Arabic is a rich and expressive language that is often lost in translation. We, at the World of Letters, believe that authentic Arabic content preserves identity and a self-worth among Arab youth.
We believe that youth in the MENA region need to be exposed to quality Arabic content to become inquisitive life-long learners that understand the world around them and become true global citizens.
Our approach is based on thematic learning that highlights the bridges and connections between different disciplines. The themes are often introduced emphasizing critical thinking and problem-solving. Our theme based approach contextualizes learning as it makes the transition from subject-area curriculum to an issue-centered learning.
Mapping Educational Resources
Gender-Biases in School Textbooks
To gain a deeper understanding of the subjective barriers to female employment in Jordan this study uses four gender neutral indicators to explore the role of the school curriculum in Jordan as a tool for the socialization of cultural and ideological messages about women and economic life. It particularly focuses on the direct and hidden gender biases in textbooks. It was conducted in 2014 as part of the Echidna Scholarship Program at Brookings.
Environmental Concepts in the School Curriculum
We conducted a comprehensive survey of 104 school textbooks from grade 1-10 in fourteen subjects in order to evaluate the concepts of water, energy and solid waste as they are used in the Jordanian curriculum. The mapping employed a holistic approach by classifying water, energy and solid waste under the environmental education objectives of knowledge, attitude, skills, participation and ethics. The mapping was realized in 2010 as part of the Public Action for Water, Energy and Environment Project (PAP), a public education and behavior change communication program.
Early Childhood Arabic Literacy Program
Our “Early Childhood Arabic Literacy Program” is a multi-sensory, phonetic based and scientifically tested program that sequentially develops from KG 1 and 2 until school grade 3. The program contextualizes the learning of letters by grounding them in Arabic culture and values. Each letter is embedded in a story and/or linked to a subject that originates from or affects the Arab world. Students thereby not only learn their language but are also introduced to and become aware of the social and cultural context they live in. Furthermore, the multi-sensory and phonetic based approach makes learning fun for children and improves learning outcomes. The recently created app lets characters appear in a three-dimensional way, making it particularly attractive for the visual sense.The entire program comes with a package of student books (both study and work-books) as well as a teacher’s guide. It is accompanied by a training for teachers conducted by our education experts.
History of the Greater Syria Program
Our “SALEEM” program is a community-based education program developed to strengthen the connection between school students and their community. SALEEM offers students the opportunity to map community assets to understand the opportunities and challenges facing them. The program engages youth in a dialogue with their community members resulting in a greater clarity and a strong sense of community trust. This fosters a strong commitment towards positive change.
Environmental Behavioral Change Program
Our “Environmental Behavioral Change (EBC)” program is an environment based learning program that uses a multi-disciplinary approach towards “learning about” and “learning for the environment”. Students formulate active groups that challenge harmful practices in their environment and work towards environmental conservation and advocacy.
The World of Letters has also developed Environmental Ethics educational tool kit for the Mawa reserve. The content developed to achieve our Environmental Ethics principals that was developed by the Biosphere Ethics Initiative and is currently being spearheaded by the Center for Environmental Ethics and Law (CEEL):
- To value the ecological integrity of the biosphere and its diversity of interacting ecosystems and species, independently of other values that humans place on them.
- To value the both the species and human communities and recognize their continuity as the basis of the biosphere’s resilience, adaptive capacity and potential for transformation.
- To live within and are dependent upon the biosphere, which we understand as a diverse and dynamic system with limits that human societies must respect.
Training and Professional Development
We conduct needs-assessment surveys to understand the particular constraints and opportunities facing an educational institution. Based on evaluations, we implement targeted continuous training and professional development programs. Extensive training and follow up sessions are conducted for teachers and educational coordinators in using new curricular and implementing new teaching methods.
The World of Letters ToT Career Counselling Prorgram (read more) was implemented in covered nearly 2.000 public schools in Jordan. Over three stages:
1) Training of 45 head of school counsellors from all governorates of Jordan, 4 counsellors from the ministry of education and 4 teachers (has been implemented during September 2016).
2) Training of school counsellors from all public schools in Jordan by the newly trained trainers (to be implemented in November 2016).
3) Weekly sessions conducted by trained school counsellors with students from grade 8-10 – implemented in four school (2 girls and 2 boys) in both Madaba and Thiban (to be implemented throughout the semester).
Furthermore, in 2007, we have been training public sector teachers on the use of the ESL Letterland curriculum. Schools delivering the program demonstrated a higher level of achievement fulfilling the MoE’s outcomes.
Developing Environmental Education Resources
In the framework of the Public Action for Water, Energy and Environment Project (PAP), we developed class-room resources on environmental ethics and education for the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA).
Developing a Global Environmental Ethics Framework
Due to our expertise in the design and implementation of Environmental Education (EE) programs we are part of the Ethics Specialist Group, headed by the Center for Human and Nature, to develop a global environmental ethics code.
Youth Perspectives on Environmental Issues in Jordan
To gain an informed overview of current practices and youth perspectives on environmental issues in Jordan, the World of Letters conducted a survey involving children and youth as part of the Public Action for Water, Energy and Environment Project (PAP).
Piloting the Letterland Learning System in Jordan
To highlight the importance of quality content and capacity development of teachers in achieving positive student outcomes, we piloted the Letterland English learning system in 15 public schools in Jordan.