Curricula For Change!

Curricula For Change!

Cambridge, United StatesCambridge, Tanzania
a
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Curricula for Change! Bringing peace to Africa through educational empowerment.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Right now, across Africa, waves of violence and poverty that stems from a lack of empathy between groups and low education levels continues to impede progress on the continent.In most African nations, there is a dire need for national education that empowers citizens with the ability to think through issues to reach peaceful progressive solutions. Tanzania is one of those nations. Tanzania currently faces a shortage of 85,000 teachers,low literacy levels, overcrowded classrooms and limited resources. Moreover, Tanzania does not currently feature a curriculum that supports the development of empathy and problem solving skills in its citizens. Such a national curriculum could help prevent future coup attempts in the democratic country, like the one we are witnessing now in Mali.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The multi-pronged solution to this national and continental issue is "Curricula For Change!," a scripted curriculum that uses the Tanzanian National Curriculum as a foundation to teach empathy and empower adolescents to be the engineers of social change while boosting literacy. The present prototype for CFC is the Tanzania Forms 3 and 4 English Language Curriculum. CFC uses games, dialogue and debates to raise adolescent awareness on child poverty, AIDS, the casualties of war and green technology use in Tanzania. African leaders like Wangari Maathai, are presented as models whose actions students can emulate. Lessons are constructed with the expectation that each class has forty to fifty students and teachers only have the curriculum itself, paper, pencils, chalk and household items at their disposal. Thus this innovation relies on creative improvisation to address the problem of limited resources, yet still maintains high academic standards for students.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Currently, much of the materials used in Tanzanian schools does not explicitly reveal to students how they can be agents for positive change in their country. Through daily instruction CFC will reveal to students that a better world is possible and can be created with their own hands. The CFC curricula is simple; it consists of a teachers manual for each grade level that comes complete with articles and worksheets that can be copied for student use. Initially these manuals will be distributed to World Teach Volunteers who will work in different schools across Tanzania. These teachers will be free to share the materials with fellow Tanzanian teachers who want to use them. Once the pilot program establishes student literacy growth through ongoing assessment results, I plan to partner with Uwezo Tanzania and the Tanzanian Ministry of Education to implement this curriculum in secondary schools nationwide. Pilot implementation of the CFC curriculum will begin this August. Although this program will be initially implemented through World Teach in Tanzania, it is my ultimate goal to partner with other education non-profits across Africa to create country specific curricula that focuses on empathy and self empowerment through social change. The ultimate goal of breaking the cycle of violence in Africa will be met by instilling empathy and problem solving skills in students through these tailor made nation wide curricula.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

While there are competitors who are creating scripted curriculum to foster the development of bilingual learning in Tanzania, these curricula do not focus on empowering students to be advocates for social change in their own nation. At present, Tanzanian secondary schools only deliver learning in English. The creators of bilingual curricula seek to change Tanzania's laws so secondary schools will teach in Kiswahili, with English as a secondary language. If those developers succeed in convincing the ministry to change their laws, Curricula for Change would have to be translated for use in schools.
About You
Organization:
World Teach
About You
First Name

Kenya

Last Name

Mitchell

About Your Organization
Organization Name

World Teach

Organization Country

, Cambridge

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

Your role in Education

Other.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
How long has your solution been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Curricula for Change- Bringing peace to Africa through educational empowerment.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Curricula for Change is a low-cost, high-engagement educational program that will empower adolescents and boost literacy in Tanzania.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

At present, this curriculum has not been implemented in classrooms. Curriculum use will begin August 2012.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

I project if CFC curricula is implemented nationwide in Tanzania, it will boost secondary school graduates literacy levels by over 100%. These graduates will have the capability to think critically about social issues, which will make them better candidates for college and careers in Tanzania's public service sectors.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Two major barriers facing this project is attaining approval from the Tanzanian Ministry of Education to implement this program. To overcome hesitation on the part of the Ministry, I plan to provide them with data from the pilot program that indicates CFC's curricula teaches empathy in addition to literacy.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

75% of all CFC students will be able to discuss social justice issues and propose their own empathetic solutions.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Conduct teacher training in Dar Es Salaam.

Task 2

Administer initial assessment at the beginning of the year for baseline student data.

Task 3

Administer a mid year formative essay assessment to students and conduct teacher interviews for feedback on the program.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

80% of Form 4 students who have studied under the CFC program will pass the National English Language exam and the CFC exam.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Modify curriculum as needed based on mid year assessments.

Task 2

Implement modified curriculum and chart student development through informal classroom assessments.

Task 3

Administer summative assessments to determine student need levels that must be corrected prior to the national exam.

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

During my time at Harvard's School of Education, professors and visitors alike have stressed innovation as a vehicle for social change. I always assumed it had to be something technical, like creating social media to engage youth. However, when I began working as World Teach's Tanzania Curriculum Developer, the Director, Helen Claire Sievers, mentioned the program I was developing for World Teach stood a good chance of being used nationwide by Tanzania's Ministry of Education because the country is desperate for educational resources. At that moment I realized every word I put on the page had implications for other people's lives. If co-opted, my curriculum, made of only paper and imagination, will eventually reach thousands of students with minimal effort on my part. I decided then to make sure every lesson was infused with issues surrounding empathy and social justice that provide opportunities for students to develop problem solving skills at low cost.

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

At present I am a partner with World Teach and Uwezo Tanzania. As an World Teach employee, I am required to create curriculum for volunteer use. World Teach has ties with the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and has a history of providing educational materials for developing countries, like Rwanda. Uwezo charts literacy development in Tanzania, Kenya and other countries. I am currently using their data to determine where there is the most need in Tanzania.Upon my arrival in Tanzania, I will work with Uwezo's researchers to draft other solutions for the country's educational crisis.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

In order for the CFC curriculum to work, I will need a team of teachers and field coordinators to ensure effective implementation. The World Teach program provides this team since this curriculum was developed for the organization's use.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Currently I need funding to travel to Tanzania this August to conduct teacher training workshops, school visits and meet with educational leaders.