Educational Initiatives (EI) is an educational products company that leverages the twin layers of cutting edge educational research and technology based solutions. EI aims at revolutionizing on how children learn between K-12 education space.
The Internet is a place of extreme!! From Kardashian to Math trivia, anything and everything can break the internet.
One such instance has been a “simple” math problem!!
Mumsnet user Peerie Breeks shared a math riddle on a message board for parents.
The question asks how much money a man makes or loses after buying and selling horses.
It racked up almost 500 comments with different answers.
The correct answer is that he made $20.
While the answers ranged from $10, $20, &30, what seems to be throwing people off is the fact that the man sells the horse for $70 and then repurchases it for $80, making it look like he spent 10 more dollars.
What seems to be throwing people off is the fact that the man sells the horse for $70 and then repurchases it for $80, making it look like he spent 10 more dollars. But the correct way to solve the problem is to think of the two transactions as separate: -60 + 70 = 10 and -80 + 90 = 10.
Now, this Chinese Math Question had me scratching my hair!!
This isn’t the first time a math problem went viral! Sometime back, a Chinese math question took the internet by frenzy!
A Chinese math question for 5th graders asks “If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship’s captain?”
It’s going viral because no one can figure out how to solve it.
The solution may or may not have anything to do with math.
After the test question went viral, the Shunqing Education Department released a statement saying that the problem was meant to “examine… critical awareness and an ability to think independently,” according to a BBC translation. If so, whether or not the math problem is solvable isn’t relevant. The point is to encourage students to think creatively about possible ways to figure it out and come up with their own answers.
Oh, and do you remember this one
The question, posed by popular YouTube account MindYourDecisions, was initially posted on Aug. 31, 2016, but is making the rounds across the internet again. Why? People keep arriving at two different answers: 1 and 9.
To solve the problem, you need to remember PEMDAS, otherwise known as the order of operations. In case you forgot, PEMDAS standards for: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. To solve a problem with PEMDAS, first, you solve anything dealing with parentheses and exponents and then move left to the right with the remaining operations. Try it for yourself below.
Can You Solve This Intelligence Test? Viral Facebook Puzzle - YouTube
According to the man behind this YouTube account, Presh Talwalkar, people get one as the answer due to an old way of interpreting the division sign. “Historically the symbol / was used to mean you should divide by the entire product on the right of the symbol,” he wrote in a blog post. So, if you got 1 as your answer, it’s not right, but not your fault either for learning this method.
Now that’s enough of math for a day!! You can come back for more, or maybe just let me know your fav viral Math Problem!!
The Unidentified Personality Traits of the Gifted Students
Anna, my third-grade classmate, was very shy but too brilliant for the class. Before the teacher could finish the question, her hand would go up, amidst our blank faces! She would ace in all subjects; she could math at light speed compared to any of us, she was too curious about anything and everything around her!
On the other hand, though Joe was nothing less compared to Anna, he would never participate. He was withdrawn from the class as if she never belonged to us!
Back then I just thought he was an all-day-angry boy! Now, after all these years, I can understand the thin line of difference between Anna and Joe and many other! Not all Gifted Students are same! They all have different needs and approach towards education!
My experience with these students has helped me identify them and cater to their educational needs. It is quite possible, you too are teaching one or more of them but are unaware! Look out for below-mentioned traits and personality!!
#1. I know I am Gifted!!
These are the typically Gifted students. They demonstrate an excellent skill in class and are liked and loved by the peers! They get all the praise from the teachers and have cracked their way to top without much effort!
They are often found helping their peers with homework or filling the learning gaps. But, they are also too dependent on their teachers and parents! They do not lack on any forefront, but they are underachievers! They do not have life skills or desire to be the life-long learner! They are happy in their small world!
#2. The Challenger
They are creative, witty and headstrong! They enjoy challenging teachers and parents. They have no regards for the school system, and hence they have no clue how to fit in. This happens because their talent and potential go unnoticed!
The teachers too are frustrated with these chaps due to their “aggressively challenging”behaviour in class! Their “I-dare-you attitude in class disrupts the learning environment and creates a conflict among peers and teachers!
