The Thinking Classroom Project
A detailed programmatic and financial proposal was submitted to the Open Society Foundations (OSF) in response to their interest and willingness to partner with TRC. The proposed intervention focuses on developing and piloting materials to promote critical thinking skills amongst both teachers and students of primary schools. The proposal was approved and TRC initiated a year-long programme starting January 2014. A Working Group, comprised of teachers, resource developers and teacher educators from both the public and private sectors was set up to do carry out the rigourous process of developing the modules infused in critical thinking.
During the last reporting period 12 Working Group Meetings were held and five of the planned seven modules were developed. Each Module contained seven lesson plans for ECE, Grades 1-5 and a multi grade classroom. Modules for Ethics, Environment, Human Body, Shapes and Angles, and Fractions were developed and pretested in selected public and private sector schools by the TRC team.
Pretesting lead to further remodeling of the lesson plans to suit the needs of the schooling contexts. This coupled with the feedback received from the National Review Committee was incorporated into the lesson plans which are finally ready for dissemination. Currently, Urdu translations of both the primary and ECE modules are underway.
Based on the successful implementation of the first phase of The Thinking Classroom Project, what started out as a one-year project for TRC and OSF, has now extended into its second year.
The focus in this new phase of the project will be to strengthen the capacity of public sector stakeholders. A Train-the-Trainer module is being designed for this purpose and TRC is also creating a learning kit that will support the repository of critical thinking material. Future plans include training 200 master trainers in critical thinking and pedagogy in 5 districts of Sindh and holding orientations with government officials to solicit ongoing support for the project.
TRC holds the 1st Policy Dialogue on Thinking Classrooms
On August 28th, Teachers’ Resource Centre hosted a policy dialogue as part of its ‘Improving Quality of Learning through Quality of Teaching’ project. The policy dialogue sought to initiate an interactive discussion on ‘The Importance and Scope of Critical Thinking in Pakistan classrooms.’
In her address to the audience Former Director, TRC talked about how the project was initiated while TRC’s Academic Programmes Advisor gave an informative talk on ‘Why we should care about Critical Thinking.’ In her talk, she shed light on the definition of Critical Thinking and the need to impart it as an essential part of education in the 21st century. Director TRC gave an overview of the progress made so far in the IQLQT project.
This was followed by a conversation between members of the Working Group and the guests at the event. The Working Group members discussed the process of developing teaching-learning resources that they had undertaken. The discussion was followed by a Multimedia presentation on the IQLQT. Next the National Review Committee started an open dialogue on Critical Thinking in the Classroom: Implementation and Scalability.
The 1st meeting of the National Review Committee
In August 2014, the 1st meeting of the National Review Committee was held at TRC with public and private sector representatives from all provinces, except KPK.
The NRC members were apprised of the purpose of the IQLQT which was to create a rich repository of teaching-learning resources infused with Critical Thinking. The NRC members were also told that TRC would be looking to them for support for outreach on the project.
There was an animated discussion on CT, during which the need to educate parents about the importance of CT came up as an important aspect of the success of the IQLQT.
The attendees were acquainted in detail with the rigourous nature of module development and the pretesting phase of the project. The audience was also informed about the action research and advocacy which was built into the framework of the project.
Elaborating on the pretesting phase, Director TRC explained that teachers had been oriented (not trained) to the process of pretesting in order to gauge the effectiveness of the lesson plans. It was suggested that a Learning Kit be developed to accompany the modules as a resource for teachers, which could include teaching videos.
The importance of follow-up on the project was also emphasized and the NRC was informed that a documentary about the IQLQT was in the works.
A discussion ensued on the difficulty of incorporating CT in the classroom given the barriers, cultural and otherwise. During the discussion it was emphasised that the government was in the driving seat as far as the implementation of the project was concerned and that NGOs could only play a supportive role.
Mr. Noman Siddiqui walked the participants through the action-research that is part of the process of the IQLQT. He said the purpose of the research was to gauge the acceptability of the lesson plans, to ensure quality of the material, to demonstrate the rigour of the process of module development, and to warrant the ‘replicability’ of the material across the private and public schooling contexts. He said that the action-research would highlight the key findings of the project and would also enable the development of research-based policy briefs.
In September 2015 TRC organized pre-training orientation sessions in Hyderabad and Nawabshah which were attended by provincial and district level officials, NGOs representatives and teachers from public and private sector.
To conclude the first phase of the project, in November 2015 TRC hosted a series of events. These were an art workshop, a story telling workshop and the closing ceremony of phase 1 of the Thinking Classroom Project. Sixty students from Jaffer Public School attended the art workshop in which they were asked to create a map of their homes and surrounding areas. Sixty-one students from the AMI School and Daycare Centre attended the storytelling workshop by guest storyteller Unaizah Ali who engaged them with four stories; each with a understated moral lesson.
On November 23rd, TRC hosted the closing ceremony of phase 1 of the Thinking Classroom Project. The event, which was held at the Rangoonwala Community Centre in Karachi was attended by children from the primary sections of Habib Public School, HOPE (Health Oriented Preventive Education) School and V.M Public School. The event showcased theatrical and musical performances and storytelling sessions.
In phase 2 of the project, TRC launched a comprehensive capacity building programme to train 200 master trainers from the public sector on critical thinking pedagogy and material. The overarching objective of the training was to develop an in-depth understanding of the critical thinking pedagogy, materials and classroom approaches for early to primary grades. Two manuals were developed as part of this exercise, one for master trainers and the second for TRC trainers. The manuals provide a detailed breakup of activities and expected learning outcomes of each session in the 4-day training. The manuals were developed in Urdu as trainings will be carried out in Urdu. Trainees were also given a complete set of lesson plans.
Prior to the 4-day training of trainers, a one-day orientation was carried out for government officials. Through the orientation session the officials were introduced to the project, acquainted with the concept of critical thinking and its importance in education, and also explored how the government can support district level trainers and head teachers to implement critical thinking plans in their schools.
The orientations and trainings were initiated from November 2015 across Pakistan in Karachi, Quetta, Muzzafarabad, Nawabshah and Lahore.
Teachers as Critical Thinkers – A Seminar
In September, 2015 TRC held the ‘Teachers as Critical Thinkers’ seminar at the Pearl Continental Hotel Karachi. This was part of TRC’s advocacy efforts, to initiate a wide scale buy- in by stakeholders from both public and private sectors to understand, adopt, practice and scale up TRC’s critical thinking teaching-learning material. Achieving readiness in public sector education institutions remains the overarching focus leading to a gradual but transformational shift in the way teachers teach and children learn. This repository of lesson plans is the first step in the process and will be followed by organised efforts and initiatives to reform curriculum, pedagogy and assessment systems.
TRC invited partners and stakeholders to discuss possibilities, avenues and room for innovation in teacher education which is targeted towards transforming their role from a task master to a thinker and facilitator. The seminar proceedings focused on how possibilities can be created to strengthen and reform teacher education institutions, policies and delivery. Representatives from the public and private sector debated diverse and innovative partnership modalities and resource and expertise pooling among other things.
The event was attended by over 200 guests, and the majority of the attendees were government teachers, school heads and EDOs.
