training Burmese teachers by nnm20839



              training Burmese teachers
                                           tHEIn LWIn*

        uman rights education does not exist in the Burmese formal education system
        administered by the military regime. However, human rights remain high
        in the agenda in Burma in light of the democratic movement led by Aung
san suu kyi. Burmese people who were forced to flee Burma or migrated elsewhere
get the opportunity to learn about human rights through the human rights groups.
The Human Rights education Institute of Burma, for example, tirelessly works on
human rights education through training, seminars and publications. The Teacher
Training Center for Burmese Teachers, on the other hand, includes human rights
education in its training curriculum. schools in refugee camps introduce human
rights to the students. In this paper I discuss the background of education in Burma,
refugee camps and migrant schools, and the educational activities being done by
the Teacher Training Center for Burmese Teachers. I discuss human rights educa-
tion as a step towards a future democratic Burma.

Education in Burma                                           Burma has been governed by military
                                                         regimes from 1962 onward. The nationwide
    The Burmese people received traditional              democratic uprising under the leadership of
Buddhist education at monasteries in the past.           daw Aung san suu kyi in 1988 gave people
under the British colonial rule, the school sys-         the hope of a return to democracy in Burma
tem and curriculums were changed. There were             and a democratic educational change. However,
three types of schools – english medium schools,         under the current military regime, education
Anglo-vernacular schools and vernacular schools.         deteriorated in every area from children’s access
vernacular schools were the only schools for the         to education, to curriculum, to teaching and
majority of children throughout the country.             students’ progress.
These schools taught in local language. The                  Children in rural areas as well as children
other types of schools were only affordable to           of poor families in the cities have little chance
parents with higher income. The education sys-           of getting educated because of lack of schools
tem under the British administration was called          and economic deprivation. The school dropout
‘colonial education’ by the patriotic Burmese.           rate is very high. According to a recent study
After independence in 1948, it was changed               (Thein lwin, 2003)1, almost forty per cent of
from colonial education to nationalist educa-            the children never attended school and almost
tion which emphasized Burmese nationalism. In            three-quarters failed to complete primary edu-
1962, after a military coup, the education system        cation. There is a different reckoning on the
was changed again from nationalist education to          adult literacy rate between the regime and other
so-called socialist education.                           sources. The regime claims that the literacy rate


is 80 per cent2 while other estimates put it at        by Buddhist communities and the regime does
less than eighty per cent. The regime argues           not need to use its budget. However, other
that although the children do not attend public        religious communities - such as Christian and
schools, they learn reading and writing at Bud-        Muslim - are not allowed to open schools. It is
dhist monasteries. It is true that the regime          not a fair policy. even in the eyes of Buddhists,
allows Buddhist monasteries to open primary            schools should be supported by the government
schools. Children learn reading, writing and           and monasteries should be the place for Bud-
Buddhism. with regard to functional literacy,          dhism. It is difficult for the children of other
however, which is required for people to work          religious communities to send their children to
efficiently with appropriate skills in agricultural,   Buddhist monastic schools.
industrial or other sectors, children need at least
nine years of compulsory education. Buddhist           Private Schools
monasteries do not have the capacity to provide
education of this type.                                    There are some private schools operating
                                                       in the city of Rangoon. since children do not
Public Schools                                         receive quality education in the public schools,
                                                       parents want to send their children to private
    Today’s public schools in Burma are ex-            schools with western teachers and qualified local
tremely poor in terms of equity, quality and           teachers. school fees are high and only the rul-
efficiency. schools do not treat students equally.     ing class and rich people can send their children
Children of government officials who pay bribes        to such schools. There are huge discrepancies
to teachers are privileged. Many teachers enter        between the children of the different social
the classroom without proper training. Curricu-        classes with regards to education. The private
lum is textbook-based and is just concerned with       schools mostly focus on the mastery of the
memorizing facts in science, history, geography        english language. Parents want their children to
and other subjects. Teachers use an authorita-         speak good english - hoping that they will send
tive role in teaching. It seems that the regime        their children to the english-speaking countries
uses education as a political tool by preventing       to work or to continue their studies.
children from learning how to think. young
people are expected to be disciplined in and           Higher Education
out-of-school under the military regime. The
notion of discipline invokes ideas of loyalty and           The regime has opened many new universi-
gives the image of obedient citizens.                  ties in different regions and proudly announces
                                                       the number of graduates each year. However,
Monastic Education                                     it is just quantity rather than quality. even so,
                                                       in terms of quantity, many young people do not
     Thanks to Buddhist monks, children who            finish their primary or secondary education,
never enrolled in secular schools can still learn      and only a small percentage of young people
the three Rs in monasteries. These children            can go to the universities. In terms of quality,
learn literacy, numeracy, sciences, history and        the universities are very much below standard
geography as well as Buddhism. From the po-            with lack of resources and research. students do
litical, social and religious points of view, how-     not get ownership of their learning. university
ever, monastic schools should be reconsidered.         courses are again textbook-based and are seri-
Monastic schools are officially allowed by the         ously lacking in resources.
regime under the Ministry of Religious Affairs.             students cannot choose the courses they
It is likely that monastic schools are supported       want to study. The subjects to be taken depend
                                                                     Training Burmese Teachers      

