What Works? 2010 OLE General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda


The second annual OLE General Assembly to be held on 11-15 October in Kigali, Rwanda, will explore what is known, what needs to be known and how we can know about scalable approaches to achieving Quality Universal Basic Education with marginalized children around the world.

What Works?: 2010 OLE General Assembly
Exploring Scalable Approaches to Quality Universal Basic Education with Marginalized Children
Kigali, Rwanda, 11-15 October 2010
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While there are literally thousands of basic education initiatives underway in all parts of the world, very few of them are based on evidence of their effectiveness. Most of these initativies are faith-based: They appear to be worthwhile and they help their providers feel good. Most such programs, however, have not demonstrated that they are effective or that they can be scaled beyond a few limited silos of presumed excellence.

Because of the urgency of achieving quality basic education systems that scale to all children, not just the priviledged few in a region or country, it is essential that we move quickly to evidence-based practices that scale. Since no one approach will fit the learning needs of all children, we need to begin developing a more differentiated matrix of evidence-based solutions that are cost/effective for different groups of children. And, because the costs of most approaches to quality education are substantial, it is essential for us to examine the return on these investments compared with other approaches for achieving the same goals.

Finally, we must address the challenging question of how to measure quality. Things that are important are not easy to measure and things that are easy to measure often are not especially important. Models and examples of valid and reliable assessments of educational quality, particularly among marginalized children in poverty settings, present major challenges for practitioners and policy-makers.

In light of the above considerations, the theme of the 20 2010 General Assembly of the Open Learning Exchange is "What Works? Exploring Scalable Approaches to Quality Universal Basic Education". The Assembly will address these three critically important issues:

  1. What do we already know about scaling quality education with marginalized children?
  2. What are we learning from studies and research already underway that promise to increase our understanding of what works well for learning.
  3. What more do we need to know about cost/effective ways to scale quality education with all marginalized children and how will we learn these things?

What will happen?

The What Works? Assembly will be a purposeful, action-oriented experience, as distinct from a lot of one-to-many "seat time" sessions. Participants will have an opportunity not only to listen but to actively engage with practitioners and policy makers concerning specific topics directly relevant to their missions.

Field trips to some of the educational initiatives underway in Rwanda will complement the workshop framework of the conference. A preliminary agenda can be found below. We are inviting President Kagami to open the conference and expect senior members of the Rwandan government as well as key representatives of international organizations to participate.

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