What’s the safest position for a napping infant? Which immunizations should a preschooler receive? For those who work in child care programs, such vital health-related questions occur daily. Yet, many child care providers lack knowledge in basic health and safety issues. To fill this need, programs often engage child care health consultants (CCHCs), who bring up-to-date information to program staff. EDC is working with these consultants and state early childhood education and health leaders to enhance the quality of child care services around the country.
Many parents acknowledge that teenagers are drinking, but most believe that the drinkers are other people’s children. However, the numbers prove that that hope is likely to be false. In Revere, Massachusetts, for example, surveys found that more than half of middle school students were drinkers. In response, community members invited EDC to help parents and others understand and reduce underage drinking.
When her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, EDC’s Eileen Mackin was shocked at how unfamiliar his school was with handling mental health problems. After years of talking, learning, and advocating, she is now creating resources so other parents and schools can learn from her experiences. With funds from the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation, she has developed a pamphlet for parents on how they can work with their child’s school on mental health issues and is producing a companion pamphlet for schools.
EDC’s Adult Literacy Media Alliance (ALMA) has developed “Health Smarts While You Wait,” a volunteer-based health literacy program implemented in clinic and hospital waiting rooms to help patients improve their health literacy and manage their healthcare more effectively.
EDC staff in Thailand enlisted the help of local university students to bring greater public attention to the scope of the HIV/AIDS crisis in that country. In partnership with film students from Chulalongkorn University (Chula), project staff researched, wrote, and produced three short documentary films that report on factors contributing to the epidemic, the plight of children orphaned by it, and promising new community-based responses.
Like many math teachers over the last three decades, Al Cuoco of the Center for Mathematics Education (CME) was dissatisfied with most of the commercially available curricula. For the past five years, he has worked “to create the mathematics texts I always yearned for.”
Seeking to improve mathematics education at the graduate level, EDC’s new Center for the Scholarship of School Mathematics is hosting a summer institute for university faculty. During the weeklong institute, faculty members will explore mathematics curricula at the K–12 level and then design similar experiences for their doctoral students.
How can districts reduce teacher turnover? What math programs work for children with disabilities? Can high school administrators increase parent involvement? These are just a few of the questions educators and policymakers wrestle with as they work to meet federal requirements while also educating an increasingly diverse student body. To aid states, the federal government’s Institute of Education Sciences supports regional educational labs that develop and share the best in educational research.
Kit Yasín directs projects in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Horn of Africa. Her work in interactive radio instruction, educational songwriting, and girls’ education has brought her to Haiti, Ethiopia, Colombia, Egypt, Somalia, Gambia, Grenada, and Djibouti. She works in EDC’s International Education Systems
Division in Washington, D.C.
This spring, Arab young people joined their contemporaries from around the world at a national service-learning conference held in New Mexico. At a panel called “Youth Leadership in the Arab World Post 9/11,” the participants countered negative stereotypes of Muslim youth today and shared their values, accomplishments, and aspirations for their region and the world. The conference drew nearly 3,000 participants.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to breaking down cultural stereotypes and crossing linguistic barriers. That’s the thinking behind a new curriculum for Japanese schoolchildren that uses picture books to help Japanese students learn about the United States. The curriculum was developed by EDC and Japan’s Iwate University, with funding from the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership.
A lush mangrove forest with its wealth of tropical plants, animals, and sea organisms, one of the most biodiverse wetland habitats on the planet, thrives just off the coast of Colombia. For children in a local neighborhood, the mangroves are a gateway to discovering ecology—and computer software.
Even when students can read, do they always understand? That is the concern of EDC’s literacy experts, who are exploring the use of technology in boosting three key aspects of reading comprehension: identifying themes, sorting information, and connecting ideas.
Keeping young people in school longer and improving teacher quality are two top challenges facing educators in Yemen today. Leaders from public and private sectors as well as members of the international donor community and the Ministry of Education met recently to focus on ways to propel Yemen’s education system forward through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The summit was convened by the Ministry and EDC.
Siobhan Bredin, of EDC’s Education, Employment, and Community Programs, returned recently from the United Nations, where she addressed an international conference on girls and technology. She directs the ITEST Learning Resource Center at EDC, and is a member of the International Taskforce on Women and ICTs. Siobhan shared her thoughts about the worldwide challenge of encouraging young women and girls to pursue careers in science and technology.
What does it take to turnaround an “underperforming” district? This question becomes more urgent every day as the number of districts earning this designation grows—and the consequences get tougher.
For EDC’s Barbara Miller, “turnaround partner” for the Winchendon (Massachusetts) Public Schools, the answer begins with some hard thinking about where an outside advisor like herself can have the biggest impact quickly.