Continuous professional development is key to enhancing teaching and learning in our classrooms. During the mid -term break all teachers across the entire academy went through various experiential & collaborative professional development programs.
@ Nairobi Nursery
Planning & strategies to promote positive behaviour
Our goal for this session was to continue to understand how the environment, the programme and adult interactions help promote positive behaviour in our students. We explored the importance of feelings, every student’s right to express themselves and the role that teachers play in respecting these feelings and supporting children to express themselves appropriately within a supportive and caring environment. We also looked at proactive versus reactive strategies for guiding behaviour and how the environment, the program and the teacher play a critical role.
Reflection on pedagogy
We reflected on classroom practice guided by the Productive Pedagogy framework by answering the following questions-
- What have we stopped doing?
- What new practices have we adapted and with what results?
- What do we still want to understand, know or be able to do and how will we know it?
Dr. Modak and Mr. Wachira discussed the recently introduced Quality Assurance standards and the ‘Observation Summary and Conversation’ that is meant to complement the Teaching and Learning lesson observation matrix. The rubrics used for rating teachers on the different components of Productive Pedagogies were discussed in great detail. This enabled us to reflect on feedback that the appraisers had consolidated during classroom transactions.
The second day was characterized by group planning in an attempt to incorporate different aspects of Productive Pedagogies in the lesson plans. Under the mentorship of the appraisers, in groups, we planned and shared some of the lesson plans that we intended to use in the second half of the term. We used this opportunity to share good practice and to evaluate each other.
@ Nairobi Senior School
Our focus was on two specific areas of ‘Productive Pedagogies,’ namely: Intellectual Quality and Supportive Classroom Environment.
‘Intellectual Quality’ requires learning to be collaborative, with deeper thinking and understanding skills embedded into the planning of learning. Coupled with this, teachers will encourage understanding to be extended through the manipulation of new knowledge using application tasks, substantive conversation and problem-solving activities.
The ‘Supportive Classroom Environment’, in contrast, requires learning to again be collaborative but employs group work focused activities wherein students define the pathway of academical sophisticated learning through a series of tasks. All tasks regardless of choice will ensure they – the students – successfully reach clear successful learning criteria which are shared with them early in the lesson.
This 2-day training culminated in the gaining of a toolkit of different skills and techniques to implement in our lessons from March. Students will now be experiencing a change in the classroom learning climate – increasing in pace over the period towards the end of this academic year.
@Mombasa – Early Years & Junior school
We consolidated our learning on assessment for learning with an emphasis on assessing Knowledge, skills and understanding. We also learnt about planning a learning route effectively to avoid any gaps as students move from one level to another.
@ Mombasa Senior School
On the first day, we explored the concept of Understanding by Design. Teachers must be purposeful in their planning to allow students to develop the necessary understanding needed in what they learn. We explored the three main stages:
- Identification of the desired results.
- Determination of the acceptable evidence through designing appropriate assessment for learning opportunities.
- Planning learning experiences and instruction to enable the achievement of the desired results.
In the end it was clear that to achieve the desired results, the performance tasks have to be aligned to the evidence needed and finally, the learning activities need to feed into stage 1 and 2.
On the second day, the languages department planned a lesson using the new understanding and linked it to the requirements of the lesson evaluation matrix. This lesson was delivered to an imaginary year 11 English group. We thereafter critiqued the lesson using the provided descriptors.