Early Childhood Education – policies and curriculum

For some teachers the curriculum can be a constraint rather than a guide, we need to explore further,  future-orientated curricula for young children.

Publication: Content, comprehensiveness and coherence in policies for early childhood – how the curriculum can contribute 
UNESCO: the seventh issue of the IBE In-Progress Reflections series  

The seventh issue of the IBE In-Progress Reflections series on Current and Critical Issues in Curriculum, Learning and Assessment, entitled ‘Content, comprehensiveness and coherence in policies for early childhood: how the curriculum can contribute’, explores the context of international agreements and commitments concerning early childhood. The paper aims to review and renew the challenges that are involved in generating educational and curriculum policies for the first level of education.

The paper analyses, from a long-term public policy perspective, some of the challenges that second-generation policies face, placing the curriculum as the articulating factor for the development of comprehensive policies for early childhood. Based on this, avenues are proposed on which to base policy definitions in the framework of the commitments of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international declarations, agreements and goals promoted by international organizations on early childhood. To this end, five themes that have a direct impact on strengthening public policies on the development and overall well-being in childhood have been identified.

Access the seventh issue of the IBE In-Progress Reflections series here

Addressing gender based violence

Schools should be a safe haven for children, but in too many cases children are abused, beaten and humiliated while at school. For girls, this can be too common an experience. Safe learning environments are the least we can expect from schools -but how to achieve this?

UNGEI Briefing Paper: Addressing School-Related Gender-Based Violence is Critical for Safe Learning Environment 
Norwegian Refugee Council & Global Working group to End School-Related Gender-Based Violence 

Crises, conflict and displacement lead to heightened insecurities – physical, psychological, social and financial—for affected populations including refugees. The breakdown of family and community support systems and high levels of stress and trauma magnify pre-existing levels of violence and conflict within families and in schools. That there is a rise in sexual and gender-based violence in conflict situations is undisputed. Reports of gender-based violence emerge in the aftermath as systems for reporting and response get established as part of a humanitarian response. Yet data required to produce global estimates is limited.

Learn more here. Download the paper here.  

Peace building -new report

Peace is not just the absence of war -it can only be built through a range of strategies, policies and practice.

Report: Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts Programme
UNICEF Programme Report 2012-2016

UNICEF has sought to increase risk mitigation and peacebuilding strategies in its programming. In this evolving context, the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts (PBEA) programme – Learning for Peace – was designed to strengthen social cohesion, resilience and human security through improved education policies and practices. The programme operated on the rationale that, when delivered equitably and effectively, education and other social services can strengthen capacities to manage conflict shocks and stresses, from the national to individual levels, and promote peace, while sustaining long-term development opportunities for children, young people and their supportive communities.

This report summarizes PBEA lessons-learned and provides an issues and evidence synopsis on how education and other social providers can address conflict factors in fragile and post-conflict contexts.

Click to read and download this resource.

Education in Emergencies: INEE Journal-volume 2


The Journal on Education in Emergencies

The scholarly, peer-reviewed Journal on Education in Emergencies aims to fill gaps in EiE research and policy. Building on the tradition of collaboration between practitioners and academics in the field of EiE, JEiE’s aim is to help improve learning in and across service-delivery, policy-making, and academic institutions by providing a space where scholars and practitioners can publish rigorous quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research articles, and robust and compelling field notes, both to inform policy and practice and to stir debate. JEiE’s aim is to provide access to the ideas and evidence necessary to inform sound EiE programming, policy-making, funding decisions, academic program curricula, and future research.

JEiE specifically aims to:

  1. Stimulate research and debate to build evidence and collective knowledge about EiE
  2. Promote learning across service-delivery organizations, and policy and academic institutionsinformed by evidence
  3. Define knowledge gaps and key trends to inform future research
  4. Publish rigorous scholarly and applied work that will set standards for evidence in the field

The journal can be downloaded (free) from the INEE website:—www.ineesite.org/en/journal


Abstracts from the second issue of the JEiE

Finding a Way Forward: Conceptualizing Sustainability in Afghanistan’s Community-Based Schools

Michelle J. Bellino, Bibi-Zuhra Faizi, and Nirali Mehta

Community-based educational (CBE) models have gained recognition across diverse contexts for closing access gaps, leveraging local assets, and shaping cost-effective and culturally relevant educational opportunities in marginalized communities. In protracted conflict contexts such as Afghanistan, CBE compensates for weak state capacity by cultivating community engagement and support. This article considers the impact of CBE in the voices of Afghanistan’s educational and community stakeholders, gained through interviews and observations with parents, teachers, students, educational officers, and school shuras (councils) across eight communities in two provinces. Against a backdrop of continued insecurity, resource shortages, and uncertain projections for future government and NGO support, conceptions of sustainability emerge as salient but poorly defined, and as lacking common understanding among stakeholders about the purposes and long-term prospects of CBE. We argue that the success of CBE models depends on how various actors define sustainability and what it is the model is seeking to sustain. The study underscores three dimensions of sustainability: (1) self-reported changed attitudes toward education, (2) decisions about student transitions from community to government schools, and (3) emergent indicators of community ownership over CBE. Across these measures of sustainable attitudes, actions, and community arrangements, quality education is positioned as a mechanism for long-term community commitment. However, increased community interest and capacity to sustain CBE is at odds with the current policy approach, which anticipates the eventual handover of all community-based schools to the government.


