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What most impacts students learning?

Educational staff and teachers returned to School on January 22 for a week of professional development and teaching improvement.

For the past three years, School of the Nations has focused professional development on research-based assessment practices, student feedback, the use of rubrics, and effective instructional strategies.

January 22 marked the opening of Pedagogical Week. Teachers and the educational team returned to School to engage in professional development aimed at expanding their repertoire of effective instructional strategies.

Instructional Strategies

For the third year, we welcomed international educational consultant, Ms. Bambi Betts, to work with the pedagogical team from January 23-25. Ms. Betts, the Director of the Principals’ Training Center and Teacher Training Center, shared information about instructional strategies and gave feedback on our planning for teaching and learning.

On Tuesday, January 23, School staff met in the auditorium for a presentation discussing theories on learning strategies and their effectiveness. Teachers answered the following questions:

• What have we learned from research and the sciences about how children learn?

• What are the implications of this on how we teach?

Ms. Betts then defined learning and discussed some of the latest brain research, myths and truths about how children learn, and the implications these have on effective learning experiences. Key factors that determine how effective a learning experience is include:

• how well teachers know their students as learners;

• how well teachers know their curriculum;

• how well teachers know pedagogy, and;

• how well teachers know how to assess.

Ms. Bambi Betts then met separately with teachers from Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary. Teachers practiced matching their learning goals with practical, effective teaching strategies. Examples:

According to Teaching and Learning Coordinator, Dr. Ana Maria Duque, Ms. Betts’ workshops bring many rich, concrete examples and research-based methods that teachers can use to improve their lessons and student learning.

“During each session, teachers revised one of their lesson plans by applying what they learned. They evaluated their teaching strategies and identified where they could improve,” added Dr. Duque.

Based on Ms. Betts’ feedback, teachers revised their pedagogical plans for upcoming quarters. We will continue to work on these strategies throughout the school year.

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