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South Sudan has one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world

South Sudan has one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world | EdDev | Scoop.it

"“Our parents look at us and see hundreds of cows,” Winny Nyilueth Athian, a South Sudanese eighth grader told the website The Niles. The cows she refers to are the dowry parents receive for marrying off their daughters. “They see the education of girls as of little use and they also think schooling devalues their cultural beliefs.”"

 

A commenter, Karl J. Kinkhead, raises a good question: "The lack of education is influenced by the lack of funding, but how much more is it lacking in South Sudan because education is not valued? How do we raise the priority for eduction among the parents and other family members?". 

I am careful, though, before generalising to say that all South Sudanese parents do not care for their daughters' education. The article lacks cultural and historical context, even if it must be addressed, as this spokesgirl clearly cries out.

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Exploring questions about education in the context of sustainable development.
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Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling

Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling | EdDev | Scoop.it

"Recently Ashoka held a series of summits with leading social entrepreneurs from around the world focused on globalizing innovative models for social change [...] We put social entrepreneurs in a room with open source experts for three days. It was an exercise in cross-pollination, an experiment to see how these communities might play together."

 

SSIR's clear suggestions for the cross-platform application of open source concepts and its benefits are as follows:

1. Turn beneficiaries into co-creators

2. Move from enterprise to ecosystem - essentially, engage in a deeper level of cooperation with others

3. Give away more freely, relinquishing owning materials and concepts

4. Spark entrepreneurship inside and outside your organization

5. Allow for mutability

 

Besides from being partial to the cross-pollination model, I think the intersection between social entrepreneurship and open source requires more attention, and not just from a (personal) moral ethical standpoint. As a deeper extension of knowledge sharing, this is a potent example of the more common educatory practices today.

 

Also, what if schools and universities were run like this?

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Terry Elliott's comment, August 23, 2012 4:11 PM
Your las t question is one I asked too. I have heard it said too that we want to move from an egosystem to an ecosystem. Mutability, too. Resonates sympathetically. Very interesting.
Shaz J's comment, August 26, 2012 4:22 AM
I like that phrase "egosystem to ecosystem". Thank you.
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Compensating policies for small schools and regional inequalities

Compensating policies for small schools and regional inequalities | EdDev | Scoop.it

The Indian government gives more resources to small schools on the assumption that smaller villages are poorer to avoid multigrade teaching to improve learning.

 

However, these new findings suggest it is not multigrade teaching _per se_, but larger classes, which have negative consequences.

 

Also, smaller does not neccesarily mean poorer.

 

So, by trying to overcompensate, you mess things up. Being sensitive to situations in a region as diverse as India proves once again ever important.

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The future of education in Africa is mobile

The future of education in Africa is mobile | EdDev | Scoop.it
United Nation’s mobile learning specialist Steve Vosloo argues phones could be the future of education on the continent.

 

Particularly interesting: Yoza Cellphone Stories, http://bit.ly/9KucxT,

m-novels and other m-reading with an impressive reader base.

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How to Be an Explorer of the World

How to Be an Explorer of the World | EdDev | Scoop.it
"Every morning when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift!

 

Not specifically Dev - but good to keep in mind for all. Sometimes there's _too much_ focus on quantifiable educational objectives. What if we pushed to develop holistic education and fostered inquisitiveness?

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The right to education: Campaign video

Civil society's role in delivering the right to education - A Global Campaign for Education film about the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF). 

 

Always nice to hear some good stories.

 

Ignoring the obvious positive bias, I think it's a good video - depending on who you're aiming for. As an investor, sure. As your friendly neighbourhood laywoman web user, I zone out around the 3min mark, after Senegal.

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Will boys and girls have equal access to education in 2015?

Will boys and girls have equal access to education in 2015? | EdDev | Scoop.it
By Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report As the 2015 deadline draws near, is the world on track to give its boys and girls the same chance to get a good education...

 

A new series by the EFA commenting on each of the EFA goals and how they're doing.

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Digital Writing in the mRevolution

Digital Writing in the mRevolution | EdDev | Scoop.it

"...That might be the connection between texting and “work” writing — one form might feed and facilitate the other.

“Our students write more than any generation in history,” Gabrill said. “They have to be doing something right.”

 

As mobile phones become more and more prevalent in the Global South, their uses keep expanding, from banking to healthcare provision. Why not extend the use to education?

Granted - in many contexts, the concern is more about a healthy environment to grow up in, in all senses of the word, then ensuring they have the latest smartphone techonology - and rightly so. But I will suggest that the spread of digital writing can open opportunities for education in a different package, especially, perhaps, in adult literacy.

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Banking by and for India's street children

Banking by and for India's street children | EdDev | Scoop.it

 My first reaction was shock - shouldn't these kids be in school? Well, yes. But instead of lamenting the big things, start small. 

Providing working and street children with the option to save their money can teach them responsibility of a different kind then what they may be used to. There is also a strong sense of empowerement. Self-respect. Democracy. Hope. 

 

Teach life skills for those who have no illusions about life. 

 

The organization in question, Butterflies, also has a Children's Council - http://bit.ly/QD3Bzj  - how's that for participatory management? 

 

The article mentions that the childrens' shelters have "school classes", which sounds a bit meagre, but after looking at their website, I'm far more impressed with their mobile and street educators.

 

(My) First impressions then can be naive, unwarranted and "top-down", thinking about what should be. Instead, like Butterflies, think about what _is_, and respond. 

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South Sudan has one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world

South Sudan has one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world | EdDev | Scoop.it

"“Our parents look at us and see hundreds of cows,” Winny Nyilueth Athian, a South Sudanese eighth grader told the website The Niles. The cows she refers to are the dowry parents receive for marrying off their daughters. “They see the education of girls as of little use and they also think schooling devalues their cultural beliefs.”"

 

A commenter, Karl J. Kinkhead, raises a good question: "The lack of education is influenced by the lack of funding, but how much more is it lacking in South Sudan because education is not valued? How do we raise the priority for eduction among the parents and other family members?". 

I am careful, though, before generalising to say that all South Sudanese parents do not care for their daughters' education. The article lacks cultural and historical context, even if it must be addressed, as this spokesgirl clearly cries out.

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Open Education for a Global Economy | Workplace skills training

Open Education for a Global Economy | Workplace skills training | EdDev | Scoop.it

"A little-known company is finding success offering free online education around the world."

 

Besides being all for free, easily-accessible education, ALISON is offering skills training for employability, and seem to have really thought it through, by targeting their audience and keeping standards high.

I would argue  against the statement "that the scope of the problem necessitates a business approach", but they're doing good work.

 

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Okonjo-Iweala Faults Structure of Nigeria's Educational System | Education appeals to the financially-wise

Okonjo-Iweala Faults Structure of Nigeria's Educational System | Education appeals to the financially-wise | EdDev | Scoop.it

"The minister called for a paradigm shift, saying there was need for quality education to drive the country's growth... 'That is what Korea did to transform their economy', she added."

 

There discussion is on improved education, standardization, required qualifications. All excellent. As for access - Nigerian basic education is free and compulsory, but not taken advantage of.

 

What about teacher support? Though the call for a rethink is admirable, let us hope the system does not fall prey to the fate of teachers in the UK today, teaching to exams and points rather than the students.

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OpenRelief: Clearing the Fog of Disaster | Education doesn't stop

OpenRelief: Clearing the Fog of Disaster | Education doesn't stop | EdDev | Scoop.it

"I think these kinds of models are the wave of the world's future not just in developing worlds.  What the article talks about is free and unfettered information--isn't that the tacit condition for all learning not just disaster learning?  Perhaps Ushahidi (http://ushahidi.com/) is  a good model for school reform." ~ Terry.

 

The suggestion of this design - open source robotic airplanes to collect information in disaster relief situations - is intriguing, as it's really stretching the boundaries of what I had anticipated for this curation exercise. Which is great! Stories like these are really at the intersection of some great currents = open source + communication + education in all situations + aid/development + technology and innovation.

Some may argue against innovation, but the starting point is that collecting information in disaster situations is difficult at best. 

 

Other than that, I think there's a hidden gem in the article describing most good ideas: "Thinking lead to talking, and talking like to more intelligent people thinking. That snowballed and lead to where we are today.

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Education for Sustainable Development Sourcebook

"The purpose of the publication is to describe ways in which education for sustainable development (ESD) can be integrated into primary and secondary schooling. This  collection of briefs is designed to complement other ESD materials published by UNESCO."

 

It's good to see that the sustainable development discourse has solidified into a tool for educating the youth. Also because it does seem to have it's head screwed on it's shoulders properly: "Meeting the learning needs of all pupils in the classroom is a form of social equity, which is a core concept of sustainability." Hear hear.

 

The sourcebook is packed with guidelines for smoothly changing curriculums, teacher worksheets and sound educational theory. I have yet to hear any reviews of its use in the classroom, but I find that it's not a totally isolated instance: http://bit.ly/MMmFZs

 

I like that this is focused on content and cultivating critical thinking in children, as opposed to an overemphasis on the tools. Is it a result of our (my?) consumer culture that ICT in education is more prevalent than this?

 

[Inner cynic: "Sustainable development is the overarching paradigm of the United Nations." - Sure, that's why Rio+20 was such a brilliant success.]


Via Sarantis Chelmis
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dzintra's comment, July 21, 2012 8:21 AM
for me
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Literacy: Let’s listen to what adults want to learn

Literacy: Let’s listen to what adults want to learn | EdDev | Scoop.it

"Until we acknowledge that the word ‘literacy’ means different things to different people at different times, basic adult education is likely to continue as the poor relation and offspring of formal schooling."

 

Argument for using the m revolution + daily life learning for literacy learning. 

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Education: An Unstoppable Tide

Education: An Unstoppable Tide | EdDev | Scoop.it

More happy stories.

 

Gem: "Empowerment is a deceptive word. It is meant to capture a sense of an individual’s control over her own life, of her ability to make choices. But it also often contains a sense of passivity: a hint that power is being granted to individuals, handed over to them like a bag of grain. [...] In fact, true power is not about handouts or handovers. It is about eliminating barriers –– such as ignorance, poverty or hunger –– so that individuals have the chance to achieve their potential."

 

[Thanks Dad!]

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Terry Elliott's comment, December 19, 2012 3:06 AM
This idea is unstoppable. It asserts that our power is always there and that education in its simplest form is the sweeping away of stuff in the way. This is the kind of motto that posits trust in the inate capacity of all people to learn along with a simple action plan for helping them achieve that. I love it and thanks for inspiration here, Shaz.
Terry Elliott's curator insight, December 19, 2012 3:10 AM

You are the blocking tackle running interference for your students sweeping away impediments to their learning. Be fierce.

Shaz J's comment, December 26, 2012 1:59 PM
I'm glad :) We all need happy stories to remind us of the good in the world and that good work can and should be done. Happy holidays!
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Poverty, not bad teachers, is what plagues our schools - Daniel Akst

Poverty, not bad teachers, is what plagues our schools - Daniel Akst | EdDev | Scoop.it
Are American schools the best in the world? The answer is a resounding maybe.

 

"As Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond points out, U.S. 15-year olds in schools with fewer than 10 percent of kids eligible for free or cut-rate lunch "score first in the world in reading, outperforming even the famously excellent Finns.""

I'd like to do a bit more research to see the set-up and numbers in that study.

 

However, it's refreshing to hear a different tale than "get better teachers". And maybe lessons can be learnt from elsewhere, should pride not get in the way.

 

Originally linked from Huff Post: http://huff.to/O6tbu3

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Teaching children journalism to strengthen democracy and development

Teaching children journalism to strengthen democracy and development | EdDev | Scoop.it
In one Bangladeshi neighbourhood, children are being taught the skills to tell their stories to share with a society that often ignores them.

 

"But, in a country of 150 million, a team of 15 student writers and 15 volunteer youth editors will need a lot more time to make their voices heard. Instead, the greatest achievement was what the children learnt about the complexity of news and the art of telling a story. In other words, it has increased their media literacy."

 

Carter emphasises the need for time to forge learning with impact, just like these youngsters needed time to gain skills and awareness. Personally, that is a comforting reminder.

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Unintended consequences of free education? | Chris Blattman

Controversial curation by the great Chris Blattman - suggesting free primary education in Uganda has led to parents giving up any responsibility or care about it as they've not made any investments.

 

Comments are always useful: with the cost of books, uniforms and less hands around the house, it's not "free", but also the composition of the people who attend change as a result of change in policy.

 

@boysenandrew: "intuitively counterintuitive" 

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Give them knowledge and they will demand more

Give them knowledge and they will demand more | EdDev | Scoop.it

There are a lot of layers to Friendman's article that tries to raise awareness of the comparatively "mediocre" results of American education.

 

As an economist, he naturally conceives of the issue in economist's terms, with a global outlook. Yet the social inequality that results from the great educational divide is also a serious issue, which takes a different viewpoint.

 

One of the comments by Len Charlap links to  http://bit.ly/fAMi83  and highlights that Finland's education system is so successful because "they've won the war for talent by making teaching so appealing" with high salaries and competition.

 

Even this is a sort of commodification, but I am not totally against that; psychologically, we need markers to measure, compare and evaluate. 

 

What I found striking is the mention of a OECD global school ranking comparison platform soon to be available (inshallah), which hopes to push parents to demand more by helping to make it clear to them that American education is lagging. The idea of information availability is important - now let's just see the validity of data and the public reaction. I'm not sure how this will get advertised to entice parents to take on that responsibility.

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Give the kids food and the parents will send them to school

Seems simple, right? 

 

Then why did we need a strong evaluation to confirm it? 

 

The other alternative was providing food subsidies to the family, as opposed to directly targeted to the child. The question is about where do your priorities lie?

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Isn’t the HIV pandemic just due to a lack of [basic HIV] education?

"I get this question all the time. The answer is no."

 

"So awareness alone is not the answer. What is the answer? We don’t know. If we knew for sure why HIV is a catastrophe here in Southern Africa and never much more than a moderate problem anywhere else in the world, we could probably do something about it."

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Stephen Ritz | Education, Food and Jobs!

TED Talks A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery -- and jobs.

 

This is a step-up from previous posts about growing food in school settings. Not only is Ritz a great, arm-waving presenter, but the work is pretty damn good. Education, food, sales, skills, job, leading to further education and greater opportunities. 

Results speak for themselves: The kids in his class went from 43% attendance to 90-something%. As you can see, that really stuck with me. They also made money to reinvest in the project, and went to college. 

 

More and more we hear the same cry: invest in education!

Again, there is the technology of "21st century lighting" (which made "21st century money!"), and funding via grants, but the sense of breaking down the barriers which are only mental is truly there, using whatever space available. In that line, one of the commenters mentioned a similar project in Kinshasa - more updates coming if I can get 'em.  

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Terry Elliott's comment, August 11, 2012 6:26 PM
Let me tell you--reconnecting to our biological roots is going to be absolutely necessary if we are going to survive in a future that is unsustainable as it is. Projects like these are the first steps in putting the 'culture' back into agriculture.
Shaz J's comment, August 12, 2012 4:54 AM
I think its absolutely great! As well it's also a question of awareness, and teaching kids that vegetables dont "come from" supermarket shelves.
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Petina Gappah Revisits Her Childhood Schools

Petina Gappah Revisits Her Childhood Schools | EdDev | Scoop.it

"My journey around my childhood confirms that, far from being an enabler and builder, the government has actually been an inhibitor and destroyer. The successful schools are those where government interference is felt the least, private schools that, untainted by government control, have managed to thrive.

 

Even in the government schools, though, all is not quite lost.

Individuals have managed to make a difference, even against the odds"

 

Just how far can an individual go?

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Aquaponics - Food Security and Education?

Aquaponics - Food Security and Education? | EdDev | Scoop.it

"For the past four years, teachers have had the ability to transcend their classroom barriers, abandon traditional pedagogy methods and bring their students – out from behind their desks – and into the garden..."

 

Cutting-edge systems in/out of schools that bring learners closer to where the real stuff happens is only beneficial. The attention and engagement means that usually learning goes through the roof. 


Could innovations like these work in more poverty-stricken countries, killing two birds with one stone? Potentially, yes. If it's done widely enough, it could even set up the school lunch.

 

Pros: They're are mostly donation-based, and since most of their sponsors are close to home and specific to these kinds of projects, the procurements of funds has been well-managed. [http://lynnhappens.com/?p=5608] Funds abound, you just need to know who your audience is and how to pitch it. 

 

Cons: Access to and maintenance of technology. Otherwise, what it takes is one inspiring, committed individual to push the idea forward, but perhaps more importantly, a community and situation which is supportive. 

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Holding out for the super-voucher: Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on private v public education

Holding out for the super-voucher: Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on private v public education | EdDev | Scoop.it

The reply to Sanderfur from Watkins on Duncan Green's FP2P has reassured me. The "demolition" (to quote commenter kwame nkrumah, which I thought was pretty good) is based on the idea that Sanderfur misrepresented statistics, ignores complex relationships such as preschool malnutrition and socioeconomic background, and is sweepingly ideological.  

 

Watkins: "I have no interest in defending the indefensible quality of public education provided in many of the poorest countries. But when public education systems are broken they need fixing, not bypassing or franchising out to the private sector. And if we care about equity, there is no credible alternative to a public system that offers opportunity for all rather than choice for some."

 

As predicted, the image I am left with is that the issue of Universal Primary Education is much more complex than what the imaginary superhero of private provision could handle. 

 

On the other side, Watkins' argument does have that more heartwarming feeling, which however floppy and immeasurable it may be, is something not to lose sight of, as it is a mark of our humanity.  

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Terry Elliott's comment, August 11, 2012 6:28 PM
Gutty fellow that.
Shaz J's comment, August 12, 2012 4:55 AM
:)