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Although the cascade system is often criticized for its lack of effectiveness, the MoEYS-VVOB programme shows that with good preparation and proper support it does deliver fruitful results.

Final round of cascade training on feedback skills for teaching practice

As the 2014-2016 MoEYS-VVOB programme is coming close to an end, the last bunch of model teachers of the practice schools in Battambang, Kandal, Kampong Cham and Siem Reap are currently receiving training on feedback skills to be applied with student teachers during their teaching practice.  The model teachers learn how to provide the student teachers with constructive feedback and to encourage them to self-reflect on their lessons.

Cascade system as a good capacity development approach

The training is given by selected teacher trainers of the different PTTCs, the so called sub-core team. These teacher trainers received the same training themselves from the teaching practice core team in 2015. To be fully ready for their task the sub-core team received an extra preparation training and was set to go.

Often it is said that with a cascade system, there’s a loss of quality along the way. In this case however we see the opposite effect. By asking support from the teacher trainers, their involvement increases as they feel responsible to deliver a good training to their fellow educators, the model teachers.

This role they take on also helps them to apply the feedback skills in a better way themselves, and to be an advocate on the topic at their Provincial Teacher Training Centre, within their own team.

To further guarantee the high-level quality, the teacher trainers receive support from the teaching practice core team. At each of the cascade trainings a member of the core team is present. When the teacher trainers need some help during the training or are faced with difficult questions the core team member can jump in and support. At the end of each training day the core team member and the teacher trainers sit together for a reflective session and discuss what went well, what didn’t go well and prepare for the next day.

Positive changes

Follow-up visits last June showed that the model teachers who were already trained earlier this year, proved significant improvements in their feedback skills. The trained model teachers use 2-way communication more often, they encourage student teachers to self-reflect and increase the student teachers’ confidence to respond to the feedback and ask additional questions.

By the end of October 2016 all 2000 model teachers of all 108 practice schools throughout the country will be trained with the capacity to provide effective feedback to the student teachers.