These students need a more favourable environment in the class where their skills are acknowledged, and they are rewarded in one way or the other. This will instil a positive approach in them and help them cope up in class!
#3. The Hush-Hush Gifted
I think this is the Joe Profile! These students hide their Giftedness! They know to fit in they have to be like other kids, so they chose to ignore their gifted stand, and try to mingle with their peers!
This suppresses their need for the special education and conditions them to think and behave alike. Such situations, create behavioural conflict and affect the psyche of these special kids. Instead, they should be motivated to know and accept oneself!! The teacher can ask the student to lead any upcoming activity or offer the platform of interest that encourages them to participate and show their talent.
The final takeaway:
Our means of imparting education has evolved. There has been a paradigm shift from classroom teaching to digital teaching, but, we have left out one little Anna and Joe! They are still struggling and waiting for us, to accept them and help them in advance education! I am not saying we create a different school for them, but we can surely have a more sorted way to identify them and do something for them.
The wide selection of courses across the STEM, arts and humanities, covering a diverse range of advanced topics is precisely what a Gifted programme should be that instil the Gifted Student to accelerate their growth and build a network of like-minded peers.
Well, this was my observation of Gifted Students in my class! I am sure, there are more out there! Let me know your exprieicne with them!
The wait is finally over! The list of ASSET SUMMER ROUND TOPPERS is here.!!
Many congratulations to the students who have displayed outstanding performance and made it to the toppers list!
It is not easy to excel at ASSET! The reason being, ASSET focuses more on the conceptualising skills. It tests how well SKILLS and CONCEPTS underlying the school syllabus have been understood by the student.
It aligns with the format of the competitive exams, that offers an array of career opportunities to student across the country! This also enables the student to prepare for these exams beforehand and understand accordingly!
ASSET helps the student strengthen the base of the subject/topic. It is not meant for rote learning, but for those who understand and can do real-time application!
So, pat your back!
A shoutout to Wordsworth and Shellys of the house!
KUDOS to your hard work!
And, let’s not forget the Einsteins and Newtons in the house!
Three cheers for the Social Studies scholars!
And, now for those who have lived up to Matras and Dohas
Congratulations, once again!! Celebrate this success and look out for the opportunities that lie ahead!
Ron Turiello’s daughter, Grace, seemed unusually alert even as a newborn.
At 7 months or so, she showed an interest in categorising objects: She’d take a drawing of an elephant in a picture book, say, and match it to a stuffed elephant and a realistic plastic elephant.
At 5 or 6 years old, when snorkelling with her family in Hawaii, she identified a passing fish correctly as a Heller’s barracuda, then added, “Where are the rest? They usually travel in schools.” With a child so bright, it’s natural for parents to assume that she will comfortably fit into any school environment, and pretty much leave it at that.
But that’s not always the case! It can be extremely challenging to find the correct educational environment for your gifted child.
Several factors play a vital role in creating a gap between gifted learners and their educational experiences, and educators and parents alike may misunderstand the interplay among various options.
So, how do you identify the Gifted Child!
Academically or intellectually gifted students exhibit high-performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both the intellectual areas and specific academic fields
They are likely to be stuck in the below-depicted scenario!
Well, I won’t say this is an ideal definition, but this pretty much sums up what teachers/educators should look out for!
The problem is not in identifying; it’s in how are we facilitating them
“Seventy percent of the kids who are high ability are underachieving,” says Rider University professor Ambrose
If you see in a long run, the high-achieving students end up frustrated, bored and often depressed. This is because there’s absolutely no one around to challenge them. Not even teachers! These gifted minds remain unchallenged, and they usually end up irritating the teacher due to their all-the-time curious mind, and I know attitude!
This leads to disinterested in class, no communication with peers and bad social life!
Realizing all the above factors, few states, around the globe, have actually come up with specialized schools/courses for the Gifted Student but has not been able to cater to the mass needs of gifted students!
India is catching up …!
Though India is actually improvising on Education, it is yet to address the needs of Gifted! However, it’s not entirely sidelined. ASSET Summer Programme is a course designed exclusively for the exceptionally gifted students. The instructors, around the world, join the students for 21 days, be with them and facilitate students in adapting to the social environment.
