Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

Introduction

Review the Standards and Key Actions in the Teaching and Learning Domain.

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Think about these Standards and Key Actions as you answer the questions in this section.

Teaching and Learning Standard 1: Curricula

Culturally, socially and linguistically relevant curricula are used to provide formal and non-formal education, appropriate to the particular context and needs of learners.

Key actions (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)

  • Education authorities lead the review, development or adaptation of the formal curriculum, involving all relevant stakeholders (see guidance notes 1-3).
  • Curricula, textbooks and supplementary materials are appropriate to the age, developmental level, language, culture, capacities and needs of learners (see guidance notes 1-4).
  • Formal curricula and examinations used in the education of refugees and internally displaced people are recognised by home and host governments (see guidance note 3).
  • Formal and non-formal curricula teach disaster risk reduction, environmental education and conflict prevention (see guidance notes 3-4).
  • Curricula, textbooks and supplementary materials cover the core competencies of basic education including literacy, numeracy, early learning, life skills, health and hygiene practices (see guidance notes 4-5).
  • Curricula address the psychosocial well-being and protection needs of learners (see guidance note 6).
  • Learning content, materials and instruction are provided in the language(s) of the learners (see guidance note 7).
  • Curricula, textbooks and supplementary materials are gender-sensitive, recognise diversity, prevent discrimination and promote respect for all learners (see guidance note 8).
  • Sufficient, locally procured teaching and learning materials are provided in a timely manner (see guidance note 9).

Teaching and Learning Standard 2: Training, Professional Development and Support

Teachers and other education personnel receive periodic, relevant and structured training according to needs and circumstances.

Key actions (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)

  • Training opportunities are available to male and female teachers and other educational personnel, according to needs (see guidance notes 1-2).
  • Training is appropriate to the context and reflects learning objectives and content (see guidance notes 1-2).
  • Training is recognised and approved by relevant education authorities (see guidance notes 3-4).
  • Qualified trainers conduct training courses that complement in-service training, support, guidance, monitoring and classroom supervision (see guidance notes 3-4).
  • Through training and ongoing support, teachers become effective facilitators in the learning environment, using participatory methods of teaching and teaching aids (see guidance notes 3-6).
  • Training includes knowledge and skills for formal and non-formal curricula, including hazard awareness, disaster risk reduction and conflict prevention (see guidance note 6).

Teaching and Learning Standard 3: Instruction and Learning Processes

Instruction and learning processes are learner-centred, participatory and inclusive.

Key actions (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)

  • Teaching methods are appropriate to the age, developmental level, language, culture, capacities and needs of learners (see guidance notes 1-3).
  • Teachers demonstrate an understanding of lesson content and teaching skills in their interaction with learners (see guidance notes 1-3).
  • Instruction and learning processes address the needs of all learners, including those with disabilities, by promoting inclusiveness and reducing barriers to learning (see guidance note 2).
  • Parents and community leaders understand and accept the learning content and teaching methods used (see guidance note 3).

Teaching and Learning Standard 4: Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Appropriate methods are used to evaluate and validate learning outcomes.

Key actions (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)

  • Continuous assessment and evaluation of learners' progress towards established objectives inform teaching methods (see guidance note 1).
  • Learners' achievement is recognised and credits or course completion documents are provided accordingly (see guidance note 2).
  • Graduates of technical and vocational programmes are assessed to gauge the quality and relevance of the programmes against the changing environment (see guidance note 2).
  • Assessment and evaluation methods are considered fair, reliable and non-threatening to learners (see guidance note 3).
  • Assessments are relevant to learners' future educational and economic needs (see guidance note 4).

Question 1

Based on the information in the photo and quote provided, would the curricula in the camps meet the needs of all learners? If Yes/No, why? Write your answer in the space provided and compare it with the answer provided.

© CORD

"The Sudanese school curriculum is taught in Arabic in all of the camps. A significant deficit is that almost none of the schools have curriculum guides or Sudanese textbooks."

Quoted in Heninger, Lori and McKenna, Megan, "Don't Forget Us": The Education and Gender-Based Violence Protection Needs of Adolescent Girls from Darfur in Chad, Women's Refugee Commission, July 2005, p.17.

Explain your answer.

Answer: No

Based on the information provided, the formal education curricula used in the camps is the Sudanese government curricula. Other non-formal education classes include English. These are great steps toward achieving Teaching and Learning Standard 1: Curricula because the hope is that these children will eventually return to Sudan and will be able to re-enter the Sudanese education system. The next steps would be to include French language classes and formal certification of education in all of the refugee camps. In Chad, both Arabic and French are spoken widely. Depending on the location of classrooms, the courses are taught either in Arabic and/or French.

The Darfur crisis has been on-going since 2003 and violence still continues. It is thus difficult for Darfurian refugees to return to Sudan in the near future. Therefore, knowing French would equip the Darfurian refugees with another way to flourish in Chad if they are not able to return to Sudan in the near future. Some refugee youth in Touloum, Iridimi, Mile and Koungoungou camps asked for French language classes so they could try to find work or communicate with Chadians who speak French. Formal certification of all formal classes in the camps would allow refugee students to sit on national exams in Chad. By passing the national exams, students can continue their studies in secondary school or university.

One difficulty with the current curriculum in the refugee camps is that teaching and learning materials are in Arabic and/or English and many learners speak neither language. Mother tongue teaching and learning materials can break another barrier to children's access to education. This may be unrealistic in the context, so one strategy currently being used in some camp schools in Chad is to use Sudanese textbooks written in Arabic, but to teach the class in the mother tongue of the majority of students.

