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Linking to Learn, Learning to Link. Who are we?. Link Community Development Abigail Deffee Lizzy Okunola Natalia Battistini Lifeworlds Learning Rob Bowden. Introduction.

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Presentation Transcript

Who are we?

Link Community Development

Abigail Deffee

Lizzy Okunola

Natalia Battistini

Lifeworlds Learning

Rob Bowden



  • Link Community Development: charity working with governments and communities to improve the quality of education in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Link Schools Programme: partners in development
  • What’s involved: training & clustering; Partnership Curriculum Projects; improved communication & access to partner information; support for visits
  • School Development Projects: benefits for all
  • Your involvement: communicating with your partner school, communicating with us

Who’s in the room?



Temperature check


Why are we here?

To share and show that:

Your link provides a fantastic opportunity for real learning about the real world;

Linking is an exciting and rewarding journey for you, your school, and the wider community;

Learning through linking can be creative, participatory and fun;

Successful linking requires particular approaches to learning, especially when working internationally;

There is support and resources to help us improve our understanding and practice for linking.


A learning journey

The importance of learning

So what is development?

What support is available?

Resourcing your linking

What makes a good link?


We are all learners

The importance of learning

Learning new stuff is easy…compared to learning

unconscious attitudes and behaviours

Hazel Lyth

Who am I?

The rain in

Spain falls

mainly in the

the plain

The rain…

The importance of understanding perspective


How do we learn?

The importance of learning

Leadership FOR learning

Leadership AS learning

- we need to learn too

- the importance of open minds









What type of learner am I?

Feeling comfortable?

Why do this? – confidence and competence


Creating a safe space

The importance of learning

Creating the right environment

effective learning needs an effective environment

what is our role in this?

the need for a safe space

Is your classroom safe?

What about your staffroom?

What about your community?

What about your link?

So what is a safe space? How do we create one?


Learning qualities

The importance of learning

  • Dispositions and Values
  • Respect for self
  • Respect for others
  • A sense of social responsibility
  • A sense of belonging
  • A commitment to learning
  • An engagement with change
  • Ideas and Understandings
  • The centrality of relationships
  • Disparity in human living conditions
  • Technological and economic change
  • Democracy, governance and citizenship
  • Cultural identities, conflict and conciliation
  • Rules, rights and responsibilities
  • Gender identities
  • Sustainable development and conservation
  • Capabilities and Skills
  • Communication skills
  • Critical reasoning and thinking skills
  • Social skills
  • Action skills

What experiences and issues provide context for this learning?


Development is…

So what is development?

What do YOU understand by development?

The most important factor to achieving development is…

Perspectives on development

Where do our perspectives come from?


West knows best?

So what is development?

A critical perspective

‘There You Go!’

The hazard of thinking we knowwhat it is they need

Why is this?


A matter of words

So what is development?

Developed Developing

First World Third World

North South

More developed Less developed

Understanding the relationship

80:20 & Social Justice


Link’s approach

So what is development?

School Performance Review

Link Schools Programme: partners in development



So what is development?

You are not wrong:

“In development we will always live in flux. We will always need to learn and unlearn in order to do better. We will always travel and never arrive.”

Robert Chambers

It can be very confusing:

“I used to think I was poor. Then they told me I wasn’t poor, I was needy. Then they told me it was self-defeating to think of myself as needy, I was deprived. Then they told me deprived had negative connotations, I was underprivileged. Then they told me underprivileged was overused, I was disadvantaged. Then they said disadvantage is a relative concept, not an absolute one. I still don’t have a dime. But I sure have a great vocabulary.”

Unknown from Holding Together – equalities, difference and cohesion by Robin Richardson


Dev & Education

What support is available?

Getting to terms with the terms


Development Education

Same thing?

The Global Dimension(s)

Global Learning



Global Citizenship


Why engage?

What support is available?

Motivation, function and aspiration

Young people are interested and engaged

What kind of learner?

They are global citizens NOW

They have an entitlement

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela

What kind of environment?


Where are you?

What support is available?


Take confidence

What support is available?

“Use your own best

judgement at all times”

Celebrate and share successes – focus on the ‘bright spots’

Know when to act, know when to ask

Know where to look for help and for what you want help with

Know that it can go wrong and that that is OK

Remember to keep learning, reflect on what you know


Help at hand

What support is available?


Think Global (DEA) - Global dimension website

DECs consortium

Others (like Lifeworlds Learning, Oxfam, TIDE)



Regional representatives (this is changing)


Your local DEC/support

Each other!


Linking 2 Learn

Resourcing your linking

Making the connection: theory into practice

Mutuality: benefits at all levels of the partnership

Pupil Voice: pupils are active participants and help make decisions

Openness: to learning from (not just about) a different locality

Commonality: as the starting point for partners – then differences

Assumptions: understanding own attitudes and values in a safe space

Context: of wider global issues and how impact on partners

Critical: thinking about aspects and issues, including of oneself

Sensitive: to relationship and to controversial issues

Exploring: ourselves, partners and issues – will not always have answers


Finding a frame

Resourcing your linking

Finding a frame

What are we actually going to learn about?

Use an existing frame…

Millennium Development Goals

Children’s Rights

Environment and Sustainability

…or create your own

Food and farming



Climate change


How do people live together?

Who decides?


Big picture

Resourcing your linking

Practice and creativity


We are working with

real people & real issues

emotional resourcing

Practicality and logistics

Pedagogy and learning


Link’s resources

Resourcing your linking

New curriculum materials from Link

Built around the MDGs

Primary and Secondary

Curriculum linked to partners

Example lesson plans


Think to Link

What makes a

good link?

Research and experience shows us that

Linking can be very positive for all if done well…

…but can reinforce stereotypes and do damage if done poorly.

Good linking can enrich the curriculum and enhance learning…

…but can be superficial and misinforming if done badly.

Successful linking takes time and needs careful thought…

…but can be unsuccessful if rushed and unplanned.


Learn for Linking

What makes a

good link?

Clear (shared) educational objectives

Focus on quality rather than quantity

Flexibility and patience

Support from SMT, school plan, community

Take on controversial and sensitive issues


Linking to Learn

What makes a

good link?

Global interdependence

Attitudes, values and perceptions

Media literacy and communication skills

Critical thinking and decision making

Rights and responsibilities


Thinking time

What makes a

good link?

It is worth investing up-front

Thinking about linking…

…can create linking for thinking

Time for some blue-sky thinking


All aboard!

What makes a

good link?


Enabling factors

Limiting factors


Taking it home

What makes a

good link?





Act and Aspire

What makes a

good link?








Thank you and good luck

Please complete the evaluation

Open surgery