Teacher Professional Development

Students exhibiting their robots.

The Program’s Teacher Development Component, managed by Kosova Education Center, develops and implements courses accredited by the MEST, provides support to schools with equipment and materials and assists the MEST to develop a sustainable school-based professional development system for teachers.

Teaching science in 21st Century-001

From 2010 to 2014, the Program developed eleven accredited courses and offered them to teachers from selected schools in partner municipalities. In 2015, the Program will offer courses to additional schools and focus on ensuring the sustainability of project initiatives. The Program’s 11 accredited courses include: Technology, Science, Environment-related learning, ICT in English Language Teaching, Reading, Mathematics, Action Research, Learner-centered Classrooms, Technician Clubs, , Computer Programming and a course for Professional Development of School Coordinators.

Support will be given to further development of the school-based professional development (SBPD) concept. The school-based professional development framework was introduced in schools, which have increased responsibility for and ownership of professional development activities within the school. The Program offers courses to teachers teaching in Albanian and minority languages. In cooperation with the MEST Curriculum Unit, the Program supports schools in which the new curriculum is being piloted. This support includes the course for School Based Professional Development Coordinators.

The Program supplies partner schools with kits of educational technology for each of its courses and every teacher attending courses receives relevant guidebooks. The Program also supplies Professional Development Centers (PDCs) with the materials needed to run its courses and maintains resource banks in these centers. The Program works closely with the MEST and partner municipal education departments to promote the provision of appropriate materials and technology to schools and classrooms.

Increase the capacity of municipalities to provide high-quality professional development activities for teachers

The Program supports partner municipalities in implementing municipal plans for teachers’ professional development. This is done through an advisory and mentoring process which includes municipal-level PDC Coordinators. Partner schools are supported in developing their capacity to organize school-based professional development. The Program invites schools to nominate suitable candidates to attend a course which enables them to act as coordinators for school-based professional development.

Enable teachers to develop relevant skills in their students by implementing a comprehensive teacher development program

With its new practical approaches, the Program is working to make schools attractive places of learning. Its professional development courses aim to help teachers meet new curriculum requirements by introducing ‘”project-based learning” to teachers: engaging students in practical projects which develop problem-solving competences, creative and entrepreneurial thinking, communication and ICT skills, and involve the use of modern educational technology.

The Program focuses its efforts in turning schools into learning organizations. Course leaders (facilitators) are usually primary teachers who are selected for their ability and receive special facilitation and technical training. It also supports schools by establishing professional development teams as focal points for peer learning and support.

Courses held in PDCs are staffed by a master learning facilitator (MLF) who has a guiding and monitoring role and two school facilitators who facilitate and implement the workshop. On the final day, school facilitators and participants agree a plan for follow-up support in implementing new approaches in the classroom. Each school facilitator mentors a group of 8-12 teachers. The process of implementing new teaching and learning techniques can last up to 11 weeks, before the teachers submit their professional portfolios for certification.

School-based mathematics and reading workshops are usually led by two school facilitators who deliver the courses. They also mentor teachers in implementing new approaches. The final list of names for certification is provided to school directors based on evidence collected during the process. This includes teachers’ professional portfolios, with at least five lesson plans.

A newly accredited Computer Programming course contains three separate modules. It is applicable for teachers teaching in different subjects and educational levels. The course is offered in PDCs or organized in school-based workshops within schools appropriately equipped with computers.

 Educational technology and materials

Educational Technology AlbThe program provides teachers and schools with modern educational technology and materials that allow for practical teaching and learning to take place in schools and help build relevant skills in students. The Program provides every teacher participating in workshops with a guidebook to help them implement new approaches and activities in the classroom. Equipment includes: Bottle crushers, flip cameras, mathematics kits, science kits, Technology kits, reading kits, Learner Center Classroom kits and Technician Club kits. Click here to download Educational Technology Catalogue

Teacher Certification

Certification of teachers by the Program and MEST is carried out, based on clearly-defined criteria. The Program engages experienced teachers and school facilitators to help their colleagues fulfil the certification criteria.

 Increasing the opportunities for teachers to participate in peer-support, professional networks, organizations, and research to improve their skills and performance in schools.

Green clubs and recycling

The Program has established ‘Green clubs’ in partner schools supported by the Program. They undertake environmental projects in their localities and educate students and the public about environmental issues. They also organize recycling of plastic bottles. The Program developed a Green Club Manual, aimed at assisting schools in maintaining and sustaining the clubs. The Program assists Green Clubs to organize annual activities such as for ‘Earth Day’.

Summer school

The Program organizes annual summer schools for teachers from different regions of Kosovo. The school involves seminars on relevant topics, but an equally important feature of the summer school is the socialization between participants. Each evening educational films are screened for interested participants.

RobotiKS Summer Camp

The Program organizes an annual robotics camp “RobotiKS” 2014”. To make these sustainable the Program jointly organizes these with municipalities and a local NGO.

Students demonstrate their robot.

Action research by teachers

Over 100 teachers have been trained in action research workshops. The best studies are selected and published in the Program’s web page.

Facilitator networking

In the previous year, the Program activated a facilitators’ networking platform, through a Facebook group which is administrated by the Program. This platform is used as a forum for exchanging experiences among colleagues.