The Education Team
The Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Education Team is made up of educational professionals with a range of experience, who are committed and passionate about bringing change through education. There is a core team that draws on the expertise of others with similar enthusiasm when required. They have drawn up a set of principles for effective learning under the Foundation’s slogan, “Supporting Access to Learning Worldwide”. This is their statement.
The key purpose of the Education Team is to ensure the values of the Foundation and the principles of effective learning are upheld in all projects undertaken. We have designed a model for learning which they believe can be applied in most educational settings. It highlights what we believe are the core elements of entitlement for children’s education and the key qualities to be nurtured and utilised by educators and learners. Our way of working is based on the notion of the need for recognition and reciprocity between all participants. We encourage those engaged in projects with us to adopt this model as illustrated below.
Working with Communities
When working with communities to achieve Education for All we strive to provide:
i) access to ideas and support for teaching and learning
ii) engagement in professional dialogue between and across communities
iii) educators worldwide with links to a range of organisations and on-line services.
How we work
Our approach is based on the belief that communities the Foundation works with already have experience, skills and wisdom. We pay attention to the needs of the learner and seek creative solutions for educators and school development. We’re committed to teachers and school leaders helping each other to learn from progress made in their communities and to the notion of sustainability believing it to be an essential key to communities becoming independent.
We will draw on the local contextual and cultural knowledge of those seeking support. The style will be facilitative as we believe such an approach will further the realisation of Steve Sinnott’s passion for:
• every child having access to education
• people having a better understanding of the world around them
• the building of resourceful communities to alleviate poverty
For individual community projects we work in keeping with the values underpinning the Foundation. Our approach is to seek understanding of
o the contextual and cultural background of the area
o the current practices that are working well
o what the needs are and how they are best met
Learning Resource Centres
In order to support the Foundation in its endeavours to establish Learning Resource Centres, the Education team plays an advisory role in evaluating and approving resources.
By resources, we mean:
a) Ready-made such as on-line or off the peg lesson plans and worksheets.
b) Educational books and materials.
c) Formal and informal opportunities created for teachers to talk together, exchange ideas, develop strategies and offer mutual support. These may take the form of a face-to-face meetings, on-line forums, peer observations, visits to each other’s schools, Skype-type conversations or even facilitated conference calls.
d) Links with related organisations.
e) Customised support in partnership with the project members. Recognised individuals in the field of teaching and learning may be involved with the design of specific resources and delivery of aspects of a project.
“No child should be denied the transformative power of a great education”
Chair of the Board of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia writing in ENGAGE Issue 9