There is no doubt that the job of training the teachers in teaching skills has increased in importance, owing to changes in education regulations and the subsequent professionalization of tertiary level education. In fact that better trainers lead to better trained, and subsequently, innovative practitioners. The PHEC has therefore taken the opportunity to establish ‘PHEC Faculty Development Academy’ that, PHEC hopes, will allow the contribution of our trainers and trainees to be recognized in a variety of ways, and will also create a community – a Faculty of Educators – in the longer term. PHEC believes that high-quality teaching is fundamental to classroom proceedings as well as academic management and it will demonstrate PHEC’s commitment to this principle.
Education systems today are charged with addressing ever-increasing demands: reducing the achievement gap, adopting evidence-based practices, meeting adequate yearly progress goals, managing the academic requirements and special-needs students, and remaining current on the increasing amount of pedagogical and content area as well as management. Educators must keep abreast of the important advances that are occurring in education. This is where professional development comes in. Professional development is the process of improving staff skills and competencies needed to produce outstanding educational results for students. Notable improvements in education almost never take place in the absence of professional development. Professional development is key to meeting today’s educational demands. High-quality professional development strategies are essential to institutions of higher education. The days of teacher staff development sessions consisting of “sit-and-get” workshops and expert delivered awareness campaigns are long gone. We are now moving toward more effective and more engaging professional development models.
Research and experience help us recognize that high-quality professional development deepens teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical skills, educational managers’ management skills, provides opportunities for practice, research, and reflection, strengthens efforts that are job embedded, sustained, and collaborative and assists in the goal to remain up-to-date. Additionally, professional development is increasingly seen as a systemic process that includes the development of all individuals involved with student achievement from the lowest to the high level teaching and nonteaching staff. ‘PHEC Faculty Development Academy’ will offer faculty and academic management development programs and resources to enable them excel in their respective areas. PHEC’s vision is to create a thriving learning community so that they can significantly impact student learning and institutions’ development. Specifically, faculty development programs and resources are envisioned to educating faculty in effective teaching techniques and in establishing a faculty learning community across disciplines.
The objectives of the establishment of Faculty Development Academy are to:
- Strengthen the profession of teaching in the Province of the Punjab by providing substantial professional learning opportunities and modelling highly effective educational practice.
- Identify and develop teachers of the highest quality who are committed to both the all-round development of young people and to their own professional excellence.
- Support excellence by striving to model best practices in teaching and learning within all of its classes and by providing high quality development opportunities for all University and College teachers on one hand and academic management on the other.
- Provide academia opportunities to work collaboratively with more experienced colleagues through short and long term training programs.
- Promote teaching innovations.
- Improve faculty’s Andragogical knowledge and skills.
- Improve technological literacy in the province.
- Encourage support and interaction among faculty members and academic management.
- Conduct workshops, courses and other training opportunities for in-service University and College teachers.
- Offer mentoring and collaborative opportunities to newly inducted University and College teachers.
- Help University and College teachers achieve their career goals.
- Arrange short term international training to 100 college teachers.