Want To Improve Student Achievement, Start With Training Teachers

Teachers require to possess extensive knowledge and skills in order to impart quality education that society will demand tomorrow, not just today.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” Never before in modern history has a quote made 161 years ago (in 1859) been a more poignant reminder of the passage of time. Taken from A Tale of Two Cities, the famous novel by Charles Dickens, the quote accurately summarises the times we live in.  

And the time we live in is not only characterised by disruptive technologies becoming mainstream but also by witnessing the largest number of young people entering the global workforce. In a few years, India will have the world’s largest working population, 50 per cent of whom are expected to be digitally native and tech-savvy. This puts huge pressure on today’s educators, from school to university, to develop and mould young people for a world being shaped by dynamic forces that didn’t exist a generation ago.  

Educators and workforce experts around the world agree that students and young people need to be better equipped with 21st-century skills such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving in order to be adequately prepared to become part of the global workforce. So 21st-century education should cater to these skills, and the educators should be skilled themselves. This is believed to be the need of the hour and one that needs serious stakeholder attention.  

It is believed to be imperative that schools provide students with an extensive educational experience and a holistic curriculum imparted by well-trained teachers who adopt teaching practices grounded in the latest research. International schools in India have realised the need for this and so the training of teachers through professional development qualifications (PDQs) is on the rise. 

Cambridge Professional Development Qualifications provide extensive support to teachers for learning and then imparting the learned skills and knowledge to the students thus enabling the school to closely align its educational aims and practice. 

PDQs are based on the latest research and best practices in teaching, learning and leadership, and I believe they have real impact and value. The aim is to develop original teaching practices that involve critical engagement and are reflective of teaching innovation. There are online courses for programme leaders, dedicated support and learning resources, and a lively online community.  

The Cambridge PDQs offers four types of training to teachers and school leaders covering different aspects of curriculum and leadership – teaching and learning, educational leadership, teaching bilingual learners, and teaching with digital technologies. The programmes can be tailored by schools according to their own priorities, needs and local context. They are available as face to face training or blended training for ease of access and are offered through school-based centres or external Cambridge-approved centres.  

PDQs help the teachers in not only improving their knowledge and skills but in providing them with a great opportunity to move forward in their career. The courses are very motivating and help in the qualitative improvement of the overall education system and culture of schools. They create a common base of understanding among teachers which strengthens the teaching practices at schools.  

The PDQs programme also focusses on helping teachers discuss problems and solve them as a team, thereby instilling a common understanding of the language of the pedagogy.  

Teachers are the most important facet of any educational institution. They are required to possess extensive knowledge and skills in order to impart quality education that society will demand tomorrow, not just today. It is with this overarching perspective, a recognition of the need for teacher training and development, that the PDQ programme has been constructed.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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