Few countries have been transformed in the past 18 months as much as Tunisia. TEARN (Tunisian Education And Resource Network), under the guidance of president and Global Education Conference keynoter Héla Nafti, has also transformed itself, becoming one of the first post-revolution education NGOs in the country. A pioneer of K-12 online collaborative projects in Tunisia since 2003, TEARN hosts workshops and facilitates projects for an estimated 40 teachers and 800 students in 30 schools across the country. TEARN projects are aligned to the Tunisian national curricula, which supports project-based learning instruction.
Héla describes one iEARN project that has been popular:
We are very proud of a particular project that really brought together all the tools of online collaboration strongly related to the curriculum. In Future Citizens, students from various schools, together with their teachers have worked closely with the facilitator of the project, Freda Goodman in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The outcomes of the project were celebrated in a huge event attended by educators, students, experts in education and Ministry officials. Students from various schools were together and came out with Powerpoint presentations, songs they composed, their own choreography, a poem they wrote and had a Skype connection with their peers in the US who asked them questions about the Tunisian Revolution. This event was really the implementation of the values we want our students to possess …
Project Facilitator Freda Goodman, a social studies educator currently working with pre-service teachers and developing and teaching online courses for high school students, continues:
This past week it was exciting to participate in a video-conference with journalism students in Miami, FL and students in Tunisia who were celebrating the first anniversary of their revolution. The Tunisian students are eager to learn what this new democracy means to them. As one Tunisian wrote “…our precious Tunisia is facing a new era. In fact, it is from this African country that what people call ‘ the Arab Spring ‘ sprang. This turning-point in our history will undoubtedly influence our view of our duties and rights and those of our children as future citizens.”
… As one of my students said, he used to have to pretend to explain democracy for assignments, but now he was explaining the US viewpoint to real people in other countries who could reply with their perspective. iEARN brings authentic learning to world.
iEARN-USA is proud to be a TEARN partner, and we’d love help to increase the number of US and Tunisian teacher and students collaborating together and becoming the next generation of engaged, empathetic, and empowered citizens.