The Civil Society Support Program (the East East: Partnership beyond Borders program) organized a 2-day training course – Socratic Teaching and Civil Consciousness Development in a School Environment – on 10 and 24 February, 2011.
The purpose of the training course was to introduce the international practice of using different teaching methods to trainees and teach them the technique of inquiring, creating a dilemma and applying it in practice.
The target group was made up of teachers, education experts, specialists, as well as students of the faculty of education and persons working in the field of education. The participants were both from Tbilisi and regions – Rustavi, Mtskheta, Bolnisi, Zugdidi, Gori and Telavi. Internally displaced teachers were also among the members of the course.
The training was run by Mr. Giorgi Latsabidze, a teacher and a professional skills trainer for teachers and directors, who was granted the Training of Trainers Certificate (Module A) by the European Council. Mr. Latsabidze is the author of the book “Development Theories” (a teacher’s guide) and a co-author of a guide for school principals.
The idea of running a training course emerged when Mr. Latsabidze returned from Poland. In November 2010, as part of the East East: Partnership beyond Borders program he took part in the initiative – Parent Teacher Associations in Action in Azerbaijan and Georgia. Following the initiative, he expressed interest in running training courses in the OSGF to share the experience he had gained in Poland with teachers.
The training course dealt with the following issues: Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives, the Socratic method of teaching, the principles of teaching a dilemma, improvement of civil consciousness, case analysis in schools, the Montessori method.
“The training course has contributed much to my teaching experience; I acknowledge that there are many new and interesting questions… I have been introduced to various methods of teaching and approaches, the possible ways to use them in practice… I have gained comprehensive knowledge… The program has clearly showed the reality of modern requirements for teaching and the need to employ new teaching methods …getting used to innovations… once again it has made me think about the method of teaching …I have become aware of the necessity of the inclusion of civil education in school teaching” – this is how around 50 participants evaluate the training course.
The participants pointed out that they would share obtained knowledge and experience with their colleagues, that the course would help them plan programs in the future; they said while working with children they would use the activities that would help children develop different skills like critical thinking, decision making, working on projects, team activities etc.
Trainees said it would be good to run similar courses from time to time on other issues and in regions as well. They said the course should be longer and accessible to many teachers.
Given the interest the topic has raised in the public, the OSGF plans to further host similar training courses in order to share the experience gained as part of the East East: Partnership beyond Borders program and make civil society more active.