Our Mission for International Professional Development is to provide educational enhancement opportunities to schools in need through interactive project-based learning experiences and hands-on curriculum design, that inspire a sense of wonder and excitement for learning and teaching.
- Provide innovative, hands-on learning experiences to teachers and students that support and enhance the current academic goals in their countries.
- Provide specific professional training to educators in inquiry, project-based, and experience-based learning and innovative teaching techniques and strategies.
- Forge a meaningful dialogue between Quarrybrook and international educators, allowing for an open exchange of questions, concerns, and ideas in order to ensure that new information is both relevant to the location and understood by all participants.
- Provide an opportunity for international educators to share their expertise and knowledge with U.S. educators.
We work directly with local educational foundations and organizations around the world to coordinate, design, and implement professional development workshops for selected schools. Many of the schools we work with are located in rural areas with very few resources available to them. Our goal is to provide much-needed professional support and development to their teachers to help empower them to drive their own growth and progress as a school and a community. Through exposure to important educational strategies and pedagogy they might not otherwise have access to, we provide educators with the meaningful tools they need to enhance their own teaching abilities and to improve education where they live. We also seek to gain in our teaching skills and knowledge by learning from educators and schools around the world. We view our work as collaborations in which both sides share their knowledge and expertise with each other, growing both sides of the partnership.
Quarrybrook staff collaborate with Afghan educators teaching at SOLA - School of Leadership, in Kabul, Afghanistan. SOLA is a small, highly-selective organization founded to expand educational and leadership opportunities for a new generation of Afghan women. Quarrybrook staff developed a teacher training workshop that supports the efforts of SOLA in becoming a fully operating school focused on the most effective teaching models and strategies in order to educate and support the future of Afghan women, to prepare them to contribute to the rebuilding of their country. SOLA teachers made their first visit to Quarrybrook in 2014 to receive training and observe local teachers in their classrooms.
In 2015 two teachers and four students from SOLA participated in a two-week International Summer Leadership Institute at Quarrybrook, along with three teachers and five students from the FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists) high school in Rwanda. The faculty professional development program focused on inquiry-based learning, along with investigating reflective writing as a tool to engage students in critical thinking and experimental design.
The students investigated solar energy, heat transfer, electricity, and how an ecosystem harvests energy. Then they assembled and tested their own solar ovens. Then they designed, constructed, and demonstrated their own solar-powered lanterns, using solar cells to charge the lantern batteries. The students found their voices during a complementary writing program, sharing their visions of a future with green technology being used as a tool to shape educational reform.
Since 2010, Children In The Wilderness - Zimbabwe has worked with Quarrybrook staff to develop a teacher enhancement program in which visiting U.S. educators share current theory and effective teaching strategies with educators from primary schools in the Zambezi area. Through four visits we have implemented workshops for more than 50 teachers and led outdoor lessons for more than 300 rural children. In 2012 we were proud to add local teachers from Zambia to the program.
Education Article on pg 2 of Zambezi Traveller