UWI-UK collaboration to create champion teachers
Twelve Jamaican teachers pursuing the masters in education degree in science and mathematics education at the School of Education, University of the West Indies, Mona, will be going on a three-week visit in May to the University of Reading, Institute of Education, in the United Kingdom, as part of an initiative to create champion teachers of mathematics and science.
The creating champions project is part of a special collaborative agreement signed between the School of Education, Mona, and the University of Reading, Institute of Education. Under the terms of the agreement, the Science, Mathematics and Information Technology (SMIT) Centre at UWI, Mona, will collaborate with the University of Reading in implementing the new schools champion programme in science and mathematics. The decision to focus on these subject areas comes against the background of the poor performance of Jamaican children in mathematics and science. According to the coordinator of the SMIT Centre, Dr Tony Sewell, "this project aims to give some of the country's best teachers the chance to be exposed to new techniques and theories in the teaching of mathematics and science. The hope is that some of these teachers will become 'master' teachers, which means they will be mentors, not only in their own school, but spread the practice to other local schools."
The objectives of the five-year agreement include, but are not limited to, enhancing staff-development opportunities, sharing knowledge and skills in areas of competence and increasing education enrichment opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students of UWI and the University of Reading.
The agreement will also focus on promoting joint research and collaborative bidding for international projects; advancing knowledge and skills in the area of institutional management in higher education; promoting cultural and educational ties among Caribbean students and professionals in the Caribbean diaspora and between Caribbean and non-Caribbean students and professionals. Promoting performance at the highest international standards, as well as facilitating intercultural competence, will also feature in the collaborative agreement.