Facilitating ICT-Pedagogy Integration
Through the support of the Korean Funds-in-Trust (KFIT), UNESCO Bangkok has been implementing the “Supporting Competency-Based Teacher Training Reforms to Facilitate ICT-Pedagogy Integration” Project (KFIT-II Project) from September 2013 to August 2017. The project aims to support Member States in developing and operationalizing ICT competencies for teachers that are clearly aligned with their respective policy vision, goals, and ICT in Education Master Plans. These national standards would guide the development of a comprehensive roadmap that promotes competency-based teacher ICT training programmes where teachers’ development is systematically guided, monitored, assessed, and tracked at policy and institutional levels.
In line with this, UNESCO Bangkok gathered four exemplary country cases that took different journeys in developing and implementing their respective ICT competencies for teachers. The resulting publication, Diverse Approaches to Developing and Implementing Competency-based ICT Training for Teachers: A Case Study vol 1, provides step-by-step references for countries or organisations who wish to develop and implement relevant competency-based teacher training and development within their respective contexts.
Based on the findings and tools from the individual case studies, UNESCO Bangkok developed a set of generic tools and training modules to form the Guideline for Competency-based Teacher Training Reform to Facilitate ICT-Pedagogy Integration. These were used in capacitating three pilot countries (Nepal, Philippines, and Uzbekistan) in defining national ICT competency standards and developing appropriate teacher training curricula. The Guideline will be available online later this year.
There is no doubt that teachers play a key role in successfully integrating ICT into education. However, more often than not, teachers’ actual use of ICT in the classroom is reported as incremental, merely reinforcing traditional teacher-centred approaches using slides and drill-and-practice exercises. Teachers’ use of ICT to innovate teaching is an exception rather than a norm. From the policy perspective, a study by the SRI Institute, Innovative Teaching and Learning: Findings and Implications, observed incremental changes in teaching practices to a disconnect between what the policy envisions and what actually happens in classrooms.
A close examination of lessons learned from past ICT in Education projects of UNESCO Bangkok revealed that the needs of the Asia Pacific region are associated with a lack of alignment and coordination between national ICT-in-education policy and actual teacher development on how to effectively use ICT to enhance pedagogy and student learning. Inappropriate tracking and monitoring of the teachers’ development and actual use/integration of ICT in the field has also been constantly raised in the region and beyond. This ultimately leads to low capacities among teachers to support ICT-in-education policies at the practice level.
The pilot countries will be sharing their experiences in developing and operationalizing their national ICT competency standards for teachers through the Diverse Approaches to Developing and Implementing Competency-based ICT Training for Teachers: A Case Study vol 2.
The project is also preparing for its end-of-project evaluation meeting that will bring together key project actors to take stock of overall project implementation, challenges, and achievements using objectively verifiable indicators and benchmarks. This will coincide with the launch of the next project phase that aims 1) to expand the implementation to other Member States, and 2) to continue the work being done in the three original pilot countries, focusing on competency assessment and recognition mechanisms as well as training of master teacher trainers on the competency-based training curricula.