Jordan: Individual Consultancy for the Manualization of Questscope’s Participatory Learning Methodology (PLM)

Organization: Questscope
Country: Jordan
Closing date: 20 Feb 2017

Purpose and Scope

Questscope seeks a consultant to lead the manualization of its unique Participatory Learning Methodology (PLM), the pedagogical approach employed in its Non-Formal Education (NFE) program. The consultant will meet with key stakeholders including but not limited to Questscope staff (current and former), NFE facilitators, students, and alumni, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the PLM. The consultant will develop a detailed manual of the PLM including both a narrative and instructive component. Manual should be written in Arabic and translated into English.

Expected Fee

As budgeted

Location

Amman, Jordan (with possible travel throughout the Kingdom)

Duration

6 Months

Start Date

1 March 2017

Reporting to

Senior Education Specialist and Program Manager

Introduction: The PLM

Questscope’s unique Participatory Learning Methodology (PLM) draws on a Freirian model of critical pedagogy to empower students personally and socially, through the facilitation of safe classroom spaces that fosters belonging and growth for each individual. In these positive social environments, youth can establish relationships with trusted adults and engage in dialogue-based learning. Through process of social learning, Questscope gives each participant the tools they need to direct their own learning and, subsequently, their own futures. Thus, the support, freedom, and flexibility granted by Questscope’s PLM empowers each student to serve as active agents of change for themselves and for their communities.

Essential elements of the PLM that must be addressed in the manual, are as follows:

Banking pedagogy v. Problem posing pedagogy: PLM rejects the traditional banking model of education, where the teacher serves as the ultimate authority in the classroom depositing his/her knowledge into the students. Instead, PLM employs a problem-posing method of education in which students and facilitator are equal members of the community, learning from and with each other. The teacher becomes a facilitator of learning and the learning process.

Student-teacher relationship: Problem-posing pedagogy relies on a respectful relationship between student and teacher, based on love, mutual respect and the shared desire to learn together. Through this guided, friendly yet professional relationship, students recognize themselves as key participants in the knowledge production process. This transformational student-teacher relationship enables all parties to engage in true dialogue. The teacher/facilitator becomes a “cultural worker,” creating space for a culture of learning that results in competency and agency.

Dialogue: Dialogue is a key component of the Questscope PLM. Through dialogue within the classroom, between student and teacher as well as amongst the students, the facilitator creates an atmosphere of equality that respects each individual student and their life histories. A dialogic pedagogy suggests that students are not blank slates meant to absorb information, but rather active participants in creating knowledge.

Generative themes: Additionally, with the PLM, the facilitator elicits the stories and experiences of the students as the basis of their learning, working with the students to translate them into written texts. As students build their literacy skills, these generative themes and related texts (نص المولد as they’re called in Arabic) help students “read the word and the world.” Using themes derived from the students’ own live experiences, the facilitator also demonstrates and fosters respect among the students and emphasizes their value as individuals and as members of the community. The recognition and appreciation of each student’s self-worth, in turn, serves to empower the students and help them see their own experiences as valuable and important.

Social Emotional Learning: The PLM does not aspire simply to teach literacy and numeracy, it also uses social-emotional learning to support holistic well-being. Through social emotional learning, students develop knowledge and skills necessary to understand, label and manage their emotions. This self-awareness builds social awareness, whereby students can see other perspectives and empathize with them. Students also develop decision-making skills, the ability to forge positive and healthy relationships, and other essential soft skills.

Critical Consciousness: Through the PLM, facilitators aim to see the best in each individual student, to foster respect, love and a sense of self-worth. This is done by building a strong relationship between student and facilitator, employing dialogue in the class, and basing lessons on generative themes derived from where students live. This creates a positive environment in which individuals are valued for who they are and where they have been, leading to the development of a critical consciousness. With critical consciousness, students can perceive personal, social and economic (among other) challenges surrounding them. This transformative pedagogy, coupled with the knowledge and skills they learn through their learning, enables them to become positive agents of change in their own lives and in their community.

