LSI Is Managing Nine International Projects In 2022
For 53 years, the Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University has worked with 44 countries and received awards surpassing $750,000,000. During this time, LSI has established itself as one of the world’s leading institutes for developing and implementing innovative learning solutions. The faculty and staff’s impactful work continued this year, collaborating on projects with educators, governments and organizations from seven countries.
LSI is currently working on international projects with education professionals from Egypt, Lebanon, Malawi, the Philippines, Rwanda, Uzbekistan and Zambia. The work being conducted by the LSI faculty and staff in the United States and around the world will allow educators all over the globe to impact millions of students.
LSI made significant progress worldwide this past year, implementing nine international projects.
One of LSI’s newest projects is taking place in Egypt in collaboration with the School of Teacher Education (STE) at Florida State University. LSI will partner with the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in implementing the Teacher Excellence Initiative in Egypt. Faculty members from LSI and the STE will work collaboratively to design a framework for pre-service degree teacher education programs focused on multi/interdisciplinary mathematics and English teaching. The FSU team will lead work with their partners to provide technical assistance to develop/revise the four-year program for primary education teachers in the English track and provide ongoing professional development and support to professors. FSU faculty from LSI and STE will collaborate on the development of the four-year undergraduate program and a one-year in-service post-graduate program, as well as provide support to strengthen pre-service and in-service teaching curricula in mathematics and English.
“This project is a unique opportunity for LSI to partner with FSU’s School of Teacher Education to implement this critical work that will reach all Egyptian children,” said LSI Director Rabieh Razzouk. “Working on the Teacher Excellence Initiative ensures Florida State University will play a vital role in Egypt’s Education 2.0 reform over the next five years.”
LSI continued its partnership with the USAID/Lebanon Higher Education Capacity Development (HECD) Program by welcoming 19 university staff members from Lebanon to Tallahassee. The group spent five days focusing on career development programs, with much of the program hosted by The Career Center at FSU. LSI has also provided training to administrators and faculty in 10 Lebanese universities participating in the program. Training and support were provided for them on the topics of building career centers, grant proposal writing, infrastructure setup and design thinking.
The Strengthening Teacher Education and Practice activity is based in Lilongwe, Malawi. Since starting the project, LSI entirely staffed an office in Lilongwe and designed and conducted a Baseline Situation Analysis (BSA) of 10 Teacher Training Colleges (TTC), one University for Special Needs Education and six primary school pilot Teacher Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programs. Findings from the BSA were presented to national stakeholders.
“We will be impacting every single teacher that teaches primary school in all of Malawi, which means that we will impact every child,” said Adrienne Barnes-Story, project director and LSI research faculty member. “It’s just mind-blowing that we can impact the entire primary education system while strengthening the higher education network of institutions necessary to carry this work forward.”
Working on a second project in Malawi, LSI faculty and staff supported the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) in developing new teacher guides and learner books for English and Chichewa Language Arts classes for grades five and six used in all primary schools across the country. Materials were drafted, piloted, revised and refined. Through the National Reading Program Implementation and Expansion activity, LSI improved the capacity of 10 MIE staff and approximately 80 other professionals to reach every student in the country.
LSI continued supporting faculty from Bicol University (BU) and West Visayas State University (WVU) as part of their partnership with USAID-Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines. The FSU team trained the BU and WVSU faculty on delivering the Teaching Beginning Reading course using the module jointly developed with the Filipino teaching faculty. More than 150 undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Elementary Education course.
In Kigali, Rwanda, members of the LSI international team supported the Tunoze Gusoma - Schools and Systems project. The first activity was to implement training for a previously developed module on teaching literacy skills in the Kinyarwanda language. The training was delivered to approximately 70 instructors across Rwanda. Next, the team completed a Baseline Situation Assessment of teacher education programs and a Rapid Situation Assessment of the Teaching Practice/School Attachment program being implemented. These findings were used to develop and deliver the first two weeks of a foundational literacy course for TTC tutors who teach Kinyarwanda literacy courses. Approximately 50 TTC tutors have already received the first two weeks of training.
The Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program is an initiative to improve skills in Uzbek Language Arts, mathematics, information and communication technology and English as a foreign language in public schools. To date, the LSI team has developed the standards for language arts and math in grades 1–4 and developed standards, scope and sequence and customized textbooks and teacher’s guides for English as a foreign language in grades 1-11. In addition, LSI led the development of a digital platform that will house all the curriculum standards and curricular materials, including textbooks and supplemental resources, to be used by all 300,000 teachers in Uzbekistan. This system will provide immediate and direct support to all the teachers in Uzbekistan. This is an unprecedented effort in the country and will serve as a one-stop shop for all their curricular needs.
In Zambia, LSI continued its work with 12 universities and colleges of education to improve the training of primary grade teachers. The USAID Transforming Teacher Education Program (TTE) will give more than 60 Zambian teacher educators the skills to deliver effective instruction to 9,000 college and university students studying to become primary-grade teachers. In 2022, LSI completed the Graduate Foundational Literacy Course as well as the subsequent research symposium, supported six Zambian lecturers to participate in FSU residencies and two Zambian lecturers to participate in master’s degree programs, completed the drafting process for six language and literacy modules for use in Zambian COEs and universities, developed and piloted a revised school experience approach, procured story books and instructional materials for demonstration schools and completed two participatory action research projects.
“This project is exciting as FSU has a lead role in improving primary teacher education at a national level,” said Stephanie Simmons Zuilkowski, an LSI associate professor and the project’s director.
Since 2013, LSI has worked with the U.S. State Department and in partnership with Santa Fe College to conduct the Community College Administrator Program (CCAP). The initiative is intended to enhance international understanding of U.S. community colleges and U.S. community college systems. This year administrators and officials from Egypt and the Philippines have traveled to Florida to participate.
The dedication and relentless international work performed this year by the LSI faculty and staff will impact students from the youngest of ages all the way through post-secondary education. Working on projects with these seven countries continues LSI’s mission of innovating learning on a global scale.