Co-design Vocational Teacher Training Curriculum

Activity/project background

Partner: More Than a Teacher (Local NGO)

More Than a Teacher (MTAT) is a South African NGO that focuses on holistic teacher development. Their program aims to equip pre-service teachers with tools for professional, personal, and spiritual growth. They offer support during university studies, providing training workshops for professional and personal development. MTAT also provides opportunities for professional placement, expert mentorship, collaborative learning, and youth-led education initiatives.

MTAT's commitment to excellence in education is driven by a teaching philosophy rooted in three core values centered around their students. Their philosophy shapes their curriculum and objectives. They prioritize value-based education, aiming to instill integrity, empathy, and social responsibility in pre-service teachers. Holistic well-being is also emphasized, recognizing the connection between academic journey and the well-being of students. They create a supportive environment that addresses emotional and psychological needs. Additionally, MTAT focuses on developing an ethic of care in pre-service teachers, equipping them to understand and respond effectively to the needs of their future students.

MTAT seeks the support of a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to conduct research and co-develop a vocational professional teacher training curriculum. The VSPP will also assess the current curriculum and support standardization and further development of detailed training session plans, co-develop new experiential learning tools, and strategies, as well as practice-based activities so that it meets required accreditation standards.

MTAT has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a VSPP. The partner understands that the nature of Virtual Service is different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-assess the current curriculum and training session plans
• Collaborate with MTAT to standardize and further develop the curriculum
• Co-design detailed material to be used by facilitators during in-person and online training sessions
• Collaborate with MTAT to present the curriculum and training sessions in a manner that meets accreditation standards

This engagement is expected to be approximately 24 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, South Africa time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Email, WhatsApp, and Zoom for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in education

• 1 year of experience teaching at early childhood, elementary, or middle school
• Experience in teacher training
• Experience developing facilitation manuals

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in education

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Experience: 3 years of experience in designing, implementing, and assessing curriculum

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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