Learning Schools

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School Aggregators

We are fostering a strengthened global school system by collaborating with networks and organizations that support schools.

Approximately 5 million schools make up the highly fragmented global school system. School subsystems and networks work mainly in siloes because they have different priorities. At the same time, many schools have limited resources for taking part in, accessing, and sharing research. The Learning Schools portfolio aims to foster a strengthened global school system that facilitates research and peer learning on good practices, and incentivizes evidence-based teaching and decision-making.

We are working with school aggregators – networks and organizations that support schools, school leaders, and teachers by bringing together knowledge, capacity, and promising practices across schools, countries, and regions. Through our long-term partnerships with school aggregators we will:

  • Identify and strengthen promising teaching and decision-making practices, so that best practices can be replicated.
  • Test and develop practices that improve student learning outcomes and transfer evidence to the field.
  • Share relevant research findings widely.
  • Facilitate peer learning among schools and aggregators.
  • Create spaces for collaborative evidence generation and collective evidence update.

Current partnerships:


GLOBAL SCHOOLS FORUM

Global Schools Forum

Background
Globally, a large and growing share of children are educated outside of government schools. The non-state sector – which includes a vibrant mix of non-profit, for-profit, and faith-based organizations – has played an important role in education systems in the last two decades, as evidenced by the rapid expansion in low- and middle-income countries of low-fee private schools. There is evidence to suggest that non-state operators have been successful in expanding access by increasing the number of school places available, especially in settings where there is a gap in state provision. Nevertheless, low levels of learning persist across both non-state and public schools.  In response, over the last decade, passionate entrepreneurs have entered the sector and established innovative schooling models that seek to deliver high-quality education at affordable cost. Unfortunately, many of these pioneers are working as “islands of excellence” – lacking access to the relationships and know-how that could enable them to scale effectively.The Global Schools Forum (GSF) is a network organization established to respond to the rapid growth and variable quality of non-state education across Sub Saharan Africa, South America, and Asia. With an ambition to reach 200 members by 2024, the organization focuses on collaboration & best practice, policy & partnerships, and data & evidence.

The Collaboration
The Jacobs Foundation will support GSF in the process of developing its data and evidence activities. Core to the work are principles of producing high quality global public goods that are open source and partnering with research organizations to co-develop and lead the work. This work will have three components: i.) Learning Labs to identify and scale promising existing innovations among GSF members; ii.) an Annual Member Survey to collect data on a set of shared metrics from the GSF membership and iii.) a bi-annual ‘State of the Sector’ report that will focus on consolidating and analyzing the latest evidence on the quality and growth of the non-state sector.

Partner
Global Schools Forum (GSF)

Duration
March 2021 – March 2024

Contact
John Soleanicov, Co-Lead Learning Schools


IB

International Baccalaureate

Background
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a s a globally recognized education organization that delivers and accredits implementation of an international curriculum for private and public schools. The curriculum aims at developing students as critical thinkers with a multilingual skill set and international mindedness, and a structured approach to problem-solving. It is delivered through four programs in over 5’000 schools across the world.As one of our School Aggregators, the IB is fully aligned with the Jacobs Foundation’s approach of evidence to action to system given its pioneer role in developing and cultivating 21st century skills in schools worldwide with an evidence lens. It also helps the Jacobs Foundation reach its goal to generate, transfer and translate evidence by exploring the frontiers of learning, rigorously testing promising approaches, and codifying best practices in teaching.

The Collaboration
The goal is to develop a “mastery transcript” that allows teachers to measure student progress on creativity and curiosity, and to identify and assess school-based teaching approaches that encourage these two central 21st century skills. This is expected to allow teachers and schools to broaden the focus beyond measurement and teaching of literacy and numeracy only.
The transcript is being developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), who also gathers data on existing teaching of 21st century skills at a group of diverse IB schools all over the world.
The Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA) is conducting research on promising teaching methods in the classrooms of another group of selected international IB schools. Based on these findings, relevant materials for use in schools will be developed for teachers to effectively strengthen curiosity and creativity.

