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A Contextual and Collaborative Approach to Teacher Training

Vaibhav Mishra

Associate, Monitoring and Evaluation, Delhi State Project

In 2022, we took a significant step toward creating a holistic capacity-building model that provides a differentiated mode of learning to teachers by piloting the Classroom Demonstration Model of Teacher Training.

As knowledge partners to the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) in Delhi, we conduct competency-based training for teachers across Delhi to ensure high-quality learning experiences for our children. Simultaneously, we also build the capacity of Government Teacher Trainers to deliver these training and co-build Monitoring, Evaluation, and Operational systems that ensure these training sessions are of high quality. This model, therefore, emerged as a collaborative project between SCERT Delhi, STiR Education, and SEF to ensure teachers have access to meaningful professional development.

If you are a government decision-maker, we encourage you to explore this blog and the Classroom Demonstration Report. It offers insights that can help you make informed decisions to improve the teacher education system in India. If you come from the education or development sector, the report provides valuable lessons on innovative teacher training and capacity-building approaches. It showcases how collaboration and practicality can lead to positive outcomes in the field of education.

About the First Competency-Based Module

As part of this collaborative partnership with SCERT Delhi, in 2022, we launched our first State-Wide capacity-building module on ‘Classroom Practices to Enhance Learning Outcomes’ (CPELO) for primary school teachers. This module is packed with actionable learning strategies they can use to create safe and engaging classrooms.

And, to ensure the module reaches thousands of teachers in a span of 3 weeks, we used a traditional cascade model where one level of trainers trains another until it reaches teachers.

Understanding Areas of Improvement

While we received a lot of positive feedback on the relevance and content of the module, the internal team’s reflection and a thorough feedback analysis led to several learnings that probed us to rethink our model:

  • Time Efficiency: The existing training model demanded a significant amount of time commitment, and it would take a long time to reach all teachers in Delhi

  • Resource Intensity: The operations involved in delivering these trainings were resource-intensive, which posed a barrier to consistent high-quality and sustainability of excellence

  • Lack of Practical Training: Feedback from the ground showed that participants wanted more hands-on experience practically executing those strategies. 

Designing a Collaborative and Contextual Training Model

Equipped with these learnings, we developed a model that would provide a holistic and practical experience to the teachers in a more efficient manner.  We identified and leveraged pre-existing high-potential stakeholders in the system: Teacher Development Coordinators (TDCs). TDCs are distinguished teachers in their schools and receive tailored capacity building for mentoring, coaching, and supporting fellow teachers' growth.

By directly training TDCs instead of another cohort of facilitators, we addressed our resource and time challenges. 

And to address the need for practical training, we devised a classroom demonstration training model. TDCs received training from the core facilitator group on the 8 active learning classroom strategies from the CPELO module. They demonstrated the practicality of these strategies in live classrooms across various subjects and grades, enabling teachers to observe the practice in real-life situations.

Here are some key shifts brought in by the model:

  • Smooth and Efficient Operations: The model significantly reduced the time taken to reach teachers, as demonstrated by the data below:

  • Increase Teacher Readiness: The practical experience increased teacher preparedness to implement the learning strategies and bridge a major theory and practice gap. It also enabled teachers to observe the impact of these practices on student engagement and learning, encouraging them to adopt the practices

  • Differentiated Learning: All teachers experienced the demonstration in their own classroom and school context, which allowed TDCs to personalize the training experience and maintain the relevance of training content

  • Capacity Building for TDCs: The demonstrations leveraged the knowledge and expertise of TDCs while building their capacity in facilitation and modeling

In summary, this approach empowers TDCs and utilizes a practical, efficient, and hands-on classroom demonstration model for effective teacher training.

To learn about this pilot in detail and gain a comprehensive understanding of how we executed this, read the full Classroom Demonstration Report here.

And feel free to reach out to in case you want to chat with the team and learn more about this!

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