About this Project

Gary and Diane traveled to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to continue with professional development of specific trainers who will assist teachers in COCREF Christian schools.

Their focus was on developing a biblical worldview for Dominican Republic’s mathematics and science programs. After having been introduced to looking at math and science from a transformational biblical worldview, participants would learn apply their learning to topics in the DR curriculum. Participants, directors and leaders of COCREF schools would develop materials to lead workshops at various locations as determined by the leadership of COCREF.

25 COCREF school leaders and teachers attended.  Joining Diane and Gary as presenters was Guillermo Yan Alfonso, and Victor Cerda assisted as translator.  After spending some time getting to know each other and listening to each other's stories about their lives as educators they reviewed and expanded the discussion of worldview, what it meant and how it would shape curriculum planning and the students' classroom experience. This was followed by discussion of Math and Science education, and guidelines for the unit and lesson planning that the participants would work on. An important part of this day was the presentation by Guillermo of a social studies unit that had been developed after the work that was done at COCREF building on the Walking Together project done with them in 2011 and 2012. That unit provided a “worldview friendly” template which the participants would use to develop their Math and Science units later in the week. The concept of protocols where colleagues could critique each other's work in an “I like”, “I wonder” format, which allows colleagues to be “hard on content and soft on people” was also shared, to create a safe Professional Development environment.

The workshops continued with discussion of aspects of Math teaching, including Math anxiety, how to teach certain Math concepts, and how to make Math teaching less abstract and more related to the everyday experience of the students. The rest of these last days were spent with the participants working in groups on the units and lessons on topics of their choosing.  On the final day the participants presented their units and lessons to the group.

The project went very well. The participants were intensely engaged and the products presented at the end of the week demonstrated and genuine eagerness to learn and to work together. There was a great spirit in the group with lots of laughter, great devotions and excellent conversation. There was a great working relationship between the participants, and participants were very willing to learn more about worldview and how to improve the learning experience of their students. It is exciting to see that the conversation, the learning and the growth here will continue under the excellent leadership of COCREF.

 

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