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WISE awards for innovative educational thinking

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WISE awards for innovative educational thinking

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Thinking outside the educational norms provided the theme at this year’s World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha.

Over three days 84 workshops and debates took place at the Qatar National Convention Center and special guests included the former French Education Minister Jack Lang.

The top topic was boosting inspiration for both students and teachers as a lack of motivation can result in high drop-out rates.

One way to maintain interest is using video-games in the learning process.

James Paul Gee, is the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies and Regents Professor at Arizona State University: “It gives you a set of problems, it motivates you and it helps you to solve them so it’s a type of problem based on learning. We’re in a world that is full of serious problems so we would like to get people better at problem solving. So why not use a technology that’s devoted to making people good at solving problems.”

What is expected of teachers can be contradictory. They have to deliver relevant and up-to-date-knowledge, be creative and get checkable results. It’s a huge challenge.

Sister Nuria Miró, the Principal, Montserrat school wants a more robust curriculum: “For a long time we’ve had a very tame curriculum perhaps because we wanted to make education easier and more accessible, but in fact we have made it really boring. On top of that, we see that pupils don’t have the skills to be happy in real life, to cooperate with others, to do the things that really matter. So, I think this is the moment to make everything a bit wilder because we have made it too tame before.”

As every year, the awards’ ceremony was the highlight.

Ann Cotton, the founder of CAMFED, an NGO that provides education for more than three million girls in Africa, won the ‘WISE PRIZE’, worth $500,000, for her personal commitment to education.

And six outstanding educational projects won the ‘WISE AWARDS’ each receiving $20,000 for their efforts to provide greater access to literacy, increase creativity and employment. Such as “Educate Girls”. It’s a project in India that takes girls back to school and helps them to remain engaged.

Safeena Husain, from Educate Girls explains how the organisation reaches 3.7 million girls who are out of school in India:
“We currently we have 4,500 community volunteers working with us and together they have brought back over 80,000 girls.”

Our correspondent at the event is Aurora Vélez, she says:
“The sixth World Innovation Summit for Education concludes with the ambitious goal of fostering more creativity in classrooms. This was the largest forum since the event started, involving education specialists from around the world.”

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