CLiP Launches Global R&D for Refugee Teacher Training


The Carey Institute recently convened NGO practitioners and academic support partners from Europe and the United States to develop a teacher training prototype for teachers of refugees.  On May 30th through June 1st, 28 practitioners and leaders from the humanitarian sector convened at the Carey Institute. Our goal was to develop pilot courses for teachers working with refugees and Internally Displaced Persons using our sustainable learning model. “The Carey Institute is excited to lead this innovative effort that will contribute to the transformation of education in crisis contexts,” said Carey Institute President and CEO Gareth Crawford. “This model offers application across sectors and provides a meaningful educational framework where it is most needed.”

The event exceeded expectations — the outcome of this synergistic meeting is the development of four pilot projects spanning the globe. Feedback from the training indicates that 100 percent of participants felt that the meeting was effective in sharing knowledge, challenges and experiences about teaching teachers and enabling the connection with a new community of professionals.

The Center for Learning in Practice (CLiP) will work with sector partners to implement the five pilots which include:

  • a “train-the-trainer” course on methods of rapid development of teacher training that employs peer to peer practice communities using a sustainable learning model developed by Dr. Diana Woolis, CLiP Director, at the Carey Institute;
  • an online US refugee educator certificate course, “Teaching K-12th Grade Educators of Refugees”, that will be piloted in three states: Arizona, Washington, and California and is designed to increased engagement of refugee teachers, parents and school community members, improve teaching strategies, and promote student success;
  • a European secondary refugee educator course that combines on-line and face-to-face work and is designed for in-service teachers in several targeted countries (to-be-determined)
  • a course on effective practice for early childhood teachers designed to incorporate reflective listening into educational programming; and
  • an intensive two-week teacher training course for medical faculty working with refugee medical students in crisis contexts.

While the duration of the workshop was only three days, the efforts are ongoing through the work of dedicated virtual team members. Teams of five to seven practitioners from the humanitarian field are working to implement the pilots developed at the event. The interactive and contextualized approach used in developing these pilots reflects the application of the Institute’s Sustainable Learning Framework and its mission to contribute to a strong, educated and just society. The Carey Institute acknowledges that there needs to be a global response to the refugee crisis and offers this model as a tool.

The model incorporated into each of these pilots allows for rapid, blended learning while providing tools to encourage ongoing reflection – or in layman’s terms, “learn quickly, learn well and learn continually.” Dr. Diana Woolis expressed her enthusiasm with the success of the workshop and progression of the pilot; “The Center for Learning in Practice is delighted to lead the co-development of the first ever “refugee educator certification” and be working with a team of teachers and teacher trainers who represent humanitarian and education organization across the country and around the world. This is some of the most exciting and personally gratifying work of my long career in education. Our next step is to secure the funding!”

The enthusiasm and commitment of this project can best be summarized in the words of the participants and from the feedback survey. “The training exceeded my expectations. I am humbled and honored to be part of this collaborative effort. It is very exciting to see where this will go from here! Thank you, Diana and the rest of the Carey staff – you were wonderful and I hope to get the chance to come back soon!”