2nd Meeting of the National Review Committee
In July 2015, the 2nd meeting of the National Review Committee was held at Karachi’s Pearl Continental Hotel. The committee was established as part of the Thinking Classroom Project. The meeting was attended by NRC members from Baluchistan, Punjab and Sindh. Members from Children’s Global Network, Islamabad were also present. The meeting aimed at consolidation of the first project phase by agreeing on and signing the Policy Declaration which was developed by TRC for pledging support for the project. The draft declaration was reviewed and suggestions from the forum were duly incorporated. Before the end of the meeting, all the NRC members present signed the declaration. This was a milestone for the project. During the second phase of the project building capacity of the public sector master trainers was also discussed.
Research Workshop of Critical Thinking study
To initiate a discourse with academia and organizations on critical thinking, TRC hosted a research workshop on September 18th 2015 at the Pearl Continental Hotel. The highly interactive session was attended by over 60 participants from renowned education institutions, research agencies, NGOs and public sector representatives. Key findings of TRC’s research study on critical thinking lesson plans were shared at the event which was followed by group activities and discussions on possible directions for future studies on critical thinking in education.
TRC hosts the “From Active Learning to Critical Thinking” seminar
On 19th September, 2015, TRC hosted a seminar to mark its nearly three decade journey as an institution working for teachers’ professional development in Pakistan. The event was attended by TRC member schools, friends, donors and partners and representatives of the public sector.
The speeches and panels discussions at the event highlighted how critical thinking can shape children’s and teachers’ learning experiences in and outside the classroom and also underscored TRC’s role as a leader in critical thinking initiatives for both public and private sector stakeholders. TRC’s efforts towards improving teachers’ capacity for enriching children’s learning experiences were lauded.
Seminar on the Thinking Classroom
In March 2016 TRC hosted a seminar to mark the culmination of the Master Trainer’s Training Seminar Programme under the Thinking Classroom Project. The event was held to share the lessons learnt and chart the way forward with various stakeholders.
The Open Society Foundation (OSF) approached TRC to spearhead the Thinking Classroom project, based on the pioneering role it has played in introducing active learning methods in Pakistani classrooms. Since January 2014, TRC has developed a repository of teaching and learning material and also trained Master Trainers for Seminar schools in both the private and public sector for the Thinking Classroom Project. The lesson plans developed and the training sessions being conducted by TRC staff are grounded in critical thinking and are designed to initiate the process of higher-order thinking among ECE and primary students.
Prize Distribution Ceremony in New Karachi Town
Under ‘The Thinking Classroom’ project (supported by Open Society Foundations) TRC has
trained 205 master trainers across Pakistan. TRC’s trainings aim to develop the master trainers’ capacity in order to reach out and train teachers in schools and towns across Pakistan. In Karachi, TRC’s staff trained a total of 65 teachers in three clusters. Two master trainers from New Karachi Town, District Central took the initiative and under the supervision of their Taluka Education Officer (TEO), conducted trainings in their town. They conducted five rounds of trainings and trained 189 teachers and head teachers in their district.
The TEO, New Karachi town organized a certificate distribution ceremony for trained teachers and head teachers in March 2016. The District Education Officer, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. This ceremony was attended by TRC’s training and development team, TEOs of District Central, head teachers and teachers of different schools in that district. The school children welcomed the guests and presented skits. During his address, the DEO acknowledged and thanked TRC’s team for training the master trainers and building their capacity.
The National Consultative Session for Curriculum and Textbook Board
In December 2016 TRC organised The National Consultative Session for Curriculum and Textbook Board. This session was attended by representatives of PITE, BoC, Textbook Board of Sindh, Baluchistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and National Curriculum Council-Islamabad.
The objectives of the 4-day session were to conduct a review exercise on the provincial efforts on curriculum and textbooks, review curriculums and textbooks for critical thinking and develop action plans at provincial level focusing on gap identification in curriculum and textbooks for critical thinking, development of strategies for embedding critical thinking in curriculum through SLOs. The outcomes of the session were the sharing of progress on curriculum and textbook development of all provinces, a review of the curriculum for integration of higher order thinking, and development of provincial action plans for the integration of higher order thinking in curriculum and textbooks.
The session was highly valued by the provincial representation, as its important feature was the exchange of knowledge on the progress on curriculum and textbooks development in all provinces and regions.
TRC hosts Academic Conference
On 18th March 2017 TRC hosted a one-day ‘Thinking Classroom and Critical Thinking:
Reshaping Educational Prospects’ academic conference at the Karachi School of Business and Leadership. Over 500 teachers attended the 8 sessions. The Keynote speakers at the conference were Rafique Tahir, Joint Educational Advisor Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Asfandiar Khan, director of Global Partnership for Education in Balochistan and Nargis Sultana of the Open Society Foundation. Pop star Shahzad Roy, founder of the Zindagi Trust, which is working to improve the quality of education in the country, also attended the conference.
A critical thinking activity book and training video, which were created as part of TRC’s “Thinking Classroom” project, were launched at the conference. Public sector teachers attended morning session and private sector teachers attended evening sessions. The 4 informative and
interactive sessions conducted in the morning were, “Creating Inclusive Classrooms” (Noshin Khan, Anum), “Creating Thinking Classrooms in Public Sector Schools” (Ambreena Ahmed and Farzana Kausar), “Action Research” (Rubina Naqvi and Saira Shahab), and “Media Literacy” (Tabinda Jabeen and Hammad Naqvi). Private school teachers attended the afternoon sessions, which were, “Creating Inclusive Classroom” (Noshin Khan, Ali Sayeddain), “Critical Thinking Through Art, Play and Story Telling” (Sheetal Suleman and Tabinda Jabeen), “Action
Research” (Rubina Naqvi and Saira Shahab), and “Media Literacy” (Shahrezad Samiuddin and Hammad Naqvi).
‘The Thinking Classroom’ follow-up visit in AJK
From 11th September to 13th September 2017, TRC’s team went on a follow-up visit to Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The team followed up on master trainers who were trained by TRC as part of Open Society Foundation’s ‘The Thinking Classroom’ project in November 2015. The teachers who had received the training of master trainers were interviewed to evaluate their understanding of the training content, the extent to which they had integrated higher order thinking skills in their lesson planning and classroom practices. Another purpose of the visit was to observe the extent to which the teachers were using the Resource Pack and
TRC’s thematic lesson plans that were especially developed for the project. A total of 27 participants from different schools, training Institutes, and the curriculum wing of Muzaffarabad attended a 5-day training programme.
TRC’s team also met education managers at provincial and district levels to discuss the action plan in AJK, which was prepared during the National Consultative session in December 2016.
‘The Thinking Classroom’ follow-up visit Baluchistan
TRC’s team visited Baluchistan as part of the follow-up for OSF’s ‘Thinking Classroom
Project’. The team was following up on the Critical Thinking training of master trainers that was conducted in November 2015 as part of the ‘Thinking Classroom’ project. TRC’s team followed up with female master trainers in Baluchistan.
One of the master trainers had achieved impressive results. She was able to cascade the training by training 7 other teachers.
TRC’s team also met DEOs (District Education Officers), the Additional Director (Bureau of Curriculum and Extension Centre, Quetta), the Assistant Director (BOC), the assessment expert and Director PITE. TRC’s team gave them a briefing of OSF’s Thinking Classroom Project. The team later met a representative of the UNICEF.
Teachers as Reflective Practitioners
Under The Thinking Classroom project TRC developed and conducted a 3-month long continuous professional development programme titled ‘Teachers as Reflective Practitioners’. The objective of this programme was to provide an enabling and empowering platform for
teachers from the public sector to access quality professional development opportunities. This programme was divided into 5 modules i.e. 101 on Critical Thinking, Peace Education, Reflective Pedagogy, Teachers as Leaders and Critical Thinking through Art and storytelling.
