The Foundations of Teaching

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Poor quality teaching underpins the global crisis in child learning. Teachers in low-income and crisis-affected settings are often encouraged to improve the quality of their classroom instruction through training supplied by civil society organisations. This training too often leads to minimal change in classroom practice. This toolkit of foundational teaching competencies is designed for anyone involved in teacher professional development. Used correctly, the modules will help teachers develop the essential foundational and transferable skills which are often lacking. They should be integrated into a course of professional development which includes more than just workshops.

The foundational competencies explored here are important for all teachers, regardless of location. They were identified based on a robust review of the evidence. Professional Development modules have been assigned to each foundational skill. Each module includes objectives, materials, key information to share, training activities, indicators of achievement, and key points on gender and inclusion (particularly disability and linguistic diversity). Importantly, they also contain ideas for self-study, collaborative learning and coaching:

It is essential that teachers are given the opportunity to practise what they've learnt and to reflect
on their progress if they are to develop these foundational competencies.

Word, PDF and InDesign versions of these documents are available for you to use in your own training. It is also easy to copy and modify the modules on the web, as you can with wikipedia. Please contact for more information.




Please note, these modules are still under development. Contact us (see above) for complete PDFs


1. Prepare your classroom for learning

2. Know and include all your learners

3. Know your learners’ families and communities

4. Proactive classroom management

5. Reactive classroom management

6. Ensure your learners are protected: Part 1

7. Ensure your learners are protected: Part 2

8. Open and close lessons purposefully

9. Explain the lesson

10. Use other resources

11. Use questions and answers

12. Use pairs or groups

13. Use activities

14. Use differentiation for mixed-ability classes

15. Plan and sequence lessons

16. Give useful feedback to learners

17. Assessment of learning

18. Using assessment to improve learning



Summary of Learning Objectives