Furthermore, it is unclear if the curricula address the psychosocial well-being and protection needs of learners. It is also unclear if the curricula are gender-sensitive and recognise diversity, prevent discrimination and promote respect for all learners. Lastly, there is no evidence that the curricula, formal and/or non-formal, teach disaster risk reduction, environmental education or conflict prevention. Integrating the above-mentioned issues would strengthen the existing curricula that is being used in the camps.

Getting curricula that meets the needs of all learners, such as materials in Braille, would be difficult even in normal circumstances. In Chad, this is even more challenging because of the lack of these types of materials within the Ministry of Education. Difficulties of obtaining Sudanese curricula include the long transport between Khartoum and the refugee camps, the tenuous security situation at the border and inside both countries and challenges of making copies of textbooks for all children.

While it can be difficult to meet Taching and Learning Standard 1: Curricula even in stable, peaceful countries, creative efforts can be made to come as close to meeting this standard as possible. Practitioners can start with basic curricula and slowly improve it as the emergency situation improves.

Additional Resources

  1. INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning
  2. Kirk, Jackie, Certification counts: Recognizing the learning attainments of displaced and refugee students, UNESCO-IIEP: Paris.

Question 2

What sectors should education staff work with to ensure relevant curricula?

Answer

Ensuring relevant formal and non-formal education curricula requires education staff to work with various sectors. Some linkages between Education and other sectors regarding curricula include:

Child Protection

Curricula focused on land mine awareness, impact of conflict on children, peace education, conflict resolution, human and child rights and environmental protection, how to identify signs of stress and when to refer students or teachers for psychosocial support.

Water and Sanitation

Curricula focused on hygiene, e.g., washing hands and safe drinking water

Health

Curricula on preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, diarrhoea and other life saving information.

Nutrition

Curricula on nutrition and balanced meals.

Chadian and Sudanese Ministries of Education and other relevant government departments

This is very important to ensure that the curricula are culturally relevant and appropriate. A partnership with government departments could also ensure that whatever certification children receive in the camps are recognised by the Chadian and Sudanese governments so that children can enter or re-enter the government education systems.

Additional Resources

  1. INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning
  2. Sphere Project Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards for Disaster Response, 2004.

Question 3

Based on the video clip and quotes from refugees, there is a lack of many Teaching and Learning materials in the camps. What could be done to improve this situation?

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Transcript

"Normally, we have notebooks, textbooks and blackboards, but there is a lack of other materials for students. So, many of them have to work to buy notebooks."

Mohammad, 35 years, school teacher, quoted in Heninger, Lori and McKenna, Megan, "Don't Forget Us": The Education and Gender-Based Violence Protection Needs of Adolescent Girls from Darfur in Chad, Women's Refugee Commission, July 2005, p.13

"In Darfur, school was inside. We had chairs and desks. In Sudan, we first had breakfast. Here there are no books or uniforms. It is totally different."

Ilham, 15, Touloum Camp quoted in Heninger, Lori and McKenna, Megan, "Don't Forget Us": The Education and Gender-Based Violence Protection Needs of Adolescent Girls from Darfur in Chad, Women's Refugee Commission, July 2005, p.13

"Refugee leaders in the camp, located near the town of Goz Beida, said facilities in Djabal's three primary schools urgently needed to be improved. They said that, due to a lack of funding, there were hardly any chairs and desks and most children had to sit on the floor. They also did not have enough stationery, textbooks and other materials to study with."

Rehrl, Annette. "Refugees from Darfur call for improved educational facilities in eastern Chad", 29 January 2010, UNHCR

Feedback

According to the video clip and the quotes from refugees, there are insufficient classroom furniture (i.e. desks, chairs, blackboards) and Teaching and Learning materials (i.e. textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils) in the refugee camps. This is common in many refugee camps around the world. Lack of enough classroom furniture and Teaching and Learning materials is also prevalent in countries stricken by natural disasters and conflict situations as well as in developing countries.

The challenges in the Chadian refugee camps stem from inadequate funds to purchase and maintain these materials and from the challenging logistical, security and political situation in Chad and Sudan. For example, many agencies in Chad that wanted to obtain materials from Sudan had difficulties transporting the materials from Khartoum to the camps because of the insecurity and instability on the route between Khartoum and the camps in Chad. Sudanese border patrol often blocked the crossing of some textbooks into Chad. Once materials arrived in Chad, few electricity and photocopy facilities did not allow for making sufficient copies of the materials. The Sudanese and Chadian Ministries of Education had to negotiate an agreement to allow the usage of Sudanese learning materials in the Chadian camps. Lastly, there were no locally available Teaching and Learning materials that could be used by the students in the camps.

The most obvious way to improve this situation is to continue to raise additional funds to purchase these materials. Where this is not possible or it still falls short of children's needs, the community (i.e. community store, community education coordination group) could be mobilised to contribute funds or resources such as carpenters to volunteer to build desks, chairs, and blackboards.

Additionally, it would be important to find creative ways to overcome these obstacles. For example, if there are insufficient notebooks, children can practice writing or doing math on the sand. If there are insufficient textbooks, children can share textbooks or photocopies can be made. For example, in Bredjing and Treguine camps in Chad, teachers established self-study groups so students could share their limited number of textbooks and other materials and could also learn together. Mats can be used in the classrooms so children are not directly on the sand. Mats can be made of plastic or other locally available materials.

Additional Resources

  1. INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning