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The T-Shaped Teacher

T-Shaped people: Mika and another teacher from our PCAAN programme

Behind every high-quality programme in which the children are participating and really feeling empowered is what we call a ‘T-shaped teacher’

When we are training teachers or trainers, we tell them that we are developing a T-shaped person.

The vertical axis, represents the skills that the teacher of trainer needs to possess that allows them to make a real contributions to the programme. This axis is like the trunk of a tree.

The top horizontal axis (with the arms outstretched) represents open and flexible thinking. Ideas come from the lives of children and their families must always be a part of what we do and how we do it.

The T-shaped person shows curiosity, optimism, a tendency toward learning through doing, and experimentation – and getting others to do the same.

The teacher at the front in this photo is Mika, an outstanding teacher in Mozambique, who has been implementing the PCAAN programme (Children’s Participation in Action and Learning for Nutrition) at his school in the Tsangano District, Tete Province, Mozambique well after funding stopped. Now, thanks to all the people like Mika, there are many stakeholders taking a great interest in PCAAN and talks are being held in April on PCAAN becoming a national strategy for primary schools.

A poster designed by teachers in Mozambique that visualises the PCAAN programme.