Innovative Approaches in Teacher Professional Development
Manuela Kelly Calzini, Elizabeth Lawson
BCELT - Trinity College London, Italian Co-ordinator
There have been significant changes in the teaching-learning process over the last several years. Teachers have moved from the role of “dispensers of knowledge” to ”transformative practitioners”. This shift has provided students with the opportunity to take a more active role in their own learning and allowed them to foster competencies which employers are looking for in today’s workforce. Teacher training in the 21st century needs to encourage the development of skills and characteristics that help teachers become reflective practitioners and effective facilitators, in order to better meet the needs of their students. At the heart of Trinity College London’s work is the support it provides for teachers, both in terms of specific support for teachers preparing candidates for their exams, and more general teacher development. This paper will focus on Trinity’s commitment to providing both online and blended professional development training to support teachers’ needs through our local Italian Moodle platform (https://bcelt.trinitycollege.it/). This paper begins with a brief overview of our online teacher training experience and the changes that have occurred over almost a decade in our profession as instructional designers and teacher trainers. The discussion then turns to the professional development courses (designed in keeping with MIUR guidelines and EU education policies) delivered on Moodle and that explore innovative approaches to teaching and assessing English as a foreign language. The paper will also seek to offer some insights into how our support programme continues to adapt to the style and needs of our community of teachers.
Keywords: Blended learning, collaborative community, building shared knowledge, professional development, transformative practitioners.
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