What Global Schoolroom Does

Who we are and what we do

Global Schoolroom is a teacher education initiative established in 2006 by two Irish teachers, which has since then brought over 1000 Indian teachers together with more than 200 of their Irish counterparts to share their educational experience, expertise and good practice.  Since 2008, Global Schoolroom has facilitated a UCD Collaborative Programme with approximately 600 Indian teachers progressing to a Level 7 Award.

Our Vision and Mission Statements and our Guiding Principals, as agreed in 2007 are laid out below.

Our Vision Statement

Education helps eradicate poverty, promote economic development and build sustainable communities.

Our Mission Statement

Global Schoolroom brings teachers from Ireland together with their global counterparts to build each partner’s capacity through the sharing of educational experience, expertise and good practice.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Education has the power to enlighten and expand each individual’s scope for opportunity.
  • A primary education for every child is essential
  • Sharing good educational practices enriches the collective educational experience and widens the cultural horizons of everyone involved.
  • Forging respectful links between educational partners works to their mutual benefit.
  • Working directly with teachers is the best way to build a strong framework for high standards of teacher education, which, once in place, can be delivered by sustainable local networks.

At the heart of what Global Schoolroom does is the forging of respectful links between educational partners to their mutual benefit.  This sharing of good educational practices enriches the collective educational experience, widens the cultural horizons of everyone involved and expands each individual’s scope for opportunity.  Children in the communities involved receive a better quality education, which ultimately leads to greater economic development and higher standards of living.

Since 2006, we have brought over 1000 Indian teachers together with more than 200 of their Irish counterparts to share their educational experience, expertise and good practice.  Since 2008, Global Schoolroom has facilitated a UCD Collaborative Programme with approximately 600 Indian teachers progressing to a Level 7 award.  Following on from this success, the Global Schoolroom programme is now expanding to also work with partners in Kenya and Sierra Leone.

“About Us” by our CEO Garret Campbell

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Our Mission Statement

Global Schoolrom is dedicated to sharing educational experience between communities worldwide to help eradicate poverty, promote economic development and build sustainable communities.

The power of education

to enlighten one another and expand each individual’s scope for opportunity.

A primary education for every child

to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goas, in particular SDG4 for equitable quality education for all.

to enrich the collective educational experience and widen the cultural horizons of everyone involved.

Working directly with teachers and communities

to build a strong framework for high standards of teacher training which, once in place, can then be delivered by sustainable local networks.

Forging respectful links

between educational partners to their mutual benefit.

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On the last day of the programme in India, the tutors are required to fill out a “hot debrief” to capture their evaluation of the programme in-country. At the beginning of September, each tutor is contacted by the CEO by phone for an individual debrief.

Following this, the tutors are invited to attend a one day debrief and evaluation which is carried out by an independent consultant. This is designed to provide these teachers with an opportunity to input their ideas and suggestions for enhancements to the programme.

For the Indian teachers, further application and implementation is required throughout the year to help complete assignments for formal assessment in Global Schoolroom workbooks. Local tutor/mentor system and ‘critical friend’ groups have been set up locally to facilitate this process.

In October and February each year Global Schoolroom undertakes Mid Year Reviews with local teachers in India. During this period, experienced tutors travel back out to India to conduct check-in clinics with the Indian teachers and tackle any issues or questions they may have about completing their assignments.

At the end of May, the Indian teachers are required to submit their workbooks for correction. Assessment of the local teachers written work is done each June by a team of UCD staff who travel out to India to conduct this.

A Global Schoolroom ‘Development Education’ doctoral programme in University of Limerick is putting in place a strategy to ensure that tutors are encouraged to maintain links with Global Schoolroom after their return and to involve their pupils in the experience. Some tutors travel again to India with the programme in subsequent years, others remain involved on the various committees and support groups.

At the end of the third year those local teachers who have successfully completed the programme are invited to a conferring ceremony in their local hub at which the diplomas are presented.

In consultation with the local school management, an exceptional local teacher is chosen from each hub and appointed to work alongside the visiting teachers as a tutor on the next 3 year programme. These local teachers are provided with an opportunity to travel to Ireland to attend week long tutor training programme at UCD and the spend three weeks working with Irish teachers in both urban and rural schools.