on 11th grade examination marks. entry to           paid jobs cannot afford to pay the fees. In many
medical, engineering, computer science and          cases, they have to pay more than 4,000 Baht
foreign relationship courses require higher         for bribe. About 20 per cent of the refugee and
marks. This makes students, parents and teach-      migrant populations are of school age children
ers exam-oriented rather than concerned with        and are in need of education.
students’ real learning. There is so much cor-
ruption involved in order to get higher marks       Refugee Schools
in examinations and entry to popular courses at
the university. The quality of education is very        About 30,000 students are attending schools
low at all levels. graduates are not properly       in refugee camps - from primary to senior sec-
trained to gain the skills required to be able to   ondary levels. There are about 1,000 teachers.
work. Many graduates are unemployed. On the         At the beginning of a school year, the number
other hand, the military established their own      of students is higher because young people
universities for the children of members of the     inside Burma cross the border and come into
military. It is thought that these students are     refugee camps to get an education. The karenni
well-trained and have the opportunity to further    ethnic armed opposition group (karenni
their studies abroad, while ordinary students       national Progressive Party - knPP) controls
receive poor education.                             schools in two karenni refugee camps and
                                                    karen ethnic armed opposition group (karen
                                                    national union - knu) controls schools in
Education of refugees and migrants in               seven karen refugee camps with the support of
Thailand                                            non-governmental organizations (ngOs). Cur-
                                                    riculums are based on political and nationalist
    There are 150,000 refugees living in nine       ideas. Teachers are recruited from the refugee
refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border              population and are not well qualified. where
which are recognized by united nations High         native english speakers go to the camps and
Commissioner for Refugees (unHCR). The              teach english, the students’ level of english is
refugees are mostly from karen and karenni          relatively higher than students inside Burma.
states where frequent fighting between re-          However, the overall level of education does not
gime troops and ethnic armed groups occur.          show much improvement. One good thing is
There are two million illegal immigrants living     that almost all children in camps attend school.
throughout Thailand outside the camps. The          Because education is free in camps and parents
migrant population comes from different parts       get food rations, children do not need to work
of Burma and enters Thailand illegally for work.    - or there no is available work anyway. About
There are also thousands of Burmese migrants        two hundred young people in camps complete
living in neighboring Bangladesh and India.         their secondary education every year. some
since Thailand is facing a shortage of labor,       twenty-five students from camps are selected
undocumented immigrants are allowed to apply        to join an intensive college foundation course
for work permits to work in farms, factories,       (ICFC) in Chiang Mai supported by Open so-
and sweatshops. About one million Burmese           ciety Institute (OsI) and have the opportunity
have applied for work permits, and it is believed   to get higher education supported by scholar-
that at least another one million are staying in    ship. Other young people have no chance to
Thailand without proper documents. The an-          continue their studies and some work as teachers
nual fee for a work permit is 4,000 Baht (100       or medics in camps.
us dollars). Many migrant workers with low

Migrant Schools                                     were enormous needs for the education of the
                                                    younger generation in the border areas. They
     Many Burmese migrants came to Thailand         found many problems including lack of schools,
with their family. some got married while in        shortage of teachers, insufficient training of the
Thailand and have children. These children          teachers, and disputes about the curriculum.
need to attend school. since the parents are        unable to provide for all their needs, they de-
working illegally in Thailand and children do       cided to contribute their knowledge and skills
not understand Thai, they cannot attend Thai        by organizing teacher training and education
schools. In theory, every school age child can      seminars, and offering professional advice on
go to a Thai school but, in practice, these chil-   curriculum development. since the beginning
dren are denied schooling because they are not      of the program, the Center for International
Thai citizens. some Burmese communities             studies in education, university of newcastle,
in Thailand have their own schools and teach        united kingdom has been helping them orga-
Burmese, karen, english, and Thai languages,        nize seminars and teacher training.
and mathematics to the children. some parents
want their children to attend schools that teach
in Burmese or karen language to preserve their      A teacher training center
own language and culture. In the Mae sot area
alone (near the Burma border), there are about          A 2001 teacher training course3 in Chiang
forty schools (many are one-classroom schools)      Mai, Thailand for Burmese teachers prompted
attended by 2,000 students. There are some          two Burmese trainers, Thein lwin, Ph.d. and
schools in Mahachai area (near Bangkok) and         nan lung, to establish an independent edu-
Phuket peninsula. A few hundred children get        cational institute called the Teacher Training
education in these “migrant” schools. These are     Center for Burmese Teachers (TTBT) in Febru-
children who live near the schools with parents     ary 2002. They thought that the establishment
who want to give them education. Many other         of such an educational institute is necessary
children live at a distance from schools, with      because students need qualified teachers both in-
parents who move from place to place for their      side Burma and in the refugee camps. TTBT was
jobs, or with parents who need their older chil-    established as an education foundation serving
dren to work to earn money or to look after the     the needs of schools in Burmese refugee camps,
smaller children. Consequently, these children      areas of internally displaced persons, remote
have little opportunity to learn.                   areas of Burma, and areas of Burmese migrant
     Furthermore, the migrant workers them-         workers in Thailand. It seeks to improve the
selves need education and training. Their old       quality of education in these schools by training
skills and disrupted education in Burma do not      new teachers, promoting active learning, critical
fit the requirements of the Thai economy. They      thinking and democratic practice in schools,
need to learn more to improve their skills.         providing professional development opportu-
                                                    nities for teachers, and developing educational
                                                    policy and practice. Its program offers basic
Educational activities of exiled educators          teacher training, advanced teacher training,
                                                    and Reading and writing for Critical Thinking
   This author and his colleagues started an        (RwCT) workshops. The program focuses on
education program along the Burma-Thai bor-         primary and junior secondary education.
der in 2000. They met with community leaders,
teachers and educators and learned that there
                                                                     Training Burmese Teachers       0

