WHAT WE DO
The TransformELT Approach
We support change initiatives at every level of the education process drawing on the experience and expertise of our extensive network of consultants, and following the principles set out in The TransformELT Approach. Since launching in 2017, we have worked in over 25 countries on a wide range of projects: as advisors and project directors for ministries of education on large-scale systemic reform; as school management consultants to individual institutions seeking progressive change; as researchers for in-depth educational studies; as curriculum designers and materials developers; and as trainers for teaching, coaching and mentoring. The point of departure for all our work is a detailed exploration of context to ensure that our interventions are practical, sustainable and above all, context-appropriate.
We aim to equip individuals within an education system with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable the whole system to develop autonomously. Generating sustainability across complex systems involves a highly participatory approach to change initiatives. We believe that the best way to enable large-scale changes across a system is to engage individuals in a series of dialogues that help them to understand fully and believe in the changes proposed, and take direct actions that are significantly different from what was happening before. This also involves our project managers understanding how the changes will impact on the individuals concerned across multiple roles within the education system. Ensuring that all relevant perspectives are taken into account during planning, implementation and evaluation of the proposed intervention is key to success.
While we acknowledge that there are similarities across education systems, each individual organisation has its own structure, character, procedures and processes. We explore this in depth before and during needs analysis to ensure that we have a thorough understanding of the context within which we are working. This contextual approach ensures that changes proposed fit the education system and the individuals that constitute it.
Embedding monitoring and evaluation procedures into all stages of the project ensures that information is fed back to participants, consultants and project managers so that modifications can be made to the project in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Ensuring that key baseline data is collected at the outset creates benchmarks from which we can measure success. Although these can often be concrete indicators that can be easily observed and counted, this is not always the case. More subtle changes can be uncovered with close observation and a more qualitative approach to data gathering and analysis. We use a ‘mixed methods’ approach at all stages to monitor the progress of the project and to evaluate outcome achievement levels.
For each project, we carefully select individuals from our extensive network of consultants. These highly qualified professionals have the skill sets required to equip change process participants with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve the desired change across the system. Once constituted, the project team is structured in different ways at different points in the project. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and we endeavour to ensure that there is detailed communication between team members so that everyone has a clear picture of how the project is progressing and what needs to be done to enable successful delivery.
We support change initiatives at every level of the education process drawing on the experience and expertise of our extensive network of consultants, and following the principles set out above. Since launching in 2017 we have worked in over 25 countries on a wide range of projects: as advisors and project directors for ministries of education on large-scale systemic reform; as school management consultants to individual institutions seeking progressive change; as researchers for in-depth educational studies; as curriculum designers and materials developers; and as trainers for teaching, coaching and mentoring. The point of departure for all our work is a detailed exploration of context to ensure that our interventions are practical, sustainable and above all, context-appropriate.
Online, Blended & Hybrid Learning
The underlying principle driving our collaborative approach to change projects is appreciative enquiry into specific contexts. Our training interventions are informed by in-depth background research, and where possible, by scoping studies, designed to help us achieve a nuanced understanding of educational traditions and how we can best support the desired change while respecting those traditions. Thorough needs analysis provides an objective basis for negotiation with our clients to identify appropriate project goals, and helps to ensure that our training interventions are context-sensitive, respecting institutional priorities at the same time as responding to the needs of practitioners and learners. We aim to remain in contact with groups and individuals after a period of training, and we welcome opportunities for further involvement, whether on a formal or informal basis.
TransformELT draws on an extensive network of highly experienced consultants, covering a wide range of areas of professional practice. We manage and provide leadership and support for diverse projects, supplying teams of consultants or individual specialists, according to the scope of the project and the client’s requirements. Our expert consultants are able to envision and plan large-scale curriculum and syllabus reform projects, as well as working in collaboration with local practitioners on training and materials development initiatives. The point of departure for all our consultancy work is always an exploration of the educational environment to gain a deep understanding of its professional ecology and ensure that our interventions are practical and context-sensitive. Monitoring and evaluation processes are embedded in all our consultancy work from the outset and throughout the life of a project.
Coaching & Mentoring
Coaching and mentoring are closely related forms of professional support and development provided for practitioners, depending on their needs at different stages of their careers. Coaching involves facilitation, often by someone external to the institution, in situations where teachers are seeking to review their established practice or engage with some new practice. Mentoring is usually associated with early career development or with moments when a teacher is moving into a new role. Mentoring is usually carried out by more experienced members of the same institution with less experienced teachers. Both coaches and mentors have advisory functions, and both processes call for the individual being coached or mentored to be actively involved in goal-setting and reflective practice. Depending on the scale and scope of a project, TransformELT consultants operate as specialist coaches themselves, or as trainers, enabling experienced teachers to become mentors or coaches.
Whether a fresh endeavour or the reform of an existing curriculum, curriculum development is a complex undertaking, and needs to be approached systemically. For a curriculum to have a real impact on teaching and learning, it has to be much more than an inventory of content, and should address a nexus of interwoven elements: teacher preparation, professional development, materials design, learning resources, modes of delivery and assessment – each of these factors needs to be seen in relation to the others. The integrity of a curriculum and its effective implementation depend on a detailed awareness of these reciprocal impacts. Our view of curriculum design is of a blueprint for a dynamic learning process that is capable of adaptation in a changing educational environment, with scope for change and further development.
As with all of TransformELT’s projects, our work on materials development always proceeds from a thorough investigation of target contexts and learner needs. Whether it entails developing a curriculum for a global product or writing a country-specific textbook, our materials development is informed by an appreciation of the culture or cultures of the learners, their learning priorities and how their attitude to language learning is influenced by educational traditions. Although our materials writers all have extensive experience of writing for both global and local contexts, their approach is based on sharing and nurturing local expertise. Rather than imposing predetermined solutions, they approach materials projects with professional curiosity, and as far as possible pursue a policy of working collaboratively with local practitioners to develop capacity and sustainability.
The complex nature of education calls for a layered approach to research, so as to ensure the fullest consideration of the perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Whether the research subject is an individual institution or an entire system, we aim to form as complete a picture as possible of the present situation, through multiple sources of data, and to identify realistic and practical actions designed to achieve the desired outcomes. Education is a social process, and valid educational research has to investigate values, beliefs and attitudes, as well as professional practices. Our approach to research studies, while evidence-based, is therefore as much concerned with qualitative as with quantitative data. As far as circumstances allow, we employ a mixed-methods approach, integrating literature review, interviews, questionnaires, observations, and focus group discussions, as well as examination of key performance indicators.
Monitoring & Evaluation
As can be seen from our Theory of Change (above), monitoring and evaluation procedures are built into the TransformELT approach at every stage of project planning and implementation. The M&E process begins by gathering key baseline data at the inception of a project to establish benchmarks. This then enables us to form a clear picture of what success will look like after the intervention. Periodic monitoring throughout the life of a project keeps all the stakeholders informed of progress, ensures that the desired outcomes are kept clearly in focus, and that project processes and activities can be modified accordingly. A ‘mixed methods’ approach is designed to capture qualitative as well as quantitative data. The same triangulated approach is used to evaluate outcomes, outputs, and wherever possible, impacts.