From Workgroup to Action: Launch of the Refugee Educator Certificate

Following June’s successful launch of the Refugee Educator Certificate pilot, the Center for Learning in Practice (CLiP) is making great strides in rolling out the program in cities across the globe. The refugee educator course, certification, community and support system is designed for pre-service and in-service training of k-12 educators who work in communities with significant populations of refugees.

Recognizing that the recent influx of refugees worldwide is creating a global crisis that impacts communities, schools, and families, the Carey Institute developed a model that facilitates effective, efficient and adaptive learning enabling otherwise underprepared teachers to quickly respond to global issues affecting their classrooms, such as the refugee crisis.  The Carey Institute also recognizes that teachers play an integral role in creating an environment that fosters social and academic growth, leading to success in school, in the workforce, and in the host country. This program enables refugees not only to have better educational outcomes, but integrate socially in their host community—which is so important given the heightened tensions both here in the US and abroad. With the help of our dedicated implementation partners, including the International Rescue Committee, NetHope and Lutheran Social Services, the Carey Institute has identified locations and is currently seeking funders and additional collaborative partners to implement the project within the next 6 months. Initial locations include Seattle, WA, Oakland, CA, Hudson Valley, NY, and Phoenix and Tucson, AZ.

A Replicable Model with Global Relevance

Additionally, CLiP is working with NetHope to implement pilots in Jordan and Turkey with a focus on transit country and informal refugee educators utilizing the same model. The certificate is based on a sustainable learning framework that is highly adaptable. In fact, CLiP has been able to adapt the refugee educator certificate to accommodate the learning needs of early childhood refugee educators in the United States and displaced medical students in Syria. Dr. Diana Woolis, CLiP Director developed this framework and recently wrote an article titled “Communities that Produce Value and Foster Sustainable Learning: The Case of Action for Teachers of Teachers of Refugees” that was accepted for publication in the Knowledge Management for Development Journal and will be published this September. Dr. Woolis and Gareth Crawford, President and CEO of the Carey Institute, will be presenting the model as it relates to Early Childhood Development (ECD) educators at the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) Conference in Belgium in October. “It’s an honor to be invited to publish and present, and I’m incredibly excited to spread the word about our model,” said Dr. Diana Woolis.