Childhood Education Innovations

Inspiration for transforming education

Childhood Education: Innovations provides unique, stimulating information about educational programs around the world. Articles explore solutions to specific challenges affecting schools, teachers, and learners and showcase the most recent ideas and innovations being developed and implemented to address those challenges. Readers will find inspiration and guidance for transforming education to better serve children and society. Published 6 times a year, CE Innovations provides a window into the work being done to bring quality, equitable education to all children.

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CONTENTS
March/April 2021


“Connecting Beyond the Camps: Education goes digital in Kutupalong”
In the largest refugee camp in the world, Children on the Edge is pioneering digital learning to deliver meaningful education and broaden horizons for 7,500 Rohingya refugee children in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Now providing education for 7,500 children in the camp, Children on the Edge has used their 10 years of experience to create model learning centers that create a fresh, oasis feel in the barren landscape of the camps.


“Making Connections: The human library of CommunityShare”
Josh Schachter, founder of CommunityShare, discusses this innovative nonprofit initiative that catalyzes real-world learning experiences by connecting teachers and students with the wisdom, skills, and lived experiences of community partners. They believe it is important to value the wisdom and lived experiences of the whole person, not just what they might have on their business card.

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“Five Areas of Development: The Royal Academy”
In Pangbisa village in Paro, Bhutan, a unique institution is a testament to the critical role of education in enriching the lives of people and the society, nurturing successive generations of leaders and building a strong, secure, and prosperous nation. The Academy focuses on research-based curriculum and teacher development, aiming to reach new heights in terms of excellence in education. The system followed at The Royal Academy aspires to help learners (children and adults alike) actualize their innate potential across Five Areas of Development: Emotional, Physical, Cerebral, Social, and Spiritual.


“Education Regeneration: Reflecting on the Skeleton Woman story”
Using a traditional Inuit tale as a metaphor, author Jenny Finn reflects on the need for a more sustainable educational design. Exploring this question begins with the community of designers themselves. We cannot redesign something outside of us, like a school, in ways we are not
embodying ourselves. If we look deeper than the symptoms, we will become aware of what lives at the center of the design, the “why” underneath the “what” we are doing.


“The Silver Lining: Education in a post-pandemic world”
The Yidan Prize Foundation is focused on the big ideas that help build a better world through education. Yidan Prize laureates offer plenty of insight and experience about what works, and now they are working  with more experts in different fields of education, from economics to psychology. Together, this newly formed Council of Luminaries can help steer the world’s post-pandemic approach.

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“Writer’s Workshop: Maintaining social connection in remote learning”
With careful planning and intention matched with powerful teaching practices, any learning environment (whether in person or online) can be interesting and engaging. The online workshop described in this article was grounded in the powerful practice, the rituals and routines, of Writer’s Workshop. Tapping into the potential of Zoom to create virtual spaces where users can connect, an online Writer’s Workshop flourished during the pandemic.


“A New Paradigm for Early Childhood Education: Opening doors through virtual kindergarten”
In Fall 2020, Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee, in Florida, launched a pilot virtual pre-kindergarten program with five students who were unable to return to class in person after school closures. The team was challenged to create a program following four guidelines:
1) Be safe and accessible to families without internet access.
2) Keep the young children engaged and excited about learning.
3) Show demonstrable improvements in language and literacy.
4) Ensure the virtual students feel like they are a part of the real classroom.


“High Impact for Youth by Youth: Health and education programs in southern Africa”
Young 1ove organization, established in March 2014 in Gaborone, Botswana, is a grassroots, youth-led, evidence-based movement in East and Southern Africa. Their mission is to connect youth to proven life-saving information. Their core competencies are delivering sensitive information to young people in a credible and relatable fashion, busting myths, changing beliefs and norms, generating demand, and building connection and trust.


“Creating Classrooms: Supporting front-line educators in emergency contexts in Latin America”
In Latin America, the “double-emergency” of the migration crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic required new thinking and swift action. Janaina Hirata, Regional Education in Emergencies specialist at Plan International, rallied her colleagues in the Latin American Regional Education Group (Plan International, NRC, INEE, RET, Save the Children, UNICEF, and World Vision) to  build high-quality online teacher training resources. A key new partner was invited: Coschool—a prize-winning Colombian education startup focused on teacher training and social and emotional learning (SEL).


“Empowering Teachers in Rural Venezuela: Ensuring strong foundations in education through Amblema”
Amblema is an acronym for AMBiente (Environment), LEctura (Reading), and MAtemáticas (Math), and those are the three main areas of focus. Believing that adding to the bureaucracy of the public school system was not an option, the challenge for the developers of Amblema was how to simplify. The first step was an initial workshop. This was one-day empowerment seminar that clearly outlined the purpose and methodology of Amblema to all school personnel. At the same time, it promoted a result-oriented mindset under the umbrella concept of HQS, Hacer Que Suceda (Making It Happen).

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