Once 21 teachers were selected, an orientation session was organized for them, their head teachers, DEOs and TEOs. The purpose of this session was to orient teachers and their heads on the modules, academic calendar and expectations from teachers and schools.
The programme kicked off in October 2017 and classes were held 4 days a week. Modules were delivered in a sequence one after another. Different teaching and learning methodologies were employed to meet the diverse needs of learners such as group work and presentations, debates and discussions, individual and pair work, small group projects etc. The programme ended on December 2017.
Guides for ECE and Primary school teachers
As part of the project TRC developed two guides for ECE and primary teachers to help them enrich pedagogical understanding. These guides will serve as lampposts for continuous and effective implementation of the lesson plans, critical thinking pedagogy as well the resource material already provided as part of the project.
TRC’s 2nd Annual Teachers’ Conference in Lahore
On March 31s, 2018 over 500 teachers from Lahore and other towns in Punjab participated in TRC’s 2nd Annual Teachers’ Conference 2018. The theme of the conference was ‘Integrating Critical Thinking Skills into the Daily Teaching-Learning Processes’ and attracted both public and private sector teachers. Public sector teachers were invited to the morning sessions, while
private sector teachers attended the afternoon sessions. The venue for the conference was FAST- NU (Lahore)
The participants attended 5 interactive and stimulating workshops that were conducted by TRC’s team. The sessions were:
Critical Thinking through Art and Storytelling
TRC’s trainers conducted this popular workshop that highlighted strategies to promote critical thinking in children through art and storytelling. Participants explored the concept of critical
thinking and its underlying assumptions. They became aware of how a child’s thinking abilities developed naturally and how best these can be nurtured.
Living and Learning with Media: The Battle for Children’s Mind
In this workshop, TRC’s trainers explored how media literacy is an integral part of being literate in today’s world. They looked at ways to help students, parents and teachers become critical thinkers and mindful consumers of traditional and new media.
TRC’s trainer delved the participants into the importance of self-reflection and introspection in educators. Teachers learned to journal effectively and explore the impact of a teacher’s attitude on children’s minds.
Inclusive Practice in Pre-primary and Primary Classrooms
Trainers explored the concept of inclusive education which values diversity and appreciates the unique contributions each student makes to the classroom. This workshop laid the foundation for working with children who have different needs and developmental levels using the Universal Design (UDL) Framework for Learning.
Promoting Citizenship Education in Schools
In this workshop, the trainers focused on activities to promote citizenship by integrating them into the curriculum currently being taught in schools. Participants analysed and brainstormed the need to address issues such as environmental protection, human rights, and tolerance. They looked at ideas to integrate citizenship concepts and practices in the school curriculum.
The 4th project year ended in March 2018 and proved to be a productive year for the initiative. TRC developed 5 activity booklets which contained a variety of extension activities on the following topics; Environment, Our Country, Plants, Ethics and Shapes and Angles. These booklets were especially developed to provide teachers with ideas to reinforce the different concepts and skills in the classroom. Each booklet contains a total of 16 activities, (i.e. 4 activities for each grade level: ECE, Class 1, 2 and 3).
TRC developed two guides; one for ECE teacher and the other for primary school teachers. The purpose of developing these guides was to help teachers to enrich their pedagogical understanding for helping themselves and children become reflective practitioners. These guides provide hands on ideas to teachers to improve their classroom teaching skills as well their own outlook as teaching professionals.
The content of the guides focused on the importance of critical thinking, teachers as critical thinkers, National standards of quality education, role and responsibilities of a teacher, critical thinking pedagogy, learning environment and assessment. Besides these, sample activities and lesson plans for different subjects are also included for teachers to implement in their classrooms.
TRC also developed a training video on critical thinking pedagogy for ECE and Primary teachers. The video will help teachers understand different critical thinking strategies and ideas to implement The Thinking classroom lesson plans effectively. The video was shot in 6 different public sector schools in Karachi where teachers demonstrated The Thinking Classroom lesson plans in real classroom settings.
Under this project TRC has already trained around 400 master trainers till date on the material developed and pedagogy and has provided orientations to 100 plus government education officials on the project across the country. In the upcoming grant period, TRC will undertake a research-based follow up exercise to see impacts at the field level.
The national level consultations for upscaling and strengthening the critical thinking work has already been launched; provinces and areas including AJK are on board to advocate for incorporating/further refining critical thinking skills as a cross cutting area both at the standards/benchmarks and competencies level in the Curriculum (curriculums are currently being reviewed in each province post 18th Amendment. Provincial level curriculums have yet to be finalized). A general consensus regarding significance of critical thinking standards and materials has been reached.
The textbook boards from all provinces have been sensitized regarding how textbook content can be remodeled to promote higher order thinking skills amongst children. The workshop organised by TRC for textbook board officials from across the country was well received.
TRC, under the auspices, of the project, held two annual teachers’ conferences as an annual event, in Karachi and Lahore. The objective of these conferences was not only to showcase teachers’ achievements to promote critical thinking in their schools but also to advocate and promote the initiative.
During the reporting period, following key activities were carried out by TRC:
2-day Training on 21st Century Skills in Bahawalpur, Badin, Swat and Tharparkar
To Introduce critical thinking materials and approaches at the grassroots level, TRC conducted a series of 2-day training sessions titled ‘21st Century Skills’ for 123 government teachers at the district level in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
TRC conducted trainings in four districts.
|District||Province||Dates||No. of participants|
|Bahawalpur||Punjab||5 – 6 September, 2019||33|
|Badin||Sindh||6 – 7 October 2018||30|
|Tharparkar||Sindh||7 – 8 December 2018||30|
|Swat||Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||6 – 7 April, 2019||30|
The objectives of the trainings were to introduce the participants with 21st century skills, make them understand the importance of Bloom’s Taxonomy and critical thinking pedagogy in
teaching and learning process, recognize the role of a teacher in promoting active learning and to effectively use the learning resource pack and critical thinking pedagogies in classrooms
TRC team facilitated the mixed group of ECE and Primary school teachers and Assistant Education Officers (AEOs) in each district. The Thinking Classroom resource packs were distributed. This resource pack consists of critical thinking module comprising of 70 lesson plans for ECE till grade 5 and multi-grade classrooms, stories, flash cards and other teaching and learning material in order to promote critical thinking skills in primary schools.
During these interactive sessions, participants were engaged in different teaching and learning activities such as think-pair-share, group discussions and presentations. Micro teaching was one of the significant activity where participants read, discussed and practiced the lesson plans. The demonstrations were assessed by the trainers and fellow trainees. They worked in groups and developed lesson plans based on critical thinking pedagogy. In the end, action plans were devised along with the Education Officers to take the work forward.
According to the participants, the material was very interesting, interactive and user friendly. As per their comments, the training sessions were very informative and hands on. They were also informed about the follow up visit in the coming months.
Teachers as Reflective Practitioners
During this reporting period, TRC conducted ‘Teachers as Reflective Practitioners’ course, which is a 3-month long continuous professional development programme for the second cohort of 27 teachers from public sector schools in Karachi. The objective of this programme was to provide an enabling and empowering platform for teachers from the public sector to access quality professional development opportunities. This programme entails 5 modules i.e. 101 on Critical Thinking, Peace Education, Reflective Practice, Teachers as Leaders and Critical Thinking through Art and Storytelling.