Partners
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA)

Duration
July 2020 – Dec 2021

Contact
Cathrin Jerie, Program Manager


SCHOOLS 2030

Schools 2030 Logo

Background
Schools2030 is a ten-year participatory action research and learning improvement program based in 1,000 government schools in marginalized contexts across ten countries. Using the principles of human-centered design and focusing on learners’ key transition years of ages 5, 10 and 15, Schools2030 seeks to catalyze locally-rooted school solutions to inform systems-level approaches for improving holistic learning outcomes for all by 2030.The overall aim of the Schools2030 program is to improve learning outcomes and to increase the levels of agency for school-level stakeholders to reclaim the discourse about ‘what works’ from the bottom-up, rather than the top-down. At the heart of the Schools2030 approach is the recognition that schools should be the drivers of social change.

The Collaboration
One of the key aims of the partnership is to develop and implement a “Teacher Solutions Bootcamp” as part of the overall human-centered design approach of the program. This bootcamp will strengthen the capacity of the educators across the Schools2030 network of 1,000 schools to be able to better design, measure, codify, package, and showcase their school-level solution for local, national and global education policy audiences.Secondly, a set of global calls for research is expected to improve the evidence base on variability of learning. Due to a comprehensive dissemination strategy, these research grants will strengthen the linkage between the Schools2030 network of schools, governments, donors, and civil society members with leading experts in the global academic and research communities.

Partners
Aga Khan Foundation (Global Secretariat & co-funding)
Lego Foundation (co-funder), Wellspring Foundation (co-funder), 
Dubai Cares (co-funder), Porticus Foundation (co-funder), 
Ikea Foundation (co-funder), Itau Social (co-funder), 
Oak Foundation (co-funder)

Duration
July 2021 – June 2024

Contact
Gelgia Fetz, Co-Lead Learning Minds


TEACH FOR ALL

Teach for All

Background
Launched in 2007, Teach For All is a global network developing the collective leadership to ensure all children can fulfill their potential. Since its inception, the network has grown to include independent, locally-led partner organizations in 60 countries on six continents, including its founding partners Teach For America and Teach First. Each network partner cultivates local leadership by recruiting and developing promising future leaders to teach in their nations’ under-resourced schools and communities and, with this foundation, to work with others, inside and outside of education, to ensure all children have the education, support, and opportunity to shape a better future for themselves and all of us.

The Collaboration
The Jacobs Foundation and Teach For All collaboration centers around the Teach for All Global Learning Lab which facilitates collective learning among practitioners around the world to surface and spread actionable insights about teacher practices, actions and mindsets that lead to every student having the opportunity to develop their unique potential.With support from the Jacobs Foundation, Teach For All will infuse applied research capacity and methods into the Global Learning Lab to help develop and evolve actionable tools for teachers and school leaders around the world, monitor the actual impact of those ideas and resources, and spread key insights into learner-centered teaching and learning. The collaboration will also expand the breadth of Teach For All’s Inclusive Education course and fellowship focused on supporting education to address learner variability through culturally sustaining pedagogy, Universal Design for Learning and metacognition.

Partner
Teach For All

Duration
August 2021 – July 2022

Contact
John Soleanicov, Co-Lead Learning Schools


YOUTH IMPACT

Youth Impact

Background
Youth Impact is a non-governmental organization based in Gaborone, Botswana, that scales proven high-impact programs in health and education in Southern Africa. The organization works evidence-based with programs delivered by youth for youth.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Youth Impact successfully developed and implemented low-tech solutions in Botswana that leverage text messages and direct phone calls to empower parents to educate their children at home. This targeted instruction approach relates to principles from “Teaching at the Right Level” (TaRL), a proven, highly cost-efficient intervention tailoring the instruction to learning levels rather than age or grade in low-resource contexts.

The Collaboration
The Jacobs Foundation supports initiatives which reduce the negative impact of school closures due to COVID-19 and which allow for learning across different contexts. The successful and rigorously evaluated intervention from Botswana will now be tested in 3-5 different countries through replication trials.
The results of the study have the potential to scale-up a successful evidence-based intervention across different countries and compare these different settings. Even beyond the pandemic, the low-tech solutions tested in Botswana have the unique potential to reach the masses, particularly for families with fewer resources, low literacy levels and limited internet connectivity at home.

