The importance of teachers’ professional development cannot be over-emphasized. As the teachers help navigate the uncertain future of Generation Alpha, they need to be urgently provided with the right tools to continuously upskill themselves with new age pedagogies and digital tools to make teaching-learning effective.
We conducted a survey with 50 principals across the country. Based on the survey, we observed the following five new trends expected in 2022:
- Schools prefer online training - This is because it increases collaboration amongst the teachers. Participants can be from different locations across the world. This also builds a sense of community and learning from their peers.
- Affording ex-pat trainers - While principals are open to ex-pat trainers, they do think Indian master trainers are equally equipped to share best practices. World-class facilitators from across the country can work with teachers in other parts of the country. This was earlier a very expensive proposition as they would have to travel. With the boundaries demolished, now this has become affordable.
- Customized training schedule - Instead of training for the whole day, the session can be broken into modules of two hours or three hours each. Thus, there will be no training fatigue. Further, training is preferred on the weekends instead of the weekdays.
- Integration of NEP - Most of the principals showed their interest in adopting the NEP implementation toolkit with training for school teachers.
- Reputation matters - Teachers prefer doing certification courses from reputed organizations instead of unknown names.
Historically, schools believed that offline training was the only way to conduct professional development programs. But the pandemic brought about a paradigm shift in this thinking. Not only was there an urgent need to do training in new age practices, but also the chosen mode of delivery was online. Going by this route, the cost of training will also come down significantly making it affordable and thereby more accessible to a large number of people.
While nothing can replace the face-to-face experience, there are nearly 10 million teachers in different parts of the country. The only way to make professional development opportunities accessible, personalized, continuous, and bespoke is by adopting technology. Just as the future of schools is hybrid, so is the future of teacher professional development.
- By Surabhi Goel, CEO, Aditya Birla Education Academy