Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Ukrainians have experienced violence, loss, uncertainty, and displacement. Young children are particularly vulnerable during war, and educators – who themselves are experiencing trauma – may struggle to access the resources they need to help children experiencing trauma.
To support these educators and the children they serve, Childhood Education International has partnered with the Ukrainian Institute for Educational Development to develop free online professional development courses for early childhood educators in Ukraine.
Courses Focused on Mental Health & Well-being
With funding from Porticus, CE International’s Center for Professional Learning (CPL) has worked alongside Ukrainian educators to develop courses focused on young learners’ mental health and well-being. Coming from different regions across Ukraine, a group of ten education professionals – including teachers, psychologists, and online specialists – have collaborated with CE International to develop these materials.
“Since the war began, psychological support, self-care, and resilience became more than familiar words for every teacher,” said Maryna Stoliar, a project partner from the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science. “More than ever, it’s crucial to understand what trauma can cause in the short- and long-term.”
Maryna hoped that the outcome of the project would be “four practical courses and tons of tools to help our educators build not only children’s resilience but their own as well.”
The revised and deeply contextualized Ukrainian-language versions of these courses are now available online, and educators from Ukraine can access them for free. CE International is hoping to reach approximately 5,000 pre-primary and primary level educators with the online courses.
“This project has come with challenges,” said Julie Kasper, Director of Teacher Learning and Leadership. “Continuing power outages, air strikes, and limited access to the Internet have required flexibility, creativity, and resilience – attributes that mark the Ukrainian spirit. The CPL team is deeply inspired by the resilience of Ukrainian educators as they have engaged in this meaningful work while serving their students during an unprecedented time of insecurity and stress.”
In addition to this project, CE International is facilitating a project with support from the U.S. Department of State that seeks to advance English language pedagogy and the integration of mental health and psychosocial supports in Ukraine.