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Creation of Continuous Professional Development Programme for Educators

The Institute for Education within the Ministry of Education and Employment in collaboration with the Centre for Intercultural Studies of the University of Verona and ERE Group of IACM/FORTH is leading an EU funded Erasmus+ Project entitled Creation of Continuous Professional Development for Educators.


The aim of this project is to harness and adapt the experiences gained from all the project partners in setting up and running a dedicated continuous professional development programme for educators in Malta. This is being developed on the input and experiences of transnational partners and experts as well as an evaluation methodology that will assist in assessing the impact and effectiveness of the training being provided. The results will be shared locally and with the project partners initially, and then publicized for adoption and more widespread European use.


In view of this, two days of professional development in Leading and Teaching for Equity, a learning programme developed by the three partners has been organised on the 26th and 27th October 2016 for all Maltese College Principals, Heads of Schools and Assistant Heads at St Clare College Pembroke Secondary and at the National Sports school in Pembroke. 


The professional development consisted of the following sessions delivered by the foreign partners:


a)   Multiculturalism and Interculturalism: issues of racism, cultures, religions and languages by Prof Agostino Portera and Dr Marta Milani from the Centre for Intercultural Studies of the University of Verona.


b)  Parental Involvement and teachers coping with change and teachers’ skills upgrading by Dr Kathy Kikis-Papadakis’ team, Dr Nelly Guet, International Consultant and Ms Eszter Salamon, President of the European Parents’ Association.



The participants were exposed to the particular issues such as children’s rights, decision making in an autonomous school and inclusion of migrants. Consequently they discussed and reflected on their own authentic situations, identifying the challenges  and enablers which were most of the time not only common to  the different colleges and schools but also common to what is experienced by our foreign partners. 


Though the discussion cannot come to an end, professional development focusing on Leading and Teaching for Equity as part of the EU funded Erasmus+ project Creation of Continuous Professional Development for Educators will resume in March with the Primary, Middle and Secondary School teachers.​ 



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Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Lead partner: Institute for Education representing the Directorate for Quality and Standards
Partners:  1. FORTH  Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas
                  2. Universita’ Degli Studi di Verona

Aims of the Project
The aim of this project is to harness and adapt the experiences gained from all the project partners in setting up and running a dedicated continuous professional development programme for educators in Malta. This will be built on the input and experiences of transnational partners and experts as well as an evaluation methodology that will assist in assessing the impact and effectiveness of the training being provided. The results will be shared locally and with the project partners initially, and then publicized for adoption and more widespread European use.

Therefore, the purposes of this project are:
- To create and provide a formal Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Programme for educators built on shared European experiences and collaboration that will be consisting of the formulation and preparation of modules for educators in today's day and age. This will target college principals, heads of schools, assistant heads of schools and teachers;

- To share the lessons and knowledge gained from conducting both this experience and the project results among the Maltese educational community in general,  with the European partners taking part within this project as well as other educational systems wishing to conduct a similar experiment.

- To conduct a longitudinal study to gauge and improve the CPD initatives provided to teachers by looking at the impact this preparation has on the teachers themselves and on the performance of a cohort of young students. This entails gathering the results of the longitudinal study of these young students, as well as feedback from the courses to create educational resources, and extend and revise the CPD programme through studying and examining the possible outcomes based on the data collected. The evaluation methodology together with the outcomes of the study itself will be made available to other countries wishing to gauge the effectiveness of their CPD initiatives on educators and students, the system will be open to improvements and enhancements as its usage increases.   

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Project Outcome
The collaboration between the obove mentioned partners, resulted in the creation of an accredited Award 'Leading and Teaching for Equity' 6 ECTS at MQF 7. The aim of this course is to help school leaders and teachers reflect on their own practice and to help them realize that the intrinsic and extrinsic aims of education, (i.e. both individual growth and social growth), need to be taken care of and be intertwined. For furtehr information one can access the course outline here.

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Workshops with College Principals, Senior Management teams and teachers from primary and Secondary schools were conducted on the themes developed in the course.
   
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​Two seperate Maltese contingent consisting of Heads and Assistant Heads of Schools, visited Greece, Crete and Athens as part of this project. 
The first Maltese contingent consisting of 13 Heads of School and 2 Assistant Heads were selected to go on the short-term joint staff training event during which participants visited schools in Greece. they had the opportunity to meet and share ideas with other local educators. The group was very motivated and dynamic and included 4 participants from Gozo. 
The second Maltese contingent consisting of 7 Heads of School and 7 Assistant Heads were selected. During this visit, participants were able to visited both Athens and Crete. The group included 2 participants from Gozo. 

Following the event there was a follow up feedback meeting. The feedback gathered clearly showed that the event as put together by our Greek partners was a great success. Some of the points mentioned included:


Networking – the opportunity to discuss and communicate with heads of schools was a very positive point as it gave us the opportunity to understand each other and learn from each other. The fact that one is away from home and normal day to day work helped very much. The fact that heads were also from different colleges was also very positive. One of the heads who was still very new found that the experience was enriching from the point of view that it allowed her to create a mentoring circle.

  • The experience was eye opening as it allowed them to better appreciate the resources, the staff and the dedication at our disposal. It gave them the possibility to reflect on the opportunities that they already have. On the other hand it led them to reflect on how to use the resources they have to provide a better experience to both  teachers and students.
  • The distance away from personal pressures and the school was very positive as it allowed heads to detach from the daily responsibilities. The time factor was also very influential to this.
  • The school visits and the opportunity to meet other teachers was a great one. It made them realise that they are not the only ones facing the problems that we have in schools. It is comforting to know that we have common challenges.  ​

Visit to Greece

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Visit to Crete and Athens

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Partner countries members visiting Malta

The Greek and Italian partners had the opportunity to send a number of educators to visit schools in Malta and Gozo and the Migrant Learners' unit in Naxxar. They also had workshops on multiculturalism, student engagement and induction of newly qualified teachers. 


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The Multiplier Event

An international conference has been organised with the intent to bring together educators from all levels, both formal and non-formal settings, to share ideas and possibilities as well as to explore challenges related to the implementation of equity and inclusion in schools. Further information regarding the conference can be found here​.

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The Compendium of Good Practices

 This tool was developed through the project and is a compilation of practices that are real life situations which can be used to create discussion among educators. There is certainly more than one right way to tackle each situation depending on the variables that accompany it but the fact that these are discussed in a forum will give the insight required to deal with such a situation when and if it crops up. These discussions can be the beginning of a community of learning that analyses, reflects and thinks critically. A copy of such good practices can be accessed here.


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