Other Sessions

Country specific groups and a discussion amongst Teachers and Educational consultants.

Country Specific Groups

We planned to have a session where delegates from each country can meet with compatriots to discuss the issues specific to them, exchange ideas and respond to what they have heard in plenary talks and workshop discussions. Often it can be difficult to get everyone together on a regular basis, so we want to provide the format for good discussion without time pressure given that so many are there already.

Teachers’ and educational consultants’ discussion group

Three main questions were considered

1. How can more teachers for our TCK schools and family tutors be recruited? Teacher recruitment from Europe is very low and has declined over the past 10 – 15 years. A decision was made to explore relaunching the “Make the World Your Classroom” events that had taken place in the UK up to 6 years ago, with a first in Reading with its university and teacher training department, plus a number of larger mission-minded churches.

2. Given that a number of our schools have teaching assistants, newly qualified teachers and graduates without teacher training in the classroom, what can be done to enhance their teaching skills and allow on the job learning? The group agreed to consult with the Senior Volunteers’ Network and any other organisation or individuals willing to offer continuing professional development to our schools. The aim is to support in-school programmes already in place and to promote ongoing training.

3. What is recognised as good practice in assessing children’s academic and welafre progress overseas? Most agencies have made, or are making, policies in this area. The need for a policy as part of our duty of care as an organisation was stressed and that a laissez-faire approach does not seriously accept that responsibility. Such an approach can mean that some children lag behind their national peers academically or face a difficult welfare situation while the agency does nothing to intervene because of a planned or default “non-interference” policy. The dangers of forming policies which leave the way open for heavy-handed surveillance-style interpretation were recognised.The group agreed with the best practice recommendations of the Global connections TCK Forum and other similar bodies that there should be regular and consistent assessment of children’s academic and welfare progress. This should be no less frequent than every 2 years, preferably every year. These assessments could be done by organisations such as SHARE or by the agency’s own staff.

Group discussion leader

Steve Bryant (WEC International)

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