ILA's work in Europe is strengthened by our affiliates, which form the connective strand that allows ILA to weave a broad and deep network of literacy leaders. In many cases, this network also provides a grassroots local connection for our international projects and a catalyst for activities that respond to their communities' specific needs. ILA activities in the region are coordinated by our Global Operations Unit and the International Development in Europe Committee.
Contact ILA's Global Operations for more information about European activities or see below for information about upcoming conferences and Global Literacy Projects in this region.
Click here for a list of affiliates in Europe.
Secondary Education Activity (SEA)/USAID in Macedonia (2003–2008)
ILA and the American Institute for Research were awarded an Associate Award by USAID Macedonia to expand its support to the education sector through a five-year results-based program. The overall focus of SEA was to help make students' experiences in 50 vocational secondary schools more relevant for their futures as productive workers and democratic citizens. The SEA team addressed this focus by promoting more engaged, relevant classroom instruction; activities to prepare students for careers; and better managed, more flexible school administration. The framework also provided for the inclusion of other interventions as more is learned about the causes of low transitions between primary and secondary school. The project also offered increased opportunities to involve businesses and communities in the educational process. ILA was responsible for the implementation of professional development activities for school teachers and school directors. ILA also worked closely with the Ministry of Education to develop a set of national standards for teacher professional and career development. Measured changes and program impact fell into four broad areas related to teachers' and students' school experiences that were important for students' future employability: instructional methods, computer access/computer use in teaching/students' computer skills, career development, and student problem-solving skills. Mean index score comparisons between 2005 and 2008 on the 11 indices used to evaluate program impact revealed a statistically significant increase with 20 to 30 percentage points improvement on 10 of the 11 indices.
Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (1997–2004)
Active in 28 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, and South/East Asia, RWCT introduced research-based instructional practices to teachers and teacher educators. These methods were designed to help students think reflectively, take ownership for their personal learning, understand the logic of arguments, listen attentively, debate confidently, and become independent, lifelong learners. Implementation of multi-year integrated professional development program for teachers of primary grades through secondary school (serving over 25,000 teachers) included initiatives for university educators, teacher trainers, faculty of pedagogical high schools, school inspectors, and education ministries:
- Production of guidebooks and manuals to accompany in-service training for practicing teachers and university teacher educators, translated to national languages
- Development of standards for use in self-assessment, peer evaluation, and dialogue
- Certification of 255 trainers and 117 certifiers through established standards and procedures
- Regional higher education workshops to introduce a) needs assessment and strategic planning for universities, b) a course in critical thinking for faculty and university students, and c) strategies for use of RWCT methods across the university curriculum
- Creation of quarterly peer-reviewed journal on educational change, published in English and Russian
Visit criticalthinkinginternational.org for more information.