This initiative is part of the 2016-17 WISE Accelerator Cohort.
About the initiative
Aflatoun Education platform links a library for digitized learning materials on Aflatoun’s social and financial themes with a continuous professional development course for teachers comprised of 14, one-hour multi-media modules. The self-study course provides refresher and supplementary training to teachers who have already participated in Aflatoun workshops. It boasts both online and offline application. The modules deal with both program implementation but also active-learning methods transferrable to any subject. The platform, therefore, is a vital step in promoting quality of education both within the Aflatoun program and generally. The platform enables teachers to learn at their own pace and time. Teachers have their own profile account where their learning journey will be captured on the progress bar with a points system. This system is motivating, because they feel that tangible progress is being made, and their efforts are being recognized.
Context and Issue
The project addresses two challenges: the high costs of curriculum provision and support, and an inability to deliver refresher teacher training. Firstly, as part of Aflatoun’s social franchise model, partner organizations must bear the financial burden of printing and disseminate Aflatoun’s curriculum to schools and teachers. Secondly, since 2012 Aflatoun has been investing in teacher-training, understanding that no matter how good the books Aflatoun produces, they will only be as good as the teachers using them. This has led Aflatoun to devolve teacher training capacity and responsibility to a global network of 250 Regional Master Trainers drawn from the staff of the 180 partner organizations. As part of a parallel strategy, Aflatoun also collaborates directly with teacher-training institutes in 14 countries. However, financial constraints prevent Aflatoun from offering essential follow-up and refresher training workshops. This project enables Aflatoun to transcend those obstacles – providing cost-effective learning and training material in multimedia format.
The Solution and Impact
The platform provides a library of lesson plans, it offers 14 one-hour, self-study modules for teachers whom Aflatoun has previously trained face-to-face. The 14 modules echo sessions teachers have already completed in actual workshops. Within each module, the teacher reads some text, listens to an audio file, watches some animation or film footage and then takes a multiple choice quiz. Seven of the modules remind teachers how to use a range of active-learning methods. The others look at promoting gender-equity in the classroom, what the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) says about quality education and how to organize children’s savings and enterprise activities.
Digitalising content has additional benefits in enriching Aflatoun’s learning materials in multi-media formats such as animation, audios, and quizzes. The study on learning styles indicates that incorporating multiple sensory experiences such as visual and auditory is a more effective way to deliver a concept that results in meaningful learning.
By providing teachers with the means to develop their pedagogy and their knowledge of key concepts, Aflatoun aims to help guarantee the quality of education even as its program moves towards scale. As part of the priority focus area in delivering quality-learning materials, Aflatoun aims to build and strengthen the capacity of educators and trainers. Aflatoun International recognizes the essential role of teachers and the need to invest in them to ensure quality education. The digital teacher resources will be further refined technically and translated to provide context relevant materials in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Russian. Using Aflatoun’s platform and integrating content with others, Aflatoun aims to utilize the potential of the digital technology to improve the learning outcomes of children.