The 27 teachers were selected from different districts of Karachi. Before classes formally began, an orientation was organized for the selected teachers, their head teachers, DEOs and TEOs. The purpose was to share academic calendar and to discuss expectations from teachers and schools.
The programme kicked off in September2018 and classes were held 3 days a week. Modules were delivered in a sequence one after another. Different teaching and learning methodologies were deployed to meet the diverse needs of learners such as group work and presentations, debates and discussions, individual and pair work, small group projects etc. In each module, different tasks and assignments were given to the participants. Timely constructive feedback from the course leaders helped them to enhance their learning. The programme ended on December 2018 and all participants were awarded certificates.
Lesson Plans for Middle School
TRC has developed the second repository of teaching and learning material comprising of lesson plans for grades 6 to 8. A set of three booklets have been developed based on the curriculum and textbooks and in close consultation with the National Review Committee which has representation from all provinces and which has been actively supporting the initiative in their regions for the last four years.
The purpose of developing these booklets is to empower teachers to implement these lesson plans in classrooms to promote critical thinking skills. TRC takes special care when drafting these lesson plans to ensure they are comprehensible to diverse groups of teachers ranking differently on the competency and content knowledge scale.
Each booklet has 10 lesson plans on key subjects such as Science, Social Studies, Math and English. Each booklet also comes with a teachers’ guide, an assessment plan and recommendations.
These lesson plans are based on the following thematic areas of the national curriculums.
|1||Mathematics||Operations on Sets||Union and intersection of sets|
- General Science
- Social Studies
Environment and Interactions
Pollutants and their Effects on Environment
Light and its Properties
Earth, Space & Satellites
Indus Valley Civilization
Modes of Communication
Addition, subtraction of algebraic expressions
Manipulation of algebraic expressions Construction of triangles
Construction of equilateral & isosceles triangles
Construction of right angled triangle
Biotic and abiotic components of environment
Kinds of habitat Greenhouse effect
Reflection and refraction of light Properties, functions and types of lenses Natural and artificial satellites
Big Bang Theory
Tools & technology used in space exploration
Decline: causes and consequences Different forms of media
Ethics to be followed for social interactions through media
Resources of Water Waterlogging and salination: meaning &
Reading Skills Tourists sites in Pakistan
Women’s role in our society
- English Writing Skills
Formal and Lexical Aspects
Story writing Letter Writing
Training of Middle School Master Trainers
Based on the lesson plans for grades 6 to 8, a 4-day training module for public sector master trainers was developed. This training module aimed to introduce newly developed materials,
critical thinking pedagogies and assessment mechanisms to the middle school teachers in different regions across the country.
These trainings were held in different provinces with support from the provincial and district level government. 190 master trainers were trained in 4 cities across Pakistan:
|City||Province||Dates||No. of participants|
|Karachi||Sindh||17th to 21st December 2018||49|
|Khairpur||Sindh||16th to 20th January 2019||45|
|Peshawar||Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||25th to 28th February, 2019||46|
|Lahore||Peshawar||25th to 28th March, 2019.||50|
The objectives of the training were to enable master trainers to get familiar with 21st century skills, understand the importance of Bloom’s Taxonomy in teaching and learning process, recognize the role of a teacher in promoting critical thinking and inquiry based learning, understand the different assessment tools and strategies to gauge the learning process, implement the lesson plans and pedagogies effectively and develop an action plan to implement TTC lesson plans in their classrooms.
Pre and post tests were administered on the first and last day of the training to gauge participants’ understanding and learning through training.
These training sessions were well attended by middle school teachers (both males and females) from public sector schools, Town Education Officers, District Education Officers and other education officers. Each participant was given the set of 3 booklets and was encouraged to review and use them for demonstration throughout the training.
The training sessions were very productive and interactive as all participants contributed enthusiastically and showed great interest. They shared experiences and raised queries about pedagogy for clarification. The core content of the training “From theory to practice” required them to reflect upon their practice of developing lesson plans. Critical thinking lesson plans were introduced and appreciated by the participants as they read and discussed them individually and then in groups. Later on, they were divided into subject based groups and each group selected a lesson plan to micro teach. They also developed required teaching aids for the lesson plan and demonstrated the lessons. Each demonstration was assessed by all participants and the trainers against a criterion.
The participants found the lesson plans interesting and implementable in their own classrooms. Towards the end of training, action plans were developed.
It was heartening to hear the participants’ comments about how they developed professionally. They appreciated TRC team to work hard and developed contextually relevant material that is
easy to understand and use. According to them this training helped them to improve their content knowledge and pedagogical skills.
Visit of OSF Officials
Mr. Hugh McLean from OSF London Office and Ms. Nargis Sultana from Islamabad, Pakistan Office paid a visit to TRC, in February 2019, to meet with the project team and get updates.
They were welcomed by Director TRC and she, along with the project team members shared details regarding different activities which were underway as part of the project. Experiences from the middle school teachers’ training were shared and discussion mostly centred around feedback received from teachers and government officials of different provinces. A slide show of middle school training held in Peshawar was also displayed which garnered a lot of interest from the visitors.
Overall both officials expressed satisfaction over the work being carried out by TRC and lauded the efforts of TRC team.
Reporting Period July 2019 – June 2020
- 3rd Annual Teachers’ Conference
TRC has been organising the teachers’ conference for the last two years under its Thinking Classroom Project – an initiative to promote inquiry-based learning and reflective thinking skills amongst teachers and students (of primary to middle levels) through curriculum and textbook based teaching-learning materials and capacity building programs.
In the fifth project year, the 3rd Annual Teachers’ Conference was organised on July 6, 2019, at Pearl Continental Hotel, Rawalpindi, in close collaboration with the Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development (QAED), Government of Punjab. This event was attended by an estimated 300 teachers from government schools from Rawalpindi and adjacent areas.
The purpose of the conference was to provide public sector teachers maximum opportunities to benefit from expert facilitators, speakers and panelists regarding critical and contemporary issues of education in general and pedagogy in particular.
The plenary session began with the recitation of the Holy Quran and the welcome note by Ms Ambreena Ahmed, Director, Teachers’ Resource Centre. Ms Rubina Naqvi, Senior Programme Manager Workshop/ Head ECED Programme, introduced the objectives of the conference and shared TRC’s services for teacher education for the past 33 years. Ms Tabinda Jabeen, member of the training and development team, gave an overview of The Thinking Classrooms Project.
The plenary session was attended by 17 honorable guests from different key organisations and government offices. The keynote speakers at the conference were; Mr Ahmed Khawar Shehzad, Additional Director General, QAED, Punjab, Ms Mehnaz Akber Aziz, Chief Executive Officer, PARWAN, Mr Jawad Amir Malik, Planning Officer – Planning Wing, QAED, Dr Shafqat Hussain, Regional Programme Manager, QAED, Mr Muhammad Rafique Tahir, Joint Educational Advisor, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Islamabad, and Ms Nargis Sultana, Senior Education Programme Officer, Foundation Open Society Institute – Pakistan.
The keynote speakers acknowledged TRC’s services for teacher education. They also congratulated TRC for successfully arranging the third annual teachers’ conference.
The plenary session concluded with the presentation of shields/plaque to the esteemed guests including keynote speakers, government officials from Rawalpindi and QAED, Punjab, and representatives of civil society. After the end of plenary session, there was a lunch break followed by six concurrent sessions on: Critical Thinking through Art and Storytelling, Media Literacy, Teachers as Reflective Practitioners, Promoting Citizenship Education in Schools, Empowering Teachers through 21st Century Skills, and Inquiry- Based Learning. All teachers were given a certificate of participation at the end of the six sessions.