Basic teacher training                              dents were awarded Bachelor in Philosophy
                                                    in education and one student (nan lung)
     The basic teacher training course of TTBT      was awarded Master of education in special
is based on the experience of the 2001 teacher      educational needs. After the study, nan lung
training held in Chiang Mai. The 2001 train-        continued working in the teacher-training pro-
ing was a three-month course with thirty-one        gram of TTBT while the other students went
students. A training of trainers’ workshop in       back to their respective communities – kachin,
Chiang Mai followed this course with six stu-       karenni, karen and Mon – to continue their
dents from the 2001 training and two kachin         work in education.
teachers. From 2002, TTBT has been holding              due to high cost of studying abroad, TTBT
its own basic teacher training course under a       initiated an Advanced Teacher Training Course
six-month program. The training course offers       in Chiang Mai. The Advanced Teacher Training
teaching strategies in literacy, numeracy, social   Course, an intensive three-month course, started
studies and sciences across the curriculum.         in March 2005 as a pilot program. nineteen
These courses were designed to help teachers get    teachers joined the course (fifteen teachers
appropriate basic knowledge in education and        from private schools in Rangoon, Mandalay
to promote active learning. Mary wootten and        and Myitkyina; four teacher trainers from the
steve wootten of university of newcastle came       karen education Project based in Mae sot and
to Chiang Mai for a month in 2001 and taught        working in refugee camps). The participants
lesson planning, curriculum development, and        were awarded the ‘Advanced Teacher Training
assessment of students’ performance.                Certificate.’ All participants hold at least a first
     There were fourteen students in 2002,          degree from a university inside Burma except
twenty-five students in 2003, and twenty-three      one participant from kachin who graduated
students in 2004 completing the six-month           from the Maijayan Teacher Training school.
training. The students were awarded a ‘Cer-         Two participants from the karen education
tificate in education’ upon completion of the       Project hold master degrees. They all have teach-
training. The students were selected from dif-      ing experiences.
ferent ethnic nationality groups of Burma. The          The training course currently offers the fol-
selection tried to ensure an ethnic and gender      lowing content:4
balance but most were karen nationals because           • Theories of learning
the majority of applications were from karen            • Multiple Intelligences (Howard gard-
refugee camps. Almost all students (approxi-                ner) and similar theories
mately 80%) went back to their communities              • Reading and writing for Critical Think-
and now work as teachers.                                   ing (RwCT 8 guidebooks)
                                                        • Assessing Pupils’ Progress
                                                        • Practical Classroom Management
Advanced teacher training                               • study skills and Thinking skills
                                                        • special educational needs
    The advanced teacher training program               • education for Human needs and well-
aims to provide professional development op-                Being
portunities for experienced teachers. In 2002,          • Art in education.
six students were sent to study at the university
of newcastle in the united kingdom. The                 Theories of learning include different learn-
Prospect Burma and Open society Institute           ing styles of students. Multiple intelligences was
supported the scholarship program. Five stu-        introduced to appreciate the students’ different

skills and to use different teaching strategies to       rather than traditional summative assessment6
meet their (students’) varied abilities. Practical       is encouraged. The program on ‘special edu-
classroom management is designed to change               cational needs’ for the children with learning
classroom setting to encourage students’ active          difficulties is most needed for children in refugee
participation. It also discusses and practices les-      camps and those with learning and language
son planning. The use of formative assessment5           difficulties.

  Human rights education may be understood to begin with a number of basic questions related to
  human needs and well-being. These key questions are:
  1) what essential needs must be satisfied in order for humans to live good lives? what does it mean
     to live a good life?
  2) what moral imperatives guide humans as they try to satisfy these essential needs, i.e., to create
     a community/world in which they can be satisfied?
  3) what recourse do humans have when these essential needs are disrespected or ignored?

  Although it often has other more specific objectives, human rights education aims broadly to de-
  velop young people’s capacity to engage in moral reasoning about these key questions by helping
  them understand the foundations of [or reasons for] their own moral choices as they approach the
  questions. This course of 10 sessions will explore ways of achieving this objective through (1) a
  “human rights friendly” approach to classroom management; (2) integration of teaching methods
  that promote moral reasoning about human needs and well-being across the curriculum and (3)
  inclusion of content that encourages thinking about the key questions above in a number of academic
  disciplines at different grade levels. Insofar as participants are interested, the course can also explore
  approaches to the teaching of international human rights specifically. Finally, (4) it will address the
  question of how to assess and evaluate learning of moral reasoning.

