About this Project

Our volunteer educators travelled to Nicaragua to continue key training facilitators within ACECEN have been receiving through the Walking Together program.  The role of these facilitators is to train teachers in the Christian schools of Nicaragua, each being assigned a group of schools to mentor and encourage.

The focus of this week of workshops was on how to implement a biblical worldview in Nicaragua's school curriculum, particularily to provide ACECEN facilitators with insight and practical experience into the development of Social Studies curriculum materials and pedagogical strategies.

After being introduced to looking their curriculum from a transformational biblical worldview, participants worked in small groups to apply their learning to specific topics. That ACECEN facilitators developed curriculum processes and materials for teaching social studies. They will be able to use these materials working with teachers and staff throughout the school year.

Pablo Menendez, the Executive Director of ACECEN, eight ACECEN facilitators and one ACECEN teacher attended these valuable workshops led by Tena Siebenga-Valstar and Robert Koole.

EduDeo's volunteer edcuators led morning and afternoon sessions for 4 days, beginning with a summary presentation about the story line of the Bible. They egaged participants in dialogue about Biblical worldview and the respective roles/purposes of students, parents, teachers, community school, and church. The learning task involved developing a unit outline for a study of one of the Nicaragua social studies curriculum at the grade 4 or 5 level. A key resource for this workshop was Caminando-con-Dios-en-el-aula by H.W. VanBrummelen.

On the 5th day, they spent time gleaning feedback from the participants to see how the training was received.  Bob Koole reports, "We believe that this project achieved its goals and objectives. All participants were fully engaged during each of the sessions. Their enthusiastic involvement in the curriculum planning process, their engaging feedback for each other’s projects, and positive assessment of the sessions demonstrates that content and methods of the presentations met their expectations."

A few elements that went especially well were interactive presentations, modelled learning strategies, and how the project task for participants allowed them to apply session materials for their roles as facilitators.

The facilitators were deeply impacted by the workshop week, spending time in worship together and exploring how God's story transforms our lives in every way.

Jazmina is the principal at Bautisa Belen Christian School in Managua (pictured below) and she spoke about how she appreciates the training given by the ACECEN facilitators because the facilitators helps the teachers integrate the Biblical worldview:

“It is hard to integrate a biblical world view. You can put it on paper but it is hard to make it happen. The facilitators work with the teachers in love.”

From the facilitator’s training, Jazmina saw how far the teachers were from teaching as they should. They are now becoming more aware of and sensitive to the needs of their students, creating a deeper bond between the teachers and students, as many students often come to the teacher for “ministry”. Jazmina's desire is that, through training, the teachers will be able to deal with the difficult family situations presented by the students in a helpful, God-glorifying way.

Mario, an ACECEN facilitator (also pictured below) found this workshop extremely helpful:

"What I found valuable was seeing the Bible as a large story where God shows his purpose and his mercy by redeeming humanity; learning how to be able to help my teachers in the biblical integration in subjects like Social Studies and mathematics and how to make a unit plan taking into account the statements and purposes of God."

Plans are being made for the next training session to delve deeper into the area of Science, exploring how to integrate a Biblical worldview into that area of education.  There is also a need to give assistance for facilitators in providing leadership with a biblical worldview for monitoring schools, evaluation teaching, making classroom visits and assessing student learning.

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