All workshops were conducted by TRC master trainers. There was a pictorial representation display, interesting stories and anecdotes, short videos, and interactive activities. All sessions were different from one another but had the critical thinking thread embedded in all making them part of a common series.
The interactive workshops provided an opportunity to learn different attributes of reflective thinking skills and how significant these skills are for modern times. Altogether, more than 300
teachers participated in the conference. The teachers’ participation and enthusiasm has reinforced the belief that more such conferences will be seen in the future with the same zeal.
2. National Curriculum Council reviews TRC material
A one-day review session was commissioned by the National Curriculum Council and Federal Ministry of Education for evaluating materials developed by TRC for promoting critical thinking skills from ECE to the middle school level. The teaching-learning materials have been conceptualised, developed and disseminated with financial support from the Open Society Foundation, Pakistan, under the Thinking Classroom project which TRC has been implementing for the last five years as a national initiative.
The review session was held on July 31, 2019, in Islamabad at the National Curriculum Council office. The opening session was chaired by Major General Muhammed Asghar, Director General, FGEIs who was the guest of honour. Dr Rafique Tahir, Joint Educational Advisor, National Curriculum Council and Ms Ambreena Ahmed, Director, TRC co-chaired the opening plenary. Ms Nargis Sultana, a senior representative of OSF, Pakistan, was present along with a prestigious group of representatives from the academia.
Dr Rafique Tahir welcomed the participants and spoke at length about TRC’s role to uplift the quality of education in the country with regards to curriculum development and teachers’ professional development. He elaborated on the objectives of the meeting and
highlighted that the purpose is to review TRC’s critical thinking and citizenship materials in light of the curriculum and textbook revision work which is currently underway at the NCC. He also provided guidelines to the reviewers regarding the day-long process which was to follow the plenary.
Ms Ambreena Ahmed from TRC once again welcomed the participants and thanked the NCC as well as the Federal Ministry for inviting TRC to share the materials with the group of reviewers from the public and private sector present at the event. She especially thanked Dr Rafique for believing in TRC’s work and recognizing its efforts at this level. She also thanked Ms Nargis Sultana of OSF for supporting TRC during the last five years and enabling the organisation to develop and disseminate materials which were now being considered for integration into the new unified curriculum
After her opening remarks, Ms Tabinda Jabeen and Ms Rubina Naqvi of TRC presented the work on critical thinking and citizenship in detail and set the ground for the review exercise which was to follow.
The guest of honour, Major General Muhammed Asghar, in his remarks, appreciated the efforts underway for the development of a single national curriculum and emphasised on developing materials which are contextually relevant both in the urban and rural context for children. He especially applauded TRC and OSF’s efforts for developing educational materials on critical thinking and citizenship needed to fill the gap in resources which the teachers have in classrooms.
The opening ceremony was followed by the material review exercise. The participants were divided into eight groups according to their area of expertise and were handed over the TRC material along with an evaluation checklist to record their feedback. Once they completed the review, a summary of feedback was compiled by the NCC team.
The closing ceremony was chaired by the Honourable Federal Minister for Education, Shafqat Mahmood. The summary of the day-long material review was presented to him which highlighted the contextual relevance, age appropriateness as well as creativity and innovation since it presents doable activities and lesson plans for teachers to promote critical thinking and citizenship.
In his closing remarks, the Honourable Federal Minister, appreciated TRC’s work and especially mentioned the importance of bringing citizenship into the classrooms as this is the only way to ensure that our future is in the hands of those who are responsible, active, progressive and productive members of the society.
The event ended on a positive note with a commitment to take the work forward. The NCC is keen to work closely with TRC and OSF in the process of the new curriculum development and teacher training which are to follow.
- Training of Master Trainers for Middle School
TRC has conducted a series of training of master trainers across the country to introduce the critical thinking material and reflective pedagogy to teachers of grades 6 to 8. This highly interactive, hands-on training programme aimed to train at least 250 public sector master trainers across the country. To achieve the target, TRC has already conducted 4 trainings in 3 provinces; Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and trained 190 master trainers in 4 cities across Pakistan. These trainings were organised in collaboration with provincial and district-level government functionaries.
The last training of this series was conducted in Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir from July 22-25, 2019. A mixed group of 43 participants comprising middle school level master trainers and education managers attended the four-day training session.
The objectives of the training were to enable master trainers to get familiar with 21st-century skills, understand the importance of bloom’s taxonomy in the teaching and learning process, recognise the role of a teacher in promoting critical thinking and inquiry-based learning, understand the different assessment tools and strategies to gauge the learning process, implement the thinking classroom lesson plans and pedagogies effectively and develop an action plan to implement TTC lesson plans in their classrooms.
Pre- and post-tests were also administered on the first and last day of the training to gauge the amount of learning participants have acquired during training days. The main topics discussed and worked upon during the training were:
- 21st -century skills
- Bloom’s taxonomy
- Level of thinking
- Active learning
- Inquiry-based learning
- Classroom environment
- Assessment and evaluation
- The Thinking Classroom lesson plans
During the training sessions, various techniques were deployed to involve the participant actively and inculcate the training content effectively, such as brainstorming, interactive/participatory lectures, videos, group discussion and presentations, think-pair-share, icebreakers, question answers, gallery walk, self-evaluation, peer assessment and feedback kept the participants engaged in exploring the multi-dimensional aspects of training content.
The training was so productive and intensive as it required participants to reflect upon their teaching practices and enhance their knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Inquiry-Based
Learning. All the participants contributed in discussion enthusiastically and showed great interest in the training activities. They praised and raised their queries about various strategies incorporated in their lesson plan and trainer facilitated and guided them accordingly.
Thinking Classroom lesson plans were appreciated by the participants as they got through them individually. Then, they demonstrated the lessons following the instructions given in the lesson plans. These demonstrations were assessed by all participants according to the pre-determined criteria. They found these plans feasible to be carried out in their classrooms. Later, they were given the opportunity to design lesson plans grounded in inquiry-based learning and higher-order thinking. At the end of the training, participants along with education managers developed an action plans to take their learning forward and impart this knowledge to their colleagues.
It was heartening to hear the participants’ comments about how they developed professionally. They appreciated TRC team for their hard work in developing contextually relevant material that is easy to understand and implement effectively. According to them, this training helped them to improve their content knowledge and pedagogical skills.
4. Second National Consultative Session
TRC organised the second National Consultative Session on Assessment for Curriculum, Assesssment and Textbook Boards in Karachi from 29 to 31 August 2019. The 3-day session was focused on the discourse of exploring the possibilities of integration of critical thinking material developed by TRC into the National Curriculum. This session was well attended by the representatives of:
- Curriculum, Assessment & Research, Sindh,
- Bureau of Curriculum and Extension Wing, Jamshoro, Sindh
- Sindh Textbook Board, Jamshoro,
- STEDA, Sindh,
- Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board,
- QAED Punjab,
- Punjab University
- Curriculum & Teacher Education, KP
- Assessment Department, KP
- National Curriculum Council Secretariat, Islamabad
- Directorate of Education, Extension, AJK
- Kashmir Education Assessment Centre, AJK
The prime objectives of the consultative session were to continue dialogue with the government and keep them abreast with the strategic and field level progress of the initiative and to ensure the manifestation of commitment and support from the national and provincial level government for supporting this project both at the policy and implementation levels for maximum and sustainable results.
