Teaching beyond the 3Rs: Highlights from ICET 2019

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It is all hands on deck in achieving sustainable development goals in education for all learners locally and globally. The annual International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) conference took place last month. The three-day conference was organized by the University of Johannesburg with the aim of sharing relevant ideas and findings and fostering interactive dialogues to improve teacher education.

Participants presented papers and engaged in workshops around the theme of “reconceptualising Teacher Education for the 4th Industrial Revolution and Knowledge Democracy”. These participants included several T-TEL colleagues who shared progress on teacher education in Ghana. Akwasi Addae-Boahene (T-TEL Chief Technical Advisor and Policy Advisor to the National Education Reform Secretariat of the Ministry of Education) discussed the role of political will and national endorsement in the success of changing Ghana’s teacher education system, Eric Ananga (Advisor - Curriculum Reform) presented on the participatory approach to crafting the curriculum with Beatrice Noble Rogers (Consultant Curriculum Reform) and on Ghana’s inclusive education policy with Marjorie Tackie (Gender and Inclusion Coordinator).

Three key points taken from the conference:

  • Integrating ICT into learning processes requires support for tutors and teachers to develop clear understanding of how to use ICT in learner-centred approach.
  • Creating spaces through regular school-based workshops and seminars, like the professional development sessions delivered across Ghana’s public colleges of education, helps tutors and teachers to give advice, assess opinions, and initiate and share ideas which would help them to be fully functional in the classroom.
  • There is a positive relationship between student participation in the classroom and achievements. As such, gender and inclusion training play a crucial role in sensitising teachers on how to ensure shy and less confident students can be encouraged and included in classroom participation. And this participation can have an impact on learning outcomes.

Wrapping up, there were many key speakers and intellectual conversations which gave room to reflect and focus on how the fourth industrial revolution is transforming our world and how education curricula need to reflect this so learners are ready with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to navigate their careers in this brave new world.

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