Strengthening our foundation

The Institute for Education is adamant to give the opportunity to all those who want to develop professionally to do so in the manner they retain fits them best

The Institute for Education’s main aim is to provide relevant, accessible and practical professional development for educators and all those who have the learning of our future generation at heart.

The Institute, which is licensed as a further and higher education institution by NCFHE, is adamant to give the opportunity to all those who want to develop professionally to do so in the manner they retain fits them best.

Together with the MUT, the Faculty of Education, MCAST and other similar organisations from other countries we must work hard to provide as many opportunities as possible, and frame the teaching roles as an inspiring profession full of growth paths.

There is also a huge potential in making use of our rich pool of professionals in schools through peer learning programmes, whereby the best practices of educators in different schools can be made available to each other.

Professional development started in October 2016 and since then the Institute created a Post Grad Certificate in Teaching and Learning at primary level at MQF 7, also known as the Adaptation course targeting supply teachers who have a B.Ed (Hons) or PGCE in a subject taught in the secondary but are employed in the primary sector. 26 course participants finished the course successfully and now have all the qualifications required to be eligible for the post of regular teacher.

Another Post Grad Certificate in Assessment for Learning at MQF 7 is being delivered during school hours to primary teachers who want to improve their assessment strategies to enhance the learning experience of their own learners. This course has proven to be very successful since it is a mix between workshops, discussions, in-class tutoring and continuous feedback and all this happens in the class setting of the course participant. Such a course is beneficial because the learners of these course participants are directly benefitting from this experience. The classroom is an extension of the Institute and both the lecturer and the teacher participating in the course are hands on task together. In actual fact, both become resources for each other.

The Institute has also developed and is continuously delivering the Introductory course for supply teachers, which is another accredited Award for those supply teachers who have no teaching qualification.

Though the course is a short one aimed to give the basic tools to be able to operate in a classroom, it also includes a teaching practice which supports the teacher in bridging the gaps and consequently be in a position to offer an environment conducive to learning.

Colleges and schools both from the state and the non-state sector, through a yearly internal review as part of the school development plan, explore the support educators require to be able to implement the action plans the following year. The Institute for Education supports the schools in the professional development required and which can be translated into relevant actions in the classroom.

Apart from all this, in the past year the Institute collaborated with more than 80 professionals from various sectors to develop more than 65 accredited short courses. The areas covered range from pedagogy and assessment to leadership, from multiculturalism to digital citizenship, numeracy, autism, wellbeing and several others.

Educators at all levels are being welcomed at the Institute both as collaborators and also as those who require support. It is therefore the hub where educators can meet, discuss, share, collaborate, moderate ideas and evolve.

And this is just the beginning. This is an exciting time for the Institute and for the professional development of educators who will be given the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications and their practices and in the meantime can also contribute with their expertise in the professional growth of their peers. The creation of a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Education will give the possibility to any category of supply teachers to get the required qualifications to become eligible for the regular post. This qualification will be obtained in as practical a manner as possible.

The Institute was set up to be proactive towards the needs of educators and learners. We are required to equip teachers with the skills and attitudes that are essential for the learner who will function as an effective citizen within five, 10 or 20 years’ time. We have to own these competences ourselves to be able to empower educators and for this reason the Institute collaborates with as many professionals from different areas as possible.

Much more is planned to happen at the Institute and every move is well thought out and for the benefit of both our educators and our learners. This is a collaborative effort where the educator as a practitioner is our priority.

 

Evarist Bartolo is Minister for Education and Employment

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