Partners
Youth ImpactJ-PalEchidna Giving (co-funding), 
Douglas B. Marshall Jr. Family Foundation (co-funding)

Duration
November 2020 – December 2021

Contact
Romana Kropilova, Program Specialist


VSLCH

VSLCH

Background
The VSLCH was founded in 1994 as an umbrella organization for the cantonal associations of school principals in German-speaking Switzerland. The association pursues overarching educational policy goals to create the school of the future: a socially just and sustainable education system and collaboration with all relevant organizations and professionals; quality of life and education for both students and teachers; supporting the quality development of Swiss elementary schools and supporting effective management for the organization of schools. School administrators have a key role to play here. The association sees its role as building bridges at national level and actively influences Swiss education policy.

Collaboration
The Jacobs Foundation supports two VSLCH projects: a study on how to make school administration more professional and a publication on best practices for the learning of the future.
There is currently no systematic and continuous data collection being carried out in Switzerland on school administration and its pedagogical role. In collaboration with CLACESO (Conférence Latine des Chefs d’Etablissement de la Scolarité Obligatoire) and the University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland, the association is conducting a study on the professionalization of school administration to ensure that they can create the best possible framework conditions in their schools.
In the Swiss education system, there is no generally valid and sustainable vision of best practices for learning of the future, with the exception of Curriculum 21. The VSLCH therefore wants to prepare the ground for a common vision with the book “Schule 21 macht glücklich” (“Curriculum 21 Makes You Happy”; only available in German), which will be published in 2021. Experts from practice, research, associations and other areas which are relevant to education contribute their ideas and plans.

Partners
VSLCH
CLACESO
LCH
FHNW

Contact
Julia Wyss, Program Manager


DATA MUST SPEAK

Data Must Speak

Background
Why do some schools do better than others despite operating under similar – sometimes very difficult – conditions? How can others benefit from their local innovations? 
To answer these questions, UNICEF has established the Data Must Speak (DMS) Positive Deviance Research programme, which is currently active in 14 countries. The DMS Positive Deviance research identifies the positive deviant schools, explores which behaviours and practices make them outperform others, and investigates how these could be implemented in lower performing schools in similar contexts. The DMS team works hand-in-hand with local partners to scale these solutions and improve learning for every child.
The DMS Positive Deviance research is based on the core belief that the most important change agents in education are grassroots-level stakeholders (e.g., teachers, head-teachers, and communities).
To learn more about the DMS research, watch this short explanatory video: English & French

The collaboration
UNICEF and Jacobs Foundation join forces to expand the Data Must Speak (DMS) research to Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana to strengthen these countries’ education systems to better deliver learning through locally rooted solutions and generate and disseminate global knowledge about the processes and tools for positive deviance research in education. This collaboration will shed light on untapped existing practices and behaviors of grassroots-level stakeholders, in Brazil, in Côte d’Ivoire, and in Ghana through a participatory action research engaging with teachers, head-teachers, and communities who are the important change agents in education. Additionally, this collaboration has the ambition to promote and foster cross-countries exchanges and dialogues between policy makers. 
The DMS research includes: (1) The analysis of administrative datasets to find out the resource and context factors associated with school; (2) The identification of unique behaviours and practices that positive deviant schools employ; and (3) The investigation of policy levers to promote the adoption and optimal scale-up of those behaviours and practices in lower-performing schools in given contexts.

Partners
The UNICEF National Committee for Switzerland and Liechtenstein – Serving as the public face and dedicated voice of UNICEF in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
UNICEF Innocenti – Data Must Speak Research – Providing evidence for action to drive change for children and young people every day, across the globe

Duration
October 2021 – December 2024

Contact
John Soleanicov, Co-Lead Learning Schools


EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL

Education International

Background
Education International is the Global Union Federation that brings together organizations of teachers and other education employees from across the world. Through its 383 member organizations, Education International represents more than 32 million teachers and education support personnel in 178 countries and territories. Education International works at the global level and across five regions: Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America and the Caribbean. 
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a set of 12 Guiding Principles on the COVID-19 Pandemic and a resolution outlining educators’ demands were adopted by EI. The pandemic has significantly disrupted education systems across the world due to school closures and/or intermittent teaching activities, leaving millions of children behind. Formative assessment has become crucial to adjust teaching practices to individual students’ needs, however, effective formative assessment practices struggle to spread within education systems. 

