Azerbaijan Teacher Development Centre: International Educators Help to Raise Education Bar and Skill Set in Azerbaijan

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 27, 2017

Azerbaijan is in the process of overhauling the foundations of its education system with the help of international educators. The country is committed to offering training for local teachers in modern methods of education, effectively leapfrogging a development process that has prevailed since the Soviet era.

Azerbaijan is bringing about rapid change in education,” said Bill Martin, a leading U.S. educator and co-author of a new book entitled “Schools that Deliver”, which will be published in Azerbaijani later this year by TEAS Press. “Teachers are the most valuable resource for the development of nations and Azerbaijan takes this seriously.”

Martin is among the key international educators participating in the Principal’s Leadership Institute, a year-long programme by the Azerbaijan Teacher Development Centre (ATDC) that provides critical mentoring and support for principals and school directors as they seek to make changes in their schools. “The Principal’s Institute will be about contextual relevance and richness, blending the best of Azerbaijan’s practical competence with a richly researched international repertoire,” Martin said. “It will be an Azerbaijani institute for Azerbaijanis.”

Founded by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), the ATDC provides on-going professional development for teachers with the newest research on how children learn, supporting education across the country and post-Soviet region. The new centre in Baku, which was opened in November 2016, has already trained more than 1,000 teachers from nine Azerbaijani regions, which effectively means that more than 30,000 students are now benefitting from the changes and better quality in their teachers’ approach to teaching.

“We have taken an innovative, novel approach developing the skills of our teachers by integrating international best practices, thereby bringing the best of education to Azerbaijan,” said Tale Heydarov, Chairman of TEAS.

Graeme Pollock, a New Zealander who serves as Director of the ATDC, stressed the importance of delivering programmes to support English language teaching in schools. “In today’s connected, globalised world, English has become a prerequisite. In Baku alone, we have established four English Conversations Clubs that focus specifically on topics related to education, such as assessment, engaging learning or lesson planning to incorporate learning objectives and success criteria.”

The centre is expected to train about 3,000 educators a year, directly impacting close to 100,000 students, and it has implemented – together with the ECIS (European Council of International Schools) – the International Teachers Certificate programme in Azerbaijan.

“There are few countries in the world that have ranked education this high on their agenda,” Martin says, “and Azerbaijan is not only willing to change, it is actively implementing an education transformation that will have a lasting positive impact on the country.”

Any principals interested in the Institute can contact ATDC at

For more information, visit

SOURCE Azerbaijan Teacher Development Centre