How can afterschool programs
make the most of technology, meet the needs of diverse students, and
achieve multiple program goals, all while staying within budget? A new
online resource from EDC can help.
With 50 percent of students in Malawi dropping out of school
by fifth grade, the Malawian government decided to try a new
approach: it introduced an innovative national curriculum, which
today is rapidly gaining in popularity among teachers and
While pregnancy rates among teens in the United States have declined over the past decade, they continue to remain higher among Latinas than any other ethnic group. An innovative EDC teen pregnancy program, shown to be successful among English-speaking families, is now being tailored for Spanish-speaking communities.
Like many school districts across the nation, Rochester, Minnesota, struggles to address the disparities in academic achievement among its students. Helping this city of 100,000 identify and address these gaps is the focus of new research conducted by EDC.
“We needed the school and community to see that addressing the gaps in education was important for all children, not just those of color and with disabilities,” says EDC’s David Riley.
A Caribbean nation determined to address long-standing inequities in its education system is building a long-term national reform program on comprehensive research developed by an EDC team. The reform effort, led by the education ministry, aims to increase educational access and quality in Trinidad and Tobago.
For years, EDC trained African teachers on the basics of HIV prevention—consistently using a condom, for example, or asserting oneself in relationships. Yet teachers would return to environments where traditional gender roles did not support these behaviors.
Because cystic fibrosis (CF) heightens risk of infection, teens are isolated from those who could give them much-needed support: other teens with CF. But now, with help from EDC, they will be able to connect via the Internet.
“Zanzibar is a small place, and everyone knows everyone,” reflects
EDC’s Suzanne Simard. Recently, she has been spending a lot of time on
this island, part of Tanzania and just off the east coast of Africa.
There, she has worked with the Ministry of Education to pilot models
for the development of Zanzibar’s first-ever system of public
preschools. She and her colleagues are involved in every aspect of
preschool startup—from developing curriculum to training teachers to
distributing chalk and counting cubes.
Over the next 18 months, EDC will investigate how universities work with school districts to train principals, and which features of that partnership work best. The Wallace Foundation has awarded EDC $1.2 million to explore university-district preparation programs, using surveys, interviews, and observations to document the kinds of curricula, field experiences, and recruitment practices used in the programs.
As schools in the Gulf Coast struggle to rebuild now more than two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region, a new initiative is infusing technology into seven districts in Mississippi and in New Orleans’ Jefferson Parish. EDC is a key research partner in this three-year, $41 million initiative by Cisco.
The typical science textbook is a dense read, presenting students with a highly specialized vocabulary and hundreds of new terms. For students with language-based disabilities, textbooks can be an insurmountable barrier to success in science.
It’s not easy to be a student in Somalia, a nation wracked by persistent violence. With 60 percent of residents fleeing Mogadishu, the capital, to live in camps, EDC and local teachers are working to ensure that learning continues. One key strategy is to reach into the camps with a regular schedule of educational radio programs.
When communities set out to reduce teen alcohol and drug use, they are often hampered by a lack of understanding and denial about the problems. EDC is working with 18 Boston-area towns to collect information on youth drinking and drug use and to help inform responses that will work.
For many schools, it’s difficult to find the right combination of communication, compassion, and connection to help students who are struggling because of disabilities or ethnic or linguistic differences. While all schools are required to develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities, these programs often focus on addressing deficits and do not reflect the whole student or the family’s hopes for that child’s future.
How should mathematics instruction change to fit the needs of students
with learning disabilities? Fred Gross, principal investigator of EDC’s
Addressing Accessibility in Mathematics, has been helping teachers across the United States answer this question.