The collaboration
The Jacobs Foundation and Education International collaboration centers around identifying and establishing effective teacher-led formative assessment practices that can be spread within and across EI member organisations, through a set of learning labs in 7 countries (Switzerland, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Colombia, Brazil, Malaysia, and South Korea).
The learning labs will be led by teachers and developed by the teachers. They are best placed to identify challenges, formulate potential solutions, pilot these new practices, and assess their effectiveness. The emerging good practices will be codified in a way that makes them easily replicable and disseminated for a large-scale uptake, empowering additional teachers to adopt these effective practices.

Partners
Education International (school aggregator) and its member organizations in 7 countries
HertsCam Network (training partner)

Duration
January 2022 – April 2025 

Contact
John Soleanicov, Co-Lead Learning Schools


NET EDU PROJECT / SCHOOL WEAVER TOOL

Net Edu Project

Background
How can we find specific points that really make a change in the system in a cross-sectorial collaborative way? This question led to the creation of the Net Edu Project, launched in 2015, by Jordi Díaz-Gibson and Mireia Civís from PSITIC research group in Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona (Spain). The Net Edu Project is an international interconnected research-practice community of leaders, educators and researchers that is growing, aiming to cultivate and weave local learning ecosystems to effectively respond to our social and planet challenges. 
The Net Edu Project created an online and free assessment and transformative tool called the School Weavers Tool which aims to support school leaders and communities to engage with a collective process of rethinking and regenerate relationships to expand learning and wellbeing. This tool is rooted in the belief that a trustworthy and empathetic relational climate in the school community enhances (1) collaboration and innovation between teachers; (2) parents’ involvement in schools; and (3) students’ personalized learning. It allows leaders to cultivate, facilitate and thrive, and deeply analyze the potential of their learning ecosystems and weave new capital and new relationships that expand learning and equity across and beyond schools, organizations and cities.

The collaboration
The collaboration between Jacobs Foundation and Net Edu Project aims to validate the SchoolWeavers tool as a systemic change process in four diverse  contexts (Spain, Taiwan, South Africa and Switzerland) It should provide a research-based understanding, practice and impact around how community collaboration can spur personalized learning as a development engine for students and communities to thrive.  The research-practice aims to document the tool experience by leaders and schools from the four countries mentioned above, by actors’ testimonies, a video of the country case, and a statistical analysis validating the assessment model. The development of case studies will support the readiness for scaling of the tool in a large number of schools in the four target geographies. The results of this research will be shared and disseminated through papers published in international peer reviewed journals and workshops. 

Partners
Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University 
The Net Edu Project is linked to Blanquerna (Ramon Llull University) which has invested in the School Weaver Tool. Researcher and Professor Jordi Díaz-Gibson is the co-founder and coordinator of the NetEduProject and leading the emergence of the NetEdu community. 
Net Edu Project
Net Edu Project is a global community grounded on collective learning and collective impact. Net Edu Project enables a circular process that connects science and practice to promote exponential impact.

Duration
July 2021 – December 2022

Contact
Romana Kropilova, Program Manager


COUNCIL OF INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

Council of International Schools

Background
The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a membership community composed of more than 1300 schools and universities, representing 121 countries, working collaboratively to shape international education through professional services to schools, higher education institutions and individuals. The CIS vision is to inspire the development of global citizens through high quality international education: connecting ideas, cultures, and educators from every corner of the world. As a leader in the field of school evaluation and accreditation worldwide, CIS provides a unique international accreditation with a focus on student learning and global citizenship. The quality and rigour of CIS International Accreditation is recognized by ministries, departments of education, and universities around the world as demonstration of a school’s commitment to high quality international education.

