Assembly of Educators
Promiti Prova Chowdhury
Services for Professional Education and Enterprise Development (SPEED), one of the country's premiere training institutes, organised a conference for school leaders and teachers titled “2nd SPEED Conference 2011: Innovation and Excellence in Education: Mastering knowledge, Deepening skills” on October 22 at the SPEED Training Centre at Gemcon Building, Dhaka. The conference included a series of briefings and workshops conducted by different subject specialists and ended with a panel talk. At the opening, Syeda Madiha Murshed, Managing Director, Scholastica Limited said, “There's no such thing as 'a perfect teacher' and that teachers should try, constantly, to be better for their students. This conference aims at familiarising teachers with international best practices through sharing.”
The workshops covered topics of paramount significance in the field of education, for example, teaching numeracy to preschool students, strategies for student counselling, inquiry-based learning, creative teaching of high-school science, managing stress and anxiety, special needs education and the role of inclusion, designing creative assessment in mathematics, designing fun and interactive warm up activities, English pronunciation tips and preschool Bangla vocabulary development.
“Tell me I forget, Show me I remember, Involve me, I understand” - highlighting this Chinese proverb, Sayeda Adra Sadaf, Senior Co-ordinator, SPEED conducted the workshop on “Inquiry-based learning”. It acknowledged the trainees with inquiry-based learning, its benefits, the difference between traditional and inquiry-based methods, challenges in its implementation and also discussed ways of using it for teaching subjects like science and mathematics.
Conducted by Scott Michael, Consultant, Scholastica, the workshop for student counselling proved to be a great opportunity for the practical knowledge gainers. With the assistance of Irfana Samia, Student Counsellor, Student Affairs, Scholastica, he showed the teachers how to deal with students who have social and emotional issues. For example, a “teacher-student role play” was performed inside the room, where Irfana played the role of a student who is emotionally disturbed because of the separation of her parents and cannot concentrate in her studies. Through this demo, the message, that a good counsellor is a patient listener, was conveyed to the trainees. Scott pointed out three basics of counselling: active listening, trust and respect for value.
A total number of 58 participants attended the conference from different schools and institutions in Dhaka. The workshop titled “Children with special needs” chalked out different disorders like Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia that hamper children's normal learning process. The instructors talked about the symptoms and how a teacher can play a role to minimise the sufferings at best.
The post-lunch segment consisted of a panel discussion, where three distinguished educators shared their views on the topic “Challenges of Providing Holistic Education to Students” and answered various queries of the audience. The panel comprised of James W Burns, Principal, Middle and Senior campus of Australian International School, Syeda Madiha Murshed and Itrat Mumtaz Rahman, Head of Training and Development, Curriculum Development Unit of Scholastica.
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