Quality Holistic Learning Project

Equipping and empowering educators to ensure inclusion, equity, and holistic learning experiences and outcomes for every child.

Educators teaching in displacement, emergency, and refugee contexts face unique challenges and are called upon to support unique student needs, often with very few resources and limited access to professional development opportunities. Through the Quality Holistic Learning (QHL) Project, the Center for Professional Learning aims to support these educators, with a focus on inclusion, equity, and holistic learning for every child, including displaced, refugee, marginalized, and vulnerable learners.

Collaboratively, QHL Project Fellows and partners have co-created competency-based professional learning materials focused on social-emotional learning, psychosocial support and well-being, asset-based pedagogies, and differentiated instruction to support holistic learning experiences and outcomes. These materials can be found in the Open Educational Resource (OER) Library, which we created to share these free professional development materials in multiple languages.

Project Goals

The QHL Projects seeks to increase quality holistic learning outcomes — including academic and social-emotional learning (SEL) — for children in displacement contexts.

Specific project objectives include:

  • Increased teacher competency, including the knowledge and skills to promote quality holistic learning with students in displacement contexts and ability to demonstrate these competencies.
  • Increased knowledge exchange around SEL and holistic teaching and learning among teachers and other education stakeholders, including INGOs, NGOs, ministries of education, etc., in displacement contexts.
  • Improved data-informed teaching, including through the use of assessment, learning analytics, and reporting tools that help make teaching and learning visible to inform practice and guide continuous professional learning.

Project Structure

The QHL Project is an example of the way the Center for Professional Learning (CPL) works with a diverse stakeholder group to develop professional learning resources and opportunities with educators for educators working in displacement contexts within larger national education systems. Teachers themselves need holistic learning opportunities, and this project centers teachers as self-directed learners and as leaders within their local, national, and regional contexts.

Teachers and other key education stakeholders in four target countries—Chad, Kenya, Lebanon, and Niger—created, tested, evaluated, and revised professional development materials in Arabic, English, and French during the initial period (2021-2023). These include online courses and offline trainings, handbooks, communities of practice, micro-credentials, and learning analytics tools.

The materials created by these QHL Project Fellows are all publicly available for free in our Open Educational Resource (OER) Library, along with additional resources that have been developed in Spanish, Kiswahili, and Ukrainian since the initial project period. We invite educators, other education leaders, INGO staff, and others to access and share these resources by taking courses, leading workshops with the materials, and/or earning micro-credentials.

Visit the OER Library


An external evaluation report created during the first phase of this project found that the QHL resources helped educators feel prepared to work with refugee, displaced, and vulnerable students and had a significant impact on changing instructional practices and deepening relationships between students and teachers.

Reflections from QHL Project Fellows also emphasize the positive impact of the project:

“Le projet AHQ m’a permis d’apprendre beaucoup de choses mais ce que je considère comme la chose la plus importante que j’ai apprise est la relation entre les émotions et la capacité à apprendre.”

[“The QHL project allowed me to learn a lot of things but what I consider to be the most important thing I learned was the relationship between emotions and the ability to learn.”]

– Educator in Niger & QHL Project Fellow

“[We] are involved in decisions that are to take place. We are consulted and decide when and how our activities can be beneficial to all of us by giving some flexibility and accommodation of others’ challenges to support one another with empathy. Strategies are put in place to treat every teacher with the esteem he/she deserves to feel a boost. We learn alone or in groups and work at our own pace to achieve our autonomy. We acquire many learning/teaching techniques with our learners, colleagues and fellows from daily routines, forums, weekly Zoom/class meetings, journaling, content sharing through teaching, games, Google applications, continuous communication by phone, WhatsApp, email and others. All these facilities help us become a friendly village of educators across the world.”

– Educator in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya & QHL Project Fellow

“I feel that I was lucky to find the time, energy, and motivation to keep moving forward. However, I know that others are not as lucky. So, it is our job, fellows and leaders, to empower teachers and equip them with the needed skills. This is the aim behind developing tools and online courses. These have been developed by us, the teachers, for the teachers. Teachers who live in the same context of struggle as other teachers. The tools aim to fill in the gaps that we teachers see in our communities, classrooms, and ourselves. These gaps include knowledge in SEL and its importance for our students and self-care for teachers that we are not aware of. These are addressed by the tools as they provide experiences and examples from our classrooms, written using our words and catering to our needs as teachers and students.”

– Educator in Beirut, Lebanon & QHL Project Fellow/Consultant

Project Details

A circle graphic showing quality holistic learning in the center, with the learner inside. Circles then spread out from there, including: asset-based pedagogy, social-emotional learning, wellbeing, psychosocial support, and differentiated instruction on one level, and then levels stretching outward are: classroom (QHL policies, implementation, and classroom practices), schools (schoolwide interventions, values, and culture), families and caregivers (connection and support), communities (shared vision and collaboration), country/region (national associations, ministries, university teacher education programs), and global EiD ecosystem (global level organizations).

Between 2021-2023, CPL worked with teams of teachers in Lebanon, Kenya, and Niger to develop quality holistic learning resources for teacher professional development in refugee/displacement contexts. Since then, CPL has worked with teams in Ukraine and Lebanon to further adapt and contextualize these resources and seeks to continue to help educators and education leaders make use of thee existing tools and create their own.

The Quality Holistic Learning OERs support growth in online teaching/learning, social and emotional learning (SEL), and psychosocial support (PSS), asset-based pedagogies, differentiated instruction, and other key proficiencies critical to holistic learning and responsive teaching.

The QHL Project aims to ensure that professional learning materials create through this initiative are both locally contextualized and portable and adaptable across global displacement and crisis contexts.

Related News

Quality Holistic Learning App

A prototype app was created during the earliest phase of the QHL Project. It assists teachers in their use of effective teaching methods and measurement of holistic learning outcomes. Our goal is to make the impact of teaching more visible to teachers while also attending to teacher learning and wellbeing.

The app guides teachers (both formally and non-formally trained) in displacement contexts in the assessment of, reflection on, and intervention in holistic learning, defined as both students’ academic achievement and their social and emotional learning (SEL) and psychosocial wellbeing.

If you would like more information on how to be part of a development and/or financing partnership for this app, please contact jkasper@ceinternational1892.org.

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