5 Brief ‘Bottom-Up’ ITT Notions

(ITT = initial teacher training, CP = course participant, T = trainer, S = teaching practice class student)

Below are five simple alternative imaginings, each followed by how it’s generally done on the CELTA I work on (btw, this is *not* a critique of the/our standard CELTA, just reflections…a thought experiment).

1. ‘Moving into being the teacher’: 

CPs meet + interact w/ Ss first–> CPs watch T’s demo –> CPs peer-teach w/ T –> CPs peer-teach w/ each other –> CPs teach their TP1 (of 9).

…on CELTA: CPs watch T’s demo class –> CPs meet + interact w/ Ss –>  CPs teach their TP1 (of 9).

2. ‘Sources of the lessons taught for training’: 

CPs are given lesson source materials, have some time to process how they ‘work’ (and don’t) –> CPs construct lesson plans w/ scaffolds and guidance.

…on CELTA: CPs are given TP Points + Materials at once –> practice teaching with incrementally lessened TP point & tutor guidance, but lessons still pre-chosen (until TP 8/9).

3. ‘Who gives feedback?’: 

Use of a system of collecting and analyzing Ss feedback on TP classes, not just T and peer feedback.

…on CELTA: at least on the courses I’m involved with, no such system and only occasional (by me) prompts for CPs to retrieve direct FB from Ss.

4. ‘Here now, gone in 40 minutes’: 

Full class recordings for analysis, reflection, and feedback. On the job the opportunity to produce things like this may become rare/unsupported.

…on CELTA: at leat on the courses I’m involved with, no classroom recordings are part of the program (though I’ve encouraged interested CPs to do it).

5. ‘When it’s over, it’s over’: 

Follow-up webinars etc.?

…on CELTA: no private CELTA-specific follow-up webinars for graduates, but plenty of heads-up re: post-CELTA online continuing professional development especially through trainers who are aware and engaged in it themselves.

What all five of the above imaginings share, I think, is a bit more of a ‘bottom-up’ sensibility than what is typical of the CELTA course I currently help deliver.

Do any of these things on a TT course? What ones are meaningful to you? Have a #6 that would seem to vibrate on the same wavelength?

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One Response to 5 Brief ‘Bottom-Up’ ITT Notions

  1. Sandy Millin says:

    Some interesting ideas here. The one I’d most like to try is incorporating more feedback from the students, not just the trainers. Having a clear follow-up course may well help a lot of trainees too. Thanks for the food for thought.
    Sandy

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