IEFG Semi Annual Meeting: Raising the Quality of Teaching
The IEFG began back in 2006, as a way for foundations and donor-advised funds granting specifically in education in the developing world to casually convene, share knowledge, and connect with one another. The group formally launched in 2011, and is dedicated to helping advance global development and education agendas by improving funders’ strategic analyses and thinking, informing and assisting their grantmaking, and providing opportunities for collective learning and action. To date, there are 83 members, and we continue to grow.
There is much to be said about the reciprocity between teacher and student, as both are learners and teachers. The meeting highlighted some of the innovative programs focusing on increasing the effectiveness of teaching, especially in the developing world, while also highlighting sustainability, motivational, and financial challenges facing the entire sector.
As a program, the Rising Schools Program (RSP) resonated with conversations on teacher preparation, professional development, and the importance of building supportive teacher systems, as we often see untrained teachers working in the low-cost private school sector. The Early Childhood Development conversations had us contemplating the building of the brain and the various environmental and social impacts that can inhibit that development; such as nutrition, trauma, and poor health. The various subgroups that took place over lunch opened a dialogue about girls’ secondary education, the impact of the Post-2015 agenda on educational policy, and gaps in monitoring learning outcomes. All of which impact teaching in one way or another.
We greatly appreciated the thought provoking questions and presentations put on by our colleagues, the wealth of information brought to the meeting by practitioners, and the passion for education exhibited throughout the meeting. Key takeaways from the meeting were broad, allowing for varied applications by individual foundations. The general idea that teaching is a collective endeavor for instance, will mean different things to different. The need to focus on practices that encourage community based educator competencies will be altered based on cultural, geographic, and socio-economic contexts. The RSP team is excited to begin brainstorming on how to integrate some of the information we received into our program.