Usha in Hope Foundation Kannagi Nagar describes how Connecteach has made a difference in her teaching and the lives of her students.
ConnecTeach recommends EARLY LANGUAGE AND LITERACY IN INDIA, A POSITION PAPER. We are proud and honored to have participated in the development of this document that “will enable policy makers and educators (practitioners and academicians) to develop a set of informed actions based upon the principles of language and literacy development in young children.”
The entire document is available here.
The second annual International Conference on Education as a Human Right kicked off Saturday, April 16 in Farmington, NM.
Four panels of experts discussed how indigenous peoples, environmental issues, poverty and gender intersect with education.
ConnecTeach and the Dallas Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University sponsored the event along with Navajo Prep.
The first conference was held in 2015 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. This year, ConnecTeach and Embrey Human Rights Program partnered with Navajo Preparatory School to host the conference near the Navajo Nation in order to discuss the rights of indigenous people.
The keynote presentation was delivered by Zoe Tryon, founder of One of the Tribe, an organization dedicated to protecting the rainforest and the advancement of indigenous rights in the Amazon Basin. She spoke about her experiences working with the indigenous people in Ecuador, including people of the Cofán and Shuar nationalities.
Other speakers included Bhavani Parpia and Amy Merk from ConnecTeach, Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts, Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch, singer and domestic violence activist Radmilla Cody, and Jennifer Denetdale, an associate professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico.
As with our conference last year at SMU , this year’s conference highlighted many important issues and initiated important conversations including the balance between preserving tribal culture while changing those practices that serve as barriers to gender and economic equality and environmental sustainability.
This past April (2016) in Uganda, ConnecTeach partnered with the Kikulu Foundation and Walugogo Teacher Training College in an initiative to train more than 350 teacher trainees and more than 15 training college instructors.
In a country where teacher development opportunities are rare in rural communities, a teacher can spend an entire career without the opportunity to attend professional development focused on teaching and classroom management strategies. In fact, a Kikulu partner Director in Uganda never had the opportunity to attend a teacher development workshop in her 20-plus-year career. ConnecTeach is honored to be a part of this multi-year teacher development initiative and our role in the week-long workshop training current teachers and teacher trainees.
“I teach because it is the only way to sustain life. It is a part of survival. Pupils become somebody through teachers”
– Walugogo Teacher
Once trainees complete their training and begin teaching, many of them will have classrooms of more than 100 students and will be required to teach with little to no resources. To make matters worse, they do not receive the continuous training they need to be most effective. In fulfillment of our mission to empower educators in the world’s poorest communities, we look forward to our partnership with the Kikulu Foundation and Walugogo Teacher Training College in providing access to professional teacher development to 353 teacher trainees and 17 teachers in rural Uganda.
ConnecTeach is a nonprofit organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by equipping teachers with the skills needed to give their students a quality education and lead in the development of the world’s poorest communities. We believe that teachers and students are the most powerful changemakers- locally and globally. Think. Change. Join our movement.
ConnecTeach is honored and proud to be the recipient of a one-year Dell Powering the Possible learning grant to support youth learning initiatives in partnership with Hope Foundation, Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad, India.
Empowering the Next Generation provides tools, resources, and opportunities for teachers and students to move beyond basic technology skills and integrate digital literacy into Hope Foundation-affiliated classrooms so that children can achieve the critical 21st century learning skills to be globally competitive. Empowering the next generation requires empowering their teachers, not only with the strategies to facilitate instruction so that all students are engaged, but also with the digital literacy needed to develop student skills to be on par with those who have privileged access to education. A recent report on BBC News (Footnote 1) shows that there is an appalling 100-year gap in educational levels between students in developing countries when compared to their peers in developed countries. The intriguing question they pose is whether there is a “technological way for education systems to leap-frog a few stages forward.” We believe there is–by providing a strategic process whereby technology is viewed as a highly effective tool to complement classroom instruction, “a powerful springboard to higher-level learning”, that replaces a disconnected activity to be tacked only when time permits.
