Collaborating with national teacher training professional development programs
Submitted by: Learning Equality (NGO)
Email: Lauren Lichtman, Partnerships Lead, Learning Equality - [email protected]
Introduction to the project
2018 - ongoing
Learning Equality is building capacity and collaborating with SESEMAT national trainers in Uganda and CERD teacher trainers in Lebanon to support effective and impactful blending of edtech.
One goal of the project is to support effective and impactful professional development to assist with the integration of technology into classroom pedagogy.
GCR Objective 1: Ease the pressure on host communities
Many countries grappling to achieve educational outcomes aim to improve access to quality education and training amidst meager resources. Uganda, a host to 1.4 million refugees experiences a significant strain on school resources in the communities. Government’s commitment to ease pressure on host communities is demonstrated in the development and implementation of the Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities. A commitment to working within existing national systems, such as with SESEMAT, will help to ease the pressure.
GCR Objective 2: Enhance refugee self reliance
Learning Equality believes that education is a human right and that poverty without education forms a vicious cycle. Globally, 4.5 billion people are disconnected. Technology presents the potential to bridge the divide and bring opportunities to earn income which can break the cycle of poverty and violence. Through Kolibri, Learning Equality affords millions of disadvantaged and marginalized persons and communities worldwide a free, open source platform through which access to openly licensed quality educational resources is guaranteed. Kolibri creates resilience to education and the opportunity for lifelong learning which enables the acquisition of productive and employable skills, and engaging with teacher training bodies is an enabler in this way.
Three key elements helped to facilitate engagement with these bodies: utilizing a training of trainers approach, contextualizing training materials, and having a supportive enabling environment.
In both contexts, Learning Equality conducted initial training of trainers through which champion trainers have been identified -- those who have strong buy-in, and understand the potential for such practices.. In Uganda, through multiple trainings of trainers, champion teachers from schools have also been trained, and there are ongoing efforts to include SESEMAT trainers into the strategic project development of the mainstreaming of education technology for blended learning.
Learning Equality’s Edtech Toolkit of resources is used as a basis for these trainings, and are adapted according to context. In Lebanon, for example, the CERD trainers adopted and contextualized the Toolkit as a part of the ongoing implementation, and made it available in Arabic and French.
An enabling policy environment helps to support the longer term engagement and buy-in from entities like these. In Uganda specifically, this includes the Government of Uganda Policy on Refugees, the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2017-2020, and the Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities.
Main activities of the Good Practice
We work directly with teacher training bodies that can support sustained and contextualized adoption of tools and resources that can support learners in crisis through quality and relevant digital learning experiences. This good practice is derived from experiences in Uganda with SESEMAT national trainers and in Lebanon with CERD teacher trainers when engaging in the professional development of teachers and teacher trainers on how to utilize open educational resources and aligned curricula, and how to blend technology into various learning environments, such as with our e-learning platform, Kolibri.
- Learning Equality
- Support from Google.org
- Education Cannot Wait
- Secondary Science and Mathematics Teachers’ (SESEMAT) in the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES)
- Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD), Lebanon
- Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Uganda
- UNICEF Lebanon
- Global Business Coalition for Education
- Vodafone Foundation
- UNHCR Uganda, UNICEF Uganda and other implementing partners
- National Information and Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U)
- Makerere University and Kyambogo University
Challenges and how they were overcome
Challenges: One key challenge is the limited ICT pedagogy and digital literacy skills of trainers and teachers that is required to shift thinking on blended learning pedagogies. On the product side, there has been a balance of upskilling teachers to enable quick feedback during product development and piloting, and training teachers to implement at scale.
How they were overcome: Part of Learning Equality’s training approach is to develop training activities that are iterative from previous trainings and are led by the trainers themselves. This phased approach has enabled all stakeholders to touch upon the aforementioned challenges. Previous success with training teacher trainers at CERD in Lebanon was a proof of concept for the potential of enabling scaled-up trainings for innovative approaches to curriculum and education technology adoption. In Uganda, subsequent efforts have been aimed at a fully institutionalized teacher pedagogy training program co-developed with trainers to be rolled out in a cascade model. Additionally, the Kolibri product ecosystem itself has also been shaped by feedback involving these trainers, which helps for sustained buy in.
Results of the Good Practice
- In Uganda, 37 SESEMAT trainers (13 National trainers and 24 Regional trainers), 36 teachers and 12 members of implementing partner staff have been trained on integrating Kolibri into blended learning practices.
- In Lebanon, 11,258 teachers from 867 out of the 1,280 public schools were trained on various modules including the use of Kolibri.
- Outcomes of this training approach has directly led to enhanced digital literacy among adolescents in and out of school, and is supporting resilience to education resulting from access to quality education materials, and improved knowledge and skills necessary for life skills
In Uganda, current plans to continue engaging SESEMAT in implementation are underway, including with a potential refresher training during the beginning of Term 1, 2020.