Last week, Curriculum Services Canada (CSC) visited The Technology University of Uruguay (UTEC), a young university focused on technology and innovation, to host a three-day training program. The university faces challenges in finding teachers willing to live in rural communities within the provinces and finding that those teachers who are willing may not have enough teaching experience. CSC’s training program began with building a foundation for the desired standards of teaching and professionalism at UTEC. Over the course of the 3-day foundational training, CSC focused on high-yield teaching strategies and assessments for learning, including activities on Curriculum Planning, Design Content Considerations, and subsequent Overviews of the Assessment Loop.
This initiative is especially impactful because it empowers teachers in higher education, providing them with the knowledge necessary to become reflective practitioners who can monitor their growth in the use of research-based teaching and assessment strategies. As a newly established university, UTEC is especially well positioned to adopt a forward thinking approach as it develops its vision. As one of our trainers, Anita Sherwin-Hamer, commented, “The teachers are committed to UTEC’s vision of student-centred learning and are enthusiastic about the university’s initiative to provide opportunities for them to hone their skills in the pedagogy that supports that vision.”
One of the key areas of focus during the training session was a discussion of change theory and the importance of understanding the change process. CSC’s Lead Trainer on this project, Deirdre Kinsella Biss, was pleased to get feedback on this focus from UTEC’s Academic Director, Amadeo Sosa Santillan. “Amadeo acknowledged our work in raising awareness about these very important concepts, noting that our treatment of the subject reflected Michael Fullan’s advice in this area.”