As the saying goes ‘ It takes one, to know one’, and that’s exactly how it works at ASP. The instructors have been in these student’s shoes before and are well aware of student’s needs and the way it should be addressed. The ASSET Summer Programme is for the Potters and Grangers stuck in the Muggle world!!
The courses across the STEM offers a platform to the Gifted Student to experience the most exceptional training with well-known educators around the world!! Here the students are imparted 110 hours of training in three weeks and are exposed to challenging environment and first-hand learning experience. Living with like-minded students instils confidence in them and helps in breaking a social barrier.
We may not be ahead in times, but we are definitely on time! ASSET Summer Programme offers a hope of a better and enhanced education!
“We are treasure chests with more jewels inside than we can imagine.”
Less than half of the students in India are proficient in Math, and most would instead go fishing than learn math!
Here, we are asking more of our students than ever before. We want them to comprehend the concept, join the dots and communicate their reasoning. But how do we do that?
Researchers and Educators have over the period emphasised on implementing game learning for class learning!
The prime reason being a paradigm shift in learning method. Students are very active and well aware, thanks to the social media revolution and the internet at fingertips.The teachers are now leveraging these factors and bringing in the more interactive way of learning and assessing.
This is not a mere observation! A Game-based learning scholar Constance Steinkuehler talks about her research on online video games and literacy, and how learning skyrockets when students are passionate about the subject matter
On a broader picture, if you see, games instil a sense of competition and breaks away the barriers of communication.
Math games encourage a strategic learning, problem-solving and develop fluency. Students have a space to apply their learning in a different situation and the chance to explain and discuss the mathematics involved with their peers – without any fear of judgement or being wrong.
Once the rules are in place, there is a very little input required from the teacher’s end, thereby making absolute learning exercise at home.
One of the best thing about implementing the game in class is: students are motivated and have a positive approach to the mathematics involved, strengthening the school-home relationship.
No, it’s undeniable that each school and class has a different need compared to the rest. So while one has taken upon this concept of integrating games in classrooms, some might just be getting started. In either way, a Game-a-thon serves as an icebreaker.
We recently organised a game-a-thon for a Delhi Public School East, Bangalore. And here are the heads up if you have never done it before or want to do it differently!
Define the sole purpose:
For us, the purpose of the event was to build team camaraderie among students through the event and provide an opportunity for these talented students to feed and learn through the event interactions.
Arrange an informal setup:
This helps the student in moving a lot and also aid in overcoming the fear of judgements. A casual set-up leads to more flexibility and experimental temperament
Make the effort count: reward them
42 of the top sparky scorers( sparky is the badge given to students based on a student’s accuracy) were selected in teams of 3 each, resulting in 14 unique teams, each team having children from class 3, 4, 5. Each child was given a participating certificate and winners were given trophies along with certificates. And here are the heroes of the event : Yuvaan Fabian, Rishabsaket Agarwal, Ananth Subramania smiling and posing with their shining trophies. This ensures me that a child on his success makes a very positive impacton him/her.
Observe and Assess:
A teacher gets plenty of time to observe, ask and analyse each student’s approach and method to solve the problem. It becomes easy to differentiate the student’s learning and understanding of the concepts. This dialogue can further be carried in class, and more focus can be given to students reasoning skills. You can also see the empathetic side of the children amidst all the competitiveness. Our wild card winning team; Anjalika Dash, Yasswanth S, and Shourya Sinha stands tall and happy, with their teachers and coordinators.
For us, with each passing round, the intensity and excitement of the teams became higher. The most emotional time of the event was during the announcement of results. The children who qualified for the higher rounds were incredibly excited, and the ones who did not qualify felt disheartened.
In the end, we had two winning teams, and both the winning teams were decided on tiebreakers.
