Maria Ines Berasain
Maria Ines Berasain holds a Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (2000) and is a Masters candidate for the MSc in Educational Leadership at the University of Leicester (DL). She started working as a teacher of English in 2000, and since then has mostly been dedicated to teaching in school contexts, recently being appointed Academic Deputy Head of English at Colegio Seminario (Montevideo). She is also a teacher trainer at Instituto Cultural Anglo Uruguayo and a Cambridge English examiner.
How far can introducing a CPD programme for schoolteachers that incorporates reflection and collaboration affect their practices and students’ achievement levels?
After a number of years as Head of the Primary School English Department at a bilingual school in Uruguay, the performance of Form 6 students seemed to have reached its peak. I was under the impression that teachers were working very hard but in a relatively routinised manner. After three periods of satisfactory but unimproved exam results, some of the teachers in this group voiced the same concerns: they were doing a lot of work but children’s learning (and results) were not improving – consequently, some aspect of the teaching-learning experience needed a change.
Bearing in mind that this situation could be the consequence of a number of conditions under which both teaching and learning took place (class sizes, resources available, teacher-student contact hours, teachers’ working hours at school) I decided to look into teachers’ practices and whether a shift in the model of the CPD programme at school could help modify this situation