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close this bookTeacher Training: a Reference Manual (Peace Corps, 1986, 176 p.)
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View the documentPeace corps and teacher training
View the documentFormat of the teacher training reference manual
View the documentUses of the manual

Peace corps and teacher training

The first of Peace Corps's three stated goals is "to help developing countries meet their needs for trained manpower. Analogous to this goal is the ancient proverb (and commonly-cited Peace Corps philosophy):

If you give people fish, they will eat for a day; if you teach them how to fish, they will eat for a lifetime.

Peace Corps teacher training aims to do just this -- in this case, to train enough local teachers to meet a country's teaching needs. This is an important first step in freeing countries from their reliance on Peace Corps and other expatriate teachers.

Currently, about 25 percent of Peace Corps Education Volunteers are involved in teacher training activities. These activities take many forms and occur all over the world. In the formal sector, Volunteers are working with national teacher training colleges, state universities and national ministries or agencies to train host country counterparts in a wide variety of subject areas. These areas range from English as a Foreign Language (EPL) methodology, to math and science education, to physical education, special education and primary education.

In the informal sector, Volunteers are organizing and designing their own teacher training programs. Whether these programs are set up as after class activities at the Volunteer's school, as quarterly training workshops in rural village cluster areas, or as an integrated part of the school's teaching routine, the result is that information and innovative methodologies are transmitted to remote areas all around the world.

Format of the teacher training reference manual

This Teacher Training Reference Manual is designed to help Volunteers to carry out their assignments by supplying a useful and accessible resource for those involved in teacher training. The Manual is designed to be used with the Teacher Training Guide that accompanies it. The Teacher Training Manual provides the Volunteer with a source of detailed information while the Teacher Training Guide gives the Volunteer a model for how the information can be applied to an actual training program (see the Introduction to the Training Guide for a more detailed description of the levels of training addressed).

The Teacher Training Reference Manual consists of three major parts: an introduction, three content chapters, and an appendix. The first, this Introduction to the Manual, gives the Peace Corps Volunteer an idea of why teacher training is an important development strategy and discusses the different ways in which this manual can be used.

Chapter 1, What a Teacher Trainer Needs to Know, prepares the Peace Corps Volunteer for his/her role as a trainer of teachers by discussing:

° Differences between the educational system of their host country and that of the United States

° The whys and hows of conducting a needs assessment

° Adult learning styles

° Steps and considerations in designing training programs for teachers

° Training techniques

° Supervision and observation techniques

° Final Considerations

Chapter 2, What a Teacher Needs to Know, is meant to guide any teacher through some of the important aspects of teaching that affect both how the teacher prepares to teach (before class) and how he/she actually conducts a class (in class). These aspects include:

° Models of teaching

° Child and adolescent learning

° Instructional objectives

° Lesson and unit planning

° Classroom teaching techniques

° Materials development and resource utilization

° Classroom management ° Student assessment

° Self-evaluation and improvement

This chapter is designed to be used either:

- as refresher material for Volunteers who need a quick reminder of the issues involved in effective teaching, or

- as content reference material for actual teacher training sessions.

The third chapter of the Manual: Collaboration, discusses support and networking issues that are important for the host country teacher, the teacher trainer, and also the Peace Corps Volunteer teacher. These include:

° Formal and informal channels to tap human and material resources,

° Specific collaborations skills:

- Organization
- Communication Feedback and critiquing
- Working in groups
- Networking

Each chapter and section of the Manual presents theoretical and practical information for the trainer or teacher to consider. This information is followed by an ACTIVITY BOX that is designed to help the trainer or teacher trainee apply the ideas presented in the section. In some cases this involves reflection or application of ideas presented, in other cases it addresses adaptation of those ideas to the cultural context in which the trainer/teacher finds him/herself. In general, this format is meant to help the reader apply and adapt the generic information presented in this Manual to their specific situation. The second chapter contains boxes that highlight points For the Teacher Trainer to note. Since the information provided is often brief and merely an overview of a given topic, References have been provided at the end of most sections for the individual who would like a more detailed presentation of a given topic.

The Appendix contains a collection of full-sized forms (Observation charts, Lesson Plan formats, etc.) that the trainer can distribute to teachers during a training session or use him herself. Also included is a List of Charts and Illustrations that can be found throughout the Manual.

Uses of the manual

This Manual is designed to be used with the Teacher Training Guide in the following ways:

° First, it is a reference to be used in pre-service or in-service training programs for Peace Corps Volunteers who are assigned to be teacher trainers. In this context, chapters 1 and 2 of this manual will be used to introduce:

a. the training skills Peace Corps Volunteers need in order to design and implement effective teacher training programs, and

b. the teaching skills and information they need to transmit to the host country teachers they will train.

° Second, it is a resource manual for the Peace Corps Volunteer to use when training host country teachers. Chapter 2 serves as a source of information and handouts for his/her teacher training sessions, while chapter 1 is on hand to remind the Volunteer of what the trainer needs to know.

When using this Manual to train Volunteers as teacher trainers, emphasis should be placed on the cross-cultural considerations in adapting information to the Volunteers' host country. Differences in

U.S. and host country educational systems and between teaching children and training adult teachers should also be stressed.

Volunteers working in formal teacher training institutions may find the theoretical sections particularly useful as supplementary background information for their institution's present teacher training curriculum. Volunteers providing more informal peer training workshops may choose to focus on more practical, in-class applications. Whatever the context, the teacher trainer should feel free to adapt and reorder the information included in this manual to conform to the cultural and educational context of his/her country of assignment.