The Schools of Tomorrow Program

This post is also available in: Arabic

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Coverage: 27 schools in Jordan, nationwide

Beneficiaries: 11,000 students, 1,120 faculty members, parents, and local community members

Objective: to provide a comprehensive capacity building program to enable school community members to effectively utilize the available modern facilities, advanced resources and technology in 27 national role model public schools, in order to improve the overall learning environments and enhance students’ achievements.

Description: the Schools of Tomorrow Project constituted of 27 forefront public schools that support new methods of teaching and learning, including increased access to advanced technology. A total of USD 199 million was invested to build the physical infrastructure of these 27 schools. These schools act as national role models, equipped with the latest technology and modern school infrastructures; they provide needed classroom space and appropriate learning environments for students of all ages. The schools also possess facilities and spaces, such as ramps, elevators, computer and science labs, multi-purpose halls, gyms, outdoor spaces, and libraries that accommodate to students’ educational needs, and encourage collaboration between parents and the local community members.

ASK’s Role: ASK designed, developed and implemented a number of professional development workshops supported by an intensive on-site support component in all targeted schools, to develop a common understanding of a high quality learning environment, and how to best utilize their available resources to respond to students’ specific educational needs. These workshops, implemented by ASK’s Expert Trainers/Coaches, aimed to enable and build the capacity of the school community members to effectively utilize the resources available, and enhance students’ learning environments. ASK’s workshops and on-site support were conducted in the schools, offering practical and authentic opportunities for the school community to intrinsically adopt the new practices and behaviors, sustaining the impact of the intervention beyond the lifespan of the project.

Through the implementation of the project, ASK played a vital role in empowering and enabling educators, principals, counselors and teachers with the necessary competencies, techniques, and procedures to effectively accommodate to modern learning facilities, and to create more engaging and productive learning environments. ASK’s presence in these schools gave ASK direct insights into the day-to-day real challenges and opportunities encountered by the school community members in these new schools.

Project Components:

  1. Professional Development Workshops

Since the first year of implementation, the project has been succeeding in creating new learning environments through competency-based and behavior change management techniques by first raising the school community members’ awareness of their new schools, in addition to improving their competencies according to high quality teaching standards. ASK focused on establishing workshops that could engage and enable school leadership teams and teachers to enhance their learning environments by maximizing their utilization of available resources, including utilizing ICT, adopting modern teaching practices, engaging students of all abilities, enhancing their proficiency in subject matter delivery, implementing effective classroom management strategies and more.

ASK worked with school leadership teams, coordinators, and teachers to ensure that they were actively engaged in the learning process and that their attitude, commitment and sense of ownership towards the schools were enhanced, driving them to become proactive contributors to students’ learning experiences. Moreover, ASK conducted workshops to enable teachers with competencies necessary to carry out their roles as effective educators in these new role model schools. ASK’s workshops further enabled coordinators, teachers, counselors and social workers to be able to plan and design effective and interactive lesson plans, collaborative teaching, subject matter delivery, including the Arabic language, science, Islamic studies and mathematics. ASK also worked with the coordinators to ensure that they were able to provide the needed guidance and support for teachers, further building the sense of teamwork and collaboration in the schools.

Finally, ASK offered intensive professional development workshops aiming to promote student positive behaviors. Some of the topics covered included strategies in enhancing students’ motivation to learn different subjects, differentiated learning, improving student’s behavior and positive reinforcement. Other topics involved determined specific classroom behavior management strategies to be used to address the school’s and classrooms’ specific challenges. In addition, ASK’s workshops aimed to identify means of channeling physical energy into constructive outlets, such as student councils, team sports, tournaments, and scouts.

  1. Onsite Support: Mentoring and Coaching

ASK’s Expert Trainers/Coaches provided on-site support for the school community members through one-to-one and group coaching and mentoring sessions and continuous follow up. The Expert Trainers/Coaches tailored solutions according to each school’s profile. These Expert Trainers/Coaches induced the necessary positive change, provided ongoing guidance, facilitation and support, liaised between all school community members, provided coaching and mentoring in order to ensure that newly adopted attitudes, skills and knowledge were translated into real practices. Through the on-site support the focus was on increasing the beneficiaries’ performance and commitment towards their respective schools.

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation

Finally, ASK implemented a Monitoring and Evaluation system in all 27 schools to ensure achieving the projects’ goals, monitor the progress of the program – adjust it accordingly – and to identify success, challenges and learning points. Various tools were used, including School Database Sheets, Training Attendance Sheets, School Assessment Rating Scale, Classroom Visit Assessment Rubric, School Project Assessment Rubric, Student and Teacher Queries on EduWave, Counselor Document Analysis, and Satisfaction Surveys. Data was collected, assessed, analyzed and recommendations were provided for future interventions.