  specific Topics:
  1) understanding the ethical framework for addressing the key questions: the teacher as ethicist
  2) Creating a “human rights friendly” classroom environment and approach to teaching
  3) Creating a social/cultural context for addressing the key questions: community, cooperation and
      care as essential components of moral reasoning about human needs and well-being
  4) The importance of effective questioning as the most basic of all participatory teaching methods;
      how to elicit important questions from students
  5) Addressing the key questions across the curriculum: methods, activities and content for developing
      moral reasoning about human needs and well-being in the social sciences, arts, and sciences
  6) [Optional] studying human rights directly: The international human rights system; globalization
      and human rights; culture and human rights
  7) Assessment and evaluation in a “human rights friendly” learning environment: creating oppor-
      tunities for students to apply moral reasoning.
                                                                      Training Burmese Teachers      0

    The ‘educating for human needs and well-         in the transition toward democratic societies.
being’ course was written by Mary Purkey, a hu-      Active in thirty countries of Central and eastern
man rights educator in the Champlain Regional        europe, Central Asia, latin America and south-
College, lennoxville, Canada. The course has         east Asia, RwCT introduces research-based
the following description and content:               instructional methods to teachers and teacher
    The participants were interested in the sub-     educators. These methods are designed to help
jects and participated actively. They said ‘human    students think reflectively, take ownership for
rights friendly learning environment’ can be         their personal learning, understand the logic of
included in their classroom teaching while they      arguments, listen attentively, debate confidently,
are teaching subjects such as social studies and     and become independent lifelong learners.
languages without talking about ‘human rights            The program can be used in all grades and
violations in Burma’. The teachers thought that      subjects within the existing curriculums. The
teaching about democracy and human rights            RwCT northern Thailand project for Burmese
might be considered as a crime and possibly          teachers is a part of the international RwCT
lead to punishment by the regime.                    program initiated and funded by the Interna-
    From 2002 to 2004, educators from the            tional Reading Association and Open society
Human Rights education Institute of Burma            Institute based in washington d.C. and new
(HReIB) have been invited to provide one-            york respectively.
week human rights courses at the TTBT train-             In 2002, twenty-five teachers from karenni
ing. with participants from refugee camps, the       and karen camps and from Mae sot joined
courses provided direct human rights training        the first RwCT workshops. In 2003, these
because teachers in camps can teach human            participants organized workshops in karenni
rights explicitly. In 2005, we changed the three-    Camp 1, Mae khong kha karen Camp and
month course focusing on Reading and writing         Mae sot. ninety teachers joined in 2003. In
for Critical Thinking (RwCT) and education           2004, the RwCT workshops were organized
for human needs and well-being. The training         in six places – two karenni camps, two karen
focused on student-centered teaching strategies      camps, Mae sot and Chiang Mai. One hundred
and democratic practice in the classroom. due        and sixty teachers joined in the third year. In
to visa difficulties, we organized three-month,      december 2004, RwCT extended to kachin
rather than six-month, training course. These        state, northern Burma upon the invitation of
changes were mainly aimed at adjusting to the        kachin leaders. TTBT held a four-week RwCT
2005 course participants who were teachers           workshop attended by forty teachers.
from inside Burma and who were reluctant
to join a training that includes criticism of the
military regime and its human rights violations.     Other training activities
They had to go back to Burma and were worried
of being investigated by the military regime for         TTBT also provided special training courses
participating in politics.                           for non-teachers. In 2005, TTBT held a forty-
                                                     hour training course on teaching technique to
                                                     the medical trainers working at dr. Cynthia
Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking            Maung’s clinic and from inside Burma. The
                                                     course included adult education, general teach-
    RwCT course covers democracy, human              ing strategies in science, lesson planning, assess-
rights and peace education implicitly. The           ment and evaluation. with 50,000 Burmese
RwCT project is based on the idea that demo-         migrants registered with the Thai government
cratic practices in schools play an important role   along with another 50,000 undocumented