The specific outcomes of the three-day session were:
- Progress on curriculum and textbook development at the national level
- Critical thinking and its significance in curriculum and textbooks
- Review Critical Thinking developed by TRC for the integration in the Curriculum, Textbooks, Teacher Education Programme
- Explore embedded higher thinking in SLOs and textbooks
- Provincial action plans for the integration of higher order thinking in curriculum and textbooks
- Feedback of provinces on consultative session
- Donor’s perspective on the
The session commenced with a brief introduction of TRC with its history of work. Ms Ambreena Ahmed, Director, TRC. She highly appreciated provincial and AJK education departments for their active participation in Thinking Classrooms project and for facilitating TRC in successfully conducted the project activities in their respective provinces.
The first day of the session was dedicated for the provincial representatives to share updates regarding the progress in their respective departments. The updates on the progress of each province was the key informant for other provinces and a good way of making comparisons. There were productive discussions on National Curriculum and textbooks for their alignment with the modern trends found at the international level.
The second day was to review the Critical Thinking material for the integration in the Curriculum, Assessment, Textbooks and Teacher Education Programme. Mr Rafiq Tahir, Joint Educational Advisor, National Curriculum Council Secretariat, Islamabad, chaired the session. The feedback on TRC’s work was encouraging and was unanimously endorsed by all provincial representatives. The integration of the content in the curriculum, textbooks, and teacher education programme was considered to be a valuable addition with due reflection on the
contemporary needs of the 21st century skills. The outcome of the session was a consensus on the content integration in the three different categories. TRC’s work was highly appreciated by all provincial representatives and a common opinion was that the content was based upon the National Curriculum and the material was inclusive in its design and conceptualisation, and was user friendly for both public and private schools.
The final-day session was based upon the development of the provincial action plans. Based upon the material review and group discussion, the provinces were asked to propose the way forward to take the work to their respective provinces in order to integrate the Thinking Classroom material into curriculum, textbook and assessment.
Overall, the consultative session was successful in terms of its achievements. There was complete participation of provincial and regional stakeholders.
5. Children’s Conference
TRC launched the first Children’s Conference on November 28, 2019, at Marriott Hotel Karachi. TRC took this great initiative based on its experiences from the teacher conference launch to establish a similar platform for children not only to allow them to share and learn about tools, skills and knowledge related to critical thinking but also to open up spaces for engagement, exposure and interaction amongst children from different government schools which currently is very limited in our country.
300-plus middle school children from different government schools across Karachi, along with their teachers, head teachers and districts education officers participated in this conference. The conference provided these children intellectually stimulating and entertaining avenues for creative expression, experience sharing and new and innovative learning tools.
The plenary session began with the recitation of the Holy Quran and the welcome note by Ms Ambreena Ahmed, Director, Teachers’ Resource Centre. Ms Ahmed extended her gratitude towards director schools, district education officers, head teachers, teachers and children for grace the event. Ms Nargis Sultana, Senior Education Programme Officer, Foundation Open Society Institute – Pakistan appreciated TRC’s effort to provide an empowering platform to government school students for learning about and sharing innovative, exciting and creative ideas, skills and tools of critical thinking.
Ms Rubina Naqvi, Senior Programme Manager Workshop/ Head ECED Program, formally introduced the conference. Mrs Naqvi, in her motivational tone, encouraged the students to participate enthusiastically in conference activities.
The plenary session followed by a very exciting performance by Zambeel Dramatic Reading, ‘Tipu aur Jaadu ki Bayl ‘a lively tale about Tipu’s adventures up the magical beanstalk to the secret world of a terrifying giant. This engaging performance was supported by live music and captivating tunes. After the performance, along with their teachers, students were dispersed into breakout rooms to participate in six concurrent sessions on: What is Critical Thinking? Critical Thinking through Art, Learning through Stories, Learning through Films, What is Digital Citizenship and How Can We Become More Responsible Online Consumers and Learning Different Perspectives through
Photography. These variety of educational sessions were conducted by the TRC team that designed all activities carefully to promote critical thinking skills through a mix of mediums. Students participated enthusiastically in these sessions. They shared their observations, discussed their creative ideas not only with their peers but with their teachers, workshop facilitators, education officers and other adults present. All children were given certificates of participation.
At the end of the event, the floor was open for students to come forward and share their learning at the conference. It was very heartening to see how confidently students expressed their emotions and thoughts. They were very grateful to TRC for organising such an event where they had innovative learning experiences.
6. The Thinking Classroom Lesson Plans for Secondary School
During the 6th project, TRC has extended its repository of teaching and learning resources through developing a set of 2 booklets comprising 40 lesson plans for grades 9 and 10. The purpose of developing these lesson plans is to empower teachers so that they can inculcate the concept and desire for deeper and life-long learning in the students, effectively and efficiently.
These lesson plans are aligned with national curriculum standards and support the content of the textbooks used in different provinces. Core themes of the main subjects such as; Biology, Chemistry, Physic, Math, Economics, Civics, Pakistan Studies and Urdu have been selected to develop student-centered lesson plans which are easily adaptable according to the students learning needs and learning styles.
These lesson plans are based on the concepts of inquiry-based learning and higher-order thinking skills. Each lesson plan also includes assessment strategy to gauge the amount of learning by students. TRC takes special care when drafting these lesson plans to ensure they are comprehensible to diverse groups of teachers ranking differently on the competency and content knowledge scale.
These lesson plans are based on the following thematic areas of the national curriculums.
|· Cellular structure and its functions |
· Food and nutrition
o Transport in plants
o Transport in human being and structure of heart
· Structure of chromosomes
|· Branches of Chemistry |
· Acid, base and salts o Characteristics
o Theories of theorists
|· Force and motion |
o Newton’s first law of motion
o Newton’s second law of motion
o Newton’s third law of motion
· Sound and its characteristics
· Propagation of light
o Reflection of light
o Refraction of light
· Magnet and magnetism
· Nuclear Physics
o Structure of atom
o Radioactive element and radioactivity
o Isotopes fission and Fusion Reactions
|Math||· Sets |
o Properties of union and intersection
|o Universal sets, complement of sets and De Morgan’s law |
o Factorisation through formula
o Factorisation of trinomials expressions
o Factorisation through formula
o Introduction to trigonometry and ratios
o Fundamental trigonometric identities
· Demonstrative geometry (Theorem)
· Information handling
|· Landscape and climate of Pakistan|
|o Climatic regions of Pakistan|
|o Environmental problems|
|· Industrial development in Pakistan |
o External trade
|· Culture of Pakistan|
|o Importance of national language for national unity|
|· Resources of Pakistan|
|· Education in Pakistan|
|· Demand |
· Price determination
· Production and distribution of money
|· Government |
o Forms of government
· Rights and responsibilities
· Local bodies government in Pakistan
o Structure and duties of local bodies government
|مضمون نویسی/رپورٹ نویسی/ نثر نگاری (الف) |
مضمون نویسی/رپورٹ نویسی/ نثر نگاری (ب)
ضرب المثل اور محاورے
تقریر تیاری کی میگزین
جملے کی اقسام (الف)
مرکب تام اور مرکب ناقص علم بیان کی اصطالحات
7. Inquiry-based Learning: Training of trainers for Secondary School Teachers
Under Thinking Classroom Project phase 6, TRC conducted a 4-day training of trainers titled ‘Inquiry-based Learning’ to introduce the critical thinking material and reflective pedagogy to teachers of grades 9 and 10. TRC organised this capacity-building session at its premise in Karachi on December 16-19, 2019, and it was well attended by a mixed group of 54 participants which includes secondary school teachers from public sector and district level education managers.
