Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 7: Leaving Jamaica, "No Woman, No Cry"

Team Jamaica in Montego Bay, saying goodbye to their beautiful villa.

Sammy ruminates, "Why would any sane person ever leave this beautiful beach?" No one on the team has even an inkling. 
Sunset over Montego Bay.
Terryl is going to kill Colleen when he sees this photo! It's really the lesser of two evils as she also photographed him cuddling with one of the water bottles later on during the car ride. 

Day 6 & 7: Presenting to MOE & Conversations with International Organizations, "We're Jam'n"

Representatives from international organizations, including UNICEF, UNESCO, IDB and USAID,  discussed their role in supporting quality education in Jamaica and provided feedback on our project. 

We compared the Jamaica's mission statement for education, as defined by the Ministry of Education, with our own views on the purpose of education and the stated goals of other nations. 

Presenting policy considerations to the MOE.

Game-based learning is teaching and learning through games with defined objectives and outcomes. These games are designed to engage students, increase attention and interest, enhance classroom management and ultimately improve student outcomes.

Game-based learning offers numerous advantages such as accommodations for diverse learning styles, health and life skills, holistic youth development and support for cognitive and socio-emotional development. 

Sports in education and game-based learning can be utilized as tools to promote gender equity throughout Jamaica's schools by promoting co-ed games, gender sensitivity training and providing stereotype-free roles and duties. 

The team was particularly interested in exploring and harnessing the successful methods employed through game-based learning that were already present in Jamaica’s classrooms and could serve as a local resource to other schools. 

A careful effort was made to insure that the policy considerations did not overreach the findings and scope of the project. One of the limitations of our research was the brief amount of time spent in a relatively low number of schools. Additionally, the considerations were selected, in part, based upon their feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and applicability to a wide range of schools across Jamaica. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Enjoying Jamaica: "Don't Worry, Be Happy"

One of the important experiences provided by the trip to Jamaica was being able to connect and collaborate with Harvard alumni over dinner in Kingston. The alumni were able to share how their own career experiences and academic skill sets enable them to pursue long-term projects — thereby igniting innumerable ideas for the future among our team members.  

Dawn, Jingjing, and our lovely Julia — a teaching fellow who joined our trip in order to document and evaluate the IEP experiential project in comparative education, provide much needed commonsense to the team, and answer questions about statistical analysis at 2am in the morning. 
The Three Musketeers and D'artagnan. Which one is D'artagnan? 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Days 4 & 5: Leaders in Education, "Get up! Stand up! Don't give up the fight!"

Meeting with Jamaica's national hero, and Harvard alumni, Hon. Edward Seager, former Prime Minister of Jamaica.  

The Hon. Edward Seaga served as Jamaica's prime minister from 1980 to 1989. Seaga's prolific career spans across numerous roles including Minister of Finance and Planning, Minister of Development and Welfare, President of Caribbean Democratic Union (CDU) and 43 consecutive years serving as a Member of Parliament.  

Seaga's most famed accomplishment is the pivotal role he played in the return of Marcus Garvey's body to Jamaica for burial. Moreover, Seaga spearheaded the transition of the country's financial institutions from foreign to Jamaican ownership, established the Jamaican Festival, designed the Cultural Training Center, and created multiple social programs focusing on education and employment. 

Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education. During our meeting with the Minister, we discussed our observations on activity-based learning strategies from two days of classroom visits throughout seven schools in Kingston. The Minister commented on the need for leaders in education to actively draw upon the perspectives of students, teachers and administrators in order to successfully improve the national education system.   

Dr. Franklin Johnston, advisor to the Minister, comments that while he appreciates Harvard students highlighting the bright spots in Jamaica's education system, he  would also like for us to share a critical perspective on what is not working, what needs improvement and what our recommendations would be in order to make such changes possible in Jamaica. 

Addy draws upon her previous experience of living and working in Jamaica as she presents to the Minister of education.

Monitoring & Evaluation Unit, Ministry of Education. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Team Jamaica in the News, "Sayin', 'Ths is my message to you - ou - ou."

Team Morocco, Can You Handle the Heat?

You may not be able to hear anything, and the image quality is quite shabby, but it's still something. 

Addy and Josephine present the goals of our project.

Josephine wins nominations for best dressed and most glamorous smile.
Team Jamaica watches with intense fixation, except for Chris,  Robert and Paul who are disappointed about missing the news reporting the scores from yesterday's cricket match. 
Addy is officially famous! She'll even give you her autograph. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Team Colombia: Part One

Team Colombia's Schedule...Who knew the Colombian work-day started at 7am!?

Arriving at the airport in Bogota, Colombia....

 Ali, Heela, and Jasmine doing a little shopping in the market...

 Kristin posing with  two of the students from Cakike. Cakike promotes and provides arts education for students in Bogata.

 Kanupriya enjoying a deep conversation with her "Mi Casa, Mi Casa" friend...

                                                  Ali and friend enjoying a snack at Cakike...

                                             Manal is all smiles with the students from Cakike...

                                                           Paula and her two new friends...

                                                       Vidur and his Cakike merchandise...

 Unaiza loving on the "baby". Cakike also promotes a loving and tolerant community by having students engage in life skills activites.

                          Having dinner with former Colombia Secretary of Education Cecilia Maria Velez.

 Paula, Anna, and the Dean of Students at Gimnasio MonseƱor Manuel Maria Camargo, a private school located on the outskirts of Bogota. GMMMC is a beneficiary of the Colombia Progressa program. Colombia Progresa provides resources (i.e. textbooks, uniforms, etc.) to schools in need.

               Manal and Heela enjoying the atmosphere on our way to the rural school visits in Cajica.

                                                                  The City of Bogota...

                                           One of the many memorials in the City of Bogota...

                                                                Colombian countryside...

                                     Kanupriya and Jasmine with "Mi Casa, Mi Casa" at Cakike...

 Unaiza, Vidur, and Anna talking to students in the after school program sponsored by Colombia Progresa...

                                                             Manal and friend at Cakike...

 One of the random signs in the hostel...

                                                    Street performers in Bogota, Colombia...

                                                                      More of Bogota...

                                                              Home for Team Colombia...

                                               Pictures of the Plaza de Bolivar...

Team Colombia loves the kids...and they love us back!