While many teacher and teacher educator development projects take place, their impact is not always fully measured, and when it is, it's often found to be minimal.
In light of this, the English for Education College Trainers (EfECT) project in Myanmar, took a thorough approach to both project design and impact assessment. Carrying out a wide range of pre-, mid- and post training assessments they worked hard to measure and understand the impact of their work.
EfECT involved British Council and VSO trainers spending two years working with over 2,000 Teacher Educators across Myanmar. The project aimed to improve their English language proficiency; develop their awareness of effective practical teaching skills; develop their teacher training competence; and give them greater access to and a better understanding of how to utilise modern training resources and materials.
The paper, produced by ELT experts, Professor Simon Borg, Ian Clifford and Dr Khaing Phyu Htut, looks at the rationale behind the project design, the methodology for assessing the impact of project, and the results of those assessments.
The paper draws on baseline and exit data collected through questionnaires, tests, observations, interviews and written participant reflections to examine the impact of the two-year project on the teacher educators' propositional knowledge of teaching methodology, practical teaching skills, reflective abilities and professional confidence. For the most part the outcomes of the project were positive, and these results are analysed critically with particular attention to the approach to monitoring and evaluation taken in order to measure project impact.
The paper demonstrates many positive changes in Teacher Educators' English proficiency; overall confidence in their use of English and their teaching ability; theoretical knowledge of teaching methodology; observed classroom competence, overall, and specifically related to interactive teaching methods. It also focusses on the opportunities for learning that the project provided, guided by evaluation data and M&E reports, in particular the importance of ensuring an optimal balance of quantitative and qualitative measures of success.
Despite the paper's frank review of the capacity building project a measure of its success must be the strong desire by all stakeholders to continue supporting the professional development of Myanmar's teacher educators, leading to a one-year project extension which, in response to many of the issues highlighted in this paper, adopted a substantially adapted project model, incorporating assessed practicum and greater focus on the reflective cycle in professional development.
You can read the full paper online in the Teaching and Teacher Education journal.