Grace Relief Initiative International Inc. (GRII) through Community Career Centers (CCC), which serves as the flagship of its Education Intervention Program, do provide a pool of educational resources for students to draw the input to satisfy their needs, support their growth and development for a lifelong learning that will help them to realize their potentials. The flexibility, adaptability, and sustainability required for education to become the tool for human development, transformation, and change for a better world and future, demand for a shift from fixed structures mainly organized around administrative bureaucracy to a structure of fluid network, which is a relationship-based format.
In view of this shift in paradigm, redefining school as an environment in which students draw resources to satisfy their personal needs for growth, development, and realization of their potentials rather than a system where they are fettered to acquire content-based knowledge that is void of transferable skills and competencies becomes inevitable. Therefore, GRII is providing adaptable education through CCC to enable students to cope with the rapidly and constantly changing labor market and the world of work.
Program Mission Statement
“Educating individuals to discover their passionate value-added interest, and to unleash their innate capabilities to acquire knowledge, transferable skills, competencies, and deep set of human values that support the future, so they could fulfill their selfless purpose in life as they mutually serve others for a better world.
GRII is passionate about solving the problems of over 244 million children globally, who are out of school (UNESCO). Pedagogical research of higher education in the last one and half decades shows that the unified model of quality education that are developed across collaborating nations are limited to content-based knowledge that could not bridge the gap of global employability need, which renders university graduates unemployed because they lack the transferable skills and competencies required for them to be globally employable. Adult education is not left out in this quest for quality education because some adults need to retool to stay employable and be technology-savvy in a fast changing and disruptive global environment. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of quality education for all in 2030 (SDG 4) is at risk of being achieved (UNESCO). In solving these problems, GRII education intervention program is creating an informal learning environment that builds on learners’ motivation and interest. Informal and incidental learning are said to be at the “heart” of adult education. This statement is true because adult education (Andragogy) is unstructured, self-motivated, self-directed, experiential, deliberate, purposeful, and dependent on the learning competence of the adult learner who is in control of the learning pace and path (Mankin, 2009).
In view of the foregoing, the desideratum of Grace Relief Education Intervention Program encapsulates personalized learning and a student-centered curriculum structured on a relationship-based format that is blended with the culture of bricolage in a customized learning environment, which reflects learners’ needs, interests, and goals.
Teachers are to awaken the students’ creative power by facilitating personalized learning. Personalized learning is tailoring education to the individual’s needs, interest, and aptitude; and given the learner a degree of ownership of the learning process. Learning is shared event for teachers and students. Learning is organic and taken place through self-motivation and self-regulation (Ackoff & Greenberg, 2008). In terms of learning culture, we saw the need to build adaptive capacity by collaborating across boundaries to infuse digital media technology to challenge the culture and the practices of the status quo. Thereby, creating a learning environment with flexibility and adaptability to deal with the complexities and changes related to the education of the future.
The assumptions for the learning design concept that will meet the needs in our learning environment are the constructivism theory postulated by Jean Piaget (1896-1980) and Connectivism by George Siemens and Stephen Downes (2005). Constructivism posits that knowledge is created through genuine experiences, and that, learning is active construction. It engenders what is known as cognitive schema theory, which is a dynamic process that requires one to collect information, and constantly reorganize that information in the brain. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the role model of Christian Leadership taught his disciples through parables and graphic illustrations (cognitive schema) to enhance understanding due to the complexity of human cognition. In the light of the foregoing, GRII learning environment will be organized as activity groups to foster experiential learning, hands-on learning, and project-based learning. Connectivism on the other hand complements constructivism and builds on previously established theories to posit that our constant connectedness to technology as part of the learning process gives us the opportunity to make choices about our learning. Connectivism promotes group collaboration, group discussions that allow differing opinions and perspectives in decision making and problem-solving. It supports learning experiences via social media, online information networks, and digital information assistants. Thus, GRII education intervention will integrate digital media tools into our learning strategies to engage the learners. We will collaborate with EdTech companies and other organizations whose mission aligns with ours to leverage resource-based values to enhance our strategic objectives and mutual achievement of our social impact.
In the 21st century knowledge-based economy, GRII will leverage its intellectual capital and core competence to deploy resource-based value (RBV) strategic approach to build strategic alliances with donors and stakeholders. GRII will develop talent pool through our community career centers to enable us to become strategic partners with donors and community partners as we provide human resources for their staff recruitment and talent pipeline.
Community Career Center
- Career Talks – eliciting their passions and connecting them with their purpose in life while influencing them to have a shift in meaning perspectives that will enable them to question their own assumptions, values, and opinions for a change in social practice.
- Career Trips – reflective thinking, journaling, ethnography, and unleashing creativity.
- Digital Media Lab – visual-thinking learning activities to facilitate the perception and action of the learners
- Career Projects – project-based learning activities in a collaborative and connected context
- Counseling Services – to meet them where their interests are
- Coaching and Mentoring – to impart a design-thinking mindset and help them work out what they are thinking.
- Evaluation and Feedback – Teachers give constant feedback to students in real-time
Digital Media Matrix
In view of the current reality that people spend most of their time on digital media technology to get their daily tasks done as well as interact and communicate with one another, it will be reasonable to use digital media tool to engage the learners. Learning takes place when students are effectively engaged. Learning in this digital age is self-directed and peer driven.
The Theory of Change
If Grace Relief Initiative International Inc. provides quality and adaptable education for out-of-school children, unemployable youths, and retrainable adults, then inclusive and equitable quality education will be achieved to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all .