Dec 4, 2018

Active Learning Project Update

Student benefiting from ALP
Student benefiting from ALP

Thank you for your continued interest in The African SOUP’s Active Learning Project! 

In October 2018, our team was invited to present our project to the Ugandan Ministry of Education’s TIET (teacher training) Department. After rigorous presentations and questioning, we received the government’s endorsement and approval to scale our work throughout the country. This is a huge milestone for The African SOUP and the Active Learning Project!

Over the past year, we have taken the lessons learned through the partner school model and have prepared our intervention to transition into Primary Teacher’s Colleges. We will continue to operate our large primary lab school testing all principles, activities, and the methodology we will be teaching in the Primary Teacher’s Colleges. 

In January 2019, our team will begin the pilot of a supplementary methods course at a large Primary Teacher’s College where we will reach 350 teachers in training. We will target six identified themes necessary to embrace for active learning to become the culture in a prospective school or classroom. We are excited about reaching teachers with the Active Learning Project before they officially enter the workforce.

Thank you for your interest and contributions to The African SOUP. Your efforts are helping children and communities survive and thrive through quality education.

Sep 7, 2018

Active Learning Update

Thank you for your continued interest in The African SOUP’s Active Learning Project. Your interest has helped to progress active learning as a methodology in 20 primary schools in Eastern Uganda since 2014. Not only has our team been spearheading on-site supervision, demonstration lessons and technical support to our partnering schools, many of our schools have been noted in their respective districts as “model schools.” Last month, the head teacher of Kakumbi Primary School in Luuka District, a rural government school, received visitors from the District Education Office, the local arm of the Ministry of Education, to explore the ways in which he and his team have mobilized locally sourced materials to make hundreds of learning aids to be used in classrooms for primary school pupils. This initiative from Kakumbi was ignited after the Active Learning Team conducted a series of trainings on how to incorporate and utilize the environment in teaching. Due to the fact that many schools in Uganda are underfunded and lack teaching materials, our team has found ways of encouraging teachers to interact and use the environment as a fundamental teaching aid. 

In the same month, The African SOUP Nursery and Primary School received visitors from three organizations from Malawi that had traversed East of Africa to visit our rural school to identify best practices and observe our active classrooms and style of teaching. The three teams of visitors took many notes and were excited to return to their organizations and implement some of the lessons learned from our school notably the handmade learning aids, demonstration gardens and the approach of holistic teaching. 

Our project has reached over 500 educators in Uganda since the inauguration of the project whose switch from imploring active teaching instead of rote memorization and lecture methods have impacted over 10,000 students. The next phase for our team will be to expand our interventions into 10 new government schools in 2020 as we work on sustaining the active learning culture in our existing partner schools next year. As well, in January 2019 our team will be beginning a supplementary methods course at a Primary Teacher’s College where we will reach 350 teachers in training by targeting six identified themes to implant the necessity for active learning to be a culture in the prospective schools and classrooms. 

Thank you for your interest and contributions to The African SOUP. Your efforts are helping children and communities survive and thrive through quality education.

Jun 14, 2018

Active Learning Project Update

active learning under a mango tree
active learning under a mango tree

Thank you for your interest in the Active Learning Project! We are working diligently to equip teachers wtih the skills needed to be effective in the classroom. Currently, we are refining the implementation of the project in 20 pilot primary schools, 2 teacher training colleges, and in the model SOUP Primary and Nursery School. These 20 pilot schools are within 7 regions of Uganda. Working through a top down, middle out, and bottom up approach, we are reaching government officails, teachers-in-training, and in-service teachers. 

Through the pilot phase we have trained over 300 educators in the active learning methodology. This has impacted over 10,000 students.

At the SOUP model school, where the project began, we ensure our teachers use an active learning approach in every lesson. Most other schools in Uganda teach through lecture and rote memorization. Our approach has had an extraordinary impact on both our children and the community. Rachael is a Primary 5 student at the SOUP school. She told us that the active learning approach has made her more confident and excited to attend school, and this excitement has engaged her parents too!

One day, Teacher Rogers sent the Primary 5 class home to collect clay soil for the next day's lesson. Rachael got home and told her father about her assignment. He asked why the teacher had asked the students to bring in clay and Racheal said they were going to mold pots, stoves, dolls, and many other things with the clay. Quickly, Rachael’s father told her to go down to the swamp to get clay because he was interested to see how a Primary 5 student could make these items that they previously bought in town at the market. The next day, Rachael’s father accompanied her to school so that he could observe their learning, something that is quite uncommon in primary schools in Uganda. 

Our teachers are trained in methods to spark creative thinking, critical analysis and ethical decision making in their students. Our hope is that students will take the skills learned through active learning and apply them to all the areas of thier lives, both in school and at home.

Our next large milestone is to implement a supplemental methods course in multiple teacher training colleges throughout Uganda. We are working closely with the government to achieve this goal. 

In May 2018, we were selected from a competitive application process to present The Active Learning Project at Harvard University's Innovation in Action Forum at the Center on the Developing Child. We were both honored and proud to present our work.

Thank you for your contribution to our work which is truly transforming lives through quality education!

Visual learning materials in an active classroom
Visual learning materials in an active classroom

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