-students instead of traditional instructive practices, scope for everybody to equally participate in the discussions, both individual and group activity, working in pairs, thought provoking questioning strategy, positive reinforcement strategy for effective classroom management, allowing students to improve critical thinking skills ,enabling them to develop, structure and analyze their thoughts and ideas and encouraging them to share their insights and experiences. ) Assignment for the participants to create lesson plans by incorporating various teaching strategies discussed. Indicators of good lesson plan will be developed, discussed and analyzed by the collective effort of participants. Each session of orientation will be followed by some discussion on effective classroom environment and instructional practices. (such as- how the activities differ from the traditional classroom practices?, is such activity is useful for you or not? with reasons, if such type of classroom practices organized in elementary schools how the learners will be benefitted? etc.)

Resource and materials - Power point slides, Research and vision document & some self- made handouts of lesson indicators, Sample lesson plans, Audio-video presentations. It will require participant’s involvement and agreement during the en tire one week orientation. Their feedback and responses will be collected. Also the lesson plans prepared and submitted by the participants during the program as part of their training will be gathered. Feedback form and questionnaire during and after the orientation will also be collected.

Stage 5 One week preparation time will be given to all the participants in second week of February before the actual classroom practices begin. During this time period teachers will be invited to the DIET to discuss (if required) about their plan, details of activities and their evaluation strategy. Stage 6 Scheduled/planned visits to the participating school campuses –for observation, monitoring and evaluation. This will be done by three members of the team on pre decided timeline. Frequency of visitsThe researcher will observe the classroom transaction of the sampled teachers (who were trained earlier by the researcher) once every week for a period of 3 months starting from third week of February to April, 2014. Before observing any class by the teachers, a pre-conferencing will be done by the project team. This will enable the researcher to know regarding the plan, strategies to be used during

the class for learning of the children and assessment procedure. Then the researcher will observe the class and note down the important observations relating to effective learning of the children. Researcher will observe the classroom practice of the concerned teacher based on specific indicators of lesson plan. This will be followed by post-conferencing of the teacher. The purpose of this conference is to provide teachers opportunities for self-reflection on their lessons, identifying the strength and weaknesses and to develop a good relationship with the mentor. The researcher/mentor will provide scope to identify area of reinforcement (related to strength) and an area of improvement (area in which the observer needs to help the teacher improve) with ultimate goal to develop ideas to enhance student achievement. All the relevant information and data will be documented to serve as a tool for further analysis and assessment.

Stage 7 Bi-weekly meetings will be organized and conducted with all the participants at the cluster office of selected schools starting from fourth week of February.  To sharpen their thought and reflect on issues relating to effective classroom practices.  To share the experiences and ideas of all the sampled teachers  To use their expertise helping each other in developing lesson plan of different subjects. All the relevant information and data will be documented to serve as a tool for further

Implementation Step

Responsibilities

Resources

Timeline

Initial meeting to Researcher discuss the vision Principal of proposal reform other faculty

with Power and slides, handouts materials, clips

point First Instep January and video

week

of

Team formation

DIET

Principal Survey report

Second week of January 3rd
4th

and researcher Selection of By approval of Observation checklist

week of

Sample (3 schools school authority and 10 teachers) Implementation Step One orientation DIET One preparation week Regular teachers time week Researcher team at Responsibilities

January

Resources

Timeline

Power

point, 1st

week

of

handouts, sample February lesson plan etc. Lesson plan, 2nd week of

TLM, Activities

February

for pre planning. Field Visit Researcher, CRCC faculty and Checklist, one conferencing questionnaire and pre- February to April

feedback format Bi-weekly meeting at cluster Evaluation Assessment, periodic and final Documentation and evaluation of innovation Team members Compilation each evidences Researcher team Feedback form, After every 15

with all participant observation report. days and Selfmade During each visit and at the end of May of In the month of June

and Researcher team

Rubrics and tools

Evaluation and Assessment: A key issue that must be addressed in evaluation studies has to do with determining the extent of implementation. Before judgments can be made about the value of an innovation in terms of outcomes such as student learning an assessment should be made of how far along implementation has progressed. In this reform evaluation will be done in phases- periodically during each visit and finally by compiling it all. Final Evaluation will be done in phases- periodically during each visit and finally by compiling it all. Final evaluation will be completed in last week of May. Periodic Assessment: During each visit and meeting a systematic and structured assessment will be made with the help of self-developed observation checklist. A mid-term assessment will also be conducted in order to check the progress of

teaching skills and classroom management to make changes in schedule or strategy if required. This will be done in the month of March with the same rating scale (used during pre-test). Final Assessment: In the month of May Post-test will be conducted by the team to understand, assess and quantify the progress through rating scale. Compilation and analysis of each periodic assessment will result into a final evaluation document. All the recorded documents, periodic evaluation sheets, previous observation data, Classroom Performance video, submitted lesson plans will serve as the indicators of progress in regard to Implementation of all the techniques and strategies as planned during the orientation and subsequent meetings. A comprehensive and thorough analysis of results of performances during training, observations, meetings, discussions and real classroom deliverables will provide the basis for developing the final evaluation results. After the completion of final assessment, a final evaluation document will be created in the last week of May.

Potential Benefits
 Selected regular teachers will be able to implement effective and diverse constructive methods and strategies of classroom instruction and management.  Proper coordination on continuous basis between the DIET mentor and teachers will help the teachers to maintain a consistency in improvement of their classroom practices.  Improvement in the classroom practices of regular teacher will reflect in improved achievement level of their students.

 Capacity building among teachers through planned and structured monitoring will strengthen the role of IFIC wing as well as of DIET.  Continuous interaction among participants may lead to formation of an effective professional learning center at cluster level in long term. This document will reflect all the required steps or adaptations to be incorporated into the existing practice of the regular teacher in order to effectively comply with and implement the appropriate classroom management and teaching skills for overall excellence of the academic structure. All the necessary recommendations and suggestions will also be provided to the participating teacher and concerned school administration for future application and implementation. This will be a structured and on-going process to be followed with a predetermined time-line in order to promote and maintain the continuation of the reforms.

References 1. National curriculum framework 2005 2. National frame work for teacher education-2009. 3. Teacher education for curriculum renewal, 2.4-26. 4. An analysis of supervisor’s –Dr. Sunil Kumar Singh 5. The school administrator internship hand book –Ronald L. Capasso, John C.Daresh 6. Report of working group to review Teachers ’training programed (in the light of the need for value orientation, 1983) 7. Guidelines for student teaching internship_---School of Education Charleston, South Carolina.

8. Internship handbook for interns, cooperating teachers and seminar leaders— office of field experience, college of education, M U Columbia. 9. DIETs: Potential and Possibilities, A report by NIAS, Bangalore.