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Global Reading Network at CIES 2019

The activities and products of the Global Reading Network (GRN) will be on full display during the Comparative & International Education Society (CIES) conference April 14-18 in San Francisco. Here is an overview of the nine workshops and sessions in which GRN is participating. Please click the titles of the events for more information.

Sunday, April 14, 10:00 AM – 4:45 PM
Workshop Organizers:
Anne Hayes, URC Consultant
Ann Turnbull, URC Consultant
Josh Josa, USAID
The purpose of the training is to provide participants with the evidence-based techniques that will improve literacy skills for students with different types of disabilities in LMICs. The learning objectives for this training include increasing participants’ knowledge of using:
  • Universal design for learning (UDL) to improve learning outcomes for students with and without disabilities
  • Evidence-based practices (including supports and services) for teaching and supporting literacy
  • Instructional strategies for improving the learning of students with different types of disabilities
  • Action planning for one’s own context to identify next steps and strategies to support the teaching of literacy in inclusive settings for students with disabilities in LMICs using the toolkit as a support document

Monday, April 15, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
This presentation is part of the paper session, "Contextual Inquiry & Reading Programs: Using Evaluation Tools to Understand Impact"
Hank Healey, GRN Consultant
Emily Morris, GRN Consultant
The presentation will discuss a new tool, the Literacy Landscape Assessment (LLA), USAID’s contextual situational literacy analysis tool which examines the literacy questions raised within their context prior to the design of a new literacy program.

Tuesday, April 16, 3:15 PM – 4:45 PM
Chair: Alison Pflepson, GRN
Individual Presentations:
- Classroom Observations for Different Purposes: Guidance and Recommendations for Effective and Sustainable Adaptation and Use of Classroom Observation Instruments; Ashley Hertz (URC Consultant), Emily Kochetkova (URC Consultant)
- Observation for Monitoring or Observation for Coaching: Same or Different?; Julia Frazier (FHI 360)
- Users, Functions and Findings: The Evolution of Classroom Observation Tools for Literacy Instruction in Uganda; Rachel Jordan (RTI International)
- The Stallings Classroom Snapshot Observation System: Measuring Change in Teachers’ Use of Classroom Time for an EGR Initiative in Ghana; Andrew Epstein (Social Impact)
Presentations will highlight some of the key questions and debates EGR programs are confronting in their development and sustained use of classroom observation instruments and provide illustrative examples of how some organizations have tried to address these challenges in their programs and recommendations for further practice.

Tuesday, April 16, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
This presentation is part of the formal panel session, "The Equity Initiative: Building a “Solutions Menu”: Effective Interventions for Children with Disabilities" chaired by Hayley Niad, Cambridge Education
Presenter: David Banes, GRN Consultant
For over twenty years there has been a consensus that educational and accessible technology offer a solution to the challenges of illiteracy in low and medium-income countries. Throughout this period, agencies have both invested and intervened to support the implementation of technology with varying results. In many cases, the needs of learners with special needs or disability have not received attention within those programs and reviews. In addition, in recent years technology has evolved, becoming increasingly portable and pervasive, offering new opportunities and challenges to address the need
Based on expert consultations and literature review, the paper recommends how technologies could be made more accessible to implementers through creative utilization of market-drivers and competition, drawing upon the role to be played by agencies across the public, private and not for profit sectors. It also shares important considerations with respect to building an ecosystem for effective and efficient use of accessible and assistive technologies and digital content.

Wednesday, April 17, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Chair: Aristarick Lyimo, GRN
Discussant: Paul Frank, SIL LEAD, Inc.
  • Individual Presentations:Developing Appropriate and Effective Leveled and Decodable Books - Lisa Marie Easterbrooks, School-to-School International
  • Books Beyond the Classroom: Developing a Culture of Reading in Mozambique - Corrie Blankenbeckler, Creative Associates International
  • A Pill in a Banana: Making Decodable Texts Educational and Fun; Kerri Thomsen - Room to Read
  • Building a Library of English Leveled Readers for Nigeria; Nancy Clark-Chiarelli (Education Development Center (EDC)
To address the theme for the CIES 2019 conference, “Education for Sustainability,” the Global Reading Network (GRN) has organised a panel to examine one element that is needed if nations are to produce citizens of the world with the education to contribute to sustainable development. Literacy is at the heart of education, and appropriate books are at the center of literacy. The panel session aims to share best practices related to literacy initiatives focusing on developing effective and appropriate early grade reading materials for supporting implementation of reading programs in developing countries. The panel will discuss experiences drawn from four different countries in Africa where USAID funded Early Grade Reading (EGR) projects have worked to develop materials for supporting EGR classroom instruction. Four presenters, each representing an Implementing Partner (IP) working to implement a reading project in one of the countries, will contribute to achieve the following session objectives:
  • Share best practices applied in four countries in Africa (Niger, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda) for developing decodable and leveled books that are effective and appropriate for EGR instruction aimed for contributing to education for sustainability
  • Discuss challenges experienced in developing decodable and leveled books in those countries and how those challenges were addressed

