David and Janet have been tutoring, and mentoring tutors, for some time, and are now convinced that a thinking skills programme is the best next step towards achieving this. They plan to run a pilot Somerset Thinking Skills course at their own college, for tutors and student teachers where they have a staff of nearly 100 tutors and space for 1200 student teachers, studying a two year Diploma in Secondary Education. The tutors are all education graduates, many of them very young and inexperienced in the classroom; the students have passed one or two A levels.
If they can demonstrate success, this programme could potentially be rolled out to all 34 Government Teachers’ Colleges in Tanzania.
Janet Townend, who is an experienced teacher and dyslexia specialist, wrote recently about the Somerset Thinking Skills Course (STSC) and the proposed project saying :
- “STSC is an excellent programme, and meets the needs we have identified
- There is a significant non-verbal component (English, the language of instruction from the beginning of secondary education onwards, is the third language for most Tanzanians)
- I would be responsible for implementing the programme, and I am very enthusiastic about it
- The materials are accessible and it is relatively straightforward to train tutors in its use
- It is UK based, and this makes it easy for me to keep in touch if advice is needed, even by making contact when visiting the UK.”
They have promised to keep us updated with developments and photos!