Main menu

Learning and teaching - Cyprus

How teachers are prepared for their role in assessment

The University of Cyprus is the main provider of teacher preparatory training in Cyprus. The Department of Education offers one course on Educational Assessment and Evaluation as part of its Program of Studies for Elementary and Kindergarten Teachers. According to the course description part of the course is focused on assessment of pupils’ knowledge, skills and attitudes. Topics such as the following are covered: purposes of assessment; formative and summative models of assessment; test construction; use of standardized tests; record keeping and reporting; portfolios.  Another part of the course is about the theory, practice, understanding and utilization of educational evaluation. Topics such as the following are covered: evaluation of teaching and teacher’s appraisal; program evaluation; external evaluation of school units; school self-evaluation; and evaluation of educational systems.  Pre-service teachers are given opportunities to gain hands-on practical experience by visiting schools and collecting data and by working with pupils on one-to-one basis and in small groups. However, it seems that they do not feel adequately prepared for this aspect of their work as Kyriakides (1996)  attests. 

An example of good practice: Meniko Elementary School in the Nicosia District

This is a small rural community school of about 100 pupils. The head teacher exercises leadership in the organization of the school unit and in the adoption of approaches and methods conducive to a learning community. The vision of the head teacher is shared by staff that collaborates and co-operates among themselves in achieving shared goals. The school is open to the community and there is a strong partnership not only with parents but also with village authorities and institutions.  The school layout, the buildings and yard and the classroom layout and furniture have been modified with the guidance of outside experts that were called in on the initiative of the head teacher so as to reinforce open and learner centred approaches to learning.  Learning is largely co-operative and pupils work in mixed ability groups. The environment is quiet and conducive to learning and the climate is calm and orderly. Pupils are valued as persons who contribute to and enrich the school community in diverse ways. Diversity and difference are accepted and valued.

In this context, pupils with special needs are integrated in their class groupings and their IEP is linked to the curriculum content with modifications to suit their needs. The specialist teacher collaborates very closely with the class teacher and works with the pupil in the homeroom alongside the rest of the pupils to achieve the pupil’s individual learning targets. Feedback is given not only by the teachers but also by peers in the group who support each other in their learning.

  • LinkedIn
  • Google +