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Reaching every child affected by conflict or crisis with foundational learning.

Chalkboard Guides help children in emergency contexts achieve foundational literacy and numeracy by supporting teachers to adopt evidence-backed teaching strategies. They are one page per lesson, structured teaching guides, that contains everything teachers need to teach their lessons – from administrative details, to how, where, and what to put on the board, and what to do in the lesson.

HundrED 2024


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2024

Web presence






Target group
Students basic
August 2023
We want children in emergency settings to have sustained access to quality foundational learning. We hope that teachers will use Chalkboard Guides to lighten their workload, whilst improving their teaching in tangible ways. We hope that with scaling partners, Chalkboard Guides will deliver foundational learning, fast, for the most marginalised children in our world.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Children in emergency contexts are most at risk of not achieving foundational learning within three years of schooling. Teachers contend with intensified challenges accessing training and resources, and with regular school closures due to insecurity, children have less time to learn. It is imperative that children achieve foundational learning quickly to keep them in school.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Chalkboard Guides are produced by a team of local teachers and data entry operators, and adapted to the national curriculum and predominant national teaching style and language. Teachers receive one 4 hour, practice-based introductory session, then take the guides back to their schools where they use them to teach lessons.

Inspired by Bansho, an art of board-writing from Japan, Chalkboard Guides allow teachers to realise the potential of the chalkboard and assist them to assure explicit teaching, effective explanations, examples and efficient layout that aids effective learning. Their design and content are shaped by behavioural and cognitive science, introducing powerful pedagogical tweaks that are easily adoptable by the median teacher in a conflict setting to improve teaching and learning. Teachers adopt Chalkboard Guide teaching strategies with over 80% fidelity within 2 weeks.

How has it been spreading?

From 2021-22, Chalkboard Guides have been prototyped by Justice Rising with 379 learners and 6 teachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 160 learners and 3 teachers in Cameroon, in partnership with education in emergencies specialist Street Child. Surveys and semi-structured interviews showed that teachers felt more effective within two weeks of working with Chalkboard Guides. 100% of teachers reported that their workload was “lightened” and felt relieved and supported. In 2022-23, Chalkboard Guides have been piloted by Justice Rising with 1800 learners and 36 teachers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and are set to scale to a further 6000 learners and 120 teachers in Cameroon and DRC in 2023-24.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Go to the Justice Rising website for an overview of the process for implementing Chalkboard Guides.
Then contact ee-reh.owo@justicerising.org for more detailed information and/or support.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews
I live in a small island developing state that is prone to a plethora of hazards. Any number of them could impact the island at any time. The low technology and easy access provided by this innovation would be efficient in such emergencies.
The guides are easy to use and can be implemented with minimal training. This makes them a scalable solution that can be used to reach a large number of children in conflict and crisis-affected areas.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

1. Teachers co-design Chalkboard Guides
Teachers feed into Chalkboard Guide design, which takes into account lesson planning formats, language and standard teaching activities in each context. This is so that the guides feel familiar to teachers when they receive them, aiding adoption.
2. Chalkboard Guides are produced by a local team
A team of teachers, data-entry operators and quality assurance leads work together to produce guides that are aligned to the national curriculum and teaching style/language.
3. Teachers are trained to use Chalkboard Guides
Teachers receive a 4 hour, practice-based introductory session where they watch a demonstration of how to use the guides before every teacher has a chance to practice for themselves.
4. Teachers use guides to improve their teaching
The guides are designed to feel familiar to teachers, making them easy to use. They provide everything teachers need, incorporating powerful tweaks to instructional strategies in conjunction with board content and layout so teachers can make the most of this ubiquitous instructional tool. Chalkboard Guides strengthen teaching throughout the lesson, whilst easing teachers' administrative workload so teachers can focus on teaching.
5. Student engagement deepens
As teaching improves throughout the lesson, the quality of student engagement improves with it. Chalkboard Guide lessons are designed to optimise the processing of new material from working memory to long-term memory.
6. Foundational learning for all!
As students in conflict settings receive quality teaching over time, they achieve foundational literacy and numeracy skills within the first three years of school. They are more likely to stay in school and their learning will flourish as their strong foundations become a springboard to the rest of the curriculum.

Spread of the innovation

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