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THE GARDENERS TOOLBOX How a foreign language teacher can develop professional competences in the light of the European profile English for the future British.

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Presentation on theme: "THE GARDENERS TOOLBOX How a foreign language teacher can develop professional competences in the light of the European profile English for the future British."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE GARDENERS TOOLBOX How a foreign language teacher can develop professional competences in the light of the European profile English for the future British Council ELT Conference Milan, 22 March 2011 Luisanna Paggiaro

2 images- and the metaphors that help identify them- far from trivializing the search for alternative approaches, offer teacher educators a valuable tool: they are a powerful- perhaps the most powerful- force for change, and should be of critical interest to those whose business is educational change Scott Thornbury, 1991

3 My butterfly Decorate the butterfly below, with words and colours to represent the conditions that will help you develop into the teacher butterfly you would like to become…. I remembered one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree, just as the butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out. I waited a while, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened, the butterly started slowly crawling out…. Kazantzakis, N. (1952) Zorba the Greek, London, faber and Faber

4 REFLECTIVE PROCESSES Think about the way that you normally reflect on your teaching practice and give your personal response: Do you ever reflect on aspects of your school training? Yes/ No When do you usually do this? Immediately after the lesson/when you go home/ at some other time Is this a private activity or do you share your thoughts/feelings with anyone? How long does this process last, roughly? Do you have any systematic way of reviewing the lessons? Checklists/notes/recordings Would you say the time you spend in this way is productive or unproductive?

5 TEACHERS IDENTITY A socio-cultural perspective on teacher-learning posits a central aspect of this process as the reshaping of identity and identities within the social interaction of the classroom and outside. Identity refers to the differing social and cultural roles teachers and learners enact through their interactions and during the process of learning. These roles are not static but emerge through the social processes of the classroom. Identity may be shaped by many factors, including personal biography, gender, culture, working conditions, age, gender, and the school and classroom culture. The concept of identity thus reflects how individuals see themselves and how they enact their roles within different settings.

6 Professional behaviour Selecting and/or learning Knowledge about: pupils, language form and use, activities, process skills Conceptualisations of: education, teaching, learning, professionalism, language-learning, language Feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values PlanningReviewing SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM SOCIETY CULTURE The Teacher Iceberg (Malderez 1996)

7 Basic conceptual framework Teacher practices, beliefs and attitudes School policy and climate School context characteristics Need for and participation in professional developmen t Experienced Impact Teacher background characteristics From Chapter 5, Teachers Professional Development, TALIS, VARIABLES FOR TEACHERS PARTICIPATION IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT


9 TEACHERS PROFESSIONALISM INSTITUTIONAL a managerial approach to professionalism that represents the views of ministries of education, teaching organizations, regulatory bodies, school principals There are likely to be procedures for achieving accountability and processes in place to maintain quality teaching. Such specifications are likely to differ from country to country. PERSONAL independent professionalism, which refers to teachers own views of teaching and the processes by which teachers engage in reflection on their own values, beliefs, and practices. the current literature on professional development for language teachers promotes a wide variety of procedures through which teachers can engage in critical and reflective review of their own practices

10 FOUR COMMON EUROPEAN PRINCIPLES a well-qualified profession: high quality education systems require that all teachers are graduates from higher education institutions a profession placed within the context of lifelong learning: teachers should be supported in order to continue their professional development throughout their careers a mobile profession: mobility should be a central component of initial and continuing teacher education programmes a profession based on partnerships: institutions providing teacher education should organize their work collaboratively in partnership with schools, local work environments, work- based training providers and other stakeholders.

11 EIGHT KEY COMPETENCES 1.Communication in the mother tongue 2.Communication in foreign languages 3.Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology. 4.Digital competence 5.Learning to learn 6.Social and civic competences 7.Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship 8.Cultural awareness and expression

12 KC5: LEARNING TO LEARN Learning for change While traditional views of teacher-learning often viewed the teachers task as the application of theory to practice, more recent views see teacher-learning as the theorization of practicein other words, making visible the nature of practitioner knowledge and providing the means by which such knowledge can be elaborated, understood and reviewed. Current views of teacher-learning as arising from research which has the following characteristics L2 teacher learning as normative and lifelong: as learners in classrooms and schools, as participants in professional teacher education programs, and later as teachers in settings where they work L2 teacher learning as socially negotiated and contingent on knowledge of self, subject matter, curricula, and setting. L2 teachers as users and creators of legitimate forms of knowledge who make decisions about how best to teach within complex socially, culturally, and historically situated contexts.

13 SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING Inquiry: asking questions about ones own teaching practices and seeking the information needed to answer these questions Self-appraisal: assessing ones teaching and development on the basis of evidence from oneself and others and the ability to critically reflect and a desire to analyze oneself to determine ones strengths and weaknesses Experience: personal experience becomes the basis and stimulus for learning Personal construction: meaning is personally constructed by the learner Contextualized learning: learning takes place in a particular context and social setting and is socially constructed From outsider approaches to insider ones. Central to self-directed learning are the following processes:

14 KC7: SENSE OF INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP it involves creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects… The teachers ability to plan learning paths, to implement them and evaluate the outcomes the ability to turn ideas into action In teaching theory and practice intermingle, but the process is not only on one direction (from ideas into pragmatism) but also vice versa the individual is aware of the context of their work and is able to seize opportunities An attitude of self consciousness and self reflection It is the foundation for acquiring more specific skills and knowledge needed by those establishing or contributing to social or commercial activity Teaching is a job set in a certain historical, social and economic context awareness of ethical values and promote good governance Sense of professionalism, independence and ethics

15 TEACHER DEVELOPMENT Which activities have you found more useful to develop your professional competences? Choose one or more of the following or add your own: A structured course A Comenius/Grundvig scholarship An exchange project Peer/group work School teacher training Communications with students/parents Seminars/conferences Keeping a diary Case analysis and action research Using a Portfolio …………………………………………. ………………………………………………. Literature/sources ICT


17 NO TEACHER IS AN ISLAND Feedback from colleagues Forum Networking The classroom community Wider educational community NOT A LONELY PROFESSION, BUT COOPERATIVE, LIVELY AND IN PROGRESS!

18 BIBLIOGRAPHY Action Research for Language Teachers, M.J.Wallace, CUP, Doing Teacher Research, D.Freeman, Heinle&Heinle publishers, Professional Development for Language Teachers, J.C.Richards-T.S.C.Farrell, CUP Reflective Teaching in second Language Classrooms, J.C.Richards- C.Lockhart, CUP, Teachers in Action, P.James, CUP, European Documents European guidelines for validating non formal and informal learning, CEDEFOP Teachers Professional Development, An analysis of teachers professional development based on the OECDs Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), EU, The European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning, 2008


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