The verdict from teachers across Malaysia and South Korea could not be clearer: Teacher-led learning circles for formative assessment are a unique form of continuous professional learning and development (CPLD) that empowers and enables teachers to use their leadership skills to identify and establish promising formative assessment practices in their classrooms. Teachers must continue to be supported by unions and governments to participate in CPLD programmes to provide inclusive quality public education for all.
On the 4 and 5 November, Education International in partnership with the Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union (KTU) and the National Union of the Teaching Profession Malaysia (NUTP), held a groundbreaking Asia-Pacific learning event in Seoul, South Korea as a part of the Teacher-led Learning Circles for Formative Assessment (T3LFA) project.
The T3LFA project is currently being conducted in seven countries with the support of its union members and the Jacobs Foundation. The project aims to provide teachers with the tools and support necessary to identify and establish promising teacher-led formative assessment practices that can be disseminated within and across education unions.
To help realise the project's ambitious goal, thirty-nine teachers, facilitators, national researchers, and union representatives from Malaysia and South Korea were brought together in Seoul to partake in a packed programme.
The two-day event began with a welcome from Aminuddin Bin Awang, President of NUTP, Yeonok Jeon, Vice-President of KTU, and Undarmaa Batsukh, coordinator at EI, who each stressed the importance of the event to organising work that highlights the significance of respecting and trusting teachers as leaders in their classrooms, schools, and communities.
What came next on the first day of the Asia-Pacific learning event then shifted the focus to teachers themselves through a panel discussion with national researchers Dr Zuwati Binti Hasim, associate professor at Universiti Malaya and Dr Sun Kim, research professor at Chungnam National University, that took stock of what had been achieved as part of the project in Malaysia and South so far, group work where teachers first discussed and then presented the promising formative assessment practices developed in their classrooms, and paired work where teachers recorded one on another sharing their T3LFA experience on their smartphones.
The second day of the learning event was just as jam-packed with opportunities for inspiration and exchange as the first. The General Secretary of NUTP Fouzi Singon and vice-president of KTU Yeonok Jeon began the day by emphasising that this was just the beginning for teacher-led learning circles for formative assessment. Next, teachers and facilitators motivated by the union's commitment to continuing the project spent time drafting and sharing action plans to ensure that teacher leadership and formative assessment would propagate through teacher-led learning circles in Malaysia and South Korea. The event concluded with a gallery walk where teachers appreciated one another's portfolios before then being handed a certificate to celebrate the learning that had taken place.
Overall, the two-day learning event:
- Provided teachers with the opportunity to present, discuss and celebrate the promising formative assessment practices that they had developed in their learning circles and classrooms;
- Gave both teachers and facilitators the chance to reflect on their achievements as leaders and chart how they would use their leadership skills to cascade the T3LFA project throughout Malaysia and South Korea;
- Allowed unions to clarify their commitment to working to get governments to provide dedicated institutional time for teacher-led learning circles for formative assessment as well as other forms of CPLD that support teacher leadership for inclusive quality public education for all.
Take a look at the photos from the event here! Want to find out more about our learning event in Seoul or even learn about the work that is taking place across our six other project countries? Take a look at the Teacher-led Learning Circles for Formative Assessment page.