The EduComplex as a Training Centre for Teachers’ Certification

Lusine Pashayan

In the spring of 2021, after a three-year hiatus, the Ministry of Education Science Culture and Sports of RA resumed the process of mandatory teacher training for their certification.  

Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex submitted an application to the Minister with a request to be included on the list of training organizations for teachers’ certification, presenting the required package of documents, three-component training programs. It was mentioned in the application that the purpose of the educational complex was to introduce the author educational program in the field of teacher education. 

The teacher training programs were compiled and supplemented by the experience of author pedagogy, the pedagogical journal Dpir, the Armenian translations of the progressive pedagogical approaches of the world, the teachers’ methodological developments, and the teaching materials created by the teachers and kept in the Tigran Hayrapetyan Media Library, and other supplementary resources.   

The basis of the programs was to examine work experience through the practical work of teachers, to get acquainted with new pedagogical approaches, to get to know the educational process created and tested in the educational complex, to understand and master the pedagogical-methodological approaches. 

The topics of the "Legislation in the field of general education" section were aimed primarily at the person, the citizen, the person working with the child, the teacher. 

In the section "Application of information technologies in the educational process", a special place was given to blogging. Running educational blogs has been a daily job for teachers in the educational complex for about a decade. In their personal blogs, teachers publish their educational short and long-term projects with their results. They also publish their methodological developments and self-education projects. In the 21st century, when the Internet with media technologies are everywhere, the blog is a necessary tool for the teacher, a description of teaching-learning activities. It is a sort of educational repository.  

The topics included in the “Professional Development” section, reflected the content of the author pedagogy at the educational complex. We divided this part of the training program into two components: the general pedagogy component and the school subjects component. In the general pedagogy component, the topics applied to all teachers irrespective of their specialty.  For example, inclusive education, blogging, training camps, educational trips… The topics included in the school subject section had their specific peculiarities. For example, creation and development of teaching materials, school subject Flash Mobs, assessment …   

As the right to choose a teacher training organization was not the school principal’s responsibility, and it was reserved by the teacher, we anticipated that the training could be attended by secondary school teachers. So we included in the teacher training program the components of the author educational program that could be fully or partially incorporated into the secondary school. For example, subject flash mobs, which, by the way, were started by the students of the trainee teachers during the training period.  

The training courses were to be organized in three ways: distance, face to face, and combined. While filling out the form, it became clear from the teachers' questions that they did not have a good idea of the organization of distance or combined teaching. 

The experience of distance and combined teaching was introduced in the educational complex years ago, and both the training specialists and the trainee teachers of the EduComplex had an idea of what to do. And they were ready to share their experience with their colleagues from other schools. 

Thus, in addition to the topics of the training program and module presented to the Ministry, one more topic, “Organization of Distance, Combined Teaching", naturally became a subject of mastery. During the two-month distance, combined training, the teachers got acquainted with distance learning, combined teaching tools, methods, and organization. 

The training started on August 23. At the first meeting, the teachers were introduced to the training programs, the module, the training specialists, and the training schedule. 

From August 23 to September 11, the trainee teachers participated in the courses "Legislation in the Field of General Education", "Application of Information and Communication Technologies in the Educational Process". Distance, face-to-face, and combined groups were formed.  

On September 13 the courses of the two components of the “Professional Development” section started. The general pedagogical groups of the professional development mainly worked in a distant way. The content of the teacher training courses, as I mentioned, was mainly about the author pedagogical programs and experience of the educational complex. The organization of the work on the school subject component was planned in such a way that the teacher had to create his / her own project on each topic, test it in his / her classroom and, if necessary, adapt it to the requirements of his / her school and learners. 

One of the peculiarities of the training course presented by the author educational program of the EduComplex was the teacher's blog, which was offered as an alternative to the teachers' final research work. The trainee teachers had to publish on their blogs what they read, learned, and mastered during the training course. 

As a result, our 24 colleagues from other schools opened their own blogs with their own achievements and results. 

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