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Work on UNESCO’s ICT Competency Standards for Teachers enters final phase

10-10-2006 (Paris)
Work on UNESCO’s ICT Competency Standards for Teachers enters final phase
A groundbreaking international standard for integrating ICTs in teaching, will soon be available as the extensive work on the “ICT Competency Standards for Teachers” that UNESCO is preparing together with several partners from academia and the private sector including Microsoft, Intel and Cisco, enters its final phase.
“The new standard is designed to contribute to the professional development of teachers, mainly on primary and secondary levels, and we expect that it will considerably improve teachers’ practice” says UNESCO’s project manager Tarek G. Shawki. “The standard combines methods for improving ICT skills with emergent views in pedagogy, curriculum and school organization”, he says.

The overall objective of the project is to improve teacher practice to contribute to a higher quality education system that can, in turn, produce a better informed citizenry and higher quality workforce that can, as a result, advance a country’s economic and social development.

More specifically, the “Competency Standards” will constitute a common core syllabus defining various ICT competency skills for teachers that professional development providers can use to prepare learning materials, which can be shared at a global level. In addition to providing a basic set of qualifications that allows teachers to integrate ICT into their teaching, the standard also aims at extending teachers’ professional development so as to advance their skills in pedagogy, collaboration, and school innovation using ICT. Finally, the standard will harmonize different views and vocabulary regarding the uses of ICT in teacher education.

While the new UNESCO standard specifies the competencies needed to implement these changes, it will be up to approved governmental, non-governmental and private providers to deliver the training for these competencies. The project also includes a mechanism for reviewing and approving the curricula and course offerings of these providers.

The professional development of teachers is a particularly important component of educational improvement. “But”, as Shawki points out, “the professional development must be focused on specific changes in teacher classroom behaviors and particularly, it must be aligned with other changes in the educational system”.
Related themes/countries

      · Private Sector Partnerships
      · ICT in Education: News Archives 2006
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