The Chairman of the Board of the Autonomous Organization of Education made the main report at the XI international conference.

 Dear participants of the conference!


Nazarbayev Intellectual schools annually hold international research-to-practice conference. At the previous conferences, we discussed the content of secondary education, leadership in education, research and sustainable development, the boundaries of change. Last year, the key theme of the conference was the new generation schools. This year the participants of plenary sessions, network sessions and master classes will discuss who the teachers changing the world of schooling are.


This year conference is being held jointly with the Akimat of Nur-Sultan city. We express our gratitude to Jusan Bank and Bilim Media group for the support in the organization of the conference. We also express our gratitude to teachers, experts and researchers who take part in our conferences.


Dear Colleagues!


The profession of the teacher is being reconsidered both globally and in our country. Now the teacher, students, parents and the community see the role of the school teacher in a new way. Is the task of the teacher to build the worldview of students through the subject content and through themselves, their culture and attitudes, or to explain complex things in simple language? Since, “we live in the era of constant change... now every year is transformative”, as Yuval Harari, one of the most popular writers on the past, present and future, says.


Slide 2. Technology is penetrating areas that until recently were far from the digital world. The boundaries of markets are blurring, the life cycle of products is shortening, competition is intensifying, and requirements for people are changing.  It’s time to think and act one step ahead of oneself.


We understand that in these conditions it is necessary to improve the education system, to make it resistant to external influences, to establish a tradition of constant self-improvement and self-development.


What kind of person should the teacher be to be able to work in modern realities and change the world of schooling?


Only a teacher-leader can cope with such a task; a teacher who is able to make efficient use of time, realistically evaluate tasks, quickly find the best solutions, serve the society and take responsibility. Our three-year experience of working with leading mainstream schools shows that compulsory subject and pedagogical knowledge and skills are as important as personal qualities and competencies of teachers. These require changes in teaching methodology and strategy of using innovative practices that have proven to be successful in various national systems of education.


Slide 3. One of the main drivers is the attitudes and self-perception of the teacher. It is important for the teacher to believe. First of all, believe in himself. Believe that all children are able to learn and develop, that the learning outcomes of any of them can be improved, since they are not constant. The teacher should not be biased in assessing the child’s ability level. His behavior and actions make students feel the teacher’s understanding and support.


The great Greek philosopher Homer, back in the 8th century BC, said: “Great things and great discoveries have been made due to mutual trust and mutual help”. Today, the academic educator V. Dorofeyev says: “Trust is a force that can lead to a revolution in the activities and relationships of people, in their faith, education, goals they set for themselves, in their way of life... Trust, and especially mutual trust, is a necessary attribute of the educational process”.


If there is trust, it will help build positive relationships with students.


John Hattie, Professor at the University of Melbourne and author of “Visible Learning”, who studied more than 200 factors influencing learning, believes that teacher-student relationships highly impact students’ learning outcomes in secondary school.


When a teacher has a good relationship with students, they feel positive about the classroom and the school, they are willing to work hard, take risks and, most importantly, seek help when they need it. Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, states that this encourages teacher and student to become resources for each other and “co-creators”.


Such trust and mutual understanding between the student Victor Kovalchuk and his teacher Alexander Scherzer in the Intellectual school in Kostanay allowed them to create a cheap analogue of an interactive whiteboard. You can get acquainted with their work at the exhibition of our conference.


A personal example always has a positive impact on student’s growing up. According to a study conducted in 85 schools of Denmark, high motivation of teachers to serve the community has a direct impact on the high results of examinations and achievements of students. Students taught by teachers with a high motivation to serve the community grow more conscious, have stable values and conscience, which contributes to the development of such qualities as strong work ethic, diligence, commitment, discipline and organisation.


The cultural level of the teacher is of great importance. A study conducted over 10 years in 30 countries has shown that professionals with a higher level of cultural intelligence (CQ) more effectively cope with difficulties in life and work, building on the characteristics of the global nature of modern society. Cultural intelligence affects each teacher’s style and outcomes of teaching. In classroom and during the lesson, it is the awareness of the difference or similarity of teacher’s culture from that of the students and their families, the ability to understand that every child is unique, and to use cultural differences for the benefit of all students. 


The teacher should be given opportunities to develop his intellectual capacity: develop logic, apply leadership skills, introduce innovations and be creative.


Lifelong learning skills are important for both students and teachers.


 Thus, according to Andreas Schleicher, it is necessary to constantly maintain the intellectual attractiveness of the teaching profession. Only in this case, the most talented youth will be willing to become teachers, and high quality staff members will remain in the profession. And we achieve this through the professional development of teachers.


First of all, teacher agency should be developed, keeping in mind that teachers themselves are a “product” of the traditional education system and, as students, they hardly ever had the opportunity to experience “agency”.


Slide 4. The teacher should see himself as a driver of change, not just a “provider” of services, but a facilitator of learning in accordance with the social, cultural and linguistic experiences of students.


Teaching is a force, and the team of professional teachers is a driving force that contributes to the development of schooling.


According to the opinion of British scholar Andy Hargreaves (2018), collaborative professionalism based on a high level of trust in working relationships is the golden cell of professional collaboration. In such an environment, teachers have strong relationships, trust each other and feel free to take risks and make mistakes.


