In July 2019, 11 teachers from NSW, Australia embarked on a journey of professional growth and to make a difference to the lives of children in disadvantaged communities.
We didn’t choose to visit Singapore or Finland, countries well known for quality educational practices and polices. Instead, our destination of choice, India and observing learning in schools in Delhi and Jaipur. We knew we would be confronted and we knew we needed to take precautions, re water, health and hygiene however we were not prepared for the level of respect, the endearing politeness, the engaging smiles and the overwhelming desire to learn that we observed in the schools.
Our tour organisers, http://www.payitforwardtours.com/ organised the itinerary, accommodation, schools through https://www.teachforindia.org/ and we were well looked after by our tour leader, Raj, a coach driver and his assistant.
My role was to design and facilitate the educational practice, International Learning Observations, 4 days observing learning in classrooms. International Learning Observations uses the 7 principles from Instructional Learning Rounds as well as the principles behind high quality Lesson study; co planning and co teaching.
On Day 1 we met in Delhi, India at one of the Radisson Blu hotels, our accommodation for 4 nights. To enter the hotel we needed to have our bags, personal belongings pass through a security checkpoint.
Day 1 was a get to know you afternoon and a time for us to reflect about the two problems of practice
Using a google docs for online collaboration we created what will we see and hear in classrooms, the Instructional Core, Teacher, Student and Content.
Here are some of our team, Day 1 as we prepared to observe learning in classrooms.
Our theories of action described our front loading and provided a focus for observations on Day 2.