by Debra Johnson, Published November 06, 2012
YPSILANTI - Twenty-four educators from across Pakistan, including college and university faculty, are visiting Eastern Michigan University as part of a three-week U.S. tour to learn about curriculum development and teacher preparation, with a focus on student teaching programs.
The tour is part of a federally-funded project managed by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), a global nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts. Known as the USAID Teacher Education Project, the five-year, $75 million project is also working with the government of Pakistan and Ministry of Education to introduce a four-year teaching degree in 75 colleges and 22 universities across the country and introduce 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.
The Pakistani educators will be at Eastern through November 9. During this time, they will work with Eastern's faculty to analyze common challenges and approaches to building relationships with local schools and colleges. Through workshops, they will develop action plans to take home to Pakistan. In addition, they will observe classes on Eastern's campus and also take field trips to local schools to study our practicums.
"We are proud of our practicum and the relationships that we have built with area school districts over the years," said Joe Bishop, professor, of teacher education within the College of Education. "We look forward to introducing the study tour group to our cooperating teachers and preservice teachers."
The educators will also attend the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers conference in Grand Rapids and attend a number of cultural activities, while in the area. After their visit to Eastern, they travel to Washington, DC, where they will visit classrooms in Fairfax County, Virginia.
"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 EDC's Teacher Education Project in Pakistan. "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."
For additional information about the USAID Teacher Education Project, please visit www.pakteachers.org.