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How-to Guide: How to Use the Cluster Approach for Capacity Building in Schools

Explores the ways that peer-to-peer learning networks of teachers and administrators can overcome many of the challenges traditionally associated with in-service training for education professionals. This guide presents a basic methodology for setting up school clusters and describes some of the exciting dynamics that are created within a cluster: appreciation of individual strengths, friendly competition among teachers and schools, and ownership of their own professional development. As the testimonial at the end of this guide shows, this process can be transformational for a teacher, and by extension their school and children who learn there.

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Letter from CRS Education Technical Advisors 4
Letter from CRS/India Country Representative 5
1. Background 6
2. The Cluster Approach 9
What Does a Cluster Look Like? 9
Who Forms a Cluster? 10
What Are the Advantages of Working Through a Cluster? 12
3. How to Build Capacity of Teachers and Schools 15
How to Develop a Capacity-Building Program 16
Needs Identification Through Visioning and SWOT Analysis 16
How to Tailor the Capacity-Building Plans to the Different Teams? 18
How Are the Orientation and Training Packages Developed? 19
4. Implementing the Cluster Approach 20
Support Systems 20
Processes 22
5. Overcoming Challenges 25
6. Field Story 27

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