Global Literacy Professional Development (GLPDN) in Indonesia and Bangladesh (2011–2014)
IRA and cooperating partners, the Nokia Corporation, Pearson Foundation, and the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning (CTL) implemented the Global Literacy Professional Development Network (GLPDN), beginning in two pilot countries: Bangladesh and Indonesia. Professional development was managed and conducted through IRA's country affiliates. The project was supported by on-the-ground professional development in the IRA Diagnostic Teaching Model (DTM) and literacy leadership development. Implementation was also supported with virtual networking and coaching, through both the Nokia Education Delivery (NED) system and online networking, using social networking structures. NED provides video streaming sessions and self-training support, and the online network provides customized and interactive mentoring for affiliate trainers and literacy leaders, to successfully implement a comprehensive literacy professional development plan specific to each participating country. Nokia Corporation provided mobile hand-held devices and supporting equipment, coordinating with local service provides to ensure participants had access to NED and online networks. This 3-year project included unique approaches in each participating country within a common structure of goals, processes, and evaluation. Over 1,400 teachers received training over the course of the project, and 85,000 students were impacted. Read the GLPD overview brief here (PDF).
The Active Teaching and Learning Approaches in Schools (ATLAS) in Post-Conflict Batticaloa, Sri Lanka (2012–2014)
The Active Teaching and Learning Approaches in School (ATLAS) is a program that aims to improve the quality of education for students through the use of active, participatory and child-centred teaching and learning methodologies. The program is based on IRA's earlier Diagnostic Teaching Program and was adapted by IRA and ChildFund to become the basis of the ATLAS program. ChildFund New Zealand, and their country partner ChildFund Sri Lanka, in conjunction with IRA, implemented the program in Batticaloa, in the Mummanai District of Sri Lanka in 2013. The project involved thirteen days of intensive teacher training undertaken by volunteer experts from IRA over a 12-month period for eighteen primary classroom teachers from nine schools in the Mummanai District. Changes in the capacities of teachers after completing ATLAS training were illustrated by changes in their behaviors and attitudes to teaching and education, adjustment to the methods and strategies they use in their classrooms, and changes in the reactions of students.
Kids Peak Ltd in Singapore (2012–2013)
Through this 2-year project, IRA provided professional development and developed curriculum and materials for teachers at Kids Peak Ltd in Singapore, an English language and communication school. In January 2013, the school began a pilot phase targeted at children 3 to 6 years of age. The project goal was to help children become confident and articulate communicators, with strong grammatical skills and good vocabulary. While the program focused on listening and speaking skills, it also helped children to build a strong foundation in literacy and to become good readers and writers. In addition, Kids Peak addressed the issue of Singlish and was a partner of the nationwide Speak Good English Movement in Singapore.
Introducing Diagnostic Teaching Model in Bangladesh (2011–2012)
This project was initiated with Save the Children Bangladesh and National Academy for Primary Education to develop a facilitators' guide and to provide trainers training to the Government of Bangladesh officials and Save the Children Managers. The project aimed to provide training and develop training modules for the primary school level teaching. It was targeted to supplement the Government's Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) III.
Improving Quality through Reading and Assessment (IQRA) in Oman (2010–2011)
In partnership with the Ministry of Education of Oman, the purpose of this collaborative effort was to develop a high quality, nationwide, sustainable literacy professional development program to enhance the capacity of the Oman MOE. The project focused on improving Professional Development for Literacy Instruction both in and out of school. Components of the project included development and implementation of an Action Research program, a Diagnostic Teaching program and Curriculum Development.
Room to Read in Bangladesh (2010)
IRA teamed with Room to Read in Bangladesh to conduct a review of secondary data on assessments available from government and other studies. During the course of this project, IRA also conducted assessments in selected schools while interacting with teachers and students and other relevant education stakeholders to identify specific needs. IRA technical specialists worked with Room to Read-Bangladesh in the development of a program which addressed the specific needs identified and produced Observations and Suggested Literacy Activities for Room to Read Bangladesh.
Pakistan Education Sector Reform Action (ESRA) Plan/USAID in Pakistan (2003–2007)
IRA, as a partner organization to Research Triangle Institute (North Carolina), began implementing ESRA in Pakistan as part of a joint consortium in January 2003. ESRA built capacity within the Pakistani education system by strengthening education policy and planning, improving the capacity of teachers and administrators, and improving literacy and expanding public-private partnerships in the education sector. Under the agreement, RTI had overall management responsibility and worked with a consortium of international leaders in policy, decentralization, teacher training, literacy, and public-private partnership development. Each organization in the consortium was responsible for one of the four components of ESRA: policy, training, literacy, and public-private and public-community partnerships. IRA was responsible for the training component, which provided training to both school teachers and administrators to enhance the quality of public and private education. Approximately 30% of the project funds were used to support training activities, which were facilitated by American Institutes of Research, IRA, and Education Development Center. Over 45,000 teachers and education administers were trained over the course of the project, with up to 67% meeting improved performance standards.
Promoting Effective Language Development in Primary and Secondary Schools–Bangladesh)/BRAC University & Institute for Education Development (2007–2008)
IRA conducted an initial assessment focused on the situation of language development in Bangladesh, identifying key elements of workable strategies for promoting effective language development in primary and secondary schools, including mother tongue and English as a second language.
Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Literacy Hub (2006–2008)
In partnership with USAID/EQUIP, the Literacy Hub is a resource developed over a series of discussions between representatives of the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and representatives of the countries making up the Broader Middle East and North Africa region (Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen). The Literacy Hub was designed to provide policymakers and program developers in the BMENA region with an extensive database of exemplary practices and programs in literacy. The database is a diverse collection of effective programs for achieving basic literacy, academic literacy, or everyday literacy. Several key IRA literacy experts were involved in reviewing the resources submitted on the database.
Problems and Practices in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language in Bangladesh (2005)
This program provided technical assistance in the form of pedagogy training for secondary school teachers who are responsible for teaching English as a foreign language. The program had two main goals: (1) to improve the capacity and confidence of the participants as speakers of English and (2) to improve the capacity and confidence of the participants as teachers of English. The pilot project was implemented in partnership with the Dhaka Ahsania Mission, an award-winning NGO in Bangladesh. Twenty-six public school English teachers participated in this intensive in-service program developed by IRA volunteers on Effective Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. In conjunction with the pedagogy training, a daylong conference was organized on the topic of "Problems in Teaching English as a Foreign Language," with the Bangladesh Minister of Education as the keynote speaker.