Steve was the inspired designer of a long term teacher training project for the schools of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (LPJ). This e-learning project began in 2002. With his extensive teaching experience, his knowledge of methodology and his inspirational leadership, Steve went to Amman and provided the teachers of English with an appetite for change. Rapidly gaining their confidence, he provided a course containing a combination of current educational research and methodology with opportunities for the teachers to continue their training in England and gain a qualification. The teachers, with their limited resources, tentatively applied the new teaching methods. The teacher participants all said that this was the most successful training they had received. It provided a way forward for their schools, which had represented the gold standard of education in countries where there were limited education opportunities but which lacked the financial resources for modern training.
That first project was the foundation for a more ambitious programme in 2010. Building on the 2002 experience, a more refined e-learning programme, with observational visits to all schools from Steve and his trained Flying Squad team, was offered to twenty teachers in Jordan and Israel. Steve inspired this cohort of teachers and a major transformation of teaching methods began. Steve fine- tuned his approach, encouraging, supporting and enabling the teachers to be reflective and creative in their approaches. They grew in confidence and their enjoyment of teaching increased, as did their pupils’ enjoyment of learning. Steve’s engaging smile was matched by theirs. Steve and his successors (former colleagues) who developed and expanded the programme, set the bench mark for change. Educational progress is underway in the LPJ classrooms and it became apparent that a blend of teaching methods and a pupil-centred approach to the teaching of English was applicable to other subject areas.
I am grateful to Steve for his willingness to accept the challenge of modernising teaching in a very different culture. His insight and his perceptive understanding of the nuances of differing personalities, together with his persuading and encouraging teachers, have done much to ensure that the next generation of children in these schools will experience an education fitting the demands of the twenty first century.
Margaret Waddingham - Retired Senior Lecturer,
Education Advisor for KHS (The Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in England and Wales)