Recognizing the crucial role that teachers play in development and the limited opportunity they have for professional development or exposure to teaching resources, especially in poor, rural areas, Education Beyond Borders (EBB) seek to spread knowledge, best practice, and peer-support among teachers around the world.
The EBB teacher training model focuses on learner-centered methods incorporating project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, and differentiated instruction that will lead to a higher level of understanding among pupils. A participatory approach is fundamental to EBB; an approach that recognizes that teachers can identify their own needs, challenges, and weaknesses and are best placed to design their own professional development in a peer-to-peer educator model. The model follows 4 stages:
Stage 1: Following invite or request from a community, EBB team (international teacher volunteers) conduct a needs analysis in the local community. The team meets with District Education Officers, parents, and teachers to discuss educational challenges, build collaboration, and create a rationale and program design for EBB teacher training. Over a period of 4 weeks, during teacher holidays, the EBB team conducts in-country training workshops that focus on practical applications of learner-centered best practices. All teachers from local primary and secondary schools are invited to attend.
Stage 2: Local teachers who have participated in Stage 1 training can apply to become Local Facilitators (LFs). The EBB team trains LFs in key areas such as workshop development and delivery, mentoring through peer observation, feedback and reflection, and participatory data collection and assessment. LFs assume responsibility for co-designing and co-facilitating workshops for a new cohort of local teachers. LFs receive basic computer training to communicate with their international colleagues throughout the year.
Stage 3: The EBB team delivers in-country training for LFs to enable them to train up additional LFs; this additional training promotes them to local facilitator trainers (LFTs). LFTs then co-plan and co-facilitate training of new cohorts of LFs and teachers. Local communities have increased responsibility in this stage, and direct the content of the teacher training, adapting it to local needs.
Stage 4: The LFT team plans and facilitates training for new cohorts of LFs and new teachers. An EBB team of reduced size acts as observers and offers feedback and support where necessary and appropriate. An ongoing mentoring relationship is maintained through online communication.
At the end a sustainable teacher training program is established whereby in-country participants own and modify peer-training based on the local needs. Teachers are motivated and driven to improve their own teaching practice, support development of their peers, and raise the quality of learning for pupils in their community. Along with international support relationships, this motivation and ownership ensures that volunteers stay committed to the mission and that the training can be delivered at high quality, low cost, and tailored to the local context.
The program initially started in South Africa and Kenya and has since expanded to Tanzania. Within Kenya, EBB Teacher Training started in Maai Mahiu and is now being implemented in 4 additional regions: Nanyuki, Gilgil, Laikipia, Naivasha, with additional pilot phases having been undertaken in Mbita and Kakamega.
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CEI approaches in action
Professional development workshop including materials, full board where applicable, transport subsidy, and meals during training.
- 932 teachers trained to date which impacts approximately 39,000 students
- In 2013, 37 teachers and 66 facilitators were trained by the program across 2 locations
The program initially started in South Africa and Kenya and has since expanded to Ethiopia, Honduras, and Tanzania. Within Kenya, EBB teacher training started in Maai Mahiu and is now being implemented in 4 additional regions: Nanyuki, Gilgil, Laikipia, Naivasha, with additional pilot phases having been undertaken in Mbita and Kakamega. The EBB teacher training approach has matured in accordance with the EBB model in each region. In Laikipia and Gilgil the international EBB team has handed over implementation to the local team who are responsible for designing and carrying out professional development activities to local trainers and facilitators in the region.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Focus groups and interviews are held with stakeholders including teachers, facilitators, trainers, and parents. A qualitative approach evaluates teachers’ satisfaction with the training. Evidence is used to inform future planning of training sessions.
Lesson observations are conducted by trainers from the international team, local trainers, and peer teachers to observe the extent to which new strategies are being implemented and, where possible, to draw observations on pupil learning after strategies have been implemented. This takes an iterative approach where observation feedback is discussed with the teacher, challenges and successes are shared, and areas for improvement are identified. This will then be addressed by the teacher with mentoring support from the trainer.
Evidence from focus groups and observations are collated in success stories and case studies.
EBB seeks to enhance its M&E strategy with a robust study of the level of adoption of new strategies in the classroom.