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Using Kirkpatrick’s Levels in Nepal Education
Submitted by Leslie Allan on April 3rd, 2014
My valued reader in Nepal, Dr Brian Metters, wrote to me after he read my piece on How Training Works. In this article, I explore how we can work the Kirkpartick model of training evaluation in reverse to gain practical insights into how to make our training programs more effective.
Brian explained how his Nepal Education Leadership Foundation (NELF) is using the Kirkpatrick four-level model to improve the standard of teaching in Nepal’s primary schools. NELF was created by Nepal Schools Aid, a UK charity. Brian is currently Chairman of Nepal Schools Aid. All NELF staff are young, well-educated women. They run systematic training programmes for government teachers within a wider School Development Programme. The organisation is wholly funded by personal donations from the UK. I’d like to share with you Brian’s inspiring story. Here is what Brian wrote to me.
By way of background to Kathmandu Teacher Training, teachers in government schools in Kathmandu are undertrained, unmotivated to learn, and yet have jobs for life paid as government employees. NELF is a group of highly trained and motivated young women who have created a School Development Programme that goes far beyond “mere training”.
The key objective of the programme is to increase the quality of education in each school, as measured by a perception test given to all students measuring a number of criteria on an 8 element model. Experience has shown us that the following steps actually work in what is a very hostile environment!
Step 1 (Trainee Attendance)
NELF staff visit the school to meet with the principal who has applied for training, together with the chairman of his/her school management committee. They are briefed on the programme, the standards of attendance, implementation and behaviour during the programme. A second meeting is then held later with nominated teachers.
Step 2 (Trainee Learning)
Each course is a mixture of knowledge acquisition and skill development, based on changing the school into a centre of child centred learning. Courses have been well researched and tested for Nepal consumption. During each course, highly participative methods are used to simulate how classes in primary schools can be run. Courses are organized into table groups for discussion and practice.
At the beginning of each course, a knowledge-based test/quiz is given to each participant to find out how much they already know of topics such as educational psychology, child centered learning. etc. It is done non-threateningly and in table groups. At the end of the course, the test is repeated, together with a fairly typical reactions questionnaire.
Step 3 (Workplace Behaviour)
When the teachers return from the first course in a series of four to six, they find a NELF Tutor already working in their school for 2 days per week. The Tutor is there as a coach to demonstrate/model best practice, to assist with any implementation difficulties and to assist the principal in managing the change. This continues for three months and at the end of the process the school is awarded Child Centred School status and certification.
Step 4 (Organisation Results)
The ultimate result is connected to child performance in the school. But this type of intervention cannot wait for a year to see if there is an improvement in exam results. So, as previously mentioned, we have devised a simple quality education perception test that we give to children BEFORE teacher training begins, then repeat it after three months and six months. The changes have been remarkable, with scores on average increasing from 50% on the QEI (Index) to around 77-85%! We realize that this is NOT the end result, but it gives us intermediate indicators of progress.
This case study again illustrates the importance of the four steps and how all elements are vital. We have not always worked like this, but fortunately (being a true learning organisation) we learned from our mistakes!
What I love about Brian’s story is how NELF is trying to make a real difference on the ground in Nepal. Their QEI questionnaire is proactively measuring benefits even before the results appear. Thank you Brian for sharing your story about how you are using Kirkpatrick to drive real learning and behavior outcomes in this generation of teachers and the next generation of citizens. Find out more about the Nepal Teacher Development Programme and please support Brian and the Foundation whichever way you can.
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