Blended Center in Tanzania

CCDO

The Children Care Development Organization is an NGO established in 2010.  Over the past 5 years has initiated programs in leadership training, ICT, and providing rehabilitative services for persons with disabilities.  The Organization designs and implements other projects in partnership with other governmental and non-governmental organizations from within and outside the country. Among the initiatives include environmental protection, empowerment and promotion of youths' and women's rights, health promotion and entrepreneurship.  

CCDO has partnered with the Enabling Support Foundation, a 501c (3) with a mission to facilitate education and accommodation of disability.  The staff of ESF has been working online in disability, and education since 1981 and experienced with the effective use of limited technology.   ESF has expertise in Neuropsychology and Reading Disability, School Psychology, Blindness, and Family Dynamics. 

The integration of the “hands on” experience of CCDO and the ESF support from the Cloud has led to the 21st Century construct: Blended.  Start with a well-run physical plant and add the power of the Internet, and it is a blended center.

CCDO and ESF have created Peace Flame Center that integrates a school based on 21st Century education philosophy, and professional development courses for teachers in the 21st Century.

The Adolescent Academy has a mission to support the maturation of teenagers into the responsible adults in the 21st Century.  The curriculum may be defined as “What you have to know to survive in the 21st Century”.  This involves social interactions which lead to topics as sociology and psychology in yourselves as well as others, legal issues as governance and personal finance.  The Academy will concentrate on those maturational factors, as well as literary and artistic and scientific factors.  Gender equality is a prime goal.  Adolescent males and females will learn to work and respect one another.  Project based learning will become a team effort with boys and girls working together throughout the school years.   

 

There are more than 22,000 individuals with disability in the Iringa area of Tanzania.  There are diverse problems, such as blindness, paralysis, autism, and many more.  But, the staff is unlikely to be experienced with all disabilities.  Persons with disabilities battle with ostracism, pariah status, and neglect.  There are many in remote villages that will never come to a Center.

The Blended CCDO Center can help those who came for help in virtually any area.  The local staff are supplemented by access to experts and expertise in diverse areas including documents and online communication.  This allows a flexible plan of action for anyone with special needs.

Currently, CCDO is developing a Blended Cultural Center for research and support of art and artists.  The productions of students will be collected, indexed, and archived, and it will be possible to follow the work of students over the years.  In addition, it will be used to identify and foster talent.  There will be exhibits of works and eventually a museum.

That is CCDO today.  But tomorrow, CCDO has become a leader in emerging strategies for education in the 21st Century.  The implications of those stateties are a major focus of this nomination.

 

 

Education will function for the 21st Century with three simple and inexpensive changes. 

 

Change One

Postpone the alphabet until the child can read.  Then use words they read to teach the letters and sounds in that word.  Babies can learn to read before they can speak.  Give them a keyboard and they are writing.

Change Two
Substitute estimation for arithmetic and teach mathematics on a spreadsheet.  Much of what we call math phobia is really a dislike of arithmetic.  Estimation is more intuitive.  A close answer is usually good enough.  If we truly needed an exact answer, we would use a computer, not arithmetic. 

Change Three
Use a Project Based Learning and Authentic Assessment model for teaching and evaluation.  Project Based Learning means learning on the job.  Students complete tasks and the teacher rates them: Authentic Assessment.  It is precisely how well a student performed. The actual project is still available for future use.

 

CCDO in partnership with ESF are modifying the original model to meet the needs of Tanzania.  They are creating TZ 21 a national model for 21st Century Education.  The Ministry of Education has endorsed TZ 21, and CCDO accredited to teach others.  A short summary.

 

Reading and Writing

Traditional reading starts with the alphabet and the sounds of letters.  The child learns to put the letters and sounds together.  Child must speak before they can read. 

If you postpone the alphabet, you learn to read the way you learned to hear.   Word by word, not sound by sound.  Parents show the text of the word they are saying.  If the child can get meaning from the spoken word, the child can get meaning from the printed word.  That means they understand the spoken and visual word.  But we wait until they are old enough to say the alphabet.

Children can read before they speak and we waste years before they are taught how to read in school.  Give children a keyboard and they are writing. They will come to school reading, writing, and online. 

Mathematics and Science

In the 19th Century arithmetic was the gateway to mathematics and science.  This is not true in the 21st Century.  Why waste all those years with arithmetic? 

The Science and Mathematics initiative is aimed at the shortage of STEM students, especially among girls.  TZ 21 automates the tedium of arithmetic and replaces it with intuitive estimation and the flexible and exact solutions of a spreadsheet.  The student solves a problem or creates a new problem using those tools.  It is more likely to attract students than arithmetic based mathematics.

Project Based Learning and Authentic Assessment

Project Based Learning is an outgrowth of the lesson plans the teacher already use in their classes.  ESF has created Teaching Fellowships for five teachers, who will receive intensive support in using TZ 21 in their own classes.  They will share what they have learned with their colleagues, who may try it on their own.

This is a replacement for the “test”.  It looks for the facts you know and then predict how you will perform in the future.  Authentic Assessment evaluates how they actually have performed.  No need to predict.

This will be a breath of fresh air for Education.