Face to Faith Teacher Training Workshop in Thailand
13 Sep 2009
Even before I started officially working for the Foundation, I found myself on my way to Thailand to run a training event for schools in South East Asia who were interested in getting involved in the Face to Faith Programme. There were some people there who had already committed to the Programme, and wanted to be the Lead Schools for their Country, as well as others who had come along to observe the training, and get a feel for the nature of the project.
All in all we had participants from Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia, as well as representatives from the British Council from most of those countries - as that organisation had been enormously helpful in setting up the training.
Obviously the main aim of the training, as always, is to help those who are getting involved with the programme, get a good understanding of how they can take it on, and what we can do to support them. Of course every country has its own challenges, some of which are very great, and different stakeholders who need to be sold on the project for it to work; but the combination of video conferences, the on-line community, detailed lesson plans, and help with pedagogical approaches and strategies to manage discussion seems to be a winner. We are committed to doing everything we can to support people in their different situations - and to ensure that they are comfortable with what they are doing. It strikes me as obvious that the programme is going to go at a different pace in different places - after all, most adults in the world are not terribly comfortable about talking about Religion, and very often even less comfortable with children talking about it.
Although there is an awful lot to fit into a short time in these training sessions, we try to keep them energetic, and to ensure that everyone is effectively engaged with what we are doing. Using the Cooperative Learning techniques means that everyone has to take part; and this is usually a popular aspect of the workshops.
I'll be on the road now for the next few months, delivering more workshops (in Singapore, Pakistan, India, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia). I'm really excited by the prospect of getting out there and working with so many different schools in so many different countries, it's a rare privilege - and I'll be keeping you updated here with how things develop.
Ian Jamison, Face to Faith Facilitator