Empowering the Next Generation develops teacher instructional skills that are integrated with digital literacy. It is critically important for teachers and school leadership to increase their level of ICT competence in order for students to develop ICT skills. Incorporating teacher outcomes into this project ensures scalability and sustainability of student learning outcomes. A balanced approach to improving student achievement and youth learning ensures that all stakeholders understand and acquire the skills and knowledge to effectively use digital resources and critical thinking skills to navigate a 21st century education. This also allows for grade-level and subject area alignment of instructional strategies, which increases the opportunity for collaboration among teachers as well as ensuring long-term student success.
The International Conference on Education as a Human Right
Southern Methodist University
Saturday, March 28, 2015
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The Embrey Human Rights Program, ConnecTeach, and the World Affairs Council Dallas Fort Worth will host international and national experts addressing the critical issues impacting education which include:
• Poverty and Education
• Gender Equity and Education
• Race and Education
• Disability and Education
Lunch will be provided for $10.00.
Please register through this website link:
High Schools that would like to attend, but bring a sack lunch instead, may register at NO cost email@example.com.
DALLAS (SMU) — Peruvian champion of indigenous women’s rights Eliana Elias and innovative global-minded local educator Bhavani Parpia will be honored at SMU Nov. 12 as the first two recipients of Embrey Human Rights Program Triumph of the Spirit Awards. The awards carry a combined $30,000 in funding for the recipients made possible by an anonymous supporter of SMU’s undergraduate human rights program.
The inaugural Triumph of the Spirit event will include a 7 p.m. dinner in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom and 6 p.m. courtyard reception. The evening will feature thought-provoking interviews with Elias, Parpia and other human rights leaders, a mix of music and spoken-word performances and a compelling array of mixed-media art by past and present Embrey Human Rights Program students.
Reserved tables and individual tickets for the event are available at various sponsorship levels. For details, visit https://sites.smu.edu/apps/events/triumphofthespirit/tickets.asp or contact 214-768-3241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Triumph of the Spirit Awards aim to “reward people doing great work for others, sometimes at great risk to themselves,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin. “The awards represent a microcosm of life-changing work being done locally and around the world on issues affecting everyone. The awards also are meant to give us all hope that change can be made even by small steps of awareness and action.”
Elias and Parpia were selected for Triumph of the Spirit Awards from among several dozen human rights defenders nominated for providing selfless work on behalf of individuals and communities. The award selection committee, comprised of 19 SMU faculty and staff members, University alumni and regional community leaders and activists, chose Elias and Parpia for work best exemplifying the missions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Embrey Human Rights Program.
The Embrey Human Rights Program was created in 2006 as the result of a gift from the Embrey Family Foundation of Dallas. By 2012 SMU would become the fifth university in the nation and the first one west of Ohio to offer an undergraduate human rights degree.
Montessori teacher Bhavani Parpia is founder of the educational nonprofit ConnecTeach, helping underserved communities in South Asia and the Middle East improve the quality of education for hundreds of thousands of children one teacher at a time.
Parpia also serves as district world languages coordinator for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District (HEB ISD), where she develops and oversees Arabic, Chinese and Hindi programs.
Before joining HEB ISD, Parpia founded the Primary School at North Hills Preparatory in Irving. Under her leadership, North Hills was ranked 13th-best performing school in the U.S., and in 2013, she received the World Affairs Council International Educator of the Year award.
Parpia has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hindu College/Delhi University and a master’s degree in sociology from Virginia Tech.
Presenting the regional Triumph of the Spirit Award to Parpia will be S.M. Wright II, president/CEO of the S.M. Wright Foundation, which since 1998 has provided food, financial and social service support to inner-city children and families in need. The South Dallas pastor and civic leader is the son of the late Civil Rights pioneer Rev. S.M. Wright.
Serving as moderator of the Triumph of the Spirit Awards event will be Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders.
