5 new promising initiatives
The overall goal of the five new applied research projects is to generate and mobilize evidence on how to adapt and scale approaches that strengthen quality early learning for all children, based on how they learn best, and support smooth transitions between pre-primary and the early grades of primary education.
Each of the following projects tackles combinations of the five areas above, in multiple countries. Click on the titles to find out more about each project.
Gender Responsive Education and Transformation: Early Childhood Education through Play for Scale will implement a promising gender responsive and play-based learning approach in select ECE centers to gather evidence of its benefits as a low-cost and contextually appropriate solution for scale up in Rwanda and Mozambique. Using action research, it aims to inform how such an approach can be introduced in pre-primary education to shape gender norms, develop life skills, and improve learning outcomes.
The Child-to-Child Learning Approach: Inclusive play-based learning for smooth transition will generate knowledge on how to adopt and scale up the child-to-child model at national and community levels to improve transition of children from pre-primary to primary school in Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi. Particularly, the research will explore how older children can be supported to promote playful learning in lower primary and early childhood centers to promote transition, with the view that children are a resource that can help meet the psychosocial and learning needs of other children and families living in difficult circumstances.
Promoting positive early learning outcomes through strengthened capacity in learning through play will generate evidence on how to build capacity of the early childhood education workforce on play-based approaches to enhance school readiness in The Gambia, Kenya and Nigeria. The research will be anchored on a model known as Tayari, a cost-effective and scalable ECE model that has been proven to promote school readiness. The research will use a mixed methods approach for data collection and will take an integrated approach to scaling up by bringing together different parts, contexts, and stakeholders to co-create and to better understand play based approaches.
Teacher Capacity Building for Play-Based Early Learning will study the effectiveness of teacher training on play-based approach provided by Right To Play and Teach for Sierra Leone in Ghana and Sierra Leone respectively in both rural and urban settings. The purpose of this will be to generate knowledge and evidence to inform policy and the practice of play-based learning and teacher training for early childhood education in the two countries.
Scaling the School Readiness Initiative: Strengthening School and Community Capacities for Play-based Learning will generate knowledge on how to implement and scale up the School Readiness Initiative, an early learning model that involves home, school, and community to support holistic development of children and prepare them for a smooth transition to school in Uganda and Zambia. It aims to contribute to the enhancement of early learning frameworks and development of contextually relevant learning resources with the involvement of teachers, parents, and pupils while also working closely with education officials at all levels in the two countries.
The projects will be implemented by consortia, led by African organizations. In total, 17 organizations will be involved - networks, universities, and NGOs - both African and North American.
We very much look forward to watching their progress over the next two years. Look for updates on the KIX website.