We were very privileged to be able to work with the British Council Mexico between November 2015 and March 2016 on the evaluation of the online CPD platform for STEM primary and secondary teachers La Ciencia en tu Escuela, developed by the Mexican Academy of Science. Another great pleasure in this project was to team up with the guys at UKEdChat who supported our evaluation of the technical capabilities of the platform. Their professionalism and expertise allowed us to provide a really comprehensive and high quality service in all aspects of this project, so we are very grateful for their contribution.
We were asked to evaluate all aspects of the online platform, including the content of the modules teachers can enrol on, as well as the technical capability of the hardware and software. It was a very interesting experience and we were very pleased to see how professional development is provided in a country whose educational system is quite different from the UK’s. Funding for training of teachers is very limited in Mexico and there is a lack of specific subject knowledge in a number teachers, especially within STEM subjects in primary schools. So, the approach that the Mexican Academy of Science takes is effective and efficient in this context. But teachers are not just left to their devices to try and make sense of the content in this platform, because they follow a thorough series of activities and subject knowledge enhancement resources that enable them to complete assignments and interact with other participating educators. Their input is closely monitored by the Mexican Academy of Science Assessors, who are experts in their field and in education and play a key role in the development and progress of the delegates enrolled to La Ciencia en tu Escuela modules. We noticed that the support given by the Assessors across all modules is prompt, personalised and conducive to reflective learning.
One of the key objectives of the programme is to develop inductive thinking and problem-solving skills and, although this is done through activities carried out by teachers, these techniques are easily transferrable to the classroom, as we observed during our visit to a grade 5 and a grade 4 lesson.
This week British Council Mexico and the Mexican Academy of Science organised a press conference where we could give a summary of our evaluation via the video message below.
We felt honoured to evaluate such a successful and supportive programme for teachers and we wish the Mexican Academy of Science continuous growth in their future development of La Ciencia en tu Escuela.
Below are some links to articles written by the Mexican Press after the press conference.