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close this bookTeacher Training: a Training Guide (Peace Corps, 1986, 249 p.)
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View the documentTraining outline
View the documentTraining design
View the documentTraining goals and objectives

Training outline

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 raining 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 (EFL) methodology, to math and science education, 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 after class activities et 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 methodology is transmitted to remote areas all around the world.

Regardless of the context, this Training Guide is designed to help Peace Corps Volunteers be more effective teacher trainers. It will help them discover that training not only involves the transfer of technical knowledge, but is a stimulating and exciting experience as well.


Teacher Training: A Training Guide is designed to accompany Teacher Training: A Reference Manual. Each of the training sessions relates directly to sections of the Reference Manual. The Training Guide is e-ended to familiarize the Peace Corps teacher trainer with the content of the Reference Manual, and to learn ways of training others in that content.

The Training Guide consists of two major parts: an introduction and the training session designs. The introduction discusses various applications for the Training Guide and includes a set of trainer’s notes. Each of the training session designs includes an outline of the session, a session plan and attachments.

The Training Guide may be used in two different ways: 1) as a preservice or in-service training program for Peace Corps Volunteers who have been assigned to be teacher trainers, or 2) as a model for inservice training programs for Host Country teachers.

Training of Teacher Trainers

The Training of Teacher Trainers (pre-service or in-service) is designed as a six day, intensive program consisting of 17 sessions. The following is a schematic model of the program.

The sessions in the shaded boxes focus on the training of teacher trainers. The aim of these sessions is to train the Peace Corps Volunteer to be a more effective teacher trainer.

The sessions in the unshaded boxes focus on the theory and practical application of basic educational principles. The aim of these sessions is to train the Volunteer in these content areas.

A training design for teacher trainers

Training of Teachers

This Training Guide can also be used as a program for the training of host country teachers. The unshaded sessions above can be implemented as follows:

- An intensive three-day course (schematically outlined below),
- A six day program, or
- Weekly seminars held over a six week period.

However implemented, the aim of the program is to upgrade a teacher’s understanding and practical application of basic educational theory.

Training of Teacher

Volunteers serving as teacher trainers should use this program as a guide, which can be easily adapted to meet specific needs and situations. First, if the teachers to be trained know little about the content area being presented, the Volunteer should use the sessions outlined here as a model which may be expanded. For instance, Instead of doing Instructional Objectives in one and a half hours, expand it into a three-hour session: or conduct two or three short sessions on Approaches to Teaching or Classroom Teaching Techniques.

Second, Volunteers training host country teachers will need to design their own introductory/ expectations session and evaluations. The sessions in the Training Guide are specifically designed for training Peace Corps Volunteers to be teacher trainers.


Training design

The Training Guide is based on several assumptions. First, the Training of Teacher Trainers program has been designed and written for a homogeneous audience; Peace Corps Volunteers, all of whom have had experience as teachers. You as the trainer will have to make adjustments in both individual sessions and the training design if:

- Host country nationals are present.
- Pre-service and in-service Volunteers are both present.
- Volunteers who are conducting formal and informal teacher training programs are both present.
- The group is larger or smaller than the 16 to 24 participants for which this program is designed.

Second, as the training program is based on Teacher Training: A Reference Manual, it is assumed that every participant will have a copy of the Reference Manual with him/her at the training.

Third, because the training program is designed to be used wherever Peace Corps Volunteers are serving as teacher trainers, it is important that it be adapted. You should use culturally relevant examples whenever possible, and consider the materials listed in each session as recommendations. You will obviously be restricted to whatever supplies are available, so be creative.

Fourth, the program is intensive and designed to be implemented by a minimum of two trainers; three trainers are recommended. Break times and meal times are not included in the program.

Finally, it is assumed that any training program will include opening and closing ceremonies, and recreational and evening events. These should be planned in-country by both the training participants and the program staff.

Training Techniques

To assist the trainer, each session is written in great detail. Notes on how each technique is presented in the context of this training program are provided. Further details on how to implement these techniques are outlined in Chapter 1 of the Reference Manual under Training Techniques. Certain techniques which are used more frequently than others are highlighted below.

Lecturettes: Some sessions contain short lecture-style presentations of key content points. Recommendations for what the trainer should say directly to the participants are provided in bold print; all directions and notes concerning what actually happens in the training session are in regular print. Do not feel bound to this. If you feel that the lecture notes do not fit your style, adapt them and say what feels most comfortable. However, be sure to cover each of the key content points that are presented in the original lecturette.

Small groups: Many of the activities are designed to be done in small groups. Be sure that the membership of these groups is constantly changing. This can be done in a variety of ways. The easiest is by counting off. If there should be four groups, the participants count off around the room from one to four, then all the number one’s are one group, the number two’s another, etc. Try to use a variety of ways to form your small groups, such as drawing names from a hat. The point to remember is that, because there are so many exercises using small group formations, using the same process to form groups each time can become tedious.

Brainstorming: Another method that is used frequently throughout this program is brainstorming. Brainstorming is a useful technique because it not only involves everyone in the group, but generates a variety of ideas and new ways of looking at an issue as well. When conducting a brainstorm session, remember:

- Ideas are accepted without question - there is no right or wrong.

- Individual responses are not discussed until the brainstorming session is complete, except for clarification.

- The trainer writes exactly what was stated, except when condensing very long responses. Responses should be recorded, not reinterpreted by the trainer.

You should also take care that the brainstorming session includes all the participants, not only the most vocal. One method of doing this is to first have each participant write several responses on a piece of paper. The trainer then goes around the room, having all the participants read what they wrote, encouraging additional, spontaneous responses.

Lastly, since this is a Training of Trainers program, it is crucial that you practice what you preach. Sessions must be well prepared and utilize a variety of techniques. Encourage the participants to step back and look at the program itself through daily formative evaluations. Be open and willing to have your training style or techniques evaluated.

What follows now are the individual training session plans. Training is an exciting and rewarding adventure. Enjoy the program!


Training goals and objectives

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 a 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.