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An Education Innovation Lab: Built In Context + For Scale
Why we do what we do?
In the world’s most unequal country, we need to bridge the massive divide between a contextual policy and the lived educational experiences of children. For example, one of our fourth graders stays with his grandmother. When he joined us in first grade, he often acted out and struggled academically. Now, he is a leader in his class and one of our most talented Python coders. He recently wrote a letter inviting President Ramaphosa to attend our career day, advising him to improve roads & education, and signing it 'Your Future President.' What's striking is not just that he has grand ambitions. It's that we've empowered him with values like love and honesty to lead authentically; to think critically about what would help improve our country; and to have the unwavering belief that he can become anything.
How we do it?
Teachers are best equipped to empower students if exposed to the best ideas and immersed in a culture of growth and collaboration. For example, we found an instructional model that helps inexperienced teachers facilitate student-centered, differentiated lessons instead of chalk-and-talk. Our team adapted the Workshop Model to the local context & standards, developed innovative teaching materials, trained new teachers and codified it to introduce to state schools who struggle with large classes and poorly trained teachers. By combining global theory with local practice, we have a refined model that can be used to train teachers and applied to multiple contexts at no additional cost.
Thus, we created an education innovation lab: a school similar enough to the state system to solve problems, but with enough flexibility and support to give motivated teachers the chance to design solutions. We partnered with the University of Johannesburg to codify our innovations and with public schools to scale our innovations to serve students from low-income communities. We launched our first public school partnership already changing practices around teacher specialization, professional development and assessment.
Who we are?
We are a team of passionate educators & leaders who believe deeply in the infinite potential of all children—that anyone empowered with the right values, mindsets, skillsets and opportunities is capable of overcoming challenges to become self-actualized individuals. We are led by our CEO, David Fu, an ever-evolving entrepreneur in the global education & innovation sectors with experience in empowering leaders, building community, running an incubator and investment banking.