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Ten fields recognised as high priority topics in primary level basic teacher training in Geneva

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The following ten competencies are not meant to encompass the whole subject of teachers' work. They rather strive to lay a particular emphasis on the role of trainers and teachers within the renovation of primary schooling curricula, esp. as regards the initial training of future teachers. From each of the following fields a number of possible courses or seminars are proposed that expand both on specific contents and trans-disciplinary work.

General format of the following document:
Number Reference knowledge
- additional competencies to be worked on during professional development efforts

1 To organise/animate learning environments

  • to know, in a given field, what contents are to be transmitted and how they should be communicated as learning objectives;
  • to work by taking pupils' representation into account;
  • to teach by taking errors and hindrances to learning into account;
  • to build and plan didactic sequences and settings;
  • to involve pupils in research and knowledge acquisition projects.

2 Managing the process of learning

  • to conceive and manage task-oriented activities that are adapted to pupils' level and possibilities;
  • to acquire a longitudinal vision of the objectives of primary level education;
  • to establish the necessary links between learning activities and their underlying theoretical background;
  • to observe and evaluate pupils in their learning process by using a constructionist approach (evaluation formative);
  • to write regular reports on learners' progress and to take appropriate steps for their ensuing work.

3 Setting up and managing differentiated environments

  • to integrate heterogeneity in the classroom;
  • to de-compartmentalise the classroom and open it towards the exterior world;
  • to practice selective support and work with specifically hindered pupils;
  • to develop co-operative learning as well as peer-learning.

4 To implicate pupils with their work and learning

  • to sustain the desire to learn, to show the relation between school work and knowledge clear and to develop pupils' self-assessment efforts;
  • to establish and manage a pupils' council (classroom- or school-based) and to negotiate with the pupils various regulations and contracts;
  • to encourage the definition of a learner-centred project.

5 Group work

  • to establish team projects based on common representations;
  • to manage a task-oriented team, to pilot meetings;
  • to create and restore a pedagogical team;
  • to tackle and analyse complex settings such as those found in practice in professional situations within the social environment of the classroom;
  • to be able to manage conflictual situations or crises between persons.

6 Participating in the management of the school

  • to design and implement a school project (projet d'établissenment);
  • to manage school's resources;
  • to lead and co-ordinate school's efforts with its partners in society (the district, outside resources, parents' associations, language teachers and outside cultural actors);
  • to organise and encourage pupils' participation to the life of the school.

7 To inform and implicate parents

  • to lead information meetings and debates;
  • to manage private meetings;
  • to involve parents in the support and appraisement of pupils' knowledge building.

8 Using new technologies

  • to use word processors;
  • to take advantage of the didactic potential of software within a learning process and a pedagogical project;
  • to use telematics for distance communication efforts;
  • to use multimedia application in teaching.

9 Tackling the constraints and ethical issues of teaching

  • to prevent violent behaviour inside and outside of school;
  • to fight and prevent all discrimination whether sexual, ethical, religious or racial;
  • to take part in the establishment of rules for the social workings of the school (discipline, penalties, assessing behaviour);
  • to be able to analyse the pedagogic relationship, authority and communication in the classroom;
  • to develop a sense of responsibility, solidarity and justice.

10 Taking upon oneself one's professional development

  • to have clear and explicit rules of conduct in one's professional practice and learning needs;
  • to assess oneself and one's competencies and to build a program to one's needs in continuing education;
  • to negotiate common training activities with colleagues in the school, in a network or in a specific field;
  • to be engaged on profession-related tasks within the school level community or in the whole educational sector;
  • to house or participate in the training efforts of fellow teachers.


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