British Council MENA is sharing a series of recorded webinars under the 'Strengthening teacher networks' initiative aiming at providing opportunities for teachers around MENA to develop professionally through different resources and ideas, ultimately helping learners reach their full potentials by becoming more confident in the remote delivery environment.

Our series of videos

Key features of a successful CoP

In this first video, teachers from different organisations around MENA started their journey with learning how CoPs work and how they can benefit from them. They listened to and interacted with their peers, engaged in open discussions and identified many communications platform that will be helpful for their CoPs.

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Do you think only asynchronous platforms can be used for hosting CoPs?

In this video teachers learnt about the pros and cons of using asynchronous platforms in a roleplay context; which is more convenient and affordable? They also unlocked secret locations on Edmodo platform as they went – virtually – on an Edmodo treasure hunt. And by learning the ‘4 principles of adult learning’ and the ‘learning pyramid’, they were able to differentiate between how adults and children learn. And at the end, through a listening activity exercise, they explored the adult learning theory.

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Reaching out to teachers

Have you thought of ways to encourage teachers to get involved in CoPs? In this session, participants learnt how to identify different practices to get teachers feel enthusiastic about joining CoPs. Building on this, they started by learning how to set up a CoP and explored ways to set expectations, roles and responsibilities for a successful one. They finally discussed the options to consider before creating WhatsApp or Edmodo for professional development.

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Key facilitation skills

‘Facilitation is the art, not of putting ideas into people’s heads, but of drawing ideas out.’ 

Many people use the terms training and facilitation for the same context, but are they different? Because understanding how to distinguish between them is quite important, in this session participants learn how to make this difference. They recognised the qualities of a good facilitator and highlighted the top 3 qualities to make a good one. Participants also explored and practiced a range of effective facilitation techniques and outlined how a good CoP meeting structure looks like. 

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Selecting professional development content

In this session, participants explored the Professional Practice Pathway (PPP)s and how they are structured. From personalisation to accommodating different levels of expertise, they identified the key features of good content for CoP meetings and how to select the content confidently.

They further consolidated their understanding of the facilitator’s role when it comes to selecting content and learned how the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework can help set goals for themselves and for teachers and how they can best support those teachers. Finally, they examined how to run a CoP meeting and move participants through various content.

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Encouraging application of learning

To what extent should we feel responsible for the success of CoPs? 
In this session, participants explore the need and tools for measuring the success of a CoP. They identified different types of data, quantitative and qualitative, so that they can better consider and suggest a suitable evaluation approach to assessing their CoP value (example: methodological triangulation approach). They were also introduced to the Wegner et al’s framework and its five-value creation matrix for assessing CoP value.

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Encouraging engagement

Going back a couple of sessions behind, this session started by reflecting on how children and adults learning differ. Open discussions between participants interestingly resulted in accentuating the fact that we all have the same questions and problems. Participants shared their observations on what motivates adult learners, discussing what the techniques for successful motivation are.

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Encouraging reflection

For teaching to succeed, reflection is a must. John Dewey was the first scholar to shed a light on the reflection practice, and in this session, participants are taking a closer look at the importance of reflection for adult learners, teams, CPD programmes and CoPs. 

Participants learnt about different reflective models and how they make the best use of remote delivery as an opportunity to develop reflection, along with tools and activities that can be used for reflection.

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