Game-a-thon brings out a lot in a student. They are empathetic, competitive, curious and self-motivated to win. It helps better in assessing them most informally. If you feel, you should be organising a game-a-thon anytime soon, let us know here: https://goo.gl/forms/eRdtSPhs89qwB23n2
World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) is an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative thinking, debate and purposeful action, which aims at promoting innovation and building the future of education through collaboration. Each year, the WISE Awards are held to recognize and promote successful innovative projects in the world that address global educational challenges. Here are the top 15 finalists for the WISE Awards 2017.
Learn more about the top 15 WISE finalists by clicking on the links below;
This blog post authored by Husein Abdul Hamid, originally appeared on the ‘World Bank blog’.
Statistics. Either you love or hate them. We certainly need them to compare and measure data, as well as to make informed decisions. Here at the World Bank, we often get calls from researchers, students and journalists asking for education data: Is there an increase in the number of tertiary education students in Brazil in 2017? How much are governments in South Asia spending on education? Where can we find a database of World Bank education projects?
We try to help answer these, as much as we can, but a quicker and easier way of finding this data is to visit the World Bank’s revamped EdStats website. EdStats – the World Bank’s portal for accessing education-related data – has been around since 1998 and is one of the most used websites by education specialists at the World Bank and partner organizations. User feedback has been highly positive: the interface looks neater, highly mobile and tablet-friendly. Allow me to give you a “tour” of the revamped website.
EI Family is glad to inform that Mindpark, our adaptive learning product has been nominated for the prestigious ‘World Innovation Summit for Education’ awards. To read the complete original article talking about this year’s nominees, please continue reading below-
This article, authored by Jo Earp, originally appeared in ‘Teacher Magazine’ under the headline ‘Supporting Students, Teachers and Communities’.
The annual WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) Awards celebrate projects that are providing solutions to education challenges affecting students, teachers and communities across the globe.
Yesterday, we took a look at the six winners for 2017. Here, we focus on the remaining nine finalists, including a program supporting student transition to primary school in Ghana and a collaborative learning model aimed at increasing teacher motivation and professionalism in India and Uganda.
Outlining the challenge facing classroom practitioners, Educational Initiatives says: ‘Research has found that the average eighth grade child is at the fourth grade level, and that the actual learning levels in the class range from grade 1 to 8. Even for the highly motivated and best paid teacher, it would be difficult to understand and adapt her teaching style to each student in her classroom.’
In response, the project team created Mindspark – a personalised, tech-based adaptive learning program for mathematics and language where students learn at their own pace and can access the tool in English or Hindi.
Over the last seven years, the tool has been used in elite private schools and low-income government schools across India. To further extend the reach, Mindspark Centres have been set up in Delhi’s urban slums where children can attend six days a week and access the program for 45 minutes per day. http://www.ei-india.com
Fondation Zakoura’s ANEER program uses a community pre-schooling model developed in partnership with UNICEF to support children aged four to six, parents and educators in rural areas of Morocco.
Mothers receive training in child development, early learning activities and hygiene while fathers are offered half a dozen education awareness sessions. Members of the community are also offered awareness modules on the importance of early childhood education. The foundation works with local early childhood educators, training them to run literacy classes for community members and build local links to ensure the ANEER program continues once the two-year funding ends.
Following the introduction of the pre-school education program, student attendance in participating rural areas has reached 95 per cent, parent attendance in the program is 90 per cent and all children accessing ANEER have transitioned to primary school. http://www.fondationzakoura.org
Open Book Publishers (global)
This UK-based not-for-profit organisation provides free academic and text books in digital formats to schools, students and teachers in 120 countries, with a particular focus on developing countries.
The project team says ‘education is the key to individual fulfilment, social mobility and economic growth – but no large-scale educational program is possible without easy and free access to learning resources’.
OBP books are accessed by an average 30 000 readers per month. Greece, India, Kenya and Nigeria are in the top 10 list of the countries with the greatest number of online readers. http://www.openbookpublishers.com
The ‘Reaching and Teaching Out-of-School Children in Ghana’ (REACH) project supports student transition to primary school by providing a nine month, accelerated, complementary basic education (CBE) learning program.
Developed by Plan International in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service, local communities and Educate a Child, REACH has scaled up an existing national program. Community education challenges include a lack of teachers and schools. REACH works with out of school children to design activities to meet their learning needs. Local community committees monitor and support the daily classes.
