Even as we continued our work with high school and undergraduate students, we were always aware that students were only one among the several stakeholders involved in the education system. After a summer of learning about empathy and working with mentors who were more interested in being facilitators rather than figures of authority, Scholars would inevitably return to a school system that ran counter to the values we espoused.
The education system in Pakistan encompasses more than 2 million educational institutions, which include public and private schools, universities and degree colleges, professional and technical training institutes, as well as mosque schools and madrassas. From 2006 to 2012, school enrolment has increased steadily for both boys and girls, with 0.20 million students graduating high school. In Punjab alone there are more than 7 million students enrolled at various levels of education.
The important task of educating these students falls to the 1.35 million teachers employed by the system, who influence not only the students’ knowledge, but also the kind of individuals they become.
We propose the execution of a comprehensive training program with the following objectives:
- Facilitate the development of empathetic classrooms, which will be safe spaces for diverse opinions, critical inquiry, and a healthy development of student confidence and esteem.
- Develop teacher dispositions that allow them to practice empathy, develop self-confidence, and promote critical thinking and creativity in the classroom.
- Equip teachers to transfer these same dispositions to their students through their teaching strategies, behaviour, and attitudes.
- To foster professional skills such as communication and leadership among the teachers of tomorrow.
- To give teachers an experience of activity based learning, and a basic understanding of educational theoretical frameworks, which they can employ in their teaching.
The primary audience of the program are in-service teachers in both public and private schools. However, school administrators and other individuals affiliated with educational institutions or the larger education system can also participate. The audience of each training program was likely to vary based on the client.
Although the exact content is tailored to the needs of each client, it retains its core objectives of creating empathic classrooms that facilitate critical thinking for teachers and students alike. A training for primary school teachers for example could focus on understanding young children developmentally and psychologically and specific teaching methods.
Download more additional resources and detailed information about the program from HERE