Topic of Research.
The most challenging task for me was to choose the topic of research. The reason lies in the fact that there are a myriad of interesting and eye-catching topics in Kazakhstani education that worth researching. Since any reform starts with people I decided to be focused on human interaction, more precisely -professional interaction. The case of putting two strangers who share different educational and cultural background in one classroom seemed to be the most promising. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore teachers’ experience in team-teaching that involves international teachers and local teachers in one secondary school of Kazakhstan using interviews and observation.
In our case we explore the type of team-teaching when two teachers are put in the same classrooms and plan, teach, and evaluate students’ achievements together at schools. One of them is a representative of any English-speaking country such as New Zealand, Great Britain, United States of America and Australia and another is a local teacher of the same subject.
As teachers who share the same culture are likely to have less significant challenges in finding the direction of their teaching and knowing the peculiarities of teaching and learning processes of the country, so in contrast “members of different cultures are more likely to respond differently to the same event or managerial approach” (Christina B. Gibson, 2004). This leads to misunderstanding among teachers and prevent the effective collaboration of teachers. If the problem is not solved the whole idea of team-teaching, all the resources both financial and emotional, and endeavors of contributors: teachers, school administrators and students will not meet the expected and desirable outcomes.
The problem needs to be addressed as this reform requires a huge financial support in terms of salary for international teachers, their accommodation and health and safety issues. Policymakers should know whether this program is efficient and the outcomes are worth continuing. Another aspect of the issue is that current educational needs call for integration of subjects and teaming local teachers will take place in Kazakhstan. The experience shown in this case may leave a legacy for further transformation and adaptation of this teaching approach. Finally, one of the main goals of the country is to be involved in international educational community. Thus, international teachers may reveal the potentials and give an insight into the nature of Western education for all stakeholders: teachers, students, parents and administration. This may also influence significantly on the quality of teaching and learning.
GSE and me.
Sleeping two hours per day, forcing my eyes to work harder than they could, not perceiving most of the information, carrying 6 kilograms of textbooks and laptop, challenging own beliefs, rethinking teaching profession and the vision on education – this is the short list of things that I experienced during first year of studies at GSE. However, that year was the most interesting and valuable year for my transformation as a teacher, leader and a life-long learner. I discovered many topics for research, I broadened my mind and consequently, influenced minds of my students, I became interested in building professional dialogs with colleagues from different countries and I asked many tricky questions and encouraged teachers to rethink their role as a teacher.
Looking back at courses, definitely, the most inspiring for me was Professional Identity, because it helped me to realize why I am a teacher and what my role is. As a novice teacher I was not confident in any decision taken by me and even in my job. But the motivational speeches of a professor, discussion with group mates who seemed to have similar concerns and the knowledge about my profession encouraged to move forward and expand borders of teaching career.
This year I am expecting to get more inspiration, contribute to my research area and share that experience with interested people. Moreover, I think that second year of my studies will help to enjoy the process of learning. Since currently I am more confident in my reading skills and feel support of professors the fear of being misunderstood is gone. That will definitely reduce the emotional pressure and increase the potential of my thinking skills.
Gibson B., C. (2004). Building Multicultural Teams: Learning to Manage Homogeneity and Heterogeneity. Blackwell Publishing.