Slide 5. 6. Therefore, Nazarbayev Intellectual schools have taken responsibility to offer the renewed content of education to the education system of Kazakhstan. Since 2016, mechanisms have been developed for methodological support of mainstream schools teachers through the online platform of Educational Resource Portal, the establishment of a network of 1 020 leading schools, the development of a school methodological core staff consisting of about 40 thousand school trainers and coordinators or every 10th teacher in the country. About 1 200 educational programmes, textbooks and teacher professional development programmes, a new system of assessment have been developed to comply with the renewed education content, more than 700 textbooks and 30 thousand assessment tools have been provided to mainstream schools. More than 400 thousand teachers have been trained under the professional development programmes, more than 35 thousand workshops, master classes, training sessions, open lessons have been organised. This was done thanks to the efforts of the professional team of Nazarbayev Intellectual school teachers.


The researches of teachers-practitioners play an important role in the process of changing the schools.


Results of the TIMSS study of trends in mathematics and science education allowed identifying the reasons for the difference in learning achievements of students of all ages in Japan, the USA and Germany. The key factor in the success of the Japanese school was the widespread use of “lesson study” (Elliott, 2019).


Slide 7. Nazarbayev Intellectual schools widely use data on the effectiveness of learning, reports on the results of various forms of student assessment to improve the quality of the educational process. The share of data generated and provided to the school is 94% of the total number of reports, including 36% for teachers, 28% for school administration, 20% for students, and 10% for methodological associations. This data informs teachers about the strengths and weaknesses of learning, the level of motivation, applied skills, interests and aspirations of students and allows the teacher to provide individual feedback, engage children in the learning process, adapt the training material and pace of learning to student's needs and choose the most effective teaching methods.


Slide 8. The data lays the foundation for predictive analytics to forecast student’s performance in the course of learning and in external assessment. It is used to ensure the dialogue between student and teacher, teacher and parents, teacher and teacher, teacher and school administration. It also contributes to teacher agency and understanding the value of feedback-based learning.


77% of teachers of Nazarbayev Intellectual schools are engaged in Action Research and Lesson Study. The most popular themes are “teaching methods”, “multilingual education”, “development of students’ skills”.  To date, 63% of teachers have published their research findings.


Slide 9. Research contributes to improving the quality of education and impacts the results of external summative assessment. 81% and 100% of Grades 12 teachers in the schools of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Taraz respectively, which show the highest results in external summative assessment, consistently carry out research. As compared to 2016, the proportion of A* and A grades almost doubled in 2019.


Examination results in 2019 were higher both in comparison with the results of 2018 and with the results of students in other countries who took Cambridge A-Level examinations in all subjects.


For the first time, two students of Intellectual schools received the highest A* grades in all examinations. And 64 students received A* and A grades.  Every fourth graduate of this year completed education with excellent grades.


We believe that such results have been achieved due to the implementation of Effective Teaching Cycle: planning, teaching, forecasting, evaluation, monitoring and analysis.


Slide 10. This cycle will be effectively implemented only in case there are professional teachers working in schools.


The results of the TALIS-2013 teaching and learning international survey show that a high quality pre-service teacher training programme has a significant impact on teachers’ perception of their effectiveness and job satisfaction.


Every tenth young teacher in the world (with 3 years or less teaching experience) considers the received training as not sufficient to teach the subject-content and to teach in the classroom.


A similar situation is observed in Kazakhstan: according to figures provided by the Beles Centre for Strategy and Analysis (2019), 16% of 4-year students of pedagogical specialties are dissatisfied with the quality of education in university and 15% of them do not agree with the statement that studying at university prepared them for working as a teacher.


A joint project of the NIS AEO and the akimat of West Kazakhstan region on modernisation of the educational programme of Zh.Dosmukhamedov Higher Pedagogical College for primary school teacher training was launched in September. The project is implemented comprehensively: the best world practices in primary school teacher training were studied, more than 100 training programmes were developed, the staff of the College took 90 different professional development courses, and seminars on assessment were held. At the moment, work on changing the approaches to the organisation of pedagogical practice of students is being completed. And a system of monitoring students’ academic achievements is being developed as well.


This project brings together the school practice and the system of primary pedagogical training, which allows the College to improve its programmes to comply with the school realities. The project also aims to transform the college into a methodological centre of innovation and attraction for all teachers in the region.


This year, the Government is working on the development and adoption of the Law “On the status of the teacher”. The status of the teacher is not only about the vision of the profession from outside; it is also about the self-perception of the teacher, his degree of comfort and job satisfaction.


I am sure that every teacher here will agree that children’s love and their exceptional gratitude is the strongest advantage of our profession.


The expectations of the society from teachers are high, since teachers have major influence on students’ lives.


Slide 11. One of the first world-known Russian scientists Michael Lomonosov met his teacher Christian Wolff in the University of Marburg. The teacher saw the student’s genuine talent and gave him more attention than to other students.


One of the greatest pianists of the XX century Sviatoslav Richter felt life-long gratitude to his teacher Heinrich Neuhaus for his conscious attitude to talent, and for bringing him back to studies when he left the Moscow Conservatory. He remembered this for the whole life.


The well-known Russian mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky believed he could become a scholar since he was a student of the genius Grigory Kartashevsky.


Dear Colleagues!


Slide 12. The expectations of teachers are high, but the outcome is huge.


If there is a profession that changes the world for the better every day, it is the profession of the teacher.


Thank you for your attention.


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Published: 11 November