Burmese around Chiang Mai working in fac-           training in Chiang Mai. But since it was dif-
tories, night market, hotels, restaurants, sex      ficult to obtain six-month visa, the six-month
shops and construction sites, TTBT considered       training course was changed to a three-month
establishing a learning center for them. Through    intensive course. The participants were teachers
the Migrant learning Center, which provides         from community and private schools especially
language (Thai and english languages) and           for disadvantaged children. Teachers from the
computer training, six hundred workers have         government schools were not invited.
completed their courses. Currently, two hundred         within six years, almost all teachers work-
migrant workers are attending the courses. The      ing at migrant schools in Mae sot area have
center intends to offer occupational training in    completed the TTBT training in Chiang Mai
the future.                                         and Mae sot. TTBT staff frequently visited the
    Also in 2005, TTBT organized an educa-          schools, met the teachers and provided feedback
tion program for those affected by the tsunami.     to their questions. during the last six years,
TTBT organized a training course for teachers       TTBT has trained over 1,000 teachers. The
of schools established in the Phuket peninsula      number includes training courses in Chiang Mai,
after the tsunami for the children of Burmese       Mae sot, refugee camps on the Burma-Thailand
workers. The training course included special       border, khao lak, Mahachai kachin, Mandalay,
education for children suffering from trauma,       Twantae, Thanlyin and Bago. In 2005, one
teaching techniques, lesson planning, and           hundred twenty-three teachers completed the
classroom management. The course was held in        TTBT training courses (nineteen in Chiang
cooperation with ngOs working in the area.          Mai, forty-four in Mae sot, twenty-two in khao
                                                    lak, sixty inside Burma). In 2006, two hundred
                                                    fifty-two teachers completed the training (forty
Challenges Faced                                    in Chiang Mai, twelve in Mahachai and two
                                                    hundred inside Burma). As earlier mentioned,
     working with only a few colleagues and         second generation training inside Burma does
inadequate resources, the improvement TTBT          not include direct teaching of human rights but
can make in the educational situation of Burma      they are woven into their discussions. TTBT
is limited. However, it has been able to provide    believes that this program serves as capacity-
teacher training to young people who com-           building in education and will help in the future
pleted their secondary education in refugee         educational development of Burma.
camps and who wish to become teachers. It also          TTBT is trying to affiliate the program with
invited teachers working at community schools       Chiang Mai university and get a certificate of
in the ceasefire areas and migrant schools in       accreditation, which will facilitate the issuance
Mae sot area. These people came to Chiang           of study visas for the students and official recog-
Mai to attend the training without proper           nition of the education program by an academic
travel documents. negotiation with local Thai       institution. Official accreditation, however,
authorities made this happen. But from 2004,        means payment of international student fees.
the participants found it more difficult to go to   since the program relies on donation, such fees
Chiang Mai. As a result, the TTBT training team     are beyond our means.
had to visit border regions to provide training
there. The same situation faced some of the lo-
cal trainers who have no proper documents to        Evaluation
travel to Thailand.
     In 2005, TTBT invited teachers from inside         Over one thousand three hundred teach-
Burma with travel documents to join six-month       ers received training from the TTBT program
                                                                       Training Burmese Teachers      0