Background: Questscope and NFE

Questscope delivers the PLM through its Non-Formal Education (NFE) program, the only NFE program in Jordan certified by the Ministry of Education, offering educational opportunities for youth who have previously dropped out of school. Questscope’s students represent a particularly vulnerable segment of society who come from backgrounds of poverty, broken or dysfunctional families, and have a history of being alienated, neglected, and abused. Many of these students either had to drop out of school to work and support their family or were displaced by war, conflict and trauma due to war, and for them Questscope serves as their only opportunity for personal, professional, and academic advancement. The NFE program provides a youth oriented and supportive environment through which students can obtain a 10th grade certificate from the Ministry of Education and continue either to vocational training or re-enroll in the formal education system.

The NFE program is comprised of three levels, each of which take place over an eight-month period. This 2-year program is open to all youth between the ages of 13 and 20 living in the Kingdom, regardless of nationality or residency status, and caters to a significant refugee population. Students attend daily educational sessions for a period of two-three hours, where they study Arabic, Math, English, computer skills, Islamic religion, vocational maturity, life skills, the human body, health, environment, and civic and social development. Daily NFE sessions are led by facilitators who are trained by Questscope and also serve as teachers in Jordan’s public school system.

Purpose of the Assignment

The main purpose of this assignment is to work with the Questscope NFE team, NFE facilitators, teachers and youth, and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive manual of the Participatory Learning Methodology. The consultant will be under the direct supervision of the Senior Education Specialist and Program Manager and will working closely with various departments within the NFE team.

Scope of Work and Timeline

1 March-31 May

1. Conduct a thorough review of the PLM to develop a comprehensive understanding of the methodology and its underlying philosophy

1-31 March

o Conduct literature review of the PLM’s underlying theories including: (a) Paolo Freire’s theory of Critical Consciousness; (b) Forrest Tyler’s theory of ProSocial Community; (c) Robert Chamber’s theory of Participation and (d) John Vanier’s theory of Spiritual Formation, and (e) Social and Emotional Learning

1-31 March

o Review existing QS documents regarding the PLM and other relevant programs

1 April-31 May

o Hold informational interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders

1 April-31 May

o Participate in manual development workshops

1 April-31 May

o Observe the PLM in action in various NFE sites

1 June-15 August

2. Create a comprehensive Participatory Learning Methodology manual in Arabic, with an English translation, in collaboration with the Questscope team

The manual should include the following three parts:

1 June-15 August

o A narrative section reviewing the philosophy and underlying ideology of the PLM along with an overview of the techniques and methodology

15 Jun-31 July

o An instructional section that provides a ‘how-to’ on implementing the methodology in a classroom

1 July-15 August

o A creative element that demonstrates the PLM. This could be an accompanying video that illustrates an ideal PLM session. Consultant will advise on developing this creative element and QS will provide technical assistance

15-31 August

3. Finalize the manual in preparation to print

15-25 August

o Conduct final review and copy edit of the manual

25-31 August

o Liaise with the Questscope graphic design team on the formatting of the manual and selecting graphics and images

September 1

4. Present final manual to Steering Committee

o Prepare and give presentation to QS-MoE Steering Committee introducing the outline and overview of the finalized PLM Manual

Expected Deliverables

· Final PLM manual in Arabic, print ready

· Final PLM manual in English, print ready

Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in relevant field required

  • Knowledge and experience in developing educational materials, curricula and manuals;

  • Minimum 15 years’ experience in the field of Education, with particular knowledge of critical pedagogy, educational development, and education for social change

  • Strong conceptualization skills

  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently

  • Strong written and spoken Arabic and English language skills

  • Knowledge of and experience in Jordan is an asset

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well within a team

How to apply:

This job is open for Jordanians, please send your CV not later than 20 February.2017. for the following address hr@questscope.org

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