Innovation for Outstanding Schools: Teacher Development in Loco

Hi Everyone!

 

Spring begins in September – nature’s renovation season – perfect to start projects and put new ideas forth.

 

I expect to stir debate in the 1o Fórum de Profissionalização Docente, at Universidade Estadual de Londrina (Sept. 29th-30th), after presenting an innovative approach to teacher development.

 

Formação continuada refers to formal education, resulting in certificate, master or doctoral degrees. Educação continuada is directed to public school teachers. PUC-SP offers Programa de Formação Continuada para Professores de Inglês (Celani e Collins, 2009[1]); UFMG is responsible for EDUCONLE (Dutra e Mello, 2013[2]) and UFV hosts PECPLI (Barcelos e Coelho, 2010[3]). Participation depends on teachers‘ innitiative and on passing selection processeses. Joining requires financial resources to pay for formal education in private universities and on the availability of the limited spaces. Teachers have to dislocate themselves to the universities and to give up teaching to take master or doctoral programs or even their hollidays in specialization programs. Continued education programs usually happen on Saturdays and are rarely attended by teachers who teach far from the city where these programs are offered. Thus, there are limitations.

 

Teacher Professional Development Programs (TPDPs) represent an innovation offered by outstanding schools to their most important asset – their teachers. Conducted by experts in Applied Linguistics with extensive experience in language teaching, TPDPs follow instructional coaching principles (Cunha 2014[4]).

 

Far from the individual goal of getting a degree in formal education and from the linguistic and pedagogical goals of continued education programs, TPDPs’ goal is to professionalize teachers. Starting from classroom experiences, problems are selected and addressed by the school’s foreign language teachers assisted by an instructional coach. Fostering reflection and integrating theory when needed, TPDPs integrate teachers‘ actions and promote intervention to improve the teaching and learning of all students – those who face difficulties, those who don‘t and those with superior performance.

 

TPDPs are an innovation financed by institutions that want to offer real learning opportunities to students, freeing parents from paying out-of-school foreign language courses. Since TPDPs happen at school, they foster teachers‘ institutional commitment and higher teaching and learning results.

 

Continues next month. Cheers,

 

Laura

 


[1] CELANI, M. A. A. ; COLLINS, H. Formação contínua de professores em contexto presencial e a distância: respondendo aos desafios. In: BARBARA, L.; RAMOS, R. de C. G. (Org.). Reflexão e ações no ensino-aprendizagem de línguas. 2. ed. Campinas, SP: Mercado de Letras, 2009. p. 55-82.

[2] DUTRA, D. P.; MELLO, H.R. (Org.). Educação continuada: diálogos entre ensino, pesquisa e extensão. 1. ed. Campinas / Belo Horizonte: Pontes / Faculdade de Letras, 2013.

[3] BARCELOS, A. M. F.; COELHO, H. S. H. (Org.). Emoções, reflexões e (trans)form(ações) de alunos, professores e formadores de professores de línguas. Campinas: Pontes, 2010.

[4] CUNHA, A. G. Coaching instrucional: Uma experiência promissora para a formação continuada em serviço de professores de línguas estrangeiras. 2014. Tese de Doutorado em Linguística Aplicada. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Estudos Linguísticos: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2014.

Laura Miccoli

Laura Miccoli is a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a researcher, consultant, and founder of Transforma Educacional – a social business to develop teachers professionally. She has authored “Ensino e Aprendizagem de Inglês: experiências, desafios e possibilidades” and “Aproximando Teoria e Prática para Professores de Línguas Estrangeiras”.

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