I am the CEO and founder of CREATOMbuilder, Inc.: an online project design and planning platform for project-based learning and design thinking. I'm a designer, educator and entrepreneur. Having careers ranging from community mental health advocacy to a design professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I see how project design is an essential part of our daily experience. After all, life is a project. It is my goal to leverage the potential of creative and innovative thinking: giving people the tools to understand and utilize the opportunities for personal growth.
Amplify Team, How this proposal is different than para-educator or teaching assistant training is that we are looking to assess the skills of the community and create project based curriculum that incorporates the community skills along with the mandated curriculum. We are providing a process for leveraging the existing curriculum not just handing a curriculum over to the community.
As for describing it in less technical terms, I'm not sure if they are responding to the whole proposal or just a part of it? It would be helpful for us if the expert could be more specific about what they are looking for, but let me know if this elevator pitch helps:
We are working with local leaders, NGO's and teachers in refugee communities to locate, assess the skills of, and train a network of adult residents to become teaching assistants for both the formal classroom and smaller independent homeschools. This team of teaching assistants will lend their skills (such as cooking, sewing, storytelling, woodworking, construction, merchants, bookkeeping etc.) as teaching opportunities for projects that are aligned with the mandated curriculum.
An example would be the mandated curriculum says that you need to learn measurments for math skills. We could develop a project based on construction and have the teaching assistant provide a workshop during the monthly para-educator training sessions to the other teachers on how to do measurments when building a small structure such as a table or bench. Using materials found in the camp, each class would build a small structure that is needed in their classroom or in their home. Students would apply measuring and basic math skills from the mandated curriculum during the project. Other para-educators would receive new valuable skills. By the end of the year at least 12 project modules would be created that could be replicated to other neighborhoods or districts in the refugee camps.
I hope this helps -please let me know. Thanks, Kathy
Karen, Thanks for your question. Yes, part of the proposal (see prototype) would identify those working in informal homeschools. In India we call them tuition centers. I know from our contacts that have worked in Dadab that this is a common practice to have 10-15 children of various ages participating in a school run in homes by either certified educators or a self appointed teacher due to the large classroom sizes and dangers of going to and from school. We would meet with these schools during the identification round. I hope that this helps. Best, Kathy
I've talked to my collaborators in India and we discussed working in the the refugee camp for Sri Lankin refugees in Trichy in Tamil Nadu (about 170 km from their site in the Vilupuram District), but there are some issue working in the camp because of Indian government issues. We have the most experience working in this region and with the Indian mandated curriculum and any help we could obtain getting access to a NGO we could partner with working in this camp would be helpful. This would be the easiest place by loction and cultural sensitivity that we have experience. We are also interested in bringing this program to refugee camps in Nepal, Jordan, Turkey or Africa but we would need connection and access to NGO's working in the region. Some possible connections could be with some of the programs that have applied to the OpenIDEO challenge such as the Little Ripples program. Thanks for the questions. Kathy