Connecting Classrooms

Connecting Classrooms is a global education programme for schools, designed to help young people to develop the knowledge, skills and values to live and work in a globalised economy, and contribute responsibly both locally and globally.

Over the last few years research and evidence has shown that the majority of education systems around the world, including in the UK, are not equipping young people with the skills they need in this rapidly changing environment.

The 2013-14 Education for All Global Monitoring Report stated that curriculums need to ensure that young people learn foundation skills (e.g. literacy and numeracy) in a manner that enhances transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and advocacy and conflict resolution in order to help them become responsible global citizens.

The new Connecting Classrooms programme aims to address this gap in global skills and will build the capacity of teachers to integrate a range of core skills into the curriculum, therefore improving learning outcomes for young people and enabling them to become more globally aware and globally competitive.

The programme, running from 2015-2018, will build the capacity of 45,000 teachers and 12,000 school leaders worldwide to support them to integrate a range of core skills into the curriculum, with a focus on: 

  • Digital literacy
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Student leadership and personal development
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Citizenship 

Connecting Classrooms will aim to improve teaching in both the UK and other countries in the following key areas:

  • Professional development for teachers and school leaders in over 30 countries including the UK;
  • Sustainable partnerships between schools in the UK and over 30 countries in the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa and South and East Asia;
  • Professional dialogue opportunities for policy makers that will support national and regional level debate, reflection and action;
  • Awards to schools which are successful in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to live and work in a globalised economy;
  • Online access to high quality resources to support teachers in delivering improved learning outcomes for young people.

 

Continuous Professional Development

The British Council provides continuous professional developments opportunities for teachers and leaders by way of workshops, events and trainings. These are organised both face-to-face and online.

Face-to-Face

In the development of any teacher professional development programme, it is important to heed research insights as to what makes it effective. The following points are derived from a research by Hennessy et al. 2015:

  • long-term and structured
  • promote teacher agency and leadership
  • focus on classroom implementation
  • align with teachers’ existing knowledge, practice and contexts
  • create opportunities for collaboration with colleagues and teacher peer support
  • encourage and support teachers in obtaining resources
  • encourage engagement with the local community
  • recognise the interplay between teacher and head teacher professional development

The structure of British Council Continuing Professional Development of Teachers fulfils almost all of the above points.

Online

In addition to the face-to-face courses on Core Skills, there will be several online courses on Schools Online for teachers to register and complete the course at their convenience. The following modules will be available online:

  • Introduction to International Learning
  • Intercultural Practice
  • Education for Global Citizenship
  • Critical thinking and Problem Solving
  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Student Leadership and Personal Development
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Citizenship
  • Digital Literacy
  • Teacher as a Researcher

In addition to the above we have introduced the below core skills trainings below-

 

Policy engagement

The Connecting Classrooms programme has a dedicated strand for policy level engagements. The target audience for policy level engagement is policymakers and senior practitioners who we expect to develop an enhanced understanding of international best practice. The primary purpose of such engagement is to facilitate and engage in strategic level discussions with decision makers and influencers to ensure that our interventions support education policy in the UK and the rest of the world. This will enable us to make the greatest difference possible to the millions of young people with whom we work. A policy-based approach is the most sustainable and cost-effective way of doing this as Ministries and other institutions benchmark their own approaches against others’ in order to adopt, embed and mainstream the outcomes of collaborative work.

 

The following are the five priority themes for policy level engagement:

  • Leadership and governance
  • Quality assurance (QA) and accountability
  • Teacher training
  • Continuing professional development (CPD)
  • ICT in education.

There is also is plenty of interest in the teaching of STEM, improving skills based learning, curriculum reform, inclusive education and trying to convince policymakers and senior practitioners of the wider programme benefits and organisational objectives (e.g. school partnerships, intercultural awareness, promoting English, etc).

 

The activities undertaken to achieve the laid objectives include:

  • study visits to/from the UK
  • roundtable policy dialogues
  • education conferences
  • focus group discussions.

If you are a policy maker or senior practitioner, please visit the Schools Online website on a regular basis to update yourself of any policy-level conferences and seminars. 

Generation UK-India

Generation UK-India was launched on 13 November 2014 by Greg Clark, UK Minister for Universities, Science and Cities and supported by the Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani. The programme will support up to 25,000 young people from the UK to undertake placements studying, working and teaching in India between 2015 and 2020. 

Generation UK- India Visions and aims:

Generation UK-India will foster greater interaction, engagement and understanding between young people from the UK and India, building long term trust and collaboration, and bringing mutual benefit to the two countries. It will:

  • Develop a more globally competitive UK workforce.
  • Strengthen understanding and engagement between the two nations. 
  • Create a step change in the outward mobility paradigm between the UK and India.
  • Enhance cultural and economic relations between the UK and India by encouraging talented and ambitious young people from the UK to work and study in Indian institutions.
  • Add an international dimension to UK and Indian institutions by creating a talent pool of young people at both ends who can operate in diverse contexts and multi-cultural environments
Strand Overview

Study  placements

Indian universities will run 2 - 3 week summer courses which include a variety of subjects ranging from international relations, social entrepreneurship and gender politics to yoga and cinema.

Placements will be in July or August. There are roughly 500 places available.

Teaching Assistant placements

200 Teaching placements available in Indian private schools teaching a range of subjects including English and offering participants the chance to develop their teaching skills and share knowledge about UK culture.

Placements are for 2 or 5 months starting from July or August

Work placements 

Tata Consultancy Services will offer 1000 12 month paid internships to UK graduates over the next 5 years. This year we will be recruiting the first 100 interns. Internships will be based across India in fields such as software development, global consulting, business process management and human resources.
   

If you would like further information about the programme, please email the Generation UK-India team directly on generationuk.india@britishcouncil.org  or logon to www.britishcouncil.in/generationuk