Our Transformational Teacher Training programme was devised as part of the Ghana Education Service Operational Plan to Scale up Quality Kindergarten Education across Ghana, and Sabre is working as a key implementing partner. It has been piloted, implemented and evaluated and has attracted plaudits from a number of international agencies. Most recently we have embarked on a partnership with Opportunity Edufinance to take our teacher training methodology throughout their network of low-fee private schools in Ghana and beyond to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The Transformational Teacher Training programme consists of three key projects:
1. Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training
The Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training combines in-service and pre-service training:
In-service: trains practising teachers to break away from the entrenched rote-based ‘chalk and talk’ methodology. The training enables teachers to deliver the Ghana Education Service’s child-centred, active and play-based pedagogy that supports the development of the five C’s (Confidence, Communication, Cooperation, Curiosity, Concentration) as the foundation of 21st Century Skills early grade literacy, numeracy and creativity, as well as positive behaviour management. Practising teachers are trained in coaching and mentoring skills and supported to transform their classrooms into child centred environments called Model Practice Classrooms that showcase best practice in early years education.
Pre-service: focuses on improving the quality of practical teaching placements for Early Childhood Diploma student teachers. Student teachers carry out their practical placements in the network of Model Practice Classrooms, which are staffed by Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training trained teachers who are able to mentor the student teachers.
The Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training pilot ended in July 2015 and based on its success, Sabre secured funding to expand the training in the Central Region and replicate in the Western Region. In 2018 the project was awarded the UNESCO Hamden bin Rashid Al-Maktoum prize, which recognises programmes for their outstanding practice and performance in enhancing the effectiveness of teachers.
2. In-Service Teacher Training
This two year project draws on the core elements of the successful Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training, providing a condensed in-service version. The concise, less intensive course does not require student teachers to be on placement in the classrooms so it can be applied to any community in Ghana.
The first year focusses on equipping teachers with the skills and knowledge needed to transform their classroom teaching practice. In addition to training workshops, teachers receive individual coaching in their classrooms to support them in applying what they learn. Head teachers are sensitised prior to the start of the training and join teachers at every training workshop to ensure leadership support at the school management level. Ghana Education Service district officers gain the capacity to coach and mentor teachers during their regular monitoring visits. The second year of the project focusses on exit and sustainability to ensure that monitoring activities are embedded in Ghana Education Service procedures at the district level.
3. Newly Qualified Teacher Support Year
This is an evidence-based extension to the award winning Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training project. The project provides refresher training to support the newly qualified teachers who have been through our Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training. The project also trains head teachers, so they understand the new pedagogy and can better support the newly qualified teachers and enlist wider community support. Ghana Education Service district officers are sensitised to the pedagogy, bolstering management level support.
Training Manuals and Classroom Resource Packs
All classrooms receive a resource pack which includes key items such as culturally appropriate books, dolls, construction blocks and a full set of training manuals and classroom guides. These innovative guides and manuals have received high acclaim from government agencies and development partners. The manuals fully document the training content and provide teachers with week-by-week session plans, which are carefully tied back to the kindergarten curriculum, and include resource making guides to enable teachers to make classroom resources to bring activity-based learning into their classrooms. You can find out more about the training manuals in our blog.