Based on what was presented in the findings section, it is clear that there are two definite needs of St. Andre’s school: A need for a technology training portion (both for teachers and students) and a need for English language instruction (both for the teachers and the students). A problem lies with how to best teach technology to the teachers, because it is likely that the students will learn how to use the XO laptops much quicker than their instructors.
With this, we have decided to found a “defensible curriculum” that meets the objective and subjective needs of those who will be using it (students and teachers)(Brown, 2008, p. 269). It is safe to say that the needs of the curriculum are largely objective, as the school needs the computers to use as resources in order to teach every subject, and there are little resources otherwise.
It should be noted that there are several stakeholders surrounding the design of the curriculum:
- St. Dunstan’s church (who funded the laptop donation and who makes repairs to and the school);
- OLPC (who donates the laptops and who could possibly donate more);
- School teachers and administrators (the principal, Noe, and the few English teachers at the school who work for $2-3 per day);
- Students (who must pass the national exams);
- Our Curriculum Design team (who must complete an initial design to be furthered in future Curriculum Design projects).
These considerations all play a large role in the content of what will be taught. The home church, St. Dunstan’s, as well as OLPC would like to see the children using the laptops as much as possible (in order to be able to expand the project). However, due to the fact that the teachers don’t know how to use this technology, it is essential to train them so that they won’t feel uncomfortable using them with students in the class. Noe, the principal, is new to the school and would like the students there to begin studying English. The teachers go to school as a form of work, and many of them can be considered limited English proficient. The students attend to acquire an education, and in some cases, to fulfill their basic, lowest level needs (Maslow, 1943).
Additionally, the overarching state of Haiti calls for a pedagogical emphasis on topics such as well-being and life skills in extreme poverty. These considerations have dictated that our needs and environmental analysis focus on specific points that can transfer to areas of life beyond the walls of the classroom.
The two main components of our curriculum are technology training and English language learning, both of which will be integrated in two separate units for the teachers and for the students. We have deemed that because the teachers have no experience with technology and their English skills are limited, it would be beneficial to host a weekend teacher-training workshop. The workshop will have four lessons – two of which applicable to integrating the laptops for every content area, and two which will be designed specifically for integrating the laptops with English language instruction. The school hours are from 08:00 to 14:00, and the teachers are only required to be at school during this time. Even if teachers were unable to attend a weekend workshop, the lessons will be able to be taught over the course of a few days. Hopefully, we will be able to actually teach these lessons when we travel to Haiti over the January Term.
We will design an English unit for students in grades 3-6 (and hopefully older students) that will focus on the topics of well-being and life skills, and technology. Our consideration of these topics is largely based on the contextual factors of the school, St. Andre’s, and also the State of Haiti.
As it stands, the breakdown of each of our units is as follows:
Teachers’ Weekend Workshop
- One day (2 lessons) focused on laptop integration in every content area
- One day (2 lessons) focused on integrating the laptops for English language teaching purposes
- 2-3 lessons devoted to teaching well-being and life skills in English using the laptops
- 2-3 lessons devoted to teaching laptop skills in English
Potential Topics for the Year’s Curriculum for Students
- Family and Friends
- Emotional Well-Being
- Agriculture (vertical gardening)