How do we change learning? It’s not just about getting computers and teaching kids to use them, it is about deepening and accelerating the learning. Change attitudes and a vision of what learning can be.
In the 21st century model of learning, teachers are no longer delivering learning, they are mentors, guides, collaborators in learning activities. They are empowering children to think on their own, to articulate and understand their own learning process, and to excel.
The hurdles are many: too many children, too few teachers, too few laptops, not enough time in a school days. And often there is not the teacher capacity or the resources to direct students past the standard content and expectations. The biggest hurdle however is often built in cultural attitudes towards learning and the potential of the children.
The large population of African children y must be ready to take on real world challenges now, before they are have finished their schooling. This requires a new approach. Project based learning is one of these approaches.
We are very grateful for Chole Richard’s work with Hands of Charity to help them fully use this model, and implement child centered learning in their projects. Even though these hands on projects have been going on for a couple of years, the students must learn now to lead them, and go further in their learning.
We must work with the students on all fronts, improving their writing, articulation of ideas, critical thinking, understanding of social cultural issues, and the means of cultural change, become true advocates of their country’s future.
Hands of Charity now has full access to the internet to expand the research, reading, and literacy of their students. They have tools for accelerating mathematics in Turtle Blocks, and Scratch. They are good at using media, images and song to express their ideas. They can find on-line information they need to improve the science of their projects – digging into the ecological issues of animal habitats, and the cultural structure of wild animal life.
We have great hopes for you all.
Here are girl’s working on Scratch in November during Sandra Thaxter’s visit. And Elvis one of our talented artists.