Training for committee members includes highlighting their role in addressing barriers to girls’ education. To help students transition to primary education, the project provides scholarships to cover the initial cost of school supplies and orientation sessions for teachers.
The target is to enrol 90 000 eight–16-year-olds from 34 of Ghana’s most disadvantaged districts. In its first two years, 30 000 children (44 per cent girls) and almost 300 teachers have benefited. http://www.plan-international.org
Science Bits (global)
Science Bits is a repository of research-based science lessons based on inquiry learning, critical thinking, discovery and learning-by-doing. The multimedia resources – including simulators, animations, 3D models and videos – have been created to support middle school and high school teachers.
The resources are linked to real-life contexts and follow the 5E Instruction Model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate). The project team says: ‘Students have become active learners who don’t just memorise formulae and definitions, but seek understanding and manage to use new knowledge to solve problems in real life contexts.’
Science Bits is used as the main science resource in one-third of Catalan secondary schools (Spain) and, to date, the project has benefited 3000 teachers and 120 000 students around the world. http://www.science-bits.com
Shams Generation (Qatar)
Shams is Arabic for sun. Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) teamed up with Qatar Museums to develop a combined arts and science program – spanning primary, secondary and tertiary – where students create ‘solar art’ from reusable materials such as cans, cereal boxes, shoe boxes and other household waste.
Physical and online resources provided to schools include a solar kit, curriculum materials and teacher training workshops. The aim is to support students in developing skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, design and innovation, increase awareness of solar technologies and sustainability, and encourage students to consider a career in solar industries.
STIR is working with state and national governments to build local teacher networks aimed at increasing teacher motivation and professionalism, leading to mastery of classroom practice and improved student outcomes.
The model sees teachers use a collaborative Learning Improvement Cycle – identifying a problem, developing, reflecting on and adapting a solution, and evaluating its impact. Educators receive STIR support for two years and are encouraged to attend network meetings for a further three years to improve other aspects of their practice.
From its starting point five years ago as a pilot involving teachers in Delhi, STIR has now reached 27 000 teachers and impacted 1.1 million students across India and Uganda. Plans are now in place to work with the Indian government and scale up the impact to 60 million children. http://www.STIReducation.org
Tele Education Project – SAME (India)
The Satellite & Advanced Multimedia Education (SAME) program offers support to rural and disadvantaged students in their Mathematics, Science and English learning.
The team behind the project says a shortage of adequately trained teachers, teacher absenteeism, inadequate teacher resources, student absenteeism, and poor infrastructure and connectivity, all have a negative impact on student learning outcomes in rural and remote areas of India.
SAME seeks to close the gap in student achievement between rural and remote and urban areas by delivering live, interactive, sessions from broadcast studios via EDUSAT – a dedicated educational satellite launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation. The sessions are delivered in the local language and English, integrated into the school curriculum and are designed to supplement existing lessons. They reach around 180 000 students every year. http://www.edutel.in
The remaining finalist is working outside the K-12 education sector:
In partnership Boston Children’s hospital, this project is helping to educate doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals around the world in the use of life support technologies such as ventilation and dialysis machines by giving them access to interactive medical simulators. www.openpediatrics.org
All 15 finalists will be celebrated at the eighth World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha, Qatar, 14-16 November, 2017. To find out more visit www.wise-qatar.org
EI Family is glad to inform that Mindpark, our adaptive learning product has received a special mention in the reputed ‘Stanford Social Innovation Review’. To read the complete original article, please continue reading below-
This article, authored by Rebecca Winthrop and Adam Barton, originally appeared in ‘Stanford Social Innovation Review’ under the headline ‘Leapfrogging Towards Success in Education’.
Today, people and ideas are flowing across borders faster than ever before in human history. Technology is omnipresent. The gig economy is on the rise. And while not every child today lives in a community where this is the case, the pace of change is so rapid that these new ways of life may soon be universal.
Because of this fast-paced social and economic change, it is not clear exactly what skills children will need to thrive and become constructive citizens in the future world of work. We do know that children will need to be well equipped with a range of skills to face this uncertainty. Children all face a future that will demand a wide range of abilities, from reading texts critically and solving problems collaboratively to adapting quickly to new forces affecting the economy, society, and the natural environment.