The specific objectives of the training were to enable master trainers to understand the importance of fostering 21st-century skills in students, promote higher-order critical thinking
skills in the classrooms, plan and design inquiry-based assignments/tasks for different subjects, and implement The Thinking Classroom (TTC) lesson plans and pedagogies effectively.
The content covered over the period of four days of this training of trainer was:
- 21st century skills
- Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Inquiry-based learning
- Teaching strategies and techniques to promote critical thinking skills
- Assessment and evaluation
- Lesson planning
- Micro teaching
Pre- and post-tests were also administered on the first and last day of the training to gauge the amount of learning participants have acquired during training days. A digital tool was developed for this purpose and the trainees were provided with a digital application on tablets to fill the test forms.
To make the training session highly interactive and engaging, several teaching and learning techniques and strategies such as brainstorming, interactive/participatory lectures, videos, group discussion and presentations, think-pair-share, icebreakers, parking lot, gallery walk, self- evaluation, peer assessment and feedback were deployed.
The training session kicked off with an interesting ice breaker in which participants have to think and reflect on their past and then make a comparative analysis with contemporary advancements with regards to education and standards of living. This discussion led to the core topic ‘21st Century Skills’ which was followed by brainstorming the characteristics of a 21st-century teacher to facilitate the learning process of millennials.
With different interactive activities participants were provided with opportunities to discuss the domains of learning and level of thinking. They also practiced formulating the higher order questions for the different subjects.
Inquiry-based learning, the overarching theme of the training was introduced through a video followed by the participatory lecture. Different types of inquiry were discussed and participants were assigned group tasks to plan and design activities based on different types of inquiries for different disciplines. Different assessment strategies and tools were introduced to assess students’ emerging thinking skills.
Microteaching of the thinking classroom lesson plans were very effective and participants put in a lot of effort to deliver the lesson successfully according to the predetermined criteria. They were divided into subject-based groups and developed lesson plans. Later on, these lesson plans were assessed and evaluated by their peers and constructive feedback was given to improve those plans. At the end of the training, participants along with education managers developed an action plan to take their learning forward and impart this knowledge to their colleagues.
Most of the participants praised and appreciated the content and the way it had been delivered through training. According to them, this experience even helped them explain some of the blurred concepts or even misconception they had as they unlearned and relearned different concepts and practiced important skills. The training also broadened their horizon and encouraged them to bring theories into their classroom implications.
8. Teachers as Reflective Practitioners
TRC is a vibrant professional development platform for enabling and empowering teachers from both public and private sectors to access quality professional development opportunities. During this project period, TRC inducted the third cohort of public sector teachers to its rigorous
“Teachers as Reflective Practitioners” course. This cohort comprised 24 government teachers from primary and middle schools in Karachi.
‘Teachers as Reflective Practitioners’ course, spreads over 5 months from November 2019 to March, 2020 and it was comprised of 5 modules:
- 101 on critical thinking
- Peace education
- Reflective practice
- Teachers as leaders
- Critical thinking through art and storytelling
These 24 teachers were selected from different districts of Karachi. Before commencement of the programme, an orientation session was organised on November 1, 2019, for the selected teachers, their head teachers, DEOs and TEOs. The purpose of this session was to orient teachers and their heads and the education officers on the modules, to share academic calendar and to discuss expectations from teachers and schools.
The regular classes kicked off on November 7, 2019, and were held 2 days a week. Modules were delivered in a sequence one after another. Different interactive and engaging teaching and learning methodologies were deployed to meet the diverse needs of learners such as group work and presentations, debates and discussions, individual and pair work, small group projects, self- reflection, peer assessment and feedback etc. In each module, different tasks and assignments were given to the participants. Timely constructive feedback from the course leaders helped them to enhance their learning. Due to COVID-19’s pervasiveness and closure of educational institutions, TRC conducted online classes and the course ended on March 20, 2020. All participants were awarded certificates.
9. Thinking Classroom – follow-up visits
TRC carried out an extensive exercise of follow-up visit to different teachers trained under Thinking Classroom project across Pakistan. This exercise aimed to observe the trained teachers in action implementing critical thinking strategies and lesson plans in their respective
classrooms, to gauge students’ responses to the learning activities, and to provide on-site support to the teachers and schools heads.
Several tools have been developed for this purpose. These include classroom observation tools, survey questionnaires for teachers and head teachers, and focus group discussion tools for education managers who attended the training sessions.
The TRC team visited 52 schools (39 middle and 13 primary) altogether in 9 cities across country from July 2019 to March 2020.
|S.#||Cities||No. of teachers observed||Level||Dates|
|1||Karachi||8||Middle||July 15 to 18, 2019|
|2||Lahore||8||Middle||Sep. 23 to 26, 2019|
|3||Peshawar||8||Middle||Sep. 28 to Oct. 2, 2019|
|4||Swat||4||Primary||Oct. 4 & 5, 2019|
|5||Muzaffarabad, AJK||6||Middle||Oct. 7 to 10, 2019|
|6||Khairpur||9||Middle||Nov. 18 to 20, 2019|
|7||Diplo||2||Primary||Jan. 21, 2020|
|8||Badin||2||Primary||Jan. 22, 2020|
|9||Bahawalpur||5||Primary||March 9 & 10, 2020|
These follow up visits provided TRC team with evidence of the applicability of the thinking classroom material. Several teachers at primary and middle school implemented the critical thinking lesson plans amicably and their students contributed in the learning activities wholeheartedly. According to the teachers, the resource kit and lesson plans were easy to understand and contextually relevant along comprehensive teacher guide. Some middle school teachers from Karachi, Khairpur and AJk delivered the lessons very effectively and efficiently carried out different experiments with students. They engaged their students through higher order questions and made them work in groups to analyse and evaluate the pieces of information and to come up with alternate or creative ideas to solve the problems/scenarios presented to them.
At the primary level, teachers in Bahawalpur, Swat and Diplo engaged young children in hands- on activities where they got the opportunities to observe, predict, experiment with the material and infer. It was very encouraging to see the creativity and enthusiasm of these teachers and children from rural, under resourced schools. On the contrary, there were few teachers who were so engrossed in passive teaching that they couldn’t stretch themselves and try active learning strategies.
According to the teachers, they observed changes in children’s responses when they carried out the thinking classrooms activities with them. Children were actively involved in these learning
activities and thinking skills improved day by day. They enjoyed learning through discussions and group works where they were usually engaged in problem-solving activities. With an increased level of self-confidence, they liked to present their work and shared their thoughts and ideas with teachers and their peers.
Some of the teachers shared the thinking classroom resource kit with their colleagues to get a multiplier impact. They also imparted their learning to their colleagues during formal and informal sessions.
During interviews with head teachers, teachers and focused group discussions with education officers, they all spoke highly about TRC’s efforts and acknowledged the effectiveness of critical thinking material. They also mentioned unfavourable conditions such as large number students in a class, lack of resources and support from the department, teacher transfers, fixed mindset and
lack of motivation from teachers’ end and pressure of completing syllabus create hindrance in adapting innovative and contemporary teaching practices.
10. Provincial Consultative Session on Assessment in Punjab
Under ‘Thinking Classroom project’, TRC organised a provincial level consultative session on 12th March 2020, at Punjab Examination Commission (PEC), Lahore. This session aimed to establish symbiotic partnership with the assessment and examination stakeholders to achieve buy in for reviewing and rethinking their frameworks to test and acknowledge critical thinking related student achievement benchmarks.
