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Refugee Educator Academy for Quality Holistic Learning (REA-QHL)

Quality holistic learning (QHL) experiences for teachers to ensure QHL outcomes for students

REA-QHL builds on evidence-based practices in student-centered, holistic learning in resettlement and displacement contexts with the belief that every learner deserves opportunities to connect, grow, and thrive. This project centers teachers as learners with the recognition that their work as community leaders holds the potential to move education systems toward greater inclusion, equity, and joy.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
March 2021
I’ve become a stronger, louder advocate for our [refugee students] who are often perceived as deficient. I am working to flip the mindset of colleagues so that they see the assets and abilities.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Two colliding crises—79.5 million displaced people and a shortage of 69 million teachers globally—means that refugee, and other marginalized communities, find access to quality education limited. Sustained professional learning opportunities in supportive communities of practice are essential to build the dynamic, informed, and skilled teacher workforce necessary to address education inequities.

How does your innovation work in practice?

REA-QHL mobilizes our Sustainable Learning Framework to co-develop courses, toolkits, webinars, workshops, microcredentials, and connected networks with and for educators of refugee, and other marginalized, learners within national school systems and informal learning spaces. We take a connected online approach, utilizing technologies that make learning possible anytime, anywhere, from any device. Our pedagogical framework, Sustainable Learning, weaves together systems thinking, looped learning, purposeful pedagogy, democratic engagement, and digital geographies to create and sustain a healthy learning ecosystem that offers iterative, evidence-based processes to address immediate needs and provide for the emergence of transformative insights and actions. Our efforts to date have led to not only deepening of knowledge and development of skill, but also to shifts in perceptions and practices among educators in the United States, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

How has it been spreading?

What started with a pilot project in 2018 involving 30 educators in 7 countries has grown to a community of practice including more than 700 educators in over 50 countries. In the last two years, we have co-created courses with and for primary and secondary school educators in the United States, educators and NGO partners in Europe, NGO partners in Kenya and Egypt, and higher education faculty throughout the Middle East. We have also developed webinar and workshop series spotlighting the voices, practice, and research of practitioners across this network. External evaluation, as well as internal and locally led research, validates both our model and its impact. Over the next 2-3 years, we plan to further build capacity within local contexts to deliver quality holistic learning to all.

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

Our model is designed for adaptation and contextualization. Quality holistic learning, inclusion, and equity are the common threads in our resources and methodologies, and these methods and materials are modular and mobile, reconfigurable to meet local needs. We are happy to co-develop strategies that address school, organization, or ministry priorities. Contact our team to learn more.


UNHCR Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa - Education Newsletter #25 - January 2021
Featured in the UNHCR Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa Education Newsletter. Read HERE. 
This is how we're supporting teachers around the world in 2021
Featured in the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030. Read HERE. 
Supporting Global Education Coalition
Committed member of Global Education Coalition, a Coalition to protect the right to education during unprecedented disruption and beyond. Visit our page HERE. 
TEACHER VOICE: Refugee students face extra hurdles in the pandemic
Featured teacher voice in the Hechinger Report. Read HERE.
The Futures of Teaching
Featured case study in the Futures of Teaching final report published by the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030. Read HERE.
Teachers in Crisis Contexts: Promising Practices in Teacher Management, Professional Development, and Well-being
Two featured case studies in this Teachers in Crisis Contexts (TiCC) Roundtable. Read HERE or follow the link below.Refugee Educator Foundations of Practice: Supporting Teachers in Host Countries & Resettlement Contexts to Meet the Needs of Refugee StudentsTawasol: A pilot project offering extended, online professional development for Syrian and Egyptian teachers in the Syrian informal learning sector in Egypt
Tawasol Digital Community of Practice in Egypt
Featured report in the UNESCO Global Compact on Refugees Digital Platform. Read HERE. 
Empowering Educators of Refugees as Teachers and Learners - Digital Promise
Featured story in Digital Promise Blog. Read HERE.

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