Thursday, August 28, 2008

Significant Change

Architect Teacher Trainer; Small, Significant Change

In the VSO placement with the Mongolian Construction Technology College, development occurred in small but hopefully valuable ways. I was consulted relatively autonomously by the Mongolian Construction Ministry, Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens (МТИХ), World Vision (Bayankhoshuu), and the Gender Centre for Sustainable Development in the 8th Khoroo. But the two live architectural projects we undertook collaboratively in the college, in Sanzai and Yarmag, provided the most concrete opportunities for training architect teachers. The work can potentially have a long term impact with the existing teachers - Bolormaa, Tsenguune, Ariunaa, Hashbayar - and new teachers, Lhagva and Gursed (with their students Delger-Dalai and Tumen Od). The former developed their understanding about Accessible and Energy-Efficient construction, about Project Management principles, like time management and team planning, about Site Analysis and Architectural Project Planning, how to organise client meetings and briefings, and how to research and write architectural programme briefs for projects.

I feel confident that with support from the college, the teachers, Bolormaa, Tsenguune, Ariunaa, and Hashbayar will be able to continue the training we commenced over the past year in
- teaching research,
- languages for internationalisation,
- CV clinics, and
- internet based tools (flickr, blogging, google earth, wikipedia)
apploied to architectural and construction education.

Teachers Bolormaa and Tsengel-Oyun assisted in training with Suvdmaa (English teacher) and Bolortsetseg (Architect teacher) from the Technical and Technology College (TTC) in comparatively mapping degree curricula respectively of MCTC and TTC. This will develop ownership of architecture degree curricula in Ulaanbaatar which will need major reworking in the coming years. The latter college has recently applied to work with VSO. I would strongly encourage these people to continue to work together on professional development, and in future to extend their knowledge to develop the Mongolian Association of Architects.

New teachers have been recruited to MCTC and these will need guidance and encouragement in their professional development from the above trained teachers. I recommend the staff continue to work with Rob van Waardenburg VSO and that new consultants or volunteers will continue the professional development work for which the college and teachers should have ownership and be proud.

The college has been building a new five storey classroom building in the 21st district, with students labouring as practical trainees. The directors and architects agreed in January - among other suggested design and safety improvements - to make the basement and first (ground) levels wheelchair/barrow accessible by ramps. Access to construction and architectural education will not only be physically improved in this case, but also a process has begun for more participative and inclusive building design and college management.

1 comment:

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