Event Highlight: KIX LAC Webinar on Teacher Professional Development

22 December 2020
KIX LAC webinar
Credit: KIX LAC

On November 5, 2020, the KIX LAC hub hosted a webinar to share the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the hub's member states and discuss the challenges for teacher professional development in the region. 

The director of SUMMA, Javier González opened the meeting by sharing his thoughts on the MOU with member states, “we are honored to be part of this alliance with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) [...] we share with the OECS a very important mission which is the right to education with a focus on the most vulnerable children”. The Director of OECS, Didacus Jules, affirmed this sentiment, stating that, "as part of KIX LAC, we are excited to be an integral component of this center […] this alliance helps us to overcome the isolation of pandemic distancing."

The remainder of the meeting focused on the main theme: teacher professional development. This discussion was led by Dr. Denise Vaillant from University ORT in Uruguay and Rafer Gordon, Education Specialist with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and moderated by Ivana Zacarias, a researcher for the KIX LAC Hub. 

Dr. Valliant highlighted the heterogeneity of the region and the diversity of training models and realities, "the biggest challenge is the health emergency we are experiencing," and emphasized  that "teachers have had to adapt very quickly to scenarios of great uncertainty" .

He noted that "the pandemic has made visible the invisible, such as inequality and the educational gap" and added that "teacher development must be addressed in relation to other factors: social value, working conditions and initial and continuing training." Gordon emphasized that teacher quality is intrinsically related to the quality of initial and ongoing professional development programs and that teacher quality is a key variable in the classroom.