Transforming Education Through Instructional Coaching in the Mayan Highlands of Guatemala
A Historical Introspection on Policy, Practice and Educational Transformation
Significant efforts have been made to improve the educational system in the Western Highlands of Guatemala to foster economic growth and social development in the country. However, given the country’s linguistic and cultural diversity, challenges in terms of coverage and quality of education persist. Inadequate teacher preparation training, and the absence of an induction and pedagogical coaching system for new teachers are some of the impeding factors. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has executed targeted educational projects to support the National Ministry of Education in strengthening the human capital in education. A transformative pedagogical leadership and coaching model was developed that focuses efforts from an oversight system to a mentoring system that strengthens leadership and the capacities of teachers in the application of innovative methodologies that contribute to educational improvement. This model allows for a continuous cycle of improvement to teaching by providing new teachers with feedback on teaching practices in the classroom and opportunities for teachers to self-reflect and be empowered in their own learning process and professional growth. This approach has shown positive effects with respect to teaching practices at the school-level; however, additional measures are required to gain the support of stakeholders to expand its implementation to bilingual and multicultural contexts to maximize the country’s potential to improve the quality of education.
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