However, education systems across the globe do not effectively prepare youth for this fast-changing world. Both between and within countries, there are deep inequalities in what schools help children learn, know, and do. This inequality is visible in low-income countries, where less than one in three children are on track to achieve basic primary-level skills. It also exists in high-income countries, where predictions hold that nearly one-third of learners will reach adulthood without minimal skills at the secondary level. Worse yet, we project in our own analysis that at the current rate of progress, education for children in low-income countries won’t reach the level of education in developed countries for approximately 100 years.
Together, the twin problems of skills uncertainty in a fast-changing world and persistent skills inequality across the globe paint a bleak picture for the future of learners. Experts anticipatethat if current trends continue, roughly half of the more than 1.6 billion young people in the current generation will reach adulthood without the basic literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills they need to thrive.
Confronted with these deep educational challenges, how should education systems across the globe react? Is it possible to address both skills inequality and skills uncertainty at the same time? Or must education systems tackle fundamental issues of access and quality before thinking about the relevance of the traditional schooling model in a fast-changing world?
A New Way Forward
In our new report, “Can We Leapfrog? The Potential of Education Innovations to Rapidly Accelerate Progress,” authored with former Center for Universal Education research associate Eileen McGivney, we present “leapfrogging” as one potential solution to these challenges. We define leapfrogging as any practices, new or old, that enable skills inequality to be far more quickly addressed than the current 100-year time frame would suggest. The term also describes practices that enable us to address skills uncertainty in a rapidly changing world. We argue that this progress is achievable only if we make room for new approaches in education—that is, if we innovate.
During the last two years, we compiled and analyzed a catalog of nearly 3,000 education innovations, the largest such collection to date. This catalog provides a snapshot of what we term the “education innovation community”: the constellation of global actors involved in developing, supporting, and implementing innovative educational practices. Our efforts reveal a diverse, extensive, and vibrant community of innovators working on everything from educational apps and private sector ventures to government policies and chains of nonprofit schools.
Our catalog profiles innovations from every corner of the planet; more than 85 percent of the world’s countries are represented. These include educational underperformers like India and the United States, as well as relatively high-achieving nations such as Finland and Kenya. Many are focused on the most marginalized youth populations; nearly 60 percent of the innovations in the catalog target groups such as low-income students, girls, students with disabilities, and children living through emergencies and conflict.
The innovations in our catalog vary widely in scope and scale, from tiny schools serving just 15 students to massive digital learning hubs like Duolingo, which has reached more than 150 million learners. Our findings suggest that civil society organizations are taking the lead on innovation; more than 60 percent of interventions are delivered by nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) including both the large and established such as Camfed, and small newcomers like Code.org.
Introducing the Leapfrog Pathway
Our research identified innovative practices in more than 85 percent of the world’s countries.
Historically, in the United States and across the developing world, the mass schooling movement first focused on increasing access to schooling, starting with primary education. Much later, systems shifted to ensuring that children actually experience high-quality teaching and learning. Only after that did the focus shift to questions of the relevance of these learning experiences for work and life.
To leapfrog education across the globe, we argue that we must jettison this outmoded model of progress, and make room for entirely new mental models. The concept of leapfrogging is not regularly used in the global education community and as such, there has been limited guidance on how to think about it.
To determine which education innovations are best primed to accelerate progress, we developed a leapfrog pathway for education, based on evidence from the learning sciences and from interviews with a wide range of actors involved in the field. Our pathway is composed of four elements, which each contain two dimensions.
Progression along each dimension entails complementing traditional educational practices with evidence-based approaches. The first two elements—learning and teaching, and recognizing learning—are “core” elements. They are essential for enabling leapfrogging in education.
1. Improving learning and teachingby making use of pedagogical practices that encourage student agency over the learning process, foster their natural inquisitiveness, and expose them to important topics that will shape their lives. The learning dimension of this element asks students to adapt, transform, and create knowledge. The teaching dimension incorporates playful pedagogies that encourage students to become active agents in their own exploration and discovery.
