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Event
  • 16.05.2022

Transforming Education Summit – Call for best practices and innovations on teachers and teaching

The online submission form for the collection of good practices to support the work of the Transforming Education Action Tracks is now available. The deadline for the first round of submissions is 20 May 2022, however subsequent rounds of submissions will be available.

Please submit your best practice hereGuidelines on how to do it can be consulted here

The Transforming Education Summit (TES) in September 2022 provides a unique platform and opportunity to reimagine education for the 21st century and to mobilize greater political ambition, actions, and solidarity towards achieving SDG 4. The TES Thematic Action Tracks, in particular, spotlight areas requiring greater stakeholder attention and actions and can accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda and/or transform education.

While the national consultations workstream supports the development of a shared vision of the futures of education, the good practices collected through the Action Tracks workstream will identify evidence-based examples of successful policy interventions and programmes, including those addressing COVID-19 pandemic-related educational disruption as well as pre-existing educational equalities learning crisis, with a view to drawing lessons learnt and key drivers for transformation. Their value lies in communicating elements of already transformed education landscapes to decision-makers. Practical solutions that work in different contexts will be brought into the spotlight, particularly programming and financing approaches with transformative results for marginalized groups, along with evidence on how these might be taken to scale. It is hoped that such efforts will inspire the reapplication of experiences across countries

This form is being used to seek good practices in the area of Teachers, teaching, and the teaching profession, which is the theme of Action Track 2 of the TES. The Action Track will explore the particular issues of teacher shortages, qualifications, and emerging professional development needs, status and working conditions of teachers and education personnel, educational leadership, and innovation.

For more information about the Transorming Education Summit, please see here.

Event
  • 30.11.2022

Wenhui Award 2022 for Educational Innovations for Learning Recovery - call for applications and nominations

This year’s Wenhui Award is themed “Educational Innovations for Learning Recovery”, with the objective to identify, acknowledge and encourage innovative policies and practices in various dimensions of the education system in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The Award shall be conferred on two individuals or institutions in the Asia-Pacific region for their outstanding efforts and achievements in educational innovation focused on this year’s theme. The two winners will each receive a Certificate of Excellence and a prize of USD 20,000. Apart from the winners, Honourable Mention will be granted to individuals or institutions that have demonstrated commendable innovative educational practices.

The Wenhui (文晖) Award was jointly created by the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) and the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO in 2010, to recognize and reward individuals or institutions that have made outstanding contributions to educational innovation in the Asia-Pacific region. Since the inception of the Wenhui Award, there have been 22 Winners and 34 Honourable Mentions from 19 different countries.

Eligibility of Applicants and Nominees:

  • Be individuals or institutions from UNESCO Member States in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Have initiated, developed and implemented innovative practices that are in line with the latest developments in education in the 21st century and that help to improve access, equity and quality of education in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Have proved that their innovations have exerted positive impacts on education opportunities and quality in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Be persistently dedicated to popularization of education, enhancement of education quality, and promotion of lifelong learning.

Deadlines:

  • Direct Applications by 27 January 2023, 23:59 Bangkok time (UTC+7). 
  • Nominator-Initiated Applications by 24 February 2023, 23:59 Bangkok time (UTC+7). 

Read more on how to apply on the official 2022 call for application and nominations page.

Event
  • 25.11.2022

Online Meetup of the ETF Community of Innovative Educators

On the 28-29 November, during the European Training Foundation (ETF) New Learning event in Torino, the winners of the 2022 ETF Innovative Teaching and Learning Award will be announced (streaming on the 29th at 16:00 CET here), and the most effective strategies to support teaching innovation will be discussed by and with innovators.

The results of this event will then be shared with the whole ETF Community of Innovative Educators through a webinar, where participants will also be able to discuss the 2023 plans of the community, expressing ideas and interests.

The event is open to anyone interested, it will take place online and will be delivered in English, Arabic and Russian. 

How to register? If you wish to participate in the online event, please click HERE to fill in the registration form for this event.

 

Blog
  • 29.09.2022

#TeachersTransform learning spaces: How teachers produced a TV show to reach learners during lockdown

“The pandemic taught us that we have to learn to adapt and respond to life as it happens. To stay relevant, the education system cannot remain the same.” 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and countries went into lockdown, teachers rushed to improvise distance learning solutions that were as inclusive and accessible as possible. 

