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close this bookTeacher Training: a Training Guide (Peace Corps, 1986, 249 p.)
close this folderDay one
close this folderSession 1 - The peace corps volunteer as a teacher trainer
View the documentSession outline
View the documentTraining session
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Session outline

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Overview: As the first session of the training program, the activities are meant to ‘set the stage’ for the rest of the week’s training. The session has three main purposes. The first is both to introduce the trainees to each other and to begin to build a working relationship among them. This is done through working in very small groups so that each participant has the opportunity to discover some basic biographical data about three or four of the others with whom he/she will be training.

The second purpose is to begin to involve participants in the training process itself. This is done by brainstorming and discussing the trainees’ expectations and hopes for the training. The final activity is designed to enable trainees to begin to evaluate and analyze their role as teacher trainers in a country other than their own. Through small group discussions led by the trainers, the participants begin to compare and contrast the educational system they grew up in with the one in which they now (or will soon) work.

Objectives: By the end of the session the participants will be able to:

- identify each other by name.
- list their expectations for the training program.
- contrast and compare the American educational system with that of the host country.
- explain the role of a Peace Corps teacher trainer.

Session materials: wall chart of comparative education systems, training, design and objectives handouts, newsprint, markers, tape

Training session

Activities; Procedures

a. Small group introductions 20 minutes

After a brief self introduction to the trainees, the trainer separates the participants into small groups 20 minutes of four or five. The groups then have two tasks: 1) to learn the following personal information about each member: name, site of posting, length of time already in the country, and assignment (10 minutes), 2) to brainstorm and list on a piece of newsprint the members’ expectations (or hopes) for the training (10 minutes).

Trainer’s notes: The main purpose of this small group work is for the trainees to begin to know each other. Be careful however this doesn’t just turn into a ‘chatty’ session. Check with each group after 9 or 10 minutes to be sure that they are starting the expectations brainstorm.

Materials: sheets of newsprint and markers for each group

b. Discussion 25 minutes

After 20 minutes the groups regather. Going around the room, each trainee says his/her name, assignment and site of posting. When all have introduced themselves, the lists of expectations are posted and each group explains its list. The trainer then distributes to the trainees the training objectives and design and discusses with the participants any major discrepancies between the expectation lists and the pre-planned training design. The trainer may say something like this if appropriate: In the beat of all worlds every training design is based on a comprehensive needs assessment of the local situation. This was not possible in our case because the training was designed state-aide. Though it will be impossible to redesign the entire training program, every attempt will be made to address your concerns during the course of the program. We will use the daily evaluation session and your informal feedback as a way of checking to see that we are meeting your training needs. Since this is your training program, it is our hope that you will both enjoy and learn from it. Finally, the training program ground rules (i.e., punctuality, preparation, etc.) are outlined and agreed upon. Trainer’s notes: The reason for listing expectations is two-fold: first to help the participants realize that the training includes the things that they feel they need to know, and second, to include the participants in the training process. This latter point can be recalled during the third part of the andragogy lecturette (that training is learner centered). If the trainer has done an extensive local needs assessment with the participants prior to the training or if the participants all know each other well, the first two activities might be done in a shortened manner (perhaps only a brainstorm).

Materials: newsprint, markers, tape, training design and objectives handouts

c. Brainstorm 20 minutes

The group brainstorms differences and similarities between the U.S. and host country systems of education.

Before looking at teacher training, let’s first look at some of the differences and similarities between the system we were raised in, and the one we are now working in. The trainer then tapes up a large newsprint comparative education chart. As the group offers responses to each of the points, the trainer fills in the chart, taken from page 5 of the Reference Manual.

Trainer’s notes: While one trainer is writing the brainstorm responses up front, the other is completing a similar chart in the back of the room. This way each of the small groups will have its own chart.

Materials: two comparative education wall charts, markers, tape

d. Small groups 25 minutes

When the chart is completed, the participants divide into two groups, each one with a trainer, to discuss the implications of these differences for the Peace Corps Volunteer teacher trainer. Questions the trainer might use to spark the discussion include: - Think of a time when have you been especially frustrated by the educational system you are working in. Why were you frustrated and how did you resolve the situation? - You are opposed to the Baccalaureate (0-A Level) examination system the educational system is based upon. Now do you handle this personal bias when you are discussing curriculum and student assessment with your teachers? - Is the role of the PCV as a teacher trainer to introduce teachers to new and innovative ways of doing things, or to train then to do well what the Ministry of Education mandates, regardless of one’s own personal opinion of that mandate? The groups do not regather, but instead go directly into the break. Trainer’s notes: The group discussion here can be very sensitive and must be carefully done, for one is dealing with the biases and assumptions that we, as expatriates, bring into a foreign situation. It is

important to push the Volunteers, yet remain supportive and gentle in any critique. This discussion is meant more to stimulate personal reflection of the trainees’ styles and/or values systems. than to change their behavior. If there are host country nationals present, they can help clarify or correct assumptions made by the Volunteers.

Materials: charts from the brainstorm session, tape



A Comparative Analysis of Two Education Systems


United States

Host Country

Curriculum Development

Curriculum Content

Administrative Structure

Educational Ladder/StructureEvaluation

- Student Assessment

- Student Advancement

grade to grade primary

to secondaryAccess to EducationRole of Language

- National/Official

- Mother Tongue, First, SecondMaterial Resources

available co Teachers/

StudentsClassroom Environment

- Style of presentation

- Physical set-up/variety

- Approach to discipline

- Number of students



GOAL: The goal of this training program is to enhance the skills and knowledge of Peace Corps Volunteers serving as Teacher trainers.

OBJECTIVES: By the end of the training program the participants will be able to:

- Effectively use Teacher Training: A Reference Manual.
- Discuss the implications of adult learning theory for teacher training.
- Design an in-service teacher training program.
- Demonstrate the use of variety of training techniques.
- Discuss how they will incorporate sessions of this training program into their own work as teacher trainers.
-Identify strategies for forming collaborative networks.


A training design for teacher trainers