Each year an expert panel comprised of 5 academics India, Ireland, the US and the UK meets to review course materials, strategy and ensure that the programme continues to stay in pace with best standards internationally.

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Expansion of Programme

July 2017 for the first time, will see the expansion of our educational programme  into Sierra Leone and Kenya.

Administration, processes and expertise

In 2015 Comhlamh, the Irish Volunteering and Development Workers Organisation, carried out an external audit on Global Schoolroom and confirmed that our operations and procedures are of a high standard. We attained Comprehensive Compliance under the Comhlamh Code of Good Practice.  We have appointed a part-time Finance and Office Manager and two Programmes Managers to spearhead the Sierre Leone and Kenya projects. We intend to expand our Board of Directors to harness additional skills and have set up a panel of experts with international reputations to ensure that all our curricula and methodologies measure up to best international practice. We are also establishing working groups made up of alumni and practitioners in certain fields of expertise to work with us on a regular basis as part of a voluntary management team, with responsibility for driving specific areas of the programme.

Accreditation

We place the highest importance on ensuring that our programme is accredited both in Ireland and in countries where we work with local teachers. We intend to keep accreditation to the forefront of our agenda and ultimately to ensure that our programme remains both internationally and locally accredited to reflect the professional qualification achieved by participants. Currently, the Indian Programme is accredited internationally as a Level 7 Diploma by UCD and as a Higher Diploma by Assam Don Bosco University. With this in mind we are building on the links already established with Don Bosco University in Guwahati and other universities in India’s North East in order to secure recognition locally for our Programme as a B.Ed.

Curriculum development and course content

In order to ensure our programme is reviewed to reflect changing local requirements a full review of the volunteer tutor training programme is taking place along with a consultation with those we are working with on the ground and with the relevant government bodies in India, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Development Education

We want to see the hugely beneficial personal experience and skills gained by volunteers (and the opportunity they had to be immersed in the culture of the countries they visit) transferred to their fellow teachers in their staff rooms and to their pupils in their classrooms. With this in mind, we have launched a Development Education Programme in collaboration with the Department of Education and Professional Studies in the University of Limerick. This initially takes the form a research programme to inform the direction and detail of the development education strategy.

An analysis of the Global Schoolroom programme in India as part of a social research project in association with the School of Education, UCD, is also taking place.

All of this will assist our network of alumni to ensure that teachers who have participated become advocates for Global Schoolroom and ambassadors for development education more generally.

We are conscious of the need to ensure that we enjoy a secure pipeline of reliable funding in order to fund our programme as it currently stands, finance the building and on going cost of a permanent management infrastructure and make possible the expansion of our programme in the future.

Over the first 5 years of our existence we have expended resources equivalent to approximately €400,000, made up of direct funding from Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. together with management and other related assistance provided by Cornmarket, and from contributions made by those teachers who have travelled to India and Uganda (former location of the Global Schoolroom Programme). This is not taking into account the educational expertise provided by these teachers on a pro bono basis.

Our funding is split into two streams. The first is volunteer contributions which volunteers make to become tutors on the July programme. Each tutors contributes €3000 which covers all their costs (pre-training, vaccinations, flights, insurance, food and board while in India etc). A break down of the €3000 is available under the “Apply” section. Secondly, we receive core funding (salaries, printing costs etc) through Corporate Funding.

Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd have continued to provide core funding to Global Schoolroom for which we are very grateful.

Irish Life, selected Global Schoolroom as its international staff charity and their support has allowed us continue the expansion of our programme in India (from 5 hubs to 8) and to appoint a CEO. Since this, Irish Life have come on board as a long-term Corporate Funder and have committed to three year funding.

We are also grateful to New Ireland and Friends First who came on board as Corporate partners in 2014 and have committed to part funding this three-year cycle (2014 – 2017).

We are also grateful to the three Teacher Unions (ASTI, INTO and TUI) who have also committed to three year funding for the current programme (2014 – 2017).

Finally, we have been grateful to receive smaller ad hoc contributions from Electric Aid, Folens and personal donations which have helped us in our Core Funding needs.

All of our accounts are publicly available on our website under the Governance tab.