Will You Send Your Daughter to School? Norms, Violence, and Girls’ Education in Uruzgan, Afghanistan

Dana Burde and Jehanzaib Khan

Access to education for all children around the world is supported by international human rights norms. Despite this broad endorsement, some international actors wonder whether promoting access to education for girls may conflict with dominant local attitudes, values, or customs. Using stratified survey data and complementary qualitative interview data, this study explores why parents choose to send their boys and girls to school in Uruzgan, Afghanistan, what prevents them from doing so, and what normative tensions emerge in as they make these decisions. Our data show, first, that placing value on their boys’ education is not enough to prompt parents to enroll them in school; parents must also perceive that educating their boys will have future returns, thus prioritizing pragmatic assessments over normative value. However, those who send both boys and girls to school are more likely to prioritize the normative value education of education. Second, our data show that parents who report experiencing or having personal knowledge of a higher number of attacks against education are less likely to send their children to school. Finally, we show that normative struggles over girls’ education take place primarily within the local community and society, rather than between foreign organizations and the local population. Regardless of education level, both men and women cite tenets of Islam as a key motivation for educating girls and boys. Although some describe education as a human right, they say that Islam is the source of these rights, not Western organizations or institutions. The greater challenge for aid workers, therefore, is pragmatic (to ensure security) rather than normative (to promote beliefs about the appropriateness of education).


Resilience of LGBTQIA Students on Delhi Campuses

Anjali Krishan, Apurva Rastogi, Suneeta Singh

In this paper, we document how LGBTQIA students on college campuses in Delhi, India, are handling discrimination in the aftermath of the Supreme Court of India’s ruling on December 11, 2013, that recriminalized homosexuality in India. Applying a resilience research approach, our study revealed that LGBTQIA students are mired in a context of adversity and discrimination that leaves them struggling to achieve their desired outcome: acceptance of their LGBTQIA identity. Students employ both protective and promotive resilience strategies to reach the desired outcome, but these efforts come with a high cost that is borne by both individual students and the LGBTQIA community. Resilience strategies, therefore, have not necessarily improved the adverse environment in Delhi’s extremely homophobic higher education establishments. In this paper, we identify which strategies are most likely to lead to positive, long-lasting change.


A School Under Fire: The Fog of Educational Practice in War

Kathe Jervis

This article explores a little-known footnote in the history of the U.S. military occupation in Iraq. In mid-2007, when the war in Iraq was at its height, the author accepted a job to document the beginnings of a school designed and operated by the U.S. military in Iraq. Although this school was in many ways like any other, every aspect ultimately was conditioned by its singular context: it was a school for Iraqi juveniles captured in war. The author documented the situation of the teenage detainees attending this school run by the U.S. military, and described their educational program. Data collection included both semi-structured and informal conversations with the detainees, their teachers, their guards, and those in the military hierarchy who made decisions about the school and its curriculum; the author also conducted extended classroom observations. Document analysis included school schedules, students’ written work and artwork, and assessments. The author gathered information to inform decision-makers about elements missing from the school program, to raise questions about texts and materials, and to offer ideas as the school developed. This article, which is adapted from the field notes the author maintained as part of her assignment, raises questions about the role of the U.S. military in providing education to detained Iraqi juveniles and describes daily life in school.


School-Based Iintervention in Ongoing Crisis: Lessons From a Psychosocial and Trauma-Focused Approach in Gaza Schools

Jon-Håkon Schultz, Laura Marshall, Helen Norheim and Karam Al-Shanti

It is a complex challenge to design education in emergencies responses that meet local needs, are sensitive to local culture, build on international guidelines for best practice, and use research-based methods. This paper presents lessons learned from the implementation of the Better Learning Program, a school-based response in Gaza that combined psychosocial and trauma-focused approaches, and discusses how international guidelines were incorporated. The Better Learning Program intervention was designed as a partially manualized, multi-level approach to help teachers, school counselors, and parents empower schoolchildren with strategies for calming and self-regulation. The stepwise approach first targeted all pupils, then pupils who reported having nightmares and sleep disturbances. The goal was to help these students regain lost learning capacity and strengthen resilience within the school community. The intervention was implemented in 40 schools over two and a half years, with a target group of 35,000 pupils. Teachers and school counselors reported that the combined psychosocial and trauma-focused approach was compatible with their educational perspectives. The approach appeared to enable teachers to be more proactive when teaching pupils affected by war. This paper concludes with reflections and lessons learned.