in six years. Twenty per cent of this number          Conclusion
quit their teaching job – some went to a third
country for resettlement, some changed to other           Moral education has been missing in the
jobs with better income, and some undertook           Burmese education system for many years.
other training such as on media and human             during the British administration, colonial
rights advocacy. About one thousand teachers          education was introduced and moral education
entered the classrooms to teach forty thousand        was not included in the school curriculum. The
students. It is expected that these teachers would    Burmese nationalist movement created schools
provide students a student-centered education,        which promoted education to fight imperialism,
and promote active participation and critical         rather than civic and moral education. under
thinking.                                             the general ne win government, socialist moral
    According to some teachers who graduated          values were deemed more important than the
from TTBT, students are more active than be-          spiritual values of moral development. This was
fore. They are happy in the classrooms and want       known as the Burmese way to socialism. The
to go to school every day. Through classroom          current military regime does not give a place to
observation, it is clear that students are active.    moral values in education. The lack of moral
However, there has been no research about the         consideration is not only the fault of the military
students’ level of critical thinking. some teachers   regime but also of exiled opposition groups.
in refugee camps revealed that during the passive     education in the ethnic army-controlled areas
teaching/learning era, students were quiet and        has a similar tradition - fighting the Burmese
obeyed the teachers. now they are active and          army is seen as more important than peaceful
do not show their respect to their teachers. For      coexistence.
example, some students dare to fight their teach-         lack of moral education for many years in
ers. In the past, students do not smoke in front      every part of Burma has resulted in corruption
of teachers because they (teachers) do not like       prevailing everywhere. It is not only material
smoking not only at school but also at home.          corruption but also mental corruption such as
Today, students not only smoke but also drink         cheating, bribing, ‘pleasing up and pressing
alcohol in front of the teachers. This perceived      down’. This article does not intend to humiliate
problem will be considered through such ap-           people but highlight the importance of moral
proaches as classroom management techniques,          development in Burmese society. daw Aung
lesson planning and moral education.                  san suu kyi is an excellent role model of moral
    One thousand is a small number compared           authority. Based on good practices elsewhere,
with the thousands of teachers in Burma. In a         moral education should be included in Burmese
school, only one or two teachers who received         school curriculum and TTBT training should
TTBT training might employ new teaching               teach moral education. Further discussion on
approaches while the other twenty or thirty           the relationship between moral education and
teachers would continue to use traditional rote       religious education would be needed in this
learning strategies. TTBT employs a policy of         regard.
equality – regional equality, ethnic equality and         Human rights education which aims broadly
gender equality – which limits to a few teachers      to develop young people’s capacity to engage in
from a school the opportunity to join the train-      moral reasoning should be included in Burmese
ing. In the future, school-based training has to      education system. TTBT will develop a program
be employed so that all teachers practice new         on the integration of teaching methods that
teaching strategies in each school.                   promote moral reasoning about human needs
                                                      and well-being across the curriculum.

Endnotes                                                     learning goals and objectives are met in all sections of
                                                             the course. It also can improve instructional quality by
     * Thein lwin, Phd, is the Program director of           engaging the faculty in the design and practice of the
Teacher Training Center for Burmese Teachers.                course goals and objectives and the course impact on
         Education in Burma (1945-2000). The paper can       the program. source:
be viewed at                          ment/toolkit/formativesummative.htm
        It is obvious that forty percent of children never
                                                                    summative assessment is comprehensive in nature,
attend school and almost three-quarters fail to complete     provides accountability and is used to check the level
primary education (see Education in Burma, page 63)          of learning at the end of the program. For example, if
       The 2001 teacher training course organized by         upon completion of a program students will have the
Thein lwin, Ph.d. and nan lung was held under the            knowledge to pass an accreditation test, taking the test
auspices by the national Health and education Com-           would be summative in nature since it is based on the
mittee (nHeC) – an umbrella political organization           cumulative learning experience. Program goals and
coordinating health and education along the Burma-           objectives often reflect the cumulative nature of the
Thailand border.                                             learning that takes place in a program. Thus the program
        Based on the May 2006 three-month intensive          would conduct summative assessment at the end of
Advanced Teacher Training Certificate course.                the program to ensure students have met the program
        Formative assessment is often done at the begin-     goals and objectives. Attention should be given to us-
ning or during a program, thus providing the oppor-          ing various methods and measures in order to have a
tunity for immediate evidence for student learning in a      comprehensive plan. ultimately, the foundation for an
particular course or at a particular point in a program.     assessment plan is to collect summative assessment data
Classroom assessment is one of the most common               and this type of data can stand-alone. Formative assess-
formative assessment techniques. The purpose of this         ment data, however, can contribute to a comprehensive
technique is to improve quality of student learning and      assessment plan by enabling faculty to identify particular
should not be evaluative or involve grading students.        points in a program to assess learning (i.e., entry into a
This can also lead to curricular modifications when          program, before or after an internship experience, impact
specific courses have not met the student learning out-      of specific courses, etc.) and monitor the progress being
comes. Classroom assessment can also provide important       made towards achieving learning outcomes. source:
program information when multiple sections of a course
are taught because it enables programs to examine if the     tivesummative.htm

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