Scaling Coder-Maker schools for Syrian refugees and host communities
The global refugee crisis is staggering, currently estimated at 22.5 million people displaced from their homes, 2.8 million seeking asylum, and a further 40.3 million who are internally displaced (UNHCR, 2018). This challenge is particularly acute in Lebanon, a small country of 6 million people that hosts 1.5 million refugees, half of whom are school-aged children. The situation puts tremendous pressure on Lebanese society, most notably on the provision of services like education.
The education system has struggled to provide quality education to students and still suffers from low student outcomes, violence, and high dropout rates. This project aims to find solutions to some of these challenges by improving the quality, inclusiveness, and equity of learning for refugees and host communities in Lebanon by scaling up Coder-Maker in schools. Coder-Maker is a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) learning program designed around a problem-oriented pedagogical approach.
An independent evaluation found that the Coder-Maker intervention showed improvement in teachers’ skills and students’ learning outcomes, responding to several challenges in the provision of education in post-crisis and refugee situations. This 36-month research project will address the problem of low-quality teaching in post-conflict situations for the underserved, refugees, and marginalized and at-risk youth aged 12 to 18, particularly girls. The research program will focus on solutions for scaling the Coder-Maker model of professional learning that was successfully piloted in a previous phase of research. This phase focuses on strengthening the delivery of Coder-Maker through transformative in-service teacher professional development.
The project is being implemented by the International Education Association, a global organization that plays a leading role in preparing students from K-12 with an education that helps them become creative, collaborative, and productive citizens who can lead future economies and societies into a better and more equitable world. The project will also collaborate with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon, in partnership with the Mouna Bustros Foundation, with parallel funding from the Ford Foundation.