Curriculum Development

“The key thing is the teacher training”, Jonny Clarke, Curriculum Development Director

The main focus of our Youth Empowerment Program is to deliver high quality education. Soon after we started running the program, consisting of English, computers and soft skills, it was obvious that there was a need for these sorts of courses in many other communities in Mumbai, across Maharashtra, and throughout India. With this in mind, we decided to develop our materials and syllabi in a manner that could be easily taught in other places and shared with other organisations. The ultimate goal is for each set of educational materials, and associated teacher training, to be available to all that need them in India and, eventually, throughout the world.

English Curriculum
Very close to the heart of Reality Gives founder, Chris Way, the English curriculum development is a long term project of Reality Gives led by former volunteer, Jonny Clarke. Under Jonny�s guidance, various people have contributed to the development of the curriculum.

So far the project team has:

  • Designed and tested materials specifically aimed at Indian students from less fortunate backgrounds
  • Conducted extensive research into other educational materials already in use by other schools and NGOs
  • Observed, consulted and worked with various local English teachers

The second draft of the English curriculum was completed in 2012. Since then it has been tested on various groups of students and we have also trialled the Teach India curriculum (a Times of India CSR initiative). One of the main conclusions so far has been the importance of teacher training. The other main issue is that most programs and institutions only offer one level of English course which has proved inadequate for students to build up a genuine understanding of the English language. The plan therefore is to design a program that consists of four stages:

  1. Develop easy to follow teachers' notes
  2. Develop culturally appropriate materials for students (covering at least three different levels, starting from absolute beginner)
  3. Improve the teachers' standard of English and confidence of subject knowledge
  4. Train the teachers in child-centred, student-focused teaching techniques

The next draft of the curriculum will be started in early 2014, led by Jonny Clarke.

English Conversation Course
Originally developed as supplementary activities for the main English syllabus, the English conversation course has become a standalone set of thirty easy to follow lessons which each provide an hour of activities that give learners the chance to practise speaking English.

Computer Curriculum
The fact that the computer curriculum is now being used by other NGOs perhaps makes this syllabus the most successful of the curriculum development projects so far. Originally developed by Jonny Clarke in 2010, it is now being redesigned to incorporate Windows 8 and Office 2013. As well as being adapted for the newer software, the new curriculum will take into account the feedback of the Reality Gives computer teachers and of the students who have completed the course.

While analysing this feedback we have noticed a significant demand for both a higher level Office course and for a wider range of courses, such as Desk Top Publishing and accounting. This demand was one of the driving factors behind us opening a centre solely for computers in November 2013 which will enable us to reach out to more students and offer more courses.

Soft Skills Curriculum
Developed organically by Reality Gives staff in conjunction with various international volunteers, the Soft skills curriculum is shaping up to be a strong set of culturally appropriate materials that addresses some of the trickier issues that face the youngsters of our communities, the majority of which are not addressed in their schooling or by their families.

Areas covered include:

  • Gender and equality
  • Sexual issues and reproductive education
  • Personality development, body language and assertiveness
  • Manners, etiquette and grooming

Due for another review, the target is to produce effective materials, which take into account the issues and sensitivities of the communities we work within, with ingrained advice and tips for the teacher.

ROLE OF REALITY GIVES

DonateReality Gives oversees the overall development of the curricula.
DonateReality Gives tests the materials on its courses and facilitates feedback, which is then provided to the developers.
GiftReality Gives provides funding to the developers.
IMPACT
  • As well as being used on our own computer courses, the computer curriculum is now being taught at partner NGO CORP, by teachers trained by Reality Gives.
GET INVOLVED
  • Provide funding for the further designing and testing of our curricula
  • As an expert volunteer help us improve our curricula
  • As an expert volunteer help us design an impact assessment program for our materials

Projects we run: