Project Athena

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Project Athena

Sierra Leone
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Project Athena is a nonprofit organization committed to ensuring that every child in Sierra Leone has the opportunity to learn from a well-educated, and well-trained teacher. Our goal is to provide capacity-building solutions designed to improve the effectiveness and instructional practices of teachers. We will do so by developing a series of affordable professional development curriculum kits designed to enhance the content knowledge and instructional practices of in-service teachers; and promote the use of and establish professional learning communities in schools and districts across the country.

Our goal is to train 450 instructional coaches and teacher leaders, who in turn will redeliver training to approximately 6,000 teachers in schools throughout Sierra Leone by 2015. We will specifically target female teachers, teachers from schools with a high percentage of female students, and/or teachers who teach in rural areas where girls are more likley to face educational barriers to participate in this training.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The literature on teacher quality indicates that highly-trained teachers are a good indicator of educational quality; particularly as it relates to students’ performance and enrollment. More specifically, in developing countries, female teachers make a significant difference in a) the enrollment and retention of girls in school, and b) the quality of education female students receive. Furthermore, female teachers often mitigate cultural and social barriers to get girls enrolled, and stay in school, and provide more positive educational experiences for female students. In Sierra Leone where girls often face serious barriers to going and staying in school, female teachers can make a difference for breaking down those barriers.

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

Innovation. Meet Teacher Training. Our solution is to provide intensive professional development training to enhance the effectiveness and instructional practices of female and rural teachers. At the core of the program is the use of multimedia tools and mobile applications (apps) designed to support the development of professional competencies, and build teacher capacity. They include: - Use of mobile phones (or other devices) - Training modules to enhance teacher knowledge of content and pedagogy - Classroom observation and evaluation rubrics - Comprehensive video library of culturally-relevant classroom case studies - Interactive practice assessments to provide formative feedback These tools and apps will be used to facilitate a combination of face-to-face training, and ongoing distance learning support to provide high quality professional development and ongoing support and mentoring for teacher leaders in Sierra Leone.
Impact: How does it Work

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

1) We will train a select group of teacher to provide professional development (PD) training and follow-up classroom support in schools across the country.The one-year training program will equip these teachers with the skills and tools necessary to support other teachers and colleagues in developing effective instructional design skills, teaching strategies, and classroom management abilities across all content areas. 2) Over the course of the school year, Teacher Leaders will in turn deliver on-the-job PD training, one-on-one coaching and classroom support at their home schools. This training will comprise of a series of one and two-day workshops focused on a key content areas and/or instructional strategies to support continuous improvement in classroom teaching practices. Teacher Leaders will also provide additional one-on-one coaching and classroom support for teachers to reinforce strategies, conduct classroom observations and provide formative feedback. 3) At the end of the year, Teacher Leaders, teachers, school leaders and community stakeholders will be invited to attend a conference to present their experiences, propose best practices, and network with other education professional from across the country.