Book Chapter or Conference Paper Title

School improvement - innovative practices and experiences

Document Type

Conference Paper

Book Title or Conference Proceedings Title

Impact: Making a difference

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

This paper reflects field experiences in setting up and running the Academic Cell and the Model Teachers Resource Centre. The paper is based on work done in April 2001 up to August 2003. As a Professional Development Teacher (PDT), school improvement has been the core objective for me. This paper points out to the contributions made for the purpose of school improvement and curriculum enrichment through material development, , which focuses on developing two main areas: firstly, a Guide for Low Cost Teaching Aids and secondly, textbooks and corresponding Teacher’s Guides. Also, it discusses the procedures that were adopted in setting up a model Teacher’s Resource Centre. The fact that this centre functioned as backup for the Academic Cell’s activities and also as a source of facilitation for district based Teacher’s Resource Centres has also been elaborated on. It was found that material developing is a lengthy and complex process and requires detailed knowledge of a particular subject and the ability to clearly and effectively communicate with an audience. There are certain criteria that need to be considered in developing textbooks such as: 1) Textbooks must address the objectives of the National Curriculum. 2) The content and language should be appropriate enough in making a smooth transition from the previous level to the one that is aimed at. 3) The content must provide to students with room for creativity. 4) The presentation has to be engaging and interesting. For this purpose, an appropriate ratio of text and illustration needs to be considered. Gender balance and cultural appropriateness must also be addressed. As part of my responsibilities I was also involved with the development of Indicators for Monitoring and Supporting Schools. It is hoped that this document will play a significant role in making judgments based on evidence whether schools are progressing or not. I also worked towards setting standards for quality education in colleges through teaching, arranging workshops, making lists of teaching and learning material plus library books all of which play a vital role in achieving that purpose. I learnt that within their scope of work, Professional Development Teachers can make a big difference by providing opportunities for school improvement. In doing this however the system needed to be thoroughly understood and a personal commitment also counted.

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