Developing Myanmar’s second year pre-service teacher education curriculumFeature 19 Aug 2020 5 minute read
It is widely understood that quality teachers play a pivotal role in the learning and development of their students. To ensure that all children have access to inclusive, equitable quality education as highlighted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4, it has been critical for Myanmar to reform teacher education.
As part of the National Education Strategic Plan (2016-2021), the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Myanmar outlined strategies to reform teacher education, including improving the pre-service teacher curriculum. These reforms focus on enhancing teaching and learning professional practice with the aim of ensuring that lessons are interactive, accessible and benefit all children, in every classroom.
As an official partner of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), ACER was engaged to develop a suite of the core curriculum subjects for the second of a four-year pre-service teacher education degree in Myanmar. The new teacher education curriculum in Myanmar is a standards-based curriculum and increases teacher preparation from two years to four years.
Strengthening Pre-service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) project, ACER has worked closely with UNESCO, MoE, education colleges and universities to draft, revise and edit the new second year teacher education syllabi, student teacher textbooks and teacher educator guides. Curriculum development has focused on the following subject groups:
- Educational Studies
- Practicum and Reflective Practice
- Essential Skills.
The drafting of the second year syllabi, student teacher textbooks and teacher educator guides was conducted through six workshops, with the first four face-to-face workshops in Yangon between September 2019 and January 2020. Small group consultation meetings were also held with the Curriculum Core Team – a group of 60 teacher educators from education colleges and universities across Myanmar – as well as UNESCO and other relevant stakeholders.
ACER conducted pilot testing to collect feedback from various stakeholders on the syllabi, student teacher textbooks and teacher educator guides in order to revise and finalise the curriculum materials. Eighty student teachers and 10 teacher educators at Hlegu Education College spent a week piloting selected lessons in late January.
Due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, the final two workshops were adapted and successfully delivered online via Zoom in March and May. Held in Burmese and English, more than 50 people across Myanmar participated in the 3 ½ hour sessions on their phones and laptops.
Given its expertise in remote learning and school improvement, and experience working in low and middle income countries, ACER was able to swiftly shift the workshops online without impacting on timelines and quality. Extensive experience in online learning and strong partnerships also enabled ACER to support to the wider curriculum team and build the capacity of national educators in collaborative technologies.
With the second year curriculum now complete, the foundation is set for the development of the third and fourth years of the pre-service teacher education degree in Myanmar. Coupled with a number of other teacher reform initiatives under the National Education Strategic Plan, the STEM project will help to lift the quality of education in Myanmar and meet the aims of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The STEM project complements other initiatives that ACER has been involved in through the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs-funded Myanmar Education Quality Improvement program, including validating the Teacher Competency Standards Framework and conducting the baseline study for the Schools Quality Assurance Standards Framework in Myanmar.
Read more about the Strengthening Pre-service Teacher Education in Myanmar project.
Read more about ACER’s education and development work.