What sets Exponential Education apart is that our organization focuses on capacity building. For example, in our Peer-2-Peer Program, Senior High School tutors are given the resources they need by Expo to execute a successful lesson for their Junior High School peers. In our Girls Leadership, Action, Empowerment (LEAP) Program and our Boys for Positive Change (BPC) Program, students learn the material from recently graduated students who have already completed the program. Our partnership with Level Up Village (LUV), however, is different. This is the only one of our programs in which we work directly with teachers.
LUV provides global Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum for teachers around the world. Teachers in the United States administer the same after-school classes as our teachers here in Ghana. Students then participate in video pen pal exchanges to answer questions and discuss what they learned from the lessons. The focus on cross-cultural collaboration and participatory learning is key! While it is sometimes difficult to replicate lessons from the curriculum exactly, I have been amazed by how our incredible Ghanaian teachers have learned to adapt their lessons to ensure that their students are getting as close to the same experience as their American counterparts. This can be extremely difficult though, as in Ghana we do not have access to the same resources. For example, many scientific chemicals and equipment are difficult to find. In the Global Doctors: Anatomy class, students must often catch their own frogs to dissect.
The teachers continually impress me with their ingenuity in adapting their lessons as well as their passion for ensuring the best for their students. They have gained insight into developing their lessons to include critical thinking and hands-on learning components. This benefits the students directly enrolled in the after-school programs as well as their peers during the regular school day. Despite most of the Ghanaian education system being purely theoretical, this opportunity has given teachers the information necessary to include a practical and applicable approach to their normal lessons. At the end of each completed course, the teachers receive a grant from LUV that they use for the betterment of the entire school. In the past, some of our schools have been able to build a computer lab or purchase white boards for the classrooms.
Expo’s focus on being a source of information and training for teachers and students rings true with LUV classes. We are excited to begin a new term this week and continue activity-based and hands-on learning! Check out our most recent video that interviews LUV teachers about their involvement in the program: