Education Beyond Borders
STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES
1. Education Beyond Borders will assemble teams of teachers that will work on developing best educational practices teacher workshops based on the host country’s curricula focusing on learner-centred methodologies (project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, and differentiated instruction) and using hands-on activities for the application into subject/grade specific areas. We feel that by concentrating on these areas, we will increase the motivation and efficiency of the teachers and, therefore, increase the success rate of their students and increase their chances of graduating. The teams will also work with their host colleagues to develop workshops/seminars that will demonstrate best ways to deliver the variety of lessons with little to no resources, as is the case in many rural areas of developing countries. Other best practices that will be developed will be in the areas of alternative assessment and classroom management since many of our colleagues in developing areas have very large numbers of students in their classrooms and/or a large variety of age, grade and ability levels in one classroom. Due to flexibility built into our model, we are able to customise the goals based on the local community needs. Therefore, we have been able to include workshops on early childcare & literacy, peace building, environmental, entrepreneurial, guidance & counseling, health, gender, and adult education. The focus of a particular project will be dictated by the needs of that community.
2. As an example, Education Beyond Borders will send teams of people to deliver the materials/resources developed in statement 1 above in the form of workshops and seminars. These workshops will be scheduled during holidays to best accommodate participants’ needs without loss of work. The workshops will be of various lengths (minimum of 4 days) and may be mobile. Participants will then be encouraged to go back to their local communities and teach their colleagues what they have learned thus expanding our reach. As our model progresses, we include facilitator and trainer training and include modules on: workshop development and delivery, mentoring through peer observation, feedback and reflection, and participatory data collection and assessment. The focus is on sustainability and our model is designed so that the local teacher leaders will be able to own, augment and deliver a peer-led professional development approach within five years.
3. Education Beyond Borders will also connect teachers globally and locally through an infrastructure built on professional learning communities with the aid of mobile and information technologies. For those developing areas that do have the capabilities to connect to the Internet, we will coordinate teachers working together through an online environment in an effort to bring students from across the globe closer together. It is hoped that through these connections a greater knowledge and appreciation of the world and its citizens will develop. These projects will look very similar to: ePals (www.epalscorp.com/). Ideally, teachers and their peers from various countries will collaborate on lessons that would allow their students to work together on topics of global importance and relevance and ultimately they will learn more about their new friends and their respective countries. For example, students in a senior social studies class in Canada would pair up with similar students in South Africa to work together on a project exploring the realities of affirmative action in the other’s country then would present to their respective classrooms. Another example would be students in a grade 8 science class pairing up to be lab partners to test how altitude effects the boiling point of water. One student at sea level in Vancouver another in the mountains in Quito, Ecuador.
We also encourage Canadian classrooms to develop a supportive relationship with other classrooms by having them hold fund-raising events (these could take the form of bake sales, pep rallies, sales of cards/jewelry produced by their peers in developing countries and numerous other student-run events) to help bring greatly needed resources to their peers in other countries. There are endless opportunities for growth and learning that can be realized through these global bonds that are developed between teachers, students and their peers.
4. Answering the call for emergency education: Eventually, Education Beyond Borders will hope to be able to assemble teams of teachers that will be able to travel on a moment's notice to assist in setting up temporary schools and working with teachers in areas in need of emergency education relief due to unforeseen disasters like an earthquake. These teachers will take as much of the needed supplies with them as possible.
5. Education Beyond Borders will actively seek funding as follows:
The way Education Beyond Borders will be structured is we will have provincial chapters who will be responsible for fund-raising in their local areas. This may take the form of concerts, bingo’s, auctions, etc. and may occur at least once or twice a year depending on local funding need. There is also the possibility of a large-scale national fund-raising event, like a concert, that would be held annually.
Since members will also be located in schools throughout Canada, there will be opportunities for small-scale, student-driven fund-raising to support the initiatives of Education Beyond Borders. These could take the form of bake sales, pep rallies, and numerous other student-run events. For example, sales of cards/jewelry or other items produced by student peers in developing countries (like South Africa) will promote a sense of empowerment to those disadvantage students allowing them to realize that they can assist in raising funds for their school through this joint entrepreneurial project.
Education Beyond Borders will actively seek funding through various foundation grants, through local and national teacher federations, through corporate sponsorship, and through on-going donations from individuals via our web site.
Other than money, sponsorship and donations can take the form of: transportation (car rentals, air miles), technology (network and communications support/service, computer equipment), shipping and storage services, donated school supplies and resources, etc.