8-19-14  |  Success Story

Fabretto teachers receive ‘Open Learning’ training

BY: Diana Corrales

More than 70 teachers from Fabretto Education Centers and Ministry of Education (MINED) schools gathered to participate in a three-day workshop on the “Open Learning” (Enseñanza Abierta) methodology at Fabretto’s Education Center in San José de Cusmapa. The training was led by Verena Chavanne and a team of four volunteers, all representatives of the Austrian development cooperation organization ICEP. The training program consisted of practical workshops in which the teachers tried out different Open Learning resources, learned how to make them on their own, and planned an Open Learning-style lesson in groups of five.

Verena Chavanne first created the Open Learning method to teach children in rural Guatemala how to read without having to rely on expensive materials, since teachers often blamed poor student performance on the lack of teaching materials.Verena taught teachers how to  develop classroom resources from recycled materials, which makes Open Learning applicable in developing countries.

Following its success in Guatemala, ICEP developed a manual on how to create the recycled materials and implement them in the classrom within the Open Learning teaching methodology. The main ideas of Open Learning are giving the students the necessary tools to “learn how to learn” and encouraging the students to take responsibility for their own learning.

After the three-day worshop, the Austrian volunteers will remain in Nicaragua to shadow teachers at Fabretto’s centers in Cusmapa, Somoto, Quebraonda and Estelí. During this period, the volunteers will help the teaching staff tailor Open Learning to their classrooms and clarify any remaining doubts about the methodology or materials.

Fabretto teachers in Estelí and Cusmapa expressed their enthusiasm for implementing the new approach in their classrooms. They can already tell that Open Learning, with its focus on tangible and student-centered lessons, will make learning easier and more fun for their students.

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