For example, the Núcleo Avançado em Educação (NAVE), a system of government-run secondary technical schools in Brazil, taps into learners’ creativity to prepare them for work in a digital world. NAVE integrates innovation, inquiry, and entrepreneurship into every facet of learning, requiring students to unite digital literacy skills with academic knowledge by regularly designing and publishing applications and other digital products. Students in a social studies class might research and draft a debate between prominent historical figures, which they would then animate and share online.
This creative learning model is a good example of helping address skills uncertainty and skills inequality at the same time: NAVE schools equip students with important interpersonal and digital skills, but do not neglect traditional academic competencies. In the states of Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro, the NAVE network achieved the highest averages on the national secondary leaving exam among all public schools.
2. Flexibly recognizing learningby seeking novel ways to verify students’ skills and allowing them to progress according to need and ability. Progression, the first dimension of this element, entails addressing individual differences by allowing learners to progress through content as they demonstrate mastery, regardless of how long it takes them. Verification, the second dimension, requires collaboration with employers and postsecondary institutions to determine what skills and competencies youth need, and how best to determine when students reach these goals.
A South African project, Go for Gold, connects disadvantaged high schoolers with construction industry professionals to ensure that these young people have desirable job skills. In South Africa, construction companies struggle to hire engineers, architects, and project managers. The NGO-led youth development program begins in the last year of high school, when students interview with partner companies to secure an internship between secondary and post-secondary education. During these yearlong internships, participants take industry-designed professional and life skills classes. Employers get a chance to verify and support the development of student skills through on-the-job performance assessments, measuring how well the students demonstrate workplace competencies. Employers who are satisfied with interns’ skills then sponsor them through post-secondary education and guarantee job placement upon graduation. To date, more than 80 percent of Go for Gold’s 330 participants have successfully completed post-secondary programs.
The second two elements—people and places, and technology and data—are supports that offer helpful but non-essential tools for transforming what and how children learn.
1. Incorporating people and places:Employing diverse actors and contexts to unburden teachers and contextualize learning. People, the first dimension, encourages programming that relies upon a range of actors to assist teachers and support students’ learning. It could involve learning projects facilitated by outside experts or parent volunteers taking charge of classroom administrative tasks. Places, the second dimension, promotes diverse and authentic learning environments, such as community spaces, workplaces, and online, to complement classroom learning.
In rural African schools, the Learner Guide Program trains young women to serve as mentors and peer teachers. These women, known as Learner Guides, deliver a curriculum focused on wellbeing, creative expression, and self-knowledge. They support classroom teachers by serving as informal mentors and tutors, modeling academic and interpersonal skills. More than 250,000 students have benefitted from this program, developed by Camfed. Academic outcomes in Learner Guide schools improved with an equivalent of 0.5 effect size for English studies and of an effect size of 1.0 in mathematics, analyses show.
2. Making better use of technology and data: By unleashing their potential to transform learning. The first dimension in this element entails using new technologies, such as augmented reality or adaptive online games, to redefine and reimagine learning and teaching. The second calls for the frequent collection, analysis, and use of data to improve programs, transparency, and student learning.
Mindspark Centres successfully leverage educational technology and data to transform math and literacy learning for disadvantaged students in India. The technology-based remedial centers, run by the Indian NGO Educational Initiatives, host students daily for 90-minute learning sessions. Students spend half their time doing homework in small groups and the other half playing Mindspark, a computer-based adaptive learning game used in more than 100 elite Indian private schools. The platform automates differentiated instruction, using each student’s responses to tailor academic content to his or her knowledge level. Gamification and real-time content adaptation ensure that students learn what they need to learn, and that they have fun while they do it. This program has served more than 3,700 students. The centers produce gains in student learning equivalent to a 1.04 effect size in math and 1.23 in Hindi over a period of six months.
Are We Ready for Change?
With this framework, we can evaluate whether the education innovations community can help educational systems make rapid progress in the here and now. To advance along our pathway, innovators must complement traditional educational practices with the evidence-based approaches we have identified. Only by aligning learning experiences with the end of the core pathway will educational programming be able to solve both skills inequality and uncertainty at the same time.
