Dr. Don Jordan is an experienced teacher, international education consultant and teacher educator. He has conducted Teacher Education workshops in Australia, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and South East Asia.
Ms. Ellen Cornish is an experienced international education consultant, teacher educator and classroom teacher. She taught for 33 years in Tasmanian schools as well as having conducted teacher training workshops at two universities in Thailand and taught English in Korea.
Together we have been conducting a series of workshops at the National University of Battambang Institute of Foreign Languages since 2012. The University identified the aim of the workshops as the promotion of modern teaching strategies and methodologies within a ‘Creative and Critical Thinking’ framework. The overall theme of our workshops at all levels is to focus on ‘Teaching and Assessment Strategies that Promote Critical and Analytical Thinking’, and the ‘Effective use of Teaching and Learning Spaces’ Effective teachers develop productive relationships with their students: they get to know them and take an interest in their culture, background and abilities and their development and progress. There are many theories about how we learn. We believe that learning is like a river, bending and meandering, touching back on itself at times as it flows, sometimes fast sometimes slowly. Therefore, we vary our teaching techniques and strategies, as much as possible, to meet individual needs and learning styles and set tasks that engage and challenge each student to succeed. The theories of Howard Gardner (individual learning styles) and Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy, (critical and creative thinking) among others, inform our workshop content. As we are working with current and future teachers, we explain and put into practice these theories throughout our workshops.
The continuity that we offer by sustained, rather than one-off workshops, has been beneficial in developing relationships with both staff and students over time, resulting in better mutual understanding of, and respect for, our different cultures and expectations.