The teachers at Clarke Junior School in Uganda were no different. They initially tried to continue lessons via WhatsApp and printed packs that parents could collect from school. 

But when they realised that lockdowns would continue for several months, the passionate teachers were determined to find a fun, interactive, safe way of effectively reaching their learners. So they decided to broadcast practical lessons on local television.  

“Our head teacher, Katherine Tucker, first proposed the idea,” says Irene Nyangoma Mugadu, Curriculum Head of Learning at Clarke Junior School. She is also the Educational Specialist for N*Gen (pronounced “Engine”) TV Africa following her involvement in the TV show. 

“The pandemic forced us to innovate and adapt to the changing circumstances. None of us were actors, and we hadn’t been trained in broadcasting or presenting on camera, but we were committed to evolving, staying relevant and making sure the learners didn’t miss out.”

Working together to transform learning spaces

During the pandemic, public transport was shut down, so teachers walked the long journey to school every day to record the lessons. 

“We brainstormed together, and with input from the head teacher we developed the lesson content. It was recorded by a very small film crew and aired on the local TV station.”

The content developed by Clark Junior School caught the eye of Peripheral Vision International, an NGO that combines media, technology, and popular culture to help bring about social change. They approached the teachers, and offered to collaborate on a Pan African Science show aimed at helping more children develop an interest in STEM subjects. 

“In the beginning, the content included reading, maths and social studies. But when Peripheral Vision International came on board, the focus shifted primarily to science as it was considered most critical, relatable and engaging,” recalls Irene. 

From small beginnings on local Ugandan television, starting in September 2020, N*Gen has become so popular that it has now spread to 45 channels across Africa. It is also screened on the African channel in the USA and the Caribbean. Season three is currently in production.  

During the pandemic, the teachers from Clark Junior School presented each episode, and had significant input in the script. “We demonstrated experiments that children could try at home,” says Irene who still consults for the show as an educational specialist. 

“We also enlisted our own children to model the experiments. Kids teaching kids became an integral part of N*Gen, and our target audience loved it.” 

Encouraging engagement and experimentation to transform learning 

The school used the N*Gen episodes to complement their distance learning strategy. 

“We wanted to make learning fun, and foster curiosity and discovery. The episodes were aimed at junior primary learners of all ages. So, to ensure all the children in one home could learn together, the episodes focused on one specific theme for the whole family. We then developed grade-appropriate learning packs which included conversation questions for each child to inquire further, and we also assigned experiments and research questions and writing tasks where linkages were possible,” says Irene.

“For example, when we did an episode on mountains and volcanoes, we demonstrated the interaction between vinegar and sodium bicarbonate for a ‘volcanic eruption’. All the kids in one family could work together and create their own science experiment at home, and then complete additional learning tasks tailored to their individual levels.”

This meant that an adapted version of ‘group learning’ could take place during the pandemic. 

Research shows that students who work in small groups are able to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same material is presented in other formats. 

Back to the classroom with a new perspective 

Now that schools have reopened, the teachers from Clark Junior School have handed over hosting of N*Gen to a new team, and are back in their classrooms. 

“The N*Gen shows focussed on creating an exciting and interactive learning experience and now I’m applying this approach in my classroom. I present the local curriculum in a way that is practical and engages the learners.

“In our school, we are doing our best to move away from a rote learning model. We believe that all subjects including maths can be taught in a fun, interactive way. We also use a lot of games which build a love for STEM subjects which would otherwise be considered very difficult.”

There’s a need for transformation in teacher and learner support

“At our school, we ask ourselves, ‘What world are we preparing our children for? What kind of skills will be relevant for the careers of the future?’ We need to equip our students with softer skills like creativity, kindness, appreciation for nature, leadership, and how to engage with other people,” says Irene.

To achieve the sustainable development goals, particularly Goal 4, learners should be equipped with literacy and numeracy skills, as well as the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviours they need to help build just, peaceful and sustainable societies. 

According to UNESCO,  this implies ensuring that education systems foster mutual understanding, respect and care among all people and for the planet we share. Empowering learners to engage responsibly and creatively with the (rapidly) changing world.

Inclusive technology has huge potential for a wider unifying reach especially in Sub Saharan Africa, but we need to equip teachers with the necessary skills to utilise multimedia approaches in the classroom so that education can evolve with the times.

Learn more about the #TeachersTransform campaign as part of the Transforming Education Summit.

Photo credit:  Irene Nyangoma Mugadu