Archive for May 14, 2011

Kazakh Teachers’ Views about Education (Part II)

Yesterday I revealed what two of my former ten students thought of the slideshow provided by a friend of mine who works for Chevron. “Change Management” is important and needs to happen in Kazakhstan’s education, and soon.  And how! For one thing, the Kazakh teachers know they need to be better prepared to be a part of the 21st century so they can stay abreast of what their students are getting into with Internet and computer games, etc. However, if you go into the countryside of Kazakhstan, it is sad to know that many Kazakh students barely have electricity in their rural schools. To have an Internet connection is laughable when they don’t even have indoor plumbing in some cases.  Some Kazakh teachers barely have a blackboard to use in their classrooms, much less up-to-date, relevant textbooks. (see my earlier blog).  Read the following two entries:

Student #3 – While listening yesterday to Chevron presentation, I was thinking about what advantages I can fish for myself from this presentation as it was hard for me to connect it with teaching. However, then it made me understand that we are also somehow connected with the business as Chevron company. Although it might sound funny that education is a business, but it is true as we are also in the system of service.

In this course we have learned a lot of things that seem to be hard to put in teaching practice, but anyway it is important and it is possible to apply them in lessons. Thinking of myself as an “agent” in our school is very privileged as it means that we who have graduated PDP course means that now we are on the special mission there.

So, now we need to prove to others that the teaching methods that we have known here are beneficial indeed in order to convince them to use in their own lessons. The main reason why the methods that we’ve learned here are effective, because nowadays everything is focused on computers and their development is very fast, which means that using Internet and blogging will be an integral part in teaching writing in future. So, it is better to start doing it now.

Everyday we meet and need changes anywhere in our life. Even at school the administration requires to show our progress and offer better and better proposals from us. Sometimes it can be nerve wracking and difficult but soon you understand that these changes were very significant and useful. All changes bring positive consequences. But they must not be spontaneous otherwise all efforts will be failed.

Student #4 – Firstly, we must see an innovation in our mind and understand what we want as a result at the end. Secondly, we must plan for change step by step like an architect prepares a plan for a new building. Lastly, but not least, it is an action. We never change our life if we just wait that someone will help us or do instead of us. Only we decide what will be with us in future.

I like that now I have finished a PDP course which has an influence on me. I want to continue and improve myself personally and as a teacher. I hope that I will be able to do it without my teacher. It will be much more difficult because it is easier when someone controls you and shows a correct way when you got lost. [Editor’s note: a typical KZ student from a “teacher-centered” environment would write that!]

For me, it is comfortable to work in a team where I feel support from others and have opportunity to share my predictions and thoughts with like-minded people. Sharing information with other colleagues which I must do when I return in Semey is the most fruitful benefit. Because not only you but other teachers can use new methods and approaches.

(to be continued)

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