Some key learnings on teacher profiles include:

  • It is not always possible to predetermine selection criteria for teachers on a project. The nature of the project may determine the selection of teachers (e.g. subject area taught; availability; interest and commitment).
  • Projects which lie outside of the schooling context per se need to match the facilitator (non-teacher) profile with the project aims and characteristics.
  • In the interests of sustainability, projects aimed at ongoing teacher development and professionalisation within schools should include a mechanism for identifying and encouraging those teachers who will be able to play a lead mentoring role once the project is ended
  • In ICT projects where teachers are expected to access technology, it is important that the project caters for varying levels of computer skills. If this is not done, a lot of time is wasted in training for a particular application of package as the pace will be dictated by the slowest user.
  • Projects should ensure that some kind of profiling or needs analysis takes place before training, so that if necessary training can be differentiated between beginners and more advanced users.
  • In relation to upgrading teacher skills, ICT projects should not try to include too much in one training session – e.g. using a different operating system as well as engaging with an unfamiliar software package and new content.
  • Teachers must not be excluded from ICT projects targeting learners as teachers need to be able to help learners manage and pace their progress through a programme: this implies the need for effective and timeous training for teachers alongside the interventions aimed at learners.
  • In relation to ICT projects targeting teachers, teachers need to be made aware of the nature and scope of the expected commitment; this could be handled through an induction process that pre-empts potential pitfalls, and ensures that teachers understand the level of self- development required.
  • The use of videos of teacher performance needs to be coupled with a mechanism that enables teachers to discuss and reflect on their own performance in a structured way.
  • Teacher incentives should be used with care. While these can be effective, they can also be abused, in that teachers may focus on the additional project work at the expense of day-to-day teaching.

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