Education systems in many countries struggle to provide enough teachers in the right places to meet growing demand and serve all learners. Often, the poorest, most disadvantaged areas have the least qualified, least supported teachers and larger class sizes. Emerging evidence suggests that supporting teachers and learners with a multidisciplinary, team-based approach can be an effective way to improve student learning and to foster inclusion.
Reducing inequity in education is a goal of both the Education Commission — a global initiative encouraging greater progress on the UN’s education-focused Sustainable Development Goal 4 — and Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Together on March 1, the two convened “Learning Teams: Global Evidence and Impact.” This two-hour global online session brought together policymakers, practitioners, teacher educators, researchers, donors and international organizations interested in redesigning the education workforce to leverage educator teams. Participants learned about MLFTC’s Next Education Workforce efforts and the commission’s Education Workforce Initiative, and shared their own knowledge and experience.
After welcoming participants, MLFTC Dean Carole Basile was joined by Lucy Lake for a keynote conversation. Lake is CEO of CAMFED — the Campaign for Female Education — a pan-African effort to improve delivery and efficacy of education for girls. Their conversation was moderated by Liesbet Steer, director of the Education Commission.
Amy Bellinger, who leads the Education Commission’s Education Workforce Initiative, presented “Evidence on Learning Teams,” followed by “Learning Team Spotlights.” These feature representatives from GATE — Girls’ Access to Education (Sierra Leone), Pratham (India), and Education Development Trust (Kenya), addressing the benefits of learning teams for improving educational equity, providing personalized learning and building resilient education systems.
“Education workforce development is a global concern,” says Basile. “There are too many under- and un-qualified educators in every country around the world. In a world that is going to ask people to be lifelong learners, we need to think pretty hard about what we ask primary and secondary education to do. That means thinking about whom we ask to do it and how they might succeed. Cultures differ and context matters. But all children, everywhere, need and deserve deep and personalized learning. Whether you’re educating kids in Chicago or Marrakesh, it’s going to take a team of adults with a distributed range of content knowledge and pedagogical skills to give them that. Our partnership with the Education Commission is valuable as we create models designed to help both learners and educators thrive.”
Watch the video of the convening
Watch an overview of “Learning Teams: Global evidence and impact 2021” from the Education Commission