Wilfrid Laurier University if devoted to excellence in learning, research, scholarship and creativity. It challenges people to become engaged and aware citizens of an increasingly complex world. It fulfills its mission by advancing knowledge, supporting and enhancing high-quality undergraduate, graduate and professional education, and emphasizing co-curricular development of the whole student.
Laurier-Haiti Educator and Leadership Institute
The Laurier-Haiti Educator and Leadership Institute is a partnership between Laurier’s Faculty of Education and schools in Haiti that helps expand educator skills and knowledge. Each summer, Canadian educators and Laurier Faculty of Education students work with 300 Haitian teachers and principals in professional development and knowledge exchange in the areas of critical literacy, math, science, school leadership, early learning and special education. Haitian participants are involved in the summer institute for three consecutive years and can extend this learning opportunity through online courses supported by Laurier and Desire2Learn. A parallel summer camp supports Laurier’s efforts in offering science and technology education for Haitian girls and English as a Second Language classes for high school and university students.
Over a five-year period (2016-2020), the Laurier-Haiti Educator and Leadership Institute will directly impact the teaching and leadership abilities of 1,000 Haitian teachers and 100 principals. Approximately 100,000 Haitian students will benefit from the improved pedagogical practices of their teachers and principals.
A 2016 study of the summer institute that measured the impact on participant teaching efficacy (belief in one’s teaching ability and confidence) found that teachers experienced an increase in teaching efficacy from the training. In fact, 99% of the participants indicated that the training met or exceeded their expectations.
Nearly all participants indicated that the training had motivated them to engage in further professional learning. This theme was reflected in one interview in which a Haitian educator said, “I have one problem: the time is too short. We need more and more weeks for these sessions!”
The impact of the Educator and Leadership Institute is demonstrated in this video.
We have witnessed Haitian educators grow and develop their pedagogical skills to support schools that are providing a strong foundation for students. Our vision for the next five years is to leverage our outstanding school partnerships and solid track record in northern Haiti to maximize professional development for 1,000 Haitian teachers and 100 principals, thus impacting 100,000 students. The summer institute provides the primary means for this professional development work. In tandem with these face-to-face courses and with the support of Desire2Learn, we are also developing online resources that support and extend the learning that occurs in the summer institute. Our vision is founded on a Haitian Creole expression: Piti, ti pay, zwazo fe nich – little by little, straw by straw, the bird builds its nest.
Donors can know their contributions will:
- Directly improve the professional skills of 1,000 Haitian teachers and 100 principals
- Lead to the improved educational outcomes of 100,000 Haitian students
- Directly impact the post-secondary decisions of at least 100 female students to pursue education and careers in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
The Educator and Leadership Institute is supported by the generous contributions of individual and corporate donors. Canadian participants in the summer institute contribute to the costs of travel and accommodations but we require funding to pay for facility rentals in Haiti, lunches and snacks for the participants, course materials, and a general fund that provides subsidies for Haitian and Canadian participants. The operating expense of the 2016 summer institute was $55,000, of which $25,000 was covered by Canadian participant fees. We require $30,000 in donations to off-set the expenses not covered by Canadian participant fees.