Online and blended delivery models were considered a route to scale for Dignitas' award winning training and coaching. COVID-19 accelerated this, presenting an urgent need to keep children's learning and well-being on track. In April 2020, 70% of school leaders believed it was their responsibility to support learners, but 68% didn't know how; whilst only 5% were in contact with 75% of learners.
Dignitas selects partner schools in collaboration with government officials. These schools nominate instructional leaders and teacher leaders to engage with Dignitas as their school leadership team. School Leadership teams are allocated in peer professional learning communities hosted on a common messaging platform, and led by a Dignitas Leadership Coach. School Leadership Teams access training; either mini professional development modules and toolkits through Dignitas' ChatBot, or full modules through our LMS (online and offline capability). Modules are built around a competency framework, and new scenario based tools are in design to enhance remote competency measurement where classroom observations are limited. Individual and group coaching, which leverages reflective practice to transform leadership and classroom practice, is woven throughout the training schedule and is conducted via phone, online feedback, group whats-app sessions, and video-conferencing communities of practice.
Dignitas's flagship training and coaching program Stawisha was honored with a WISE Award 2020, and featured on HundrED's Global Collection 2020 and 2021. LeadNow! was birthed in the midst of our covid response and was first piloted as part of our Leaders of Learning program, designed to keep learning and well-being on track during nationwide school closures. First rolled out among a small cohort in Nairobi's informal settlements, the program quickly drew attention and was rolled out across 6 counties. Evaluation showed that 98% of participants report having gained new competencies. As a result teachers supported parents (resulting in reduced anxiety, and increased time and action toward supporting learning among 94% of households) and learners (literacy and numeracy losses stemmed).
The starting point for teacher professional development is to understand what competencies teachers need to support equitable, quality learning for every child. Once these competencies are understood, and it is clear how they look in school and classroom practice, Dignitas can design series of training and coaching content to develop mindsets, practices and competencies for a specific context.