Dr. Neil McLean, Director of the Academic and Professional Development Division at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), conducted a training programme for high school teachers at the Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF) campus, LSE’s Featured Teaching Institution in New Delhi.
The training, inspired by LSE’s New Academic Induction Programme (NAIP), was aimed to help school teachers overcome challenges faced by them in classroom education. The day-long workshop brought together a representative community of educators from the city’s high schools on Tuesday (July 10, 2018). It was a part of the annual visit by LSE academician(s) to train ISBF faculty members and was in continuation to the Annual Teachers’ Symposium which was held in March – April, 2018 across seven cities -Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Dehradun, Kolkata and Delhi.
The morning session saw the welcome address delivered by Aryapriya Ganguly, Associate Professor in Social and Applied Psychology, Sociology and Human Resource Management. During the address he stated “Dr. McLean’s visit for the training program posits importance towards collaboration, integrating content, pedagogy and technology, with involvement of students in an active learning environment through focused and articulate communication.”
During the programme, Dr. McLean emphasised on how to effectively incorprate collaborative study & classroom management techniques into teaching. The training also illustrated how teachers can bring the real world into teaching through various innovative techniques. Dr. McLean’s explanation of these best practices in pedagogy were substantiated with actual group tasks undertaken by lecturers at the LSE. This was particularly useful in giving Indian educators a sneak peek into the cutting-edge LSE curriculum and the means best geared to make it come alive for students.
Armed with these activities, he converted the several educators gathered for the training session into collaborative small groups which brought alive the benefits of his approach. The participants’ excitement at being momentarily transformed into learners was palpable, as they enthusiastically participated in the tasks and shed their technological inhibitions when it came to the online activities. Dr. McLean’s session was punctuated with fascinating insights on effective classroom delivery, subtleties of targeted communication and the potential value of understanding student psychology, all of which are of immediate benefit to educators in an Indian educational landscape that is increasingly waking up to the soft needs of learners.
This unique training program has helped LSE maintain its high academic quality over the years and has encouraged structured training of higher education teachers, thus ensuring a better quality of graduates and postgraduates coming out of their fold. Teachers at ISBF have found these frequent training and development programs to be extremely beneficial in varied aspects of their working with students, helping them understand students and in turn also helping them teach better.
Commenting on the objectives behind teacher training, Dr. McLean said,
“Anyone involved in teaching is in a good place to understand learning. The principles that we look at are around communication with students, how to encourage students to listen, how to encourage students to change certain ways that they understand the tasks they complete. The real emphasis of education in the 21st century needs to be on developing the ability of students to be flexible, adaptable, resourceful and to use their knowledge in intelligent ways in increasingly different environments.”