Wednesday, April 17, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
This presentation is part of the refereed round-table session, "Innovations in Inclusive Education Policy to Practice: How to Make Inclusive Education a Reality in Low- and Middle-Income Contexts" chaired by Stephen Luke, FHI 360
As of October 2018, 177 countries have ratified the CRPD which obligates countries to provide education to children with disabilities in inclusive settings. The reality, however, is that many countries are continuing to educate children with disabilities in segregated settings often citing that they are unsure how to responsibility transition towards more inclusive systems. This panel session will offer strategies that governments, donors and implementers can take to move towards an inclusive education system. Using information and recommendations included within the USAID Toolkit on Universal Design for Learning to Help All Children Read: Promoting Literacy for Learners with Disabilities, the presentation will provide concrete steps for using situational analyses that compare current country programs and practices on inclusive education with the CRPD and international best practices. Results from these analyses can then inform and support prioritization of activities within inclusive education strategic plans. Presented information will include a phased approach on how to build educational systems which include foundational, differentiated and institutionalized supports.
Presenter: Anne Hayes, URC Consultant
Check out the toolkit, Literacy for All: How to Use Universal Design for Learning to Promote Literacy Skills for Students with Disabilities here

Wednesday, April 17, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Chair: Alison Pflepson, GRN Reading Specialist
Discussant: Rebecca Martinez, USAID
Individual Presentations:
  • A Scalable Model for Teacher Pedagogical Mentorship: Evidence from Madagascar - Voahirana Razafindrabe, Ministry of National Education, Madagascar, Nathalie Louge, FHI 360
  • Locally-Driven Monitoring: A Practical Approach to Improving and Sustaining Coaching Practice in EGR in Northern Nigeria, Mark Anthony Hamilton, Creative Associates International, Daniel Fwanshishak, Creative Associates International
  • Instructional Coaching and Literacy Improvement at National Scale: Lessons From Kenya’s Tusome Early Grade Reading Activity - Timothy Slade, RTI International, Kim Darnell, University of California, Berkley School of Information, Lucy Wambari, RTI International, Alex Dauenhauer, University of California, Berkeley School of Information
  • Balancing Coaching and Collecting: Early Learning from Senegal on Instructional Coaching for Improved Early Grade Reading - Jennifer Swift-Morgan, Chemonics InternationalThe purpose of this panel is to share new applied research on instructional coaching aimed at improving teachers’ instruction of early grade reading in low- and middle-income country contexts.
The purpose of this panel is to share new applied research on instructional coaching aimed at improving teachers’ instruction of early grade reading in low- and middle-income country contexts. The presentations capture coaching programs from diverse countries from Western to Eastern Africa, including Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya and Madagascar. The research explores a range of issues regarding the effectiveness of coaching in these and other similar contexts. Because the programs for which the research was conducted aim to embed coaching in government systems for teacher professional development, the sustainability of instructional coaching is a key issue addressed in all presentations.

Thursday, April 18, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Chair: Jennifer Gerst, GRN Director
Individual Presentations:
  • Making Books Accessible to All Children by 2023; Linda Hiebert, USAID
  • Sourcing Innovative Solutions that Drive the Creation and Usage of Early Grade Reading Materials for All Children; Michelle Oetman, World Vision
  • The Last Mile: Making Sure Digital Libraries Deliver on their Potential; Morgan Belveal, The Asia Foundation
  • Providing Access to Free, High-Quality, Early Grade Reading Resources in Languages that Children Use and Understand; Christer Gunderson, Global Digital Library
  • Empowering Educators to Use, Adapt, and Create Local Language Reading Materials for Children,  Suzanne Singh, Pratham Books
The panel session will discuss how digital platforms harnesses technology and organizes communities and education stakeholders to contribute new content, translate and share content among local and regional languages quickly and cost effectively. The panel will highlight these platforms’ collaborations with government agencies (Ministry of Education curriculum centers) and other implementers for the purpose of maximizing accessibility and use of content available on the platforms to support reading programs. Three organisations implementing digital libraries and two organisations making books accessible to children through funding, technical assistance and advocacy will present for the panel.

Thursday, April 18, 3:15 PM – 4:45 PM
Chair: Linda Hiebert, USAID
Sarah Andersson, JSI
Ayan Kishore, Creative Associates International
Aristarick Lyimo, GRN
Vinodh Subramanian, Community Systems Foundation
Education for sustainability cannot be achieved if teaching and learning materials for supporting reading instruction and learning in schools in general are not getting into the hands of students. Innovations to track and trace books are being piloted in several countries, many initiated by All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development’s Tracking and Tracing Books prize competition. Organizations are conducting pilots and have accumulated a lot of experience to share with international stakeholders in education.
The panel will include four organizations – one promoting Track and Trace initiatives and three organizations doing deployment and actual implementation of Track and Trace solutions in various countries.
Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 09:15 to Friday, April 19, 2019 - 17:00
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
5 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco 94111
Hosting Organization: 
CIES 2019