The Active Learning Project (ALP)
Our Goal: To improve the quality of education in Uganda by bringing active learning into every primary school classroom and Primary Teacher Training College across Uganda.
What is Active Learning?
Any teaching method that actively involves the student in the learning process. This serves as the ideal bridge to transfer the content of the curriculum to the learner, ultimately increasing the pupils understanding and improving performance.
Why do we need it?
With 70% of the Ugandan population under the age of 24, the students in primary school today are in the pipeline to become the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and voices of Uganda. But with less than 20% of pupils advancing onto secondary school, there is a distinct demand by the Ugandan government to improve the quality and delivery of education. The African SOUP galvanizes partners in the education system to champion Active Learning as the key intervention that will meet this demand across Uganda. This approach deviates from traditional lecture and rote memorization and engages students in meaningful learning activities to construct knowledge for themselves. Active Learning emphasizes higher order skills, such as creative thinking, critical analysis, and ethical behavior.
“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” John Dewey
How will we implement it?
The African SOUP launched The Active Learning Project in 2015. We began by piloting a partner school program with 20 schools in 7 districts in the Eastern region of Uganda. For the following four years, we trained head teachers, identified lead teachers, and trained all partner school staff on active learning methodology by providing training conferences, on-site support supervision, demonstration lessons, and continued professional development for all teachers.
We extended our reach to include rallying the support of all 7 districts' Ministry of Education officials who participated in our workshops and visited our partner schools. We would not be successful without their support.
In 2018, we built a partnership with a large Core Primary Teacher Training College, Bishop Willis, to test a supplementary methods course for all college students and future educators. We developed an intense syllabus, curriculum, and training guide for this audience. However, school closures in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic forced The SOUP to pivot to remote learning.
In 2022, the ALP resumed its work at our partner teacher college, Bishop Willis, after a nearly two-year closure due to the pandemic. Over 200 first-year teachers-in-training completed our year-long active learning methods course. The SOUP also worked with 10 instructors at the teacher college to instill the principles of active learning in their instructional methods and help them serve as mentors.