Vocational school in the lead in Turkey
A vocational school in Turkey is leading the way in professional development for teachers. This autumn, Ҫetin Altan Vocational School in Izmir Province, Turkey, has hosted two week-long workshops for some 130 vocational teachers from the surrounding province. They were there to learn the theory and practice of using digital teaching methods using a learning management system called Sakai. After a brief introduction to the theory and techniques, mixed groups of teachers were challenged to design and build their first digital lesson. “This hands-on approach encourages teachers to support one another and make use of what they learn” said trainer Yasin Özarslan, Associate Professor of Media Technology at Yasar University. The training addresses one of Turkey’s educational priorities – up-skilling teachers to use new learning technologies effectively inside and outside the classroom. At the same time, this project offers a model for good practice in professional development. “The problem in the past was that teacher training was not designed to bring about real change in the way teachers taught”, said Tamer Bilgiç , principal of Ҫetin Altan Vocational School. “That’s why I agreed to let one of my teachers spend one day a week visiting teachers who have attended the training to mentor them and help them apply the new skills in their own schools.” The school cooperates with Izmir’s Yasar University to share expertise and experience in delivering and designing training. It is also working closely with the local department of the Ministry of Education, which has allowed teachers from across the province to follow the course and obtain a certificate for their participation. The Provincial office of Turkey’s EBA project, which supports the take up of educational technology all over the country, is another partner in the initiative. “The project is supporting the creation of digital materials that are being shared with teachers all over the province”, said Hulya Mahmutoglu, Manager of EBA in Izmir. The project is being supported by the ETF as one of 14 demonstration projects across South Eastern Europe and Turkey. The projects aim to show how in practice professional development can directly address teachers’ needs and how teachers can be supported, locally, to put new skills into practice in the classroom.
To read more in Turkish: http://www.vet-lms.com/