The success of original education projects based on local indigenous knowledge is very much dependant on the creative and analytical abilities of our teachers. Finding high-quality teachers with the ability to think “outside-the-box” in a manner completely different from how they were raised, educated and trained is a challenge.
“Specialists, as much as ordinary citizens of Peru, recognize that their country’s problematic teaching profession is one of the most important factors affecting the quality of education. The poor quality of teacher training, low-performance levels, limited and inadequate income levels and a regulatory framework that does not encourage professionalism to contribute to the problem.”
– Rivero, José. “Policy Paper: Teacher Performance and its Impact on the Quality of
Education in Peru” October 2010. Canadian Foundation for the Americas
Therefore, in order to simultaneously address the poor quality of teachers in Peruvian public schools and the need for highly trained teachers in Alma’s projects, we have created a teacher training program that immerses our contracted teachers in our projects and provides them with effective teaching strategies and tools in order to assure their success.
We hire recent graduates and current students in the field of education to work in our projects. In addition, all teachers are enrolled in our one-year teacher training program with monthly workshops. The workshops cover themes such as differentiated and individualized instruction, multi-age learning, project based learning, flexible teaching techniques, student portfolio building, etc.
Furthermore, teachers are challenged to implement different, but complementary strategies each month and document the process. They then present the results in the following training session and discuss what worked, what didn’t, and why with their colleagues. These presentations and discussions are used by Alma as an additional tool to monitor the progress of the project and by the teachers themselves to compare and evaluate their experiences.
The skills learned in our teacher training program translate into our projects having a more profound impact and into higher teacher quality in the Peruvian education system when the teachers cycle back into the public school system.