Document Type

Conference Paper

Book Title or Conference Proceedings Title

Quality in education: Teaching and leadership in challenging times

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

In general practices it is noticed that there is greater improvement in teacher’s performance if they refresh themselves by attending different professional development programmes. They start rethinking about their role as effective teacher and how to support novice teachers. In order to support the novice teachers and develop them professionally there is a need of quality teacher education programme. Literature reveals that “Teacher mentoring programs have dramatically increased since the early 1980s as a vehicle to support and retain novice teachers. The vast majority of what has been written about mentoring focused on what mentors should believe and do in their work with respect to novice teachers. The professional literature typically describes the benefits for novice teachers” (Odell and Huling 2000). By keeping in mind the importance of shared literature and significant contribution of The Aga Khan University – Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) offered Certificate in Education: Primary Education Programmes (Mentoring Focus) under the Education Sector Reform Assistance (ESRA) project to improve the quality in teacher education. This paper presents some of the strategies used during the mentoring programmes, specifically focused on developing the participants’ skills of ‘mentoring’ such as to provide facilitation, support and help to motivate less experienced selected primary teachers of the cluster schools to reach their true potential. The series of programmes developed participants as effective teachers for their classrooms and as mentors for their learning resource centres (LRCs) at union council level through reflective practice and critical thinking. This paper also describes the mechanism of professional support to develop the other primary school teachers (mentees) for their professional growth through Cluster Based Mentoring Programme (CBMP) and impact on their classroom teaching. Consequently the growth of mentees created friendly and enjoyable supportive learning environment in their classes where children enhance their learning abilities. These facts showed quality of CBMP, which in turn improves the quality of Primary Teacher Education. Hence, the graduate of Certificate in Education: Primary Education (Mentoring Focus) programmes are supporting their mentees professionally for improving the quality of teachers education in selected districts of Sindh and Balochistan of Pakistan. Furthermore the paper also highlights the experiences of the instructional team during teaching, follow up field visits, anecdotal records of feedback sessions, participants’ reflections and interviews provided as evidences of how Mentoring Programme became a vehicle to support professional development for improving the quality of Education.