The development of the proposed training program
is based on the adoption of a teacher centered approach.
The implementation of the training program includes extended
cycles of school centred work. Teachers continuously give
feedback to the academic team about their experiences gained
in the classroom. This not only increases the motivation
of the teachers, and gives weight to their practical experiences,
but also provides the necessary cross-links between theory
and practice. Upon suggestions of the teachers, the trainers'
team will perform the necessary adjustments to the didactical
approach. The school trials are not meant for evaluation purposes
only, but involve both teachers and students offering them
the chance to provide feedback on the project. The partnership
believes that teachers can develop important professional
skills and be able to view their involvement in this procedure
as a craft that requires dedication and precision but simultaneously
encourages creativity, humour, and personal expression.
The main output of the project will be an innovative training
programme for the teachers in multigrade schools. The
optimization of the training programme will be based on the
teachers' needs analysis.
The general framework of the training programme is composed
mainly by three parts:
- Methodological approaches for multigrade teaching
(theory and praxis): The first part of the programme
will present the main aspects that are considered essential
for Multigrade teaching: classroom management and discipline,
instructional organisation, curriculum, evaluation, instructional
delivery and grouping, self directed learning, planning
and peer tutoring. There are several teaching strategies
for multigrade school environments (e.g. work card or
workbook method, staggered start, differentiated direct
teaching). Teachers must be skilled in managing instruction
to reduce the amount of 'dead time' during which children
are not productively engaged on task. This means that
teachers must be aware of different ways of grouping children.
In addition to this, teachers need to be taught how to
plan across grade level objectives, or how to amend the
curriculum to make it more suitable for their setting.
Within the framework of the proposed project, teachers
will be trained via ODL on managing multigrade classrooms,
on specifying the applicability of the certain curricula,
on evaluating the importance of lessons' specific educational
aims, on organising study groups effectively. They will
be trained to know when and how to use homogeneous and
heterogeneous grouping and how to design cooperative group
tasks as well as to be proficient on assessing, evaluating,
and recording student progress using qualitative methods
such as portfolios and anecdotal reports.
- Introduction to the use of ICT (theory and praxis):
This part includes the basic introduction to the use of
the ICT. During this part of the training programme, a
series of examples of good practice for the usage of Internet
and multimedia applications in the classroom will be presented
to teachers. Teachers will be asked to introduce selected
samples to their classrooms according to specific lesson
plans and evaluate them. Furthermore teachers will be
asked to prepare their lesson plans in different cases.
The partnership aims to help teachers to evaluate existing
educational software titles according to very specific
indicators and quality standards.
- Cross-curricula applications and projects (praxis):
The third part of the training curriculum concerns the
training of the teachers to become able to design their
own cross curricula applications (based mainly on the
use of ICT tools) and projects to be implemented in classroom.
Teachers will be trained to design open-ended, divergent
learning experience projects accessible to students functioning
at different levels, utilizing the capabilities of modern
ICT techniques. These long-term projects will be implemented
as holding activities for the specific study groups that
will ensure that time spent away from the teacher is spent
productively, while the teacher is occupied with an other
group of students trying to implement the official curriculum.