Whole School Improvement Programme
One of the key milestones of the project was a Whole School Improvement Programme (WSIP) that was implemented in four selected schools at Peshawar. While aiming at institutional capacity building, WSIP primarily focused on three entwined objectives:
- A shift from teacher-centered teaching and memorization-based learning to child-centered learning that emphasized understanding, internalization and application of learning.
- Redirecting disciplinarian and authoritative school leadership to a democratic and collaborative school leadership.
- Generating support for institutional capacity building from within the school by developing a core team comprising of Lead Teachers (Mentors) and school head teachers.
Initiated in April 2008, the intention of WSIP was to develop a programme that was responsive to the unique needs and environment within which the selected schools operated. AKU-IED faculty visited IER-PU and schools in Peshawar during December 10-12, 2007 to understand the needs of schools.
Four secondary schools were identified for participation:
- University Model School
- University Model School for Girls
- University Laboratory School
- Islamia Collegiate School
Following intervention were suggested:
|Types of Intervention
|Professional Development of Teachers
||Short-term professional development courses for teachers to orient them about the concept of whole school improvement (developing their understanding in the major areas of school improvement, how these areas interact with each other in the context of institutional capacity building). Exposure to innovative pedagogies by AKU-IED graduates in WSIP schools. School-based professional development sessions to foster in teachers, desire for self-directed as reflective lifelong learning practices.|
||School principals/deputy principals and head teachers will be professionally developed through a tailored Educational Leadership and Management programme at IER-PU during WSIP intervention in schools.|
|Development of Lead Teachers
||Content enrichment workshops to orient Lead-Teachers to their new roles and responsibilities as mentors and change agents to initiate and promote school change on continual bases.|
|Research and Evaluation
||Research studies will be conducted to: i) better understand opportunities and challenges of school improvement in the project schools, and ii) to assess immediate impact of the WSIP in KP schools.|
Building Institutional Capacity from within the WSIP Schools
Building institutional capacity from within the schools emerged as a strong component of WSIP. Initially one experienced Professional Development Teacher (PDT) from AKU-IED was designated who, along with an IER-PU faculty, provided ongoing support to school improvement activities for a period of entire academic year. Thereafter, the responsibility for follow-up, ongoing support and monitoring of school improvement activities was shifted to the Core Team of Lead Teachers within each school.
IER-PU and AKU-IED faculty members closely coordinated with the Core Team in particular and the school in general, until completion of the project.
The four schools with IER-PU, mentioned earlier adopted the WSIP strategy, through which 300 teachers were developed to bring changes in their practice from ‘teacher-centered teaching’ to ‘child-centered learning’ that emphasised understanding, internalisation, and application of learning.
Twelve school heads transformed their role and practices from authoritative school leadership to a ‘collaborative’ school leadership to sustain the changes and improvement brought about by WSIP.
The on-going intervention was closely monitored by AKU-IED faculty responsible for the WSIP in KP. The learning from this project was shared at different forums.