ASK

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: TECHNICAL SUPPORT PROGRAM (LETS)

This post is also available in: Arabic

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

Coverage: 120 schools in Jordan, nationwide

Beneficiaries: 67,000 students, 6,800 teachers, 10 field directorates, parents and local community members

Objective: to provide a comprehensive capacity building program that improves the overall learning environment in 120 schools across Jordan by making them more caring, healthier, safer and more engaging to enhance students’ achievement and behaviors.

Description: the LETS program was a 5-year-long nationwide project worth 13 million dollars, supporting the Ministry of Education’s efforts in creating safe, healthy, caring and engaging learning environments in 120 of Jordan’s most challenging schools. Challenges in the before-mentioned 120 schools range from those of teachers’ competencies to students’ behaviors and academic achievement, to school infrastructure and other issues hindering the overall learning environment.

ASK’s Role: ASK was responsible for the design, development and implementation of the program, which comprised professional development workshops, facilitation sessions, on-site support, coaching and mentoring for the LETS school communities, including educators, students, leadership teams, and parents. The program design and implementation focused on effective positive behavior interventions. The program enabled behavior teams, educators, and leadership teams to successfully identify negative behaviors, and have the tools, knowhow and support to create interventions to address these challenging behaviors. The program’s effectiveness was reflected in more positive student behavior and happier, safer, and healthier school learning environment. The program was delivered in Arabic by ASK’s qualified and certified Expert Trainers/Coaches. ASK designated 43 Expert Trainers/Coaches, who were capable of providing intensive coaching interface and training programs.

Project Components:

  1. Professional Development Workshops

The professional development workshops for the LETS program were designed and delivered to ensure the sustainability of the new practices in the participating schools through forming school teams (teachers and students) that were able to carry out school projects and sustaining the change, developing themselves and investing the available resources in the schools to create highly qualified key stakeholders and generations of proactive students. The workshops covered various topics including effective classroom management techniques, differentiation, modern pedagogy techniques, effective lesson planning, and leadership and communication skills.

Accordingly, ASK’s professional development workshops focused on first changing the behaviors and perspectives of school community members towards their respective schools. The workshops aimed to improve teachers’ and leadership teams’ competencies according to global, high-quality teaching standards to ensure the implementation of an effective teaching/learning process in any subject matter for all students (including students with disabilities). The workshops ultimately aimed to engage all school community members, guided by the school’s leadership team, to positively enhance the learning environments in the schools. Moreover, the workshops aimed to create a positive school culture, build a safe and supportive school environment, promote pro-social values and behaviors, encourage students’ participation and actively engage parents and the local communities to reinforce positive learning behaviors. ASK’s role in the LETS program made it part of one of the largest nationwide educational reform programs in Jordan that seeks to enhance schools’ learning environments and allow access to better quality education.

  1. Onsite Support: Mentoring and Coaching

ASK’s unique coaching interface allowed for a focused distribution of Expert Trainers/Coaches in schools to emphasize the modeling of positive behaviors. Furthermore, it enabled the Expert Trainers/Coaches to tailor solutions according to each school’s profile. Resident Expert Trainers/Coaches applied a systematic approach to the on-site support in each school working closely with school leadership and educators through one-to-one and group coaching and mentoring sessions and continuous follow up. The active presence in the schools was vital to the program, as the Expert Trainers/Coaches induced the necessary positive change, provided ongoing guidance, facilitation and support, liaised between all school community members, coached and mentored them, and ensured that the newly adopted attitudes, skills and knowledge were translated into real practices. Through on-site support the focus was on increasing the beneficiaries’ performance and commitment towards their respective schools. ASK’s Expert Trainers/Coaches played a significant role in establishing teachers and students teams and councils that could exhibit new meanings of positive and proactive engagement of students.

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation

Regular Monitoring and Evaluation services were implemented in the LETS schools to ensure effective implementation of the program, and to adjust it if necessary, based on the feedback of the Expert Trainers/Coaches and the beneficiaries of the program. In addition, a monitoring system was implemented to ensure sustainability beyond the lifespan of the program.

Impact and Results

ASK played an essential role in the improvement of learning environments in the 120 LETS school across Jordan. As a result of ASK’s efforts, the level of negative behavior and violence has dropped significantly. In the following, changes from the first semester in 2012/2013 versus the first semester in 2013/2014 will be presented:

  • Teachers’ physical violence against students dropped almost 50% from 400 incidents 205 incidents;
  • Bullying dropped by 65% from 1916 cases to 658 cases;
  • Physical assaults by parents against teachers dropped by 90% from 265 incidents to 21 incidents;
  • Trouble making in classrooms dropped by 20% from 3520 incidents to 2802 incidents;
  • Physical assaults by students against teachers dropped by 70% from 99 incidents to 27 incidents;
  • Physical violence among students dropped by 40% from 3021 incidents to 1742 incidents;
  • More students have become actively engaged in their schools – 27% of all students participated in at least one extra-curricular activity; and

More than half of the schools participating in the LETS program reported a drop in negative behavior