Technical Advisor, Teaching & Learning, PlayMatters
At PlayMatters, we seek a better, more hopeful future for 800,000 refugee and host community children ages 3-12+ living in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. We believe that if we provide these children with more opportunities to build their holistic skills and psychosocial well-being, then girls and boys can become agents of positive change and build a better, more hopeful future for themselves and the planet. Fundamentally, we seek to interrupt the “chalk and talk”, memorization-based teaching methods that are dominant where we work. We build teachers’ skills and motivations to integrate active, play-based, learner-centered methods into their classrooms, across subjects, in alignment with existing curricula, at pre-primary and primary levels, with children aged 3-12+. We facilitate inclusive learning spaces and improved access to teaching and learning materials that support our vision of active learning, including for children outside of the formal education system. To accomplish this, we strengthen and support existing education systems, curricula, teacher professional development models, and community structures to promote and incentivize the use of active and inclusive teaching and learning methods. Working through partners and education stakeholders, we identify, test, and promote innovative strategies that help educators overcome barriers to these changes.
The PlayMatters Technical Advisor (TA) for Active Teaching and Learning will provide technical leadership and support related to the adaptation, development, testing, and improvement of teacher-focused active teaching and learning content and approaches for PlayMatters education technical teams based in Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania. The TA will work closely with the PlayMatters regional and country-based technical teams from IRC and partners, as well as the leadership of PlayMatters in each country. The TA will lead an ongoing content review, analysis, and adaptation process in partnership with country teams to ensure that existing content is being leveraged, adapted and improved as needed to support Playmatters objectives. The TA will also collaborate directly with technical teams at the country level to ensure that educational content is developed and co-designed with relevant system actors in alignment with the overall project vision, framework, definitions and parameters. The TA will guide the multi-media team to develop and contextualize evidence based multi-media solutions to facilitate teacher capacity building and reach more learners. The TA will collaborate with the Research and MEL teams to maximize learning around education content at regular intervals. The TA will also collaborate with the Policy and Advocacy team to support PlayMatters’ partnership with system actors and external partners in each country. Coordinating across partners and stakeholders to develop a shared vision will be central to success.
The PlayMatters TA for Active Teaching and Learning is responsible for providing technical leadership in the following key areas of responsibility:
• Provide technical guidance and support to country teams in designing and implementing a strategy to review, select, adapt, co-create, test and improve active teaching and learning content that adheres to the PlayMatters vision and framework;
• Provide technical guidance to the multimedia workstream, ensuring it is aligned with country-level content strategies and support development and testing of digital solutions in line with identified needs, including distance learning solutions for educators and system actors.
• Track and analyze the use and adaptations of content across the PlayMatters project to identify key trends, gaps and areas for improvement;
• Develop functional systems to support collaboration and sharing of content and processes for content design, adaptation and improvement at the regional, cross-country and cross-partner level.
2. Implementation and Quality Improvement:
• Provide technical guidance to country teams in designing and implementing programs that integrate active teaching and learning content, ensuring that programs are evidence-based, cost-effective and scalable;
• Provide technical guidance to support the implementation of quality improvement through supervision, coaching and monitoring and testing of improvement strategies, working in close collaboration with the country teams and RMEL teams;
• Track and analyze the different types of implementation models used across the three countries and assess trends and variations.
3. Supporting Scaling and Sustaining LtP Programming:
• Work with the Policy and Advocacy (P&A) team and the country teams to ensure content and program models are aligned with local or national standards for early childhood development, pre-primary education and primary education.
• Collaborate with the P&A team to work with systems actors to ensure LtP/ active teaching and learning is well understood and integrated into education policies, systems, structures, and strategies as we generate evidence and learning.
• Support country teams in engaging in co-design processes with systems actors where strategic opportunities arise to advance the PlayMatters vision and ambition.
• In collaboration with the PlayMatters Senior Management Team (SMT), identify opportunities to expand, deepen and sustain the reach and impact of PlayMatters beyond the lifetime of the LEGO Foundation funded grant.
4. External and internal representation
• Ensure that the PlayMatters senior management from the IRC and partners are aware of successes and challenges, and provide regular updates Guide and assist in the writing and development of reports and other documents, for the donor and for internal and/or external audiences.
• Raise understanding and the profile of the PlayMatters Project within the region, both internally and externally.
• Identify and participate in strategic forums in education that offer high value and returns for resources invested;
• Stay abreast with the global and regional policy environment and identify critical entry points for IRC to influence polices to be able to achieve our goals and outcomes
Key Working Relationships:
• Position Reports to: Deputy Project Director for Research and Education, PlayMatters
• Other Internal and/or external contacts: Members of the Education Technical Unit at the IRC, partner technical leadership, the PlayMatters technical team, country program leadership
• Master’s degree in Education, Child Development or related field, or equivalent level of experience and expertise.
• At least 5-7 years working in education with a focus on active teaching and learning methodologies
• Extensive experience working in teacher professional development, curriculum design, developing content and/or overseeing program design for large-scale programs focused on active teaching and learning methodologies or a related field
• Primary or Pre-primary school teaching experience
• Proven ability to provide high-quality technical assistance, guidance and coaching to staff and partners
• Excellent knowledge of pedagogies related to learning through play
• Experience working in conflict and crisis settings, and knowledge of humanitarian programming
• Self-directed, able to independently set priorities and solve problems with minimal guidance
• Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills
• Demonstrated ability to successfully work in a fast-paced environment, within and across departments/functions and develop positive relationships with locally and remote based staff.
• Experience working in East Africa in the education sector
• Fluent in written and oral English; knowledge of other regional language preferred
• Standard office work environment
• Travel required 25-40%
• The position is based in East Africa
Working Environment: Current security level is yellow across all IRC operating areas in Uganda, with the exception of Karamoja region which is orange. The security situation across the country is generally calm with main concerns related to petty crime.
The position is based in Kampala, with expected travel to programming field locations.
Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.
Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.
Housing: Lodging in Aden is in shared IRC guesthouse apartments. All IRC sites have electricity and internet.
The IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.