| Lyna Mohamad |
THE Brunei Darussalam Teachers Academy (BDTA) plays an important role in improving the standards of teachers’ professionalism in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. Its role is aligned to support the Ministry of Education (MoE) achieve its vision to develop a world-class education system through the implementation of the National Education System for the 21st Century (SPN21).
BDTA provides the opportunity for teachers to develop and refine their 21st Century skills for personal, professional and national development based on Brunei Vision 2035 in producing an educated and highly skilled nation.
The main principle of BDTA is professional learning community where teachers are able to engage in professional dialogue with each other either online or face-to-face, and collaborate as well as reflect with each other with regards to changing teaching practices and the impact they have on students’ learning.
According to one of BDTA’s professional teacher training coordinators, Dr Roslena binti PDIS Hj Johari, research has shown that on-going and job-embedded professional development of teachers are seen as having the greatest influence on student outcomes.
She further emphasised that this is part of the on-going professionalisation of teaching and in order to sustain teacher learning, teachers need to develop habits of critical inquiry into students’ learning.
Therefore, BDTA strives to empower teachers to lead their own continuous professional development based on their specific needs.
In providing quality continuous professional development programmes for teachers, Head of BDTA, Puan Hjh Aisah binti Hj Md Ali, invited a principal consultant from Imagine Education, Dr Baldev Singh, to work closely with BDTA.
The facilitator guided participants on exploring how the design of any training programmes offered by BDTA can be supported and accredited by a world class certification process which drives school improvement and creates systems of excellence.
The BDTA strategy is designed to ensure that any training has a direct impact in the classroom and makes a difference in learning and this requires the use of precise data to ensure the effectiveness of any intervention.
It aims to leverage international markers aligned to national needs such as National Numeracy and Literacy Initiative, to evaluate the impact of any training with two such measures – the Teacher Effectiveness Index (TEI) and the impact on learning Student Effectiveness Index (SEI).
At a higher level, BDTA is an integral part of MoE Grand initiatives aimed to support the strategic focus area of teaching and learning excellence, professionalism and accountability as well as efficiency and innovativeness.
Dr Baldev Singh has been working with the BDTA team to ensure that any strategy development takes into account key MoE projects/initiatives which are currently in progress such as Whole School ICT Development (WSID), Computing in Model Schools (CIMS), Brunei Teaching Standards (BTS), Interactive Technologies for teaching and learning and Media In-service Centre (MISC).
He is currently facilitating a series of workshops on designing learning experiences to support development of innovative teaching practices with new teachers.
One such workshop conducted was on “Whole School ICT Development”, which is hoped to enable teachers to embed new practices in their own contexts as well as to identify their own starting points and their continuous professional development needs.
The workshop is also beneficial to the teachers as they are made aware of the significant contribution of ICT in their teaching and learning.
Knowing when to use a particular technology for classroom activities such as collaboration or why use a certain technology for acquiring specific disciplinary knowledge is vastly important in order to have a powerful and positive impact on students’ learning.
With the design of this training based on E-Hijrah Whole School ICT Development (WSID) project, this series of training workshops are an indication of BDTA “joint-up professional strategy” to build on the success of existing MoE projects and drive towards achieving system excellence through quality professional teacher development.