WALTHAM, MA | November 5, 2012
Twenty-four educators from across Pakistan, including college and university faculty, are visiting the United States this month to learn about curriculum development and teacher preparation, with a focus on U.S. student teaching programs.
The tour is part of a federally funded project managed by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). Known as the USAID Teacher Education Project, the five-year, $75 million project is also working with the government of Pakistan and its Ministry of Education to introduce a four-year teaching degree in 75 colleges and 22 universities across the country as well as a more stringent teacher certification. These efforts are part of the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to assist the Government of Pakistan to strengthen its education sector.
“Our visiting educators are here to learn about the practicum model, which provides valuable real-life classroom experience for new teachers, allowing them to try out techniques they’ve recently learned,” said Rana Hussain, director of curriculum development for the USAID Teacher Education Project. “When they return to Pakistan, the teachers will bring with them ideas to help design practicum programs within their own universities and across provincial institutions that will prepare new teachers to be more effective.”
The teachers’ visit to the United States began in late October in Ypsilanti, Michigan, home to Eastern Michigan University (EMU), a co-host of the tour. Participants are working with experienced university faculty to analyze common challenges and approaches to building relationships with local schools and colleges of education. While at EMU, the participants are collaborating closely with EMU faculty as they developed action plans to take home to Pakistan.
“We are proud of our practicum and the relationships that we have built with area school districts over the years,” said Joseph Bishop, a professor of teacher education at EMU. “We look forward to introducing the study tour group to our cooperating and pre-service teachers.”
In mid-November, the Pakistani educators will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will visit classrooms in Fairfax County, Virginia, to observe student-teaching programs that are regarded as among the best in the United States. The Pakistani educators will learn what makes up an effective school-university student teaching program, and examine the policy and planning implications for instituting such programs in Pakistan.
For additional information about the USAID Teacher Education Program, visit www.pakteachers.org.
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), is a global nonprofit organization that addresses some of the world’s most urgent challenges in education, health, and economic development. EDC manages more than 250 projects in 30 countries. Visit edc.org.