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Culturally Responsive Professional Development for All Teachers

As demand for international education increases around the world, school demographics are shifting to have greater representation in host country nationals. While schools continue to recruit overseas teachers with western trained pedagogy and experience, more and more are recognizing the need for greater diversity to address local needs. Resident educators have natural insight and alignment with host country national children--their culture, language and history--and therefore have valuable contributions that schools want and need to leverage and incorporate. However, there are scarce international opportunities for professional development that effectively address the local educators’ perspective and needs.

ietcLogo.pngIn 2015, ISS-ULink responded to this need with the creation of the International Education Training Center (IETC). IETC is the only professional development program especially designed for teachers with little to no exposure to research-based best practice training to further expand their learning of teaching. The program was honed in the dynamic learning laboratories of ISS China-based schools for national students.

Essential Questions

IETC builds a common understanding of teaching and learning amongst all teachers – national and/or international. The provision of this common language allows for the professional dialogue and collegiality needed to truly develop every culturally inclusive school into a powerful learning-based institution.

  1. 1 How aware are teachers of the needs of their students, the content of their teaching, and the pedagogy of learning?
  2. 2 How do teachers know whether their actions affect students learning?
  3. 3 How intentionally do teachers plan and deliver all aspects of their teaching?

IETC provides tailored professional development training to support teachers in China and other countries, to internationalize best instructional practices by:

  • Scaffolding best practice, based on research theory and presented in the local context
  • Adopting more student-centered inquiry and problem-solving activities
  • Applying innovative and flexible strategies for curriculum delivery to better meet the needs of students
  • Providing students with 21st century skills

IETC serves educators from public, private and international schools seeking research-based best practice professional development, and is committed to continuously refining and improving the training model through the process of Research - Practice - Application. It offers the only Certificate of International Pedagogy, which consists of three required foundational courses and one pre-selected elective course. The certificate will recognize engagement in training designed particularly for teachers working or intending to work in international education contexts. Additionally, participants have the option of obtaining approved graduate credit at an additional cost from the State University of New York (SUNY), where courses may be transferable to their SUNY Buffalo State degree and certificate programs.


“What if education were less about acquiring skills and knowledge and more about cultivating the dispositions and habits of mind that students will need for a lifetime of learning, problem solving and decision-making?” (Ritchhart, 2002)


“Planning can be done in many ways, but the most powerful is when teachers work together to develop plans, develop common understandings of what is worth teaching, collaborate on understanding their beliefs of challenge and progress, and work together to evaluate the impact of their planning on student outcomes.” (John Hattie, 2008)


“The biggest effect on student learning occurs when teachers become learners of their own teaching, and when students become their own teachers.” (John Hattie, 2008)

IETC Certificate of International Teaching Pedagogy

Required Foundational Courses

  • ECLT: Effective Instructional Strategies for Communicative Language Teaching
  • CECL: Creating and Sustaining an Engaged Culture of Learning
  • AFLT: Assessment that Facilitates Learning and Teaching

Cohort Elective Options

  • Balanced Literacy Development - Reading & Writing Essentials I
  • Data Analysis that Informs Instruction
  • Balanced Literacy Development - Reading and Writing Essentials -- II

Foundational Course Synopsis:

ECLT: Effective Instructional Strategies for Communicative Language Teaching

It will focus on effective strategies for the “Communicative Approach” to language learning, which incorporates student-centered inquiry and problem-solving approaches. The course also applies to subject teachers, as language is the conduit to the content.

CECL: Creating and Sustaining an Engaged Culture of Learning

Examines various ways to create an effective learning culture that engages students in the learning content and process.

AFLT: Assessment that Facilitates Learning and Teaching

Will focus on developing a deliberative feedback analysis approach that aligns curriculum, instruction and assessment through planning in order to improve student learning.

For more information on the Certificate Program and its courses, download the Program Brochure.

“It’s difficult to change. When I tried, I saw how my students reacted. They told me the lesson was so different and fun that they would never forget what they learned.”

- Kayang Huang, Middle School English

“What I learned here is transformational. It changes the way that I see teaching.”

- David Peng, High School Math


While not included in the course price, information about reasonably-priced accommodations are available.

Courses are taught in English. CET-6 or above is required for Chinese participants, or an equivalent of a score of 6.5 or above in IELTS for other countries where English is not the national or common working language.

The cost of each course is USD $1,000 USD. Course materials, lunch and tea snack are included. There is also a 10% discount offered for group reservations of more than 10 participants from the same school or organization.

For school-based training, a different rate will apply. Please contact us for more information »

Our courses are taught by 1 Lead-trainer and 1 Co-Trainer, unless otherwise specified. They are recognized area experts, international educators, consultants, researchers, and visiting university scholars.

2016-2017 China based courses will be held at the Nansha College Preparatory Academy in Guangzhou China. For more information about this location and environment, visit the school’s website.

Request for school-based training welcome. Schools and organizations interested in hosting the course in other cities may contact us at:

A maximum of 40 students will be admitted per course, while we require a minimum of 20 to facilitate a positive and dynamic classroom experience, employing some small-group work and breakout groups.

Certificate classes will consist of 5 days per course, where each day will run from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM with lunch and tea breaks. The 5 day course may be broken down in two sections. See schedule for more details.

Course Registration Steps




Register online:

Specify the course and your personal/contact information.



Course Registration Form will be sent to you via email. Each participant must complete individual registration form.



Payment made to designated account. Seat confirmation upon receipt of full payment by stated deadline. Space availability: first come first serves.


Course Materials

Course materials will be sent to participants electronically two (2) weeks before start of course. Laptop computer required for all participants.

News And Resources

Cutting Edge Professional Development »

Read our interview with IETC creator Lila Leung

Six ways to spark change in a traditional school

John Burns, ISS Director of Creativity & Innovation

Check out all of our events and conferences | 2018/19 conference dates: Atlanta, GA, USA (December 9-11, 2018)  •   Bangkok, Thailand (January 4-7, 2019)  •   San Francisco, CA, USA (February 7-10, 2019) |