British Council, and the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) established the ‘Pudumai Palli Project: Developing Innovative Schools in Chennai (P3DISC)’ in August 2015. The project is funded by the MacArthur Foundation. It has been conducted as a pilot in 70 secondary schools run by the GCC.

 The aim of the project is to ensure that secondary level students, especially girls, from schools run by the Greater Chennai Corporation stay in school longer and acquire 21st century skills that will enable them to find meaningful employment and contribute positively to their communities.  Additionally, it aims to build a sustainable system to support in-service teacher education, continuing professional development and the ongoing support for teacher and student learning.

Learning from this project assists in the development of a replicable model for urban school systems in India.

 

The P3DISC vision

The project aims to ensure that secondary level students, especially girls, from schools run by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) stay in school longer and acquire 21st century skills that will enable them to find meaningful employment and contribute positively to their communities. It also aims to improve the livelihood prospects of students, particularly girls, in socio-economically marginalized urban communities in Chennai by enhancing their 21st century skills, including English, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Enterprise and Leadership skills.

Project implementation

A cadre of Head Teachers, Teacher Educators, and teachers from 70 schools run by the GCC has been trained to support project activities and achieving desired outcomes. Over three years, the project has impacted 140 teachers, 560 student leaders and at least 14,000 students.

 At the start of the project, workshops were held for Head Teachers, Assistant Education Officers (AEOs) and Project Officers in the Corporation to ensure that they understand the aims of the project and what is required of them in supporting teacher development. These workshops helped us ensure that Head Teachers in schools demonstrate effective leadership skills that further strengthen change management processes in their schools. This helps Head Teachers to provide support for implementing, managing and sustaining students clubs and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers.

Subsequently, the British Council has provided training and on-going support to teacher educators to ensure that they are able to conduct training, mentor and support teachers through teacher clubs and other CPD activities as per agreed quality standards.  

We have also provided support to the GCC in ensuring that every participating school has a specialist teacher facilitator (TF) with the necessary skills to support the Skills Club in their schools.  TFs support student peer leaders in conducting 21st century skills club activities that encourage the development of English and 21st century skills.

The student peer leaders and Teacher Facilitator attended a two days’ ‘Club Leaders Workshop’ conducted by the British Council before they started running Skills Clubs in their schools. The aim of the workshops was to equip them with the knowledge and skills to demonstrate effective facilitation skills; which motivate and influence their peers to attend Skills Clubs and participate in activities that involve the use of English and promote  21st century skills such as Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Student Leadership and Personal Development.

The teachers have received training in how to implement classroom methodologies that develop English, promote 21st century skills and demonstrate professional practices outlined in the British Council CPD Framework for Teachers in their everyday classroom practice.

 

Key Activities

Face-to-face training

In the first year of the project, orientation workshops for Assistant Education Officers (AEOs), Project Officers and Head Teachers (HTs) to help them gain necessary skills to support project activities in their zones and schools respectively. 

CPD Workshops to support the professional development of teacher educators and teacher facilitators from all zones of the GCC focusing on classroom 21st Century and facilitation and teaching skills.

In year two, head teachers from every school attended a workshop on Gender Awareness, and one teacher from every school undertook training in Child Protection and reporting abuse.

In the same year, two teachers from every school took a course on the 21st Century skills of ‘Critical Thinking and Problem Solving’ and ‘Digital Literacy’.

In all the three years, workshops were conducted for teacher facilitators and student peer leaders to help them become familiar with the concept of Skills Clubs and to help them develop their skills of facilitating club activities.

In the third year, a workshop on Teachers Activity Groups (TAGs) for teacher educators was conducted. The aim of the workshop was to introduce the concept of TAGs and helping TEs become familiar with the materials and resources for facilitating TAGs effectively.

Materials development

Development of Skills Club Activity Book for peer leaders to help them plan and conduct activities for Skills Club.

Development of materials for various workshops for different stake holders; which includes: workshops on 21st century skills, Child Protection, Gender Awareness and TAGs.

 

Measuring Progress

To maintain the objectivity and reliability of the data, we partnered with an external agency to carry out the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) activities.

The agency developed comprehensive and rigorous monitoring and evaluation tools and processes. Professionally qualified and experienced Training Consultants were taken on-board to carry out the MEL activities. The consultants shared their findings directly with the agency to maintain confidentiality and objectivity of the data.

Expected Impact And Legacy Outputs

  • 50% of students attending clubs are able to use 21st century skills to an agreed standard (at least 80% of this total should be girls)
  • 50% of students attending clubs are able to reach an agreed standard of English proficiency (at least 80% of this total should be girls)
  • 80% of employers interviewed state that students demonstrate 21st century skills required
  • 80% of schools have school development plans which reflect CPD and club activities
  • P3DISC Handbook for implementing school improvement processes in Corporation is in place

Expected Outcomes

  • A cadre of Teacher Educators are able to conduct training, mentor and support teachers through teacher clubs and other CPD activities as per agreed quality standards
  • Teachers apply classroom methodologies that develop English and 21st century skills and demonstrate professional practices outlined in the British Council CPD Framework for Teachers in their everyday classroom practice
  • Teachers are able to facilitate 21st century club activities that support the development of English and 21st century skills
  • Head Teachers in schools demonstrate effective leadership skills that further change management processes in their schools
  • Head Teachers are able to provide support for implementing, managing and sustaining students clubs and CPD of teachers
  • Student peer leaders demonstrate effective facilitation skills which motivate and influence their peers to attend and participate in 21st century clubs

External links