Assessment for Learning

Initiating school-based professional development strategy: The professional development of teachers in Kosovo has often had limited impact on classroom practice.  One reason for this is that these programs were designed primarily to achieve input of knowledge, rather than impact on practice; and they were delivered by trainers who were remote from the teachers’ daily life and who could not provide follow-up support.  BEP’s professional development strategy aims to enhance its impact on teachers’ classroom practice by using a school-based model, utilizing facilitators drawn from within the school.

These facilitators will be trained to deliver a formal professional development program developed by the BEP; but they will also mentor their colleagues following the training.  Participating teachers will keep portfolios to document the practical application of their learning.  The first activity by school-based facilitators began this week when teams of teachers from assessment lead schools organized workshops for their colleagues. The facilitators were selected in January 2011, attended workshops in assessment for learning, and practiced it in their schools during the second half of the school year.  They then completed the BEP learning facilitators’ standards program and practiced delivering the BEP professional development program with other facilitators.  On the weekend of September 10th-11th, the facilitators from four Assessment Lead Schools, in Pristina, Mitrovicë, Gjakovë and Malishevë, began delivering the program.  Across the four schools, ninety-nine teachers participated.  The participating teachers welcomed the in-school approach, and most agreed that it was more effective than traditional training. For example, one teacher from Abdulla Shabani school in Mitrovicë, wrote in her evaluation:

 

“This was a very useful workshop for me. In addition to learning about the AfL approach, I really enjoyed being together with my colleagues in our school and working in groups”.

Following the initial two-day workshop, the facilitators will deliver further workshop sessions, and also support teachers in applying assessment for learning. During the weekend, the workshops were monitored by the COP and staff from the Assessment component. Meanwhile, the BEP team will seek to learn lessons from the lead schools, which will strengthen the national program of professional development in assessment which will begin later in 2011.