The collaboration
The objective of our collaboration with CIS is twofold. The first centers around exploring the concept of pedagogy in international school context, understanding how schools define and make pedagogical decisions, plan, and evaluate pedagogical implementation. Through various data collection methodologies, the evaluation team will explore the following questions: How do international schools select, adopt, plan, implement and evaluate a pedagogy or pedagogies? How do international schools access evidence to make decisions about pedagogy? What factors lead international schools to change their pedagogy or pedagogies? What are the best available sources of evidence for international schools? How are digital tools integrated into this decision making? The second objective is to understand how pedagogy is viewed by students, teachers, parents, and leadership and administration, through an evaluation instrument designed by the research team, to explore congruence of perspective. 

Partner
The Council of International Schools 

Duration
February 2022 – August 2024 

Contact
John Soleanicov, Co-Lead Learning Schools
Julia Wyss, Program Manager


HUNDRED

hundrED

Background
HundrED identifies impactful and scalable innovations in K12 education and helps them spread through its global community of innovators, ambassadors, country leads, academy members, and youth ambassadors. Its mission is to improve education to help every child flourish in life, no matter what happens. One of the ways HundrED does this is by organizing Spotlights, which are small, focused collections of innovations within a specific theme and/or region. Spotlights explore education innovations within the scope to gain a deeper insight on those innovations. The final innovations are selected by the HundrED Research Team and a curated Advisory Board via a thorough review process. These innovations are then packaged and shared on the HundrED platform for the world to see for free.
There is a growing need for methods of assessments that allow teachers to be reflective on how they are teaching, and the possibility that they may need to differentiate their teaching activities according to student’s needs and progress. Formative assessments allow teachers to strengthen students’ motivation and self-regulation through purposeful and regular interaction with students about their learning process.  Effective formative assessment shares learning expectations and learning targets, while also creating a continuous feedback loop to help track students’ understanding and development. Formative assessments can use guided self-assessment and peer assessment to improve learning of each child in a way that takes into account the importance of student agency and motivation in learning.

The collaboration
In collaboration with the Jacobs Foundation HundrED is conducting a Spotlight on formative assessment to understand how assessments can be made for the benefit of learning. HundrED and Jacobs Foundation aim to identify 10-15 impactful and scalable education innovations that promote a form of assessment that offers teachers insight into how students progress to enhance students’ individual learning. The selected innovations will serve as a repository for policy makers, education providers and school networks.

Partner
HundrED

Duration
June 2021 – November 2022

Contact
Julia Wyss, Program Manager


GLOBAL SCHOOL LEADERS

Global School Leaders

Background

Global School Leaders (GSL) is a not-for-profit organization which supports organizations in low & middle income countries to run world-class school leadership training programs.  These programs are designed for scale and provide evidence on strengthening school leadership to governments. GSL supports organizations by providing best-in-class, evidence-based program resources, bespoke technical support and peer learning opportunities.
GSL believes that excellent schools begin with excellent leaders. The strength of leadership at the school level appears to be a critical factor in determining school quality and student learning outcomes. Some growing evidence suggests that school leadership can be a key lever for improving school systems, in a cost-effective manner. Despite this potential, school leadership remains underutilized and under researched in the Global South. 
To date, GSL has strengthened over 3,600 Leaders through its global partnerships. By 2026, its goals is to expand its reach in low & middle income countries, increase its impact by investing in research and data and develop relevant online training programs. 

The collaboration
With the support of the Jacobs Foundation, GSL will strengthen and expand its Learning Lab Network centered exclusively around school leadership.  It will validate and contextualize its High Leverage Leadership Actions curriculum,by training over 200 school leaders across two different geographies and impact more than 50,000 students in under-resourced schools. Additionally, GSL will strengthen and expand its network to develop a vibrant and engaged community around school leadership that learns from each other, contributes to the increase of knowledge and evidence on school leadership and advocates to advance the field of school leadership in low-income settings. Core to this collaboration is the principle of producing school leadership material which will be open source and hence accessible to any organization who would have an interest in strengthening school leadership to improve learning outcomes. 

Partner
Global School Leaders – Global School Leaders | School Leadership Training Program

Duration
April 2022 – May 2023

Contact
John Soleanicov, Co-Lead Learning Schools