Funding will provide training to teachers in the South Pacific
(September 1, 2004) Geneva, N.Y. — Charlie Temple and Jim MaKinster, professors of education at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, recently received a $10,000 grant from the Open Society Institute (OSI) to support a teacher training initiative in the South Pacific.
The project, called “Learning Actively, Thinking Critically,” is hosted by the University of the South Pacific. Eventually it will reach all 12 members of the self-governing Pacific Island States.
The grant funds travel and other expenses incurred by trainers from the United States and Australia, who will deliver teaching workshops on Fiji. Still being sought are funds to bring together participants in the workshops, a condition of OSI grant.
Temple will design and write training materials, attract funding and recruit trainers. As a director of the OSI's Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (RWCT) Project, Temple travels around the globe helping teachers learn the skills necessary to teach their students to learn actively, think critically and work cooperatively. The new OSI project is the “second generation” of RWCT.
MaKinster has developed training materials and planned distance learning support for the training, including prolific use of Web-based resources. “The technology side of this project is a great example of how the Internet can be used to sustain connections among a group of geographically isolated individuals,” he said.
“We want to create more opportunities for the trainers to keep going out on these adventures that we ourselves have enjoyed so much,” added Temple. “And independent evaluations have shown that teachers benefit greatly from this training.”
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