Teachers are influential. They can reinforce the status quo or be a catalyst for change that can extend far beyond the school gate.
Among Indonesia’s 267 million people, countless towns and villages have endured generational poverty. But there seem to be positives. Twelve years of schooling is now compulsory; attendance has steadily increased; and Indonesians are leap-frogging into the 21st century with smartphones, basic government health cover and automatic motor scooters now widely available.
On the surface, this developing nation appears to be making great progress. But look beneath the surface in many of the disadvantaged schools and a different scene is observed. School classrooms have not changed, with many teachers still instructing with decades-old rote-learning and preferring ‘answers not processes’; an assumption that the teacher is the fount of all knowledge. These approaches are largely out of step with project-based learning, teamwork and critical thinking now appreciated in the workforce and more generally in society.
Teachers in these needy areas throughout the country are ideally placed to become leaders and developers in the life of their schools and local communities if empowered to facilitate fresh hope through education.
Through Better Learning Brighter Lives, we train and mentor local teachers in disadvantaged schools. We teach strategies such as reducing conflict, scaffolding learning and training up teachers to empower students to become lateral thinkers and problem-solvers. These concepts can sometimes feel threatening for teachers who have invested in an identity of ‘respect me no matter what’ and in a system where students are judged on results rather than process and effort. But teacher transformation with Better Learning Brighter Lives is a game-changer that restores respect to students as creative learners, and teachers as empowered facilitators.
Through seminars, workshops, and ongoing mentoring, both in-person and online, we aim to transform the teachers from instructors and administrators into facilitators, coaches and, over time, inspirational leaders in their communities.
We help students in their learning, through skills workshops, teaching them to become critical and optimistic thinkers and problem solvers. We also provide seminars and small group workshops to help parents support their children emotionally, nutritionally and academically.
The full circle will be complete when these mentored teachers can run workshops for other teachers in nearby schools, the students take their new thinking skills into family and community life, and parents share with other parents about how to support their children in today’s learning climate. Then we prayerfully hope to move on to other communities. Better Learning Brighter Lives will also come full-circle when we have trained others to go and serve among poor people in remote places to train and mentor school communities there.
For more information about this project, please contact Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org.