We find that the global education community has reason to be optimistic about the potential for innovations to enable leapfrogging. As seen in the above cases, the education innovations community already provides many strong examples of a leapfrog mindset. In both rich and poor settings, education innovations are simultaneously tackling the twin burdens and showing that that it is, indeed, possible to break from dominant paradigms and chart new paths for educational progress.
In particular, we note that 70 percent of the innovations in our catalog make use of playful learning approaches, which are necessary for developing a broad set of student skills. Most of these playful innovations focus on developing academic competencies alongside crucial 21st-century skills like problem solving and empathy. These powerful and tangible examples provide excellent case material for teacher trainers, school leaders, and educators to use in transforming their practice.
Additionally, a robust collection of innovations—almost 40 percent of our catalog—are unburdening teachers by streamlining administrative tasks, facilitating peer teacher training, or leveraging the expertise and support of parents, community leaders, employers, youth, and peers. Some of the most effective approaches, such as the Camfed Learner Guide program and Go for Gold, harness new people and places to support teachers and improve students’ skills. Education leaders, educators, and investors would do well to take note of these approaches and find ways to support and expand them.
Four Lessons Learned
For all the strong work occurring in the education innovations community, glaring gaps in practice exist.
First, less than 20 percent of innovations included in our catalog describe transformative ways of recognizing student learning. Of course, any focus on improving learning and teaching is incomplete without corresponding shifts in recognition. Indeed, we often hear that outmoded assessment models prevent educators from improving learning experiences. In line with our pathway, innovators will need to look to the learning sciences and adopt new models for gauging and verifying student skills.
Second, despite the substantial focus on lightening the load for teachers, there is surprisingly little attention—less than 25 percent of our catalog—devoted to helping teachers develop their own skills and capacity. Leapfrogging education will require that teachers play an essential if not necessarily traditional role in coaching, guiding, curating, and facilitating the learning experience. As such, innovators must be sure to include teacher professional development in future interventions and find creative ways to incorporate it into existing models.
Third, while half the innovations in our catalog use technology, nearly 80 percent of those do so in ways that either substitute or augment analog education practices. Digital worksheets are one example; shifting the content directly from paper-and-pencil to the virtual domain might reduce the cost of access or expedite grading, but it does little to change the nature of teaching and learning. Innovators and investors should focus time and attention on the ways technology can help modify and redefine what is possible in education, such as the creative use of gaming or adaptive learning experiences for children who have little access to the help they need.
Finally, we note that leapfrogging involves more than scaling up one particular innovation versus another. It demands that we overhaul our approach to progress in education. To contribute to this significant change, the education innovations community must address the gaps mentioned above and be more disciplined in public sharing of data. In our catalog, nearly 1,000 innovations make information available on the effectiveness of their work. Nevertheless, this leaves almost 2,000 innovations that provide no information. Additionally, only 2 percent of the innovations in our catalog share cost-effectiveness data. Yet this is exactly the type of information governments and other agents need in order to determine which new approaches they might encourage and scale up.
In addition to this need for public data, leapfrogging will require new mechanisms so that policymakers can evaluate, adopt, and scale innovations according to their particular contexts. As part of the Millions Learning series, our colleagues at the Center for Universal Education are currently contributing to this effort by developing a network of real-time scaling labs. These labs will explore new models of documenting, supporting, and sharing innovative practices to inform the work of educational decision makers.
Ultimately, actors around the world will need to rally around a leapfrog vision of educational progress, and push key players in the education innovation community to close the gaps identified above, if we are to ensure that we do not leave a generation of young people behind.
This blog post authored by Amer Hasan, Raquel Lesile, and Nozomi Nakazima originally appeared on the ‘World Bank blog’.
250 million children under the age of five in the developing world are failing to reach their full development potential. Faced with this challenge, governments and donors across the globe have turned to early childhood education and development (ECED) services. These are a cost-effective way to overcome the developmental losses associated with growing up in a disadvantaged environment. The services can be delivered in different ways, such as through kindergartens and community-based playgroups.