EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION
Haven of Hope believes that lasting change in Zambia must come from within. We want our students to graduate with the skills to contribute spiritually, economically, and politically to the future of their country. To that end, Haven of Hope is committed to a threefold goal: (1) providing an excellent Christian education for the children of Zambia; (2) providing professional development for teachers; and (3) teaching students the importance of giving back to the community.
(1) Providing an excellent Christian education for the children of Zambia
Since 2008, Zambian and American educators have worked together to develop a comprehensive curriculum that meets the needs of our students in Ndola and Luanshya. We have drawn upon research on effective instruction to establish teaching methods that (a) increase student engagement through active responding, (b) increase the clarity of content presentation using explicit instruction, and (c) use data to guide instruction and provide accountability. We are working to "institutionalize" these teaching methods through a series of handbooks and videos. The development of a distance support system that draws upon the expertise of our volunteers is also under way.
(2) Providing professional development for teachers
In contrast to teachers in the United States, who may complete 4 to 6 years of training, Zambian teachers often receive only cursory training in content and pedagogy. In the poorest areas of Zambia, teachers may have only a high school education, with no formal teacher training; thus, teachers of the most needy children are often under-equipped for the job. Research on teacher training makes two things clear: (a) children with excellent teachers generally make more progress than children with less trained teachers, and (b) teachers continue to engage in the teaching behaviors that helped them through their first year of teaching, whether effective or ineffective. These findings indicate the difficulties that Zambian teachers and students often face.
In an effort to address this need, in 2008-9, Haven of Hope facilitated a series of teacher trainings in the Nkwazi compound, the poorest compound in Ndola. These trainings, conducted in person and through distance technologies (e.g., DVDs), focused on teacher presentation skills that increase student achievement. Today, we continue to provide training for teachers at the Haven of Hope schools, as well as other teachers in their communities, both in person and through distance technologies. It is our hope that, through these trainings, our teachers will become experts in the science of teaching and learning.
(3) Teaching students the importance of giving back to the community
Haven of Hope follows a "hand up" (as opposed to a "hand out") philosophy. We believe that turnaround in Zambia must start from within and will have its roots in service. Consequently, giving back to the community is an important component of the curriculum at the Haven of Hope schools. Team-building activities, such as field days and soccer tournaments, and service projects are the norm for our students.
How can you get involved?
Haven of Hope is seeking teachers in the United States who would like to be involved in mentoring their fellow professionals in Zambia. We encourage teaching professionals interested in helping with this part of our mission to contact us.