Center for Learning in Practice Produces First Publication

Peer-review journal delves into a sustainable learning model for the teachers of refugees

After its launch in 2016, the Center for Learning in Practice (CLiP) at the Carey Institute for Global Good is making international waves with its work to help alleviate the global crisis in education. After over a year of work, the Center has released its first publication, a peer-reviewed journal article written by Director Dr. Diana D. Woolis that focuses on the initiative to better prepare teachers of refugees.

The article, Communities that produce value and foster sustainable learning: the case of action for refugee educators, explores the great and urgent need to create sustainable professional development for teachers of teachers of refugees around the world and the steps the Center for Learning in Practice is taking to secure more qualified teachers. The sustainable learning model addresses a large unmet but well documented need; by 2030, there will be a global shortage of almost 69 million teachers with 1 in 200 children in the world a refugee.

“In this article, we look at the role of communities of practice within a sustainable learning framework,” says Dr. Woolis. “We focus on an initiative to rapidly create and launch a response to a global education crisis—un- and under-prepared teachers of refugees. Ultimately the sustainable learning framework provides the critical and missing feedback loop that enables continuous real-time learning from experience and provides insight about progress on goals, and guides course adjustment.”

The design process of the sustainable learning model included the voices from over 200 educators in the field. The process began in late 2016 when Dr. Woolis interviewed over two dozen thought leaders around the world about the challenges of teaching teachers of refugees. These interviews confirmed the urgent need for mechanisms that provide continuous learning for teachers of refugees as well as real time data and valuable feedback.

In March 2017, the Center for Learning in Practice hosted an online event aimed at developing a high-level concept of a refugee educator training community as well as identifying potential digital learning platforms used by practitioners in the field. Over 200 educators from 25 countries registered for the event, allowing the center to establish a next set of objectives, including further defining pedagogies for the teachers of teachers of refugees and developing micro-credentialing and pathways for learning certification.

Two months later, another 30 participants representing learning providers in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa convened at the Carey Institute for a two-and-a-half-day workshop to test the selected learning platform and develop prototype courses for a refugee educator community. The online platform made the work transparent and allowed any community member to access it digitally. Highly contextualized knowledge is now available and adaptable in a dynamic digital environment. The participants of this project are now prepared to develop funding and begin implementing the Refugee Educator Academy.

“Dr Woolis’ work connects the Carey Institute for Global Good directly to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) driving development work globally and addressing some of the most critical issues of our time,” says Carey Institute President & CEO Gareth Crawford. “This work addresses SDG 4 which ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. The Carey Institute’s Center for Learning in Practice will be critical in solving the most pressing challenges in teaching and learning in the 21st Century.”

The Refugee Educator Academy will host an inaugural webinar with Dr. Sarah Dryden-Peterson, a renowned refugee education scholar at the Harvard School of Education. The webinar, “Integrated or Specialized? Making Choices about the Design and Delivery of Refugee Education” will be held on January 4, 2018 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM (EST). Registration for the Refugee Educator Academy and inaugural webinar are available here.

The Carey Institute for Global Good is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2012 by Wm. Polk Carey and is dedicated to making the world better by contributing to a strong, educated and just society. Through its programs, the Institute strives to bring together innovative and dynamic people from around the world to address the most pressing issues of the day.

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