National and international studies show that primary school learners in Cambodia underperform and score well below their peers from neighboring countries on mathematics. This is largely due to the poor quality of teaching in the country. After all, the quality of teaching has the single largest effect on learning outcomes. Cambodian teachers particularly need support in developing the necessary pedagogical content knowledge of math. Many teachers are, for instance, unable to identify and address common pedagogical learning barriers in mathematics. A firm understanding of the developmental stages of children is crucial in this respect. Yet, until recently, such topics were not addressed in the two-year teacher training required of primary school teachers.
To improve the teaching skills of existing and new teachers throughout their career, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) devised a Teacher Policy Action Plan (TPAP). As part of the TPAP, MoEYS aspires to reform teacher training into a 4-year bachelor and to set out a Teacher Career Pathway to provide professional development opportunities to in-service teachers. The development of an in-service training package for grade 1 in mathematics is part of that Pathway.
Experienced and new primary school teachers have the competences to improve the quality of teaching and learning in mathematics in the first grade of primary school using outcome-focused teaching and learning activities that have been adapted to the developmental stage of the child.
The development of an in-service training package for grade 1 in mathematics focuses on strengthening the professional development opportunities of primary school teachers with the aim of improving their pedagogical content knowledge of math, which also encompasses formative assessment and classroom management.
The programme is built around 3 pillars:
- Developing a grade 1 mathematics Training of Trainers (ToT) guide, teacher guide and teaching aids
- Developing the capacity of core trainers to provide in-service professional development opportunities to improve pedagogical content knowledge of math
- Strengthening primary school teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge in math, including of formative assessment and classroom management
The programme strengthens the skills of experienced and new teachers of the primary education system to improve math teaching and learning for all students.
By the end of the project:
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) will have:
- Developed and approved ToT and teacher guides in early grade mathematics for in-service teachers
- Internal capacity to train teacher trainers at provincial level.
Teacher Trainers of the Provincial Teacher Training Centres: will have the capacity to act as core trainers and organise and lead in-service professional development opportunities for primary school teachers to improve math teaching and learning.
Primary school teachers will have:
- Strengthened pedagogical content knowledge in early grade math
- Improved skills in formative assessment, gender responsiveness and classroom management.
To reach its goals, VVOB develops the capacity of its education partners in Cambodia. VVOB uses capacity development trajectories that give partners maximal responsibility in the execution and management of their own change processes. This is done through technical assistance provided by the VVOB team, which includes both local and international educational and change management experts.