Sanders’ reporting work has earned him a regional Emmy Award and also garnered awards from the National Association of Black Journalists; the Houston, New York and Chicago film festivals; the Dallas Press Club; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Offering creative expressions of music and spoken word will be Will Richey, Alejandro Perez Jr., and David Rodriguez of Journeyman Ink; the eclectic ensemble-in-residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts Brazen Brass 5 (featuring five SMU students and alumni) and SMU student, opera singer, poet and dancer Maya Jones.
The Triumph of the Spirit Award is an iron elliptical sculpture with concentric rings around a circular core. Each award is engraved with the award winner’s name and the motto of the Embrey Human Rights Program, “There is no such thing as a lesser person.”
“The award symbolizes the interconnected spirit of humanitarians around the world, and that the community effort to work for peace is never-ending,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Assistant Director Bradley Klein. The rings represent different spheres in which such people as women’s rights activists, lawyers, physicians, and those fighting against torture work to uphold human rights.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award. My hope is that it helps bring awareness of our mission of quality education in the world’s poorest communities, as well as to inspire others to action in human rights causes,” said Ms. Parpia.
ConnecTeach is a non-profit organization that provides quality professional development for teachers in underserved schools around the world. Their highly-qualified volunteer educators provide teachers in these schools the tools they need to create stimulating learning environments, including on-site professional development, mentoring and certification in effective teaching practices. ConnecTeach contributes directly to the odds of success in the global fight against poverty by training and supporting teachers dedicated to the success of students in the world’s poorest communities.
ConnecTeach will launch it first online teacher professional development series in its CloudConnecT™ classrooms in early 2014.
Our online partners are primarily from underserved schools in countries and regions of the world that otherwise would not have ready access to on-site professional development. Thanks to the generous support from Donna Wilhelm Foundation, we will be able to connect online with schools in Palestine, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Any school serving children from impoverished communities are welcome to join the CloudConnecT classrooms. Please email Bhavani at email@example.com, to learn how you can be a part of our global consortium of educators.
Our online courses, taught by highly experienced master teachers, include:
- Questioning Strategies- Structure class discussions to develop deeper levels of student thinking.
- Differentiated Instruction for Struggling Readers – Support struggling readers through tools and techniques to accelerate reading skills.
- Differentiated Instruction for Struggling Students in Math- Support students who struggle to grasp math concepts with tools and techniques to increase conceptual understanding and math fact fluency.
- Differentiated Instruction for Advanced Readers- Develop strategies to engage advanced readers in class.
- Differentiated Instruction for Advanced Students in Math – Develop strategies to engage students who are advanced in math.
- Strategies for English Language Learners- Develop strategies to support and facilitate English language acquisition for students who are learning English as a foreign language.
- Oral Communication Strategies- Develop oral communication for better collaboration with colleagues as well as increased language proficiency for students.
- Inquiry-Based Lesson Planning- Create lesson plans to build a student-centered classroom to guide deeper levels of thinking and student engagement.
- Reading to Think: Strategies for Comprehension- Teach students to think during reading to build a deeper level of understanding of what they read.
- Thinking to Read: Strategies for Decoding- Teach students to use strategies to decode words to facilitate self-directed readers.
- Writing to Think: Purposeful Writing- Teach students to use writing for a variety of purposes and understand different writing structures. Module will include writing across the curriculum.
- Thinking to Write: The Writing Process – Teach students the steps of the writing process to increase quality of student writing.
- Science Discoveries for Elementary Students – Engage students in science concepts through scientific discoveries.
- The Scientific Method for Secondary Students – Engage students in the scientific method using innovative techniques and activities.
- Classroom Management: Rules and Routines- Structure your classroom using a student- centered positive disciplinary approach.
- Engagement Strategies – Create a student-centered learning environment using strategies to engage all students.
- Formative and Summative Assessments – Create benchmarks to track student progress using formative and summative assessments.
- Designing and Implementing Rubrics for Assessment – Develop rubrics as an assessment tool and learn how to implement them in your classroom.
- Administration: Leading Collaboration – Create an environment of professional collaboration.
- Administration: Supervision- Ensure quality teaching is happening in your school through effective supervision techniques.