Home | 2011 Workshop

Building Capacity for Teacher Training
August 19, 2009 - 3:30 p.m.

Presenters: Thomas Schroeder, University at Buffalo SUNY Department of Learning & Instruction
Josiah Tlou, School of Education, Virginia Tech
Vonda Jump Norman, Utah State University

Moderator: Gary Bittner, USAID Office of Education

In this session, several partnerships between U.S. higher education institutions and local counterparts were presented. Thomas Schroeder presented on the partnership between the University at Buffalo-SUNY and University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Josiah Tlou presented a partnership between Domasi College in Malawi, and Virginia Tech, and Vonda Jump Norman presented two partnership between public and a private universities in Jordan and Utah State University. Topics discussed included program overviews of different implementation models for teacher training partnerships between host countries and US universities.

The University at Buffalo-SUNY and University of KwaZulu-Natal collaboration aims to provide training to female teachers who teach mathematics without proper qualifications—mainly from rural high schools. A model program was created for teachers and is offered through flexible delivery and low-cost technology to accommodate their studies, while not disrupting their teaching careers. The training is focused on strengthening teachers’ mathematical knowledge and pedagogical skills using reproducible, affordable manipulative materials and calculators.

The Virginia Tech and Domasi College partnership aims to improve the professionalization of primary teacher training in Malawi. This partnership was developed as a response to changes in Malawi’s primary education system, especially meeting the need for additional qualified teachers to meet new levels of demand. Local Ph.D. and Master’s students were recruited and sent to Virginia Tech and, although the presenter mentioned the skepticism of many during the initial phase, all returned to Malawi. The partnership also helped in the design of teacher training centers to train primary teachers and in the development of a Bachelors degree in Education at Domasi College.

The Utah State University partnered with a public and a private higher education institution in Jordan with the objective of training undergraduates to be ready to teach kindergarten. As the early childhood education is very new in Jordan, the partnership has been helping local institutions to developed teaching best practices. The activities developed through this partnership focused on increasing the link between theory and practice through the use of classroom observations, and the use of dynamic teaching techniques to ensure student engagement. The advantages of using small group activities to promote learning were also stresses as well as the benefits of using inquiry as a teaching tool.

Key take away points included examples of a variety of different implementation models for partnerships with US universities and developing countries for Teacher Training programs and Programs can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a country’s education system.

To view the presentations, please click on link below:
SUNY Buffalo, Schroeder : Open
Utah State University, Jump Norman : Open
Virginia Tech, Tlou : Open

For questions related to the 2009 Education Workshop,
please contact Rebekah Levi at rlevi@jbsinternational.com