The Refugee Educator Academy is the flagship program of the Center for Professional Learning. The REA is an online community of practice designed to support educators and to offer sustainable, holistic learning opportunities for teachers working in refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts. The Refugee Educators Foundations of Practice (REFP) course is a critical resource within the REA. The REA also houses the Quality Holistic Learning Project (QHL), which extends the reach and impact of the REA by supporting holistic learning for teachers and students alike. All resources and experiences developed within the REA are co-created with teachers for teachers using CPL’s Sustainable Learning Framework.
Effectively teaching in refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts calls for specific, comprehensive, and sustained professional learning opportunities. The REA is designed with these specific needs in mind. It offers an integrated system of learning opportunities and professional support that includes online, hybrid, and offline courses, webinars, workshops, toolkits, and micro-credentials. It also creates communities of practice marked by excellent facilitation, evidence-based methodologies and resources, and strong relationships among participants.
“I plan to commit to spending more time getting to know the students in my program; as an administrator, this has been a challenge in the past. The course helped me to understand the importance of continuing to build relationships with my students even as an administrator.” – Course participant in U.S.
We build upon existing knowledge bases, making content more widely available in measured, digestible chunks that educators can instantly use in their unique contexts. By placing participants at the center and building out from their goals, we develop foundational skills, shared language, immediately useful lessons and materials, and learning design (or instructional) practice mastery. We cultivate teacher leadership and lift educators’ voices to advocate for joyful and sustainable learning environments for all teachers and students.
Facilitated courses, such as our Refugee Educator Foundations of Practice course, allow for sustained, guided learning within a cohort or community of practice. Courses and other professional learning resources are modular in design and, thus, can be customized and contextualized for unique learning contexts.
We also offer Micro-credentials that provide open-access, self-paced, unfacilitated learning opportunities. Topics of focus range from supporting refugee and immigrant students, including social and emotional learning and psychosocial support.
Visit our Courses page or contact us to learn more about what is available and how we can support learning and capacity building in your institution or organization.
When you enroll in courses or engage in activities within the Refugee Educator Academy, you will become a member of diverse communities of practice (CoPs). Within the CoPs you will dialog, share resources, and problem-solve together with educators working within refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts from across the globe. Each community of practice aims to foster quality holistic learning for refugee and displaced learners in inclusive, equitable, and joyful learning environments. Educators’ practices of teaching, learning, and leading are centered in these communities.
“I found the [project] map enlightening, many things mentioned I was taking for granted, especially peace education and culture. The activities were great tools to integrate SEL and reflection into the classroom. Also, the teamwork among teachers and how the meetings were facilitated can be a helpful tool for me, as an educator and teacher trainer, in bringing teachers together in a safe virtual space.”
Participant in Lebanon
“I appreciate this initiative of empowering us as refugee educators. For me it has been a gift from heaven, because I am no longer the same as I was before joining this course, and I will not be the way I am now at the end of this course.”
Participant in Kenya
“[As a result of my participation in the REA], I am altering things that I felt very strongly about because I am realizing that many of those practices before were encouraging conformity rather than embracing differences and being culturally responsive.”
Participant in the U.S.
The Refugee Educator Academy strives to increase the number and accelerate the preparation of qualified educators and service providers in refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts around the world. Since its creation, the REA has served educators in more than 50 countries and 5 continents, directly impacting more than 700 educators, who collectively reach about 70,000 learners.
What are the other components of the Refugee Educator Academy?
Based on Sustainable Learning principles, the Refugee Educator Academy is designed for educators teaching refugees (and other displaced, migrant, and culturally and linguistically diverse learners) and includes the following components:
Webinars and Workshops: Workshops and webinars offer a chance for refugee educators to connect with each other around the world. Get a view inside diverse refugee education teaching and learning contexts from both practitioner and researcher perspectives and engage in conversation around critical issues in the field of refugee education. Sign up for updates on webinars, workshops, and other CE International news.
Micro-credentials: Micro-credentials are competency-based assessments of an educator’s areas of expertise. They are rigorous, self-paced professional development opportunities for educators who are looking for PD that builds from their own context. Micro-credentials are a way for teachers to personalize professional development and demonstrate their teaching competencies. Explore our Micro-credentials at Digital Promise. Watch the following video podcast featuring our project consultant Sarah Bracken speaking about micro-credentials.
Why is the Refugee Educator Academy critical?
With more than 84 million forcibly displaced people in the world*, the well-being of refugees is a global crisis. Alongside a shortage of teachers and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to schools and formal learning programs, refugee, displaced, and other marginalized communities find access to quality education limited. We are called upon as a global community to attend to the basic human rights of every person worldwide. We must offer the promise of a better tomorrow and a brighter future to all of our children, neighbors, and colleagues.
The Refugee Educator Academy, founded on quality holistic learning practices for teachers and students alike, offers the potential to address this call. We create learning communities that are sustainable, thriving, inclusive, and equitable. Furthermore, sustained professional learning opportunities are essential to build the dynamic, informed, skilled teacher workforce required to meet current teaching and learning demands. Co-creating professional development resources and opportunities tailored to the needs of educators teaching in refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts is the core purpose of the Refugee Educator Academy.
How can I participate in the Refugee Educator Academy as an educator?
There are several ways educators can participate in the Refugee Educator Academy, from joining communities of practice formed through QHL projects to completing shorter, self-paced courses. Educators can also join projects as co-creators of resources and toolkits, as participants in pilot tests of courses and assessment tools, as presenters in workshops and webinars, and as volunteers supporting colleagues globally and/or specific REA projects. As an educator, you have the opportunity to learn and to lead within the REA.
Are there ways for educational institutions, INGOs, and other organizations to partner and/or contract services with the Refugee Educator Academy?
The Center for Professional Learning collaborates with partners on instructional design, pilot programs, and other work to benefit educators in refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts.
The vitally important work of the Refugee Educator Academy is made possible through generous support from individuals, institutions, and corporate sponsors. To support the Refugee Educator Academy at the Center for Professional Learning, please visit our Donations page.
Supporting Refugee SLIFE: Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education
CPL Course |
This course was developed in 2017-2018. It aims to support educators working with Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE), including some learners of refugee backgrounds.