This consultative session was held at PEC office in Quaid e Azam Academy of Educational Development (QAED) Lahore. Altogether 24 participants comprising the representatives of Punjab Examination Commission (PEC), Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PTCB), QAED, Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), Programme Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU), Punjab, Punjab Education Sector Project (PESP), UNICEF and Idara-e-Taleem o Agahi (ITA) attended the session.
The expected outcomes were:
- Shared understanding regarding the significance of critical thinking skills for
- Consensus on integrating critical thinking skills as an area for student
- Decisive input for both policy and implementation of the way
The session began with the recitation of Holy Quran. In his opening remark, Dr Nasir Mehmood, Director Assessment and Framework, Punjab Examination Commission welcomed TRC team and appreciated the organisation’s effort to develop curriculum-based teaching and learning to promote higher order thinking skills.
Tabinda Jabeen of TRC presented an overview of the project and shared the details of project outreach and activities carried out over 5 project years. After her presentation, the representatives of QAED, PEC, PCTB, PEF and ITA were invited to share an update on the domains of their work such as such as assessment & examinations, curriculum and textbooks, and teacher
training. They shared great deal of information about the work their respective departments have done so far. As such, a total of 19 curriculums from ECE to intermediate were notified by the Punjab Education Ministry. Besides this, scheme of studies has been developed for different levels and textbooks development is in progress. Regarding critical thinking integration with curriculum and assessment, critical thinking strands in curriculum benchmarks and students learning outcomes (SLOs) were incorporated to some extent but there is a dire need to give it more weightage.
After that, all participants were divided into groups in order to review critical thinking materials developed by TRC to see possibilities to integrate the material into curriculum, teacher training and assessment system. They were specifically asked to come up with recommendations and suggestions to measure thinking kills as part of an assessment system, along with incorporating critical thinking into curriculum and teacher training.
After reviewing the thinking classroom material and intensive group discussion, each group came forward and shared their views about the material reviewed and shared recommendations and suggestions for integrating critical thinking skills into students’ assessment. They came up with following feedback on TRC material:
- There is lot of emphasis on critical thinking pedagogy in these lesson plans that help teachers to engage students in a thinking process and facilitate their emerging
- Instructions and strategies used in these lesson plans are flexible and provide teachers and students with choices, regarding material and teaching
- These lessons are in progression according to the level and clear instructions help teachers to implement the lesson
- Teaching and learning strategies used in these lesson plans complement critical However, SLOs are mostly based on low-order thinking.
- These lesson plans show evidence of formative assessments. There is focus on an attainable and measurable approach. However, there is a limitation of large-scale implementation.
They also put forward the following suggestions and recommendations:
- Formative assessment strategies mentioned in the lesson plans could be included in the textbooks so that all the teachers can benefit from these
- Self-assessment can be more focused and rubric samples can be included for
- Sample assessment worksheet should be
- In Math, more application-based word problem and scenarios can be added so that students can relate those with real-life
- Different assessment strategies to be devised for different subjects in order to measure critical thinking at different levels and varied
- There is a need to give more weightage to subjective questions than objective ones to gauge students’ critical
- Specialised trainings on assessment should be launched for primary, middle and secondary school teachers so that they can better understand the importance of integrating critical thinking in curriculum, lesson planning and
- It is imperative to do SLO mapping in terms of critical thinking standards. SLO mapping and progression of content development in the textbook can facilitate the integration of critical thinking. Scientific research-based approaches can be used for this
The session ended with closing remarks by Dr Nasir Mehmood who emphasised that a holistic approach should be adapted with regards to integrating critical thinking in the curriculum, textbooks and assessment systems. TRC team presented vote of thanks to all participants and specially Punjab Examination Commission who facilitated TRC in organising the consultative session.
11. TRC participates in curriculum review sessions at National Curriculum Council
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has announced the development of Single/Unified National Curriculum for all streams of prevalent education systems in the country. The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (M/o FE&PT) commissioned to facilitate an inter- provincial phased process for the development of a Single National Curriculum (SNC) for Pakistan.
The first phase of curriculum review for Pre 1 – 5 was initiated in a workshop on August 22-23, 2019 and comprised of major education stakeholder in the country such as representatives of education ministries, eminent academicians, representatives of private school networks, representatives of Madaris, minorities and civil society organisations. TRC participated in the review of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) curriculum.
The consultative process for developing Unified Curriculum continued from September 2019 to January 2020 and four review sessions were organised with the relevant stakeholders. Thematic groups were guided through key considerations and guiding framework documents such as Standards for Quality Education, National curriculum Framework and Value Education document.
In light of the framework and guidelines, the groups reviewed the ECCE curriculum, amendments were made in the key learning areas, competencies and expected learning outcomes. and ideas for implementation. For instance, holistic development of the children is given more weightage, emphasis is laid upon 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, communication skills research/probing, decision making, inquisitive learning and leadership, with increased emphasis on personality development through practising values like patience, tolerance, empathy and citizenship, respecting diversity irrespective of religion, colour, cast, creed and people with special needs.
Besides incorporation of these skills, standards and benchmarks were also developed for each strand, that is, the key learning areas. After these amendments, the curriculum was shared with provincial and regional education ministries to review the documents to make it contextually relevant. In order to finalise the curriculum document, feedback from all provinces and regions were incorporated and the draft curriculum was completed to present in a national level conference to get it endorsed by all stakeholders.
The Thinking Classroom – Phase 7
The 7th phase of The Thinking Classroom Started from January 2020.
During the seventh phase of The Thinking Classroom project, TRC conceptualised and developed a series of lesson plan based animated videos for public school teachers across Pakistan. The objective of developing these videos was to integrate critical thinking skills in classrooms from ECE to the secondary levels and to ensure wider outreach of the critical thinking pedagogy to teachers and children.
Altogether 30 animated level-wise videos for ECE & Primary, Middle and Secondary school, 10 videos per level have been developed, keeping cultural relevance and sensitivity in mind. These videos will complement the thinking classroom and teachers can the lesson plan in action.
These short videos of 2-3 minutes each showcase the lesson plans, assessment and critical thinking pedagogy at different level. These video not only highlight the major activities for different themes from the curriculum to be done with children, but also the positive interaction between children and teacher. This will help teachers understand their role in facilitating learning and promoting higher order thinking.
Below is the list of animated videos developed.
|ECE and Primary||Middle||Secondary|
|تنقیدی سوچ – کیا، کیوں اور |
اشکالہمارے اطراف مادہ اور اس کی حالتیں
·سوچمڈل اسکول کے طلبہ اور تنقیدی
مثلثوں کی بناوٹ
کلیات کی شناخت اور تصدیق روشنیکی خصوصیات
|سیکنڈری · |
اسکول کے طلبہ اور تنقیدی سوچ
متراکب سیٹوں پر یونیناور تقاطع
بذریعہ وین اشکال
تکونیات پودوں میں ترسیل
|ہمارے مسائل کا حل اپنی صحت کا خیال رکھنا |
موسم کا حال ہماری کمیونٹی
حقوق اور ذمہ داریاں
|انسانی · |
سرگرمیوں کے ماحول پر اثرات
مسکن قوانین کا احترام
سماجی تعلقات کے آداب
Words ابالغ Compound
|نیوٹن کے قوانین پاکستان کے وسائل |
طلب طرز حکومت ضرب المثال اورمحاورے