Teacher training and development: preparing for the future, now!

by Patricia Evelyn Grounds Reynolds

Speaker 1

Abstract

OECD’s (2019) Future of Education and Skills 2030 project asks some Big Questions, based on the perception that:

“Education is no longer about teaching students something alone; it is more important to be teaching them to develop a reliable compass and the navigation tools to find their own way in a world that is increasingly complex, volatile and uncertain. Our imagination, awareness, knowledge, skills and, most important, our common values, intellectual and moral maturity, and sense of responsibility is what will guide us for the world to become a better place” (Schleicher, 2019, cited in OECD 2019: 5).

“Education is no longer about teaching students something alone; it is more important to be teaching them to develop a reliable compass and the navigation tools to find their own way in a world that is increasingly complex, volatile and uncertain. Our imagination, awareness, knowledge, skills and, most important, our common values, intellectual and moral maturity, and sense of responsibility is what will guide us for the world to become a better place” (Schleicher, 2019, cited in OECD 2019: 5).

Here, I will askmy own Big Questions: How far is foreign language teacher training and development responding to this perception? How can weprepare teachers effectively for an unpredictable future? How should we update existing training courses?Through the process of innovation, how can we help trainers and student teachers tolearn, and then help their students learn “to adapt to, thrive in and even shape whatever the future holds” (ibidem)?

After looking at realities new generationsof teachers face, we will consider typical content of current BAs in foreign language teaching and offer concrete suggestions for training course development today




About the author

Patricia Evelyn Grounds Reynolds

(BA German with Russian language and literature, RSA TEFL, MA Applied Linguistics, PhD Language Studies, etc.) has worked in EFL/TEFL since the 70s, in Germany, Poland and IH Beirut, Lebanon, before coming to Mexico, in 1981. In 1983, she began her career as a teacher trainer/developer with the Instituto Anglo Mexicano de Cultura (now the Anglo Foundation) and the University of Cambridge. From the early 90s, she coordinated and/or participated in various professional training/development projects offered by the British Council in conjunction with national and state educational authorities/institutions, in Mexico and abroad. Currently an online tutor for the British Council/University of Southampton’s MA in ELT: Online, and a consultant in curriculum design, professional development and standardized language proficiency testing for several Mexican public universities and teacher training colleges, Pat has also co-published textbooks and research articles, mainly on self-access and online teacher development issues.