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Reflection and further analysis

of Support Systems for Rural


Teachers
STEPS TO DEVELOPING A CONCEPT OF YOUR OWN SUPPORT SYSTEM OR BUILDING
ON YOUR EXISTING SYSTEM
DESIGNED & DELIVERED BY, HELEN DRINAN GUILIN, NOVEMBER, 2017
Reflecting on our field visits: entry
tickets
1. What new concepts did you learn about professional support
systems for rural teachers?
2. What key differences did you note between the rural and urban
visits? Were there any similarities?
3. What was familiar to/ different from your own context?
4. Why might the systems be difficult to apply in your context?
Objectives of the workshop session
By the end of the workshop session participants will be able to
identify further professional support activities and systems for rural
teachers through:
 Reflecting on the field visits and what it means for their own
contexts
 An analyse of some challenges in supporting teachers in rural
and remote areas
 The development of strategic solutions which could strengthen
their Teacher Professional Support System
Why can’t many rural teachers get
quality CPD?
Challenges:

 No voice individually, institutionally, politically


 Feel they are ‘out of the system’
 Poor access/communications
 Feeling of isolation
 Poor or no resources

 Source: F. Helen Drinan, ‘An Overall Review of Support for Rural Teachers’ Continuing Professional
Development,’ in ‘Developing Support Systems for Rural Teachers’ Continuing Professional
Development, ‘ edited by Zhao Yuchi Liu Jing and Awol Endris, SAGE, (2015)
Challenges
 Least experienced and/untrained or underqualified
teachers
 Language of Instruction (LoI)
 Little/no support
 Low morale and absenteeism
 Lack of incentives/
 Underpaid

Source: Ibid
Categorising solutions under CPD
key pillars
 INCLUSION – CPD systems and activities should be
inclusive

 COLLABORATION & PARTNERSHIPS – they should be


collaborative and be able to develop partnerships
locally, nationally, regionally and internationally

 QUALITY PROVISION – models, approaches, modes of


delivery, human and material resources should be
constantly monitored for quality
Pillar 1: Be more inclusive
Solutions
 Develop CPD systems that meet local needs and create local
solutions, for example, school-based support systems and
school-cluster systems

 Develop CPD systems that relate to internal rather than external


goals and objectives, decentralisation and devolvement

 Use ‘bottom-up’ CPD strategies (rather than top-down) that feed


into to policy at provincial/central level;
Pillar 1: Be more inclusive
Solutions
 Involve teachers in identifying professional development needs
and being part of the decision making process; they should be
consulted and collaborated with. Leaders and teachers should
feel a sense of ownership of their CPD

 Use CPD systems that include local leadership to be able to


formulate short-, medium- and long-term plans; local
implementation of plans

 Develop plans that consider both institutional and individual


CPD needs.
Pillar 1: Be more inclusive
Solutions
 Acknowledge teachers’ prior experience and knowledge
through incentive schemes

 Develop ‘Teachers as Leaders’ – whole school leadership

 Introduce reflective models of CPD (transitional and


transformative or move to these models rather than purely
transmission)

 Develop teacher education and continuing professional


development working group: dual purpose – both professional
and for advocacy
Pillar 2: provide opportunities for
collaboration and partnerships
SOLUTIONS
 Use peer support systems; collaboration with other teachers and
schools; mentoring and coaching systems

 Networking beyond the school community, e.g., other institutions,


external links

 Develop professional learning communities

 Use of Distance Education and ICT systems


Pillar 2: provide opportunities for
collaboration and partnerships
SOLUTIONS
 Develop School-cluster systems

 Provide systems that offer continuous support

 Involve parents and community to raise awareness of


the importance and relevance of education to bridge
socio-economic disparities
Pillar 3: Provide quality inputs
Solutions
 Build capacity at all levels Include all levels in CPD e.g. heads/
principals as well as teachers for a shared understanding/ critical
mass as change agents

 Provide time for CPD

 Instil ethos of CPD from the start e.g. PRESET

 Develop CPD frameworks: principles leading to approach and


framework
Pillar 3: Provide quality inputs
Solutions
 Use experienced teachers within the community as
coaches and mentors, coaching and mentoring schemes,
use of reflective models of CPD

 Provide incentives to attract more experienced teachers


and new teachers

 Provide relevant professional development training and


content: focus on practice and give time for practice
Pillar 3: Provide quality inputs
Solutions
 Teacher educators/ trainer trainers should be practitioners and in
touch with what the real situation is for teachers

 Recruit more local teachers, recruit more teachers from ethnic


minority areas

 Provide quality materials e.g. useful , relevant handbooks if


running CPD courses/ modules, that can be used after the course

 Provide Mobile teacher trainers for remote and conflict affected


areas.
Pillar 3: Provide quality inputs
Solutions
 Provide ‘Bridging Courses’ through CPD

 Develop a TMIS as part of a M&E system – use it to make


decisions on CPD

 Use SMART technology – use technology that works for your


teachers e.g. mobile phones as a tool in your system

 Build a learning environment for your teachers as well as for


students