In the middle of the trip around the mainland USA visiting Universities about their graduate attributes, student experience and use of technology in learning and teaching I was able to be involved in something completely different. I headed for Miami for three days break and over the weekend to meet with 25 educators from around the world invited to participate in a think tank about a completely new model of higher education. It is about training leaders in the liberal arts and professions and is called CaCHE – an acronym which stands for Church-based and Community-centred Higher Education.
The CaCHE initiative strives to equip local churches and universities to mobilise local communities with the capacity to use blended learning and teaching that combine learner-centred online education with face-to-face mentoring using a new curriculum developed by experienced teachers, proficient in applying a biblical worldview to individual development and nation-building. CaCHE will support national churches and universities to tailor global curriculum for local use, including strategies appropriate for each environment.
The two countries where this is being piloted are in Indonesia to train Christian teachers for working in Christian Schools working mainly with the poor and now in Guatemala. As we struggled with the possibilities and challenges, a friend sent a link to the this TED Talk Video.
It is Bunker Roy sharing about “Learning from a barefoot movement”. In Rajasthan, India, an extraordinary school teaches rural women and men — many of them illiterate — to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors in their own villages. It’s called the Barefoot College, and its founder, Bunker Roy, explains how it works.
This completely different approach to education is inspiring and encourages us to keep believing there is always a better way.