School-to-School International focuses its teacher training efforts on all teachers in grades 1-6 in Africa in order to make learning more active and concrete for their learners. For example:
• We help teachers develop materials from local resources so students can manipulate objects and watch demonstrations to understand underlying concepts.
• We help teachers develop ways to have students practice healthy behaviors during the lesson, rather than just talking about them.
• We help students learn more about the world and increase their interest in learning through the use of pen pal exchanges.
We adapt training to local needs by observing teachers in classrooms, interviewing them during training, and assessing student learning in order to identify the most critical teaching and learning gaps. Then we design training programs specifically tailored to these gaps, and include hands-on exercises that incorporate the use of materials, games, and reflective discussion so students can learn to reason, not just react.
Since its inception, STS has trained 150 teachers in active teaching methods, including the development of instructional materials using local resources, school health and hygiene through a life skills approach, and mathematics instruction.