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(PRESS RELEASE) – There is a new movement in the region with professional development (PD) for educators surrounding a newly released and widely endorsed model of PD with associated products.
The Education Development Management Unit (EDMU) of the OECS Commission in collaboration with OECS Ministries of Education (MoEs) have renewed the approach to teacher professional development (PD) by enabling teachers to reach their maximum potential, thereby creating an optimal learning environment for students.
This new model, created to change the face of professional development in the region with teachers and teacher educators at the forefront, has received wide endorsement by the Council of Ministers of Education in the OECS, the Caribbean Union of Teachers and the Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education.
The new, teacher-centered professional development approach is evidence-based, embracing the notion that teachers have great expertise and competencies that can contribute to the professional development movement within the OECS. This model is expected to be applied sector-wide, for teachers and teacher educators, at any education level from early childhood to tertiary level educators and is in keeping with the OECS Education Sector Strategy.
Since the adoption of this PD approach in February 2019, there has been a shift in PD with the establishment of Professional Learning Communities (PLC), as is the case in St. Kitts and Nevis where over 500 professional learning activities were undertaken in 2019.
The model includes four critical components that empower teachers to engage in a range of PD that enables them to grow and hone their craft with the end goal of improving and increasing student learning. The four components of the Model equally contribute to its successful implementation and include:
1. Competency based Professional Development,
2. Personalized Professional Development,
3. Anytime, Anywhere professional development and,
4. Teacher-led Professional Development.
Associated with the model are several documents, essential for its successful implementation, inclusive of an Implementation guide, a PD Magazine and a PD Manual which delineates how to conduct PD. These documents have been distributed to OECS ministries and relevant schools within the OECS and are expected to elicit several plans and activities to improve performance of teachers, teacher educators and student teachers at teacher colleges. The development of the model and the requisite documents form the fundamental building blocks to the licencing of teachers and teacher educators within the region in the future.
The Early Learners Programme is placing emphasis on this professional development approach as it has been proven in research across the world that the quality of instruction has an impact on student performance.
Congratulations to all the OECS educators and Ministries of Education on embracing this grounding breaking initiative!