The eLearning Program is a self-contained CD-ROM curriculum. It covers the key concepts of the IRC's Healing Classrooms and relates them to programming and policy approaches in the field of education in crisis, post crisis and contexts of state fragility.
The Healing Classrooms eLearning Program was developed with the support of the Pearson Foundation. For more information, please visit www.pearsonfoundation.org.
The eLearning Program contains this introductory module – "The Basics" – plus three modules along with relevant documents and resources accessible to eLearners on CD-ROM. It includes a variety of reference materials, example tools and learning activities, most of which you can access and print directly. The sections are:
The Basics: An overview of the International Rescue Committee, the IRC's Healing Classrooms and all about the Healing Classrooms' eLearning Program.
Student Well-Being: Background information and concepts on student well-being; activities focused on program strategy development; examples of program strategies that have been piloted in initial Healing Classrooms projects.
Teacher Identity, Motivation and Well-Being: Background information and concepts on teacher identity, motivation and well-being. Included are activities focused on program strategy development and examples of program strategies piloted in the initial Healing Classrooms projects. This section also contains a Workshop Guide that provides a workshop outline for use with teachers, communities and ministry staff.
Gender Dynamics in Teaching and Learning: Background information and concepts on gender dynamics; activities focused on program strategy development, as well as on monitoring and evaluating gender-related issues. This section also contains a Workshop Guide that provides a workshop outline for use with teachers, communities and ministry staff.
The program is designed for field-based staff of IRC and its partners, working in education, child protection or youth and livelihood programs. It's also for other IRC staff responsible for education, youth and protection programs. This eLearning Program is relevant to:
Officers, managers and coordinators of education, child protection or youth and livelihood programs
Teachers and other education facilitators
Trainers and master trainers
Monitoring and evaluation officers, managers and coordinators
Program or grants managers
Senior management such as deputy directors of programs and country directors
The Healing Classrooms eLearning Program provides a comprehensive but flexible program through which staff can access professional development and learning opportunities on their own time. Additionally, it was developed to:
Build the capacity of IRC staff and partners to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate effective programs that make a positive impact for the protection, learning and overall healthy development of children and youth affected by crisis.
Support the sharing of IRC Healing Classrooms findings. Through the eLearning Program these significant "promising practices" and lessons learned can be shared with other programs and, where appropriate, integrated into ongoing projects as well as new projects being developed.
Provide learning resources for IRC and partners' field offices that have limited relevant reference and resource material on hand and that often have difficulty downloading documents from the Internet.
Question: Should the program modules and sections be studied in sequence?
Answer: The modules are interconnected, but they can also be studied as standalone units. Learners can, for example, start at the beginning and work through successive modules (and sections) over an extended period of time, cross referencing and returning back to previous modules and sections to review and to apply new perspectives. Alternatively, learners may pick any one of the modules to work with as a specific unit of study.
Question: How long is a learning session?
Answer: The time required to complete each module will depend to a great extent on the number of activities and readings that are followed up on. The learner/facilitator should select these according to his/her/the group’s priorities. On average, though, it is estimated that each module will require at least 2 to 4 hours of study time.
Question: What about the learning activities?
Answer: The activities and exercises suggested in the different modules can be worked through by an individual or as a group activity. Certain activities/exercises may be selected for group attention with others left for individual attention. See Tips for Facilitators .
Question: Are there any additional resources?
Answer: Yes.Supporting resource materials (such as additional readings, program tools, case study examples) are available in the Resource section, accessible through at the top right of this and all other pages in the program. Where resource materials should be consulted, you will see the message "Click here" and the name of the document to be accessed from the Resource section.
Question : Can I study alone?
Answer : Yes. An individual can study alone and/or the modules and sections can be read individually and discussed as a group or worked through as a group. Most of the activities are flexible, suitable for group and/or individual work.
Being part of a group can greatly enhance learning by sharing experiences and ideas. The success of a learning/training group is often linked to the leadership qualities and skill of the facilitator. Whenever possible, group facilitators should:
Supplement and contextualize the activities and reading materials – The facilitator will need to be familiar with the content of the entire section/program ahead of time, in order to select the most appropriate or priority learning activities, depending on the particular needs of the group. Additional, local materials can be selected to supplement and to contextualize, as desired by the facilitator, for example, ministry of education strategies and policies, education cluster materials.
Involve your learning group in the shaping of the learning program – If you engage your learners in making collective decisions about, for example, priority topics, speed of learning, number of readings and expected preparation and follow-up work, then the learners are likely to feel ownership of the program. They will want to see the program through to the end and to make the most of the learning experience.
Be creative to address possible language challenges – The program inevitably depends on a relatively high level of English comprehension. Texts within a section and the accompanying resource materials are of a technical nature and demand a good command of the language. However, without translating every document, a group learning process may be designed to ensure that all participants have grasped the content; for example, by having texts read and tools examined in English but then summarized and discussed in your local language.
IRC staff members are involved with varied programs in diverse contexts. They also have a wide variety of skills and experiences. Clearly, the needs of seasoned staff are very different from those who are new to the team. Long-time IRC staff members are familiar with IRC approaches but may need a focused learning experience on a particular topic. New staff members would benefit from a comprehensive package of learning and professional development that could be built into their induction and orientation process with IRC. Program flexibility takes into account:
Hectic schedules of IRC staff: Field staff are often so busy with the everyday realities of their work that they have no time to seek out additional learning materials. These realities call for a flexible, self-contained and self-paced learning package.
Diverse learning styles, paces and preferences: This program allows people to learn at their own pace. It also provides opportunities for staff to learn in different ways, such as a face-to-face, collective learning experience or individual study and review.
The Healing Classrooms eLearning Program is all about education, child protection and youth and livelihoods program and policy development in crisis and post-crisis situations, and in contexts of state fragility. This includes:
Education programs for refugee and internally displaced (IDP) communities, for returnee communities where people are making efforts to return to "normalcy" and to rebuild their lives, their community and society in the aftermath of a crisis.
Communities that have hosted refugees and/or IDPs, and are understandably challenged by the additional strain on resources, infrastructures, etc.
Contexts of ongoing, chronic state fragility, in which the government is unable or unwilling to provide basic services to the population. Although the situation may be relatively stable in such situations, the potential for crisis, and especially conflict, is very high.
Within the Healing Classrooms eLearning Program, the terms "education" and "child and youth protection" are understood very broadly. They apply to a wide variety of program types operating in the contexts described previously. For example:
Support for formal schooling
NGO-supported or community-based learning programs
Non-formal literacy classes
Life skills and other extra-curricular learning programs
Vocational training and livelihoods programs
Youth clubs and other activity-based programs
Child protection community capacity building programs