Document Type

Conference Paper

Book Title or Conference Proceedings Title

Impact: Making a difference

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

Creating impact or making a difference in my school system is an issue that boggles my mind everyday I wake up to go to (and return from) work. This is mostly so when I am involved in facilitating a workshop or programme. Such questions as: will the teacher participants learn something (new) they can implement in their classroom(s), or how will I know that they have learnt it and later implement it in their classroom, always ring in my mind. An attempt has been made to document the likely impact on teachers I work with. Some of the highlights are presented in this paper. The paper briefly traces the roles and responsibilities I have held and performed as a Professional Development Trainer (PDT) of Aga Khan Education Service (AKES), Uganda, upon my return from Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) after completing the MEd programme in the year 2000. During the programme, our cohort was trained and qualified as exemplary teachers, teacher educators and teacher researchers. Suffice it to say that I have not had an opportunity to perform all the three predestined roles, but the teacher education role stands out prominently. The paper, therefore, reveals the evolution of my responsibilities and the corresponding tasks. Moreover, a greater part of the paper dwells more on revealing the impact that my professional responsibilities/activities had on the teachers that I have worked with in different interactions/activities. Notable ones include understanding and re-examination of the teachers’ roles and attitudinal changes towards learners. Evidence has been captured in teachers’ reflective journals and evaluations following professional dialogues/discussions and workshop courses. Teachers’ comments will be cited verbatim to illustrate the likely impact as noted by the teachers concerned. Finally, the paper will highlight some of the noted challenges in realizing and documenting impact, for example, the changing nature of teachers’ perceptions, time to follow-up, document and corroborate teachers’ sayings and perceived changes in their teaching practices, and the over-emphasis on exams that often detracts from the teachers’ readiness to use the teaching strategies shared during programmes/courses and workshops.

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