Reading in Africa: Teacher Training at Naguru Parents School

June 19, 2013 By

This post is the first piece to the “What does a Worldreader Kit Launch Look Like?” series by our team member Kimee Johnson who is on the ground in Uganda this week launching a new e-reader program. Kimee will be reporting daily as project managers, teachers and students are trained. Today’s post is about the teacher training.

by Kimee Johnson, Assistant Partnership Development Manager

“She’s getting naked under the table!” A Primary Two student screamed at Professor Diane Ross right after she read the story “The Naked Mole Rat gets Dressed.” Professor Ross and a group of Otterbein University students substituted for Naguru Parents School Teachers today. Without the Otterbein support, teachers wouldn’t have been able to attend a full day of e-reader teacher training and development today. We thank them for their incredible support and partnership in in fighting illiteracy.

We moved directly from Project Manager training to teacher training. Before training began, we gave the first ever “e-reader survey” to examine what our teachers know about the devices before they receive formal training. Tomorrow they will receive post-tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Thanks to Sarah Jaffe in our San Francisco office for creating those surveys for us!

Our Teacher Training provoked us to think about the most effective ways to train teachers with the e-readers. From our experiences throughout Africa, we have learned first-hand that teachers are eager to increase their knowledge. Teachers receive e-reader training certificates at the completion of every workshop (at the community launch at the end of the week), and, boy do they earn them!. Our certified e-reader training courses take over six hours.

During every teacher training session we encounter pedagogical conflicts: teaching methods in the U.S. are very different from teaching methods in Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and our other partner countries.

Thanks to Professor Ross’ and Professor Adele Weiss’ insights, in its long-term goals Worldreader will be considering how to most effectively incorporate the e-readers into nation-specific curricula, improving our literacy program in Africa.

We’re so excited for Student Training tomorrow. Today and every day has taught us that every Worldreader launch is an ever-evolving, ever-improving process.