This study describes a professional development program aimed at supporting para-teachers in an Indian educational NGO to adopt learner-centered approaches. Organizational factors inhibiting para-teacher learning were modified. A routine of lesson planning before, and reflection after daily enactment were introduced. This routine was supported through workshops, microteaching and coaching activities. Interviews and lesson plan reviews reflected what professional competencies were gained through the professional development experience. Interviews also helped to understand what role organizational changes played to help institutionalize the professional development activities. The study concluded that although para-teachers did not previously plan lessons, they had acquired the knowledge and skills for well-structured learner-centered oriented lesson planning. As compared to the pre-professional development time, when enactment was ill-structured and rote-based, a shift towards better-structured and learner-centered orientation was apparent. Para-teachers felt confident; felt able to plan work efficiently towards creating time for lesson-preparation; and experienced greater capacity to support their own learning and collaborate with peers. Organizational changes demonstrated that the management was supportive of the para-teacher concerns. Head Supervisors of para-teachers, as new coaches within modified organizational conditions, reported that their learning about how to coach improved with experience, which shows that their learning grew alongside para-teacher learning.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Asia-Pacific education researcher|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|