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Award Abstract #1049718

Kreyol-Based and Technology-Enhanced Learning of Reading, Writing, Math, and Science In Haiti

NSF Org: DRL
Division Of Research On Learning
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Initial Amendment Date: August 18, 2010
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Latest Amendment Date: October 28, 2011
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Award Number: 1049718
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Finbarr Sloane
DRL Division Of Research On Learning
EHR Direct For Education and Human Resources
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Start Date: September 1, 2010
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End Date: August 31, 2013 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $200,000.00
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Investigator(s): Michel DeGraff degraff@mit.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 MASSACHUSETTS AVE
Cambridge, MA 02139-4301 (617)253-1000
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NSF Program(s): REAL
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Program Reference Code(s): 7914, 9177, SMET
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Program Element Code(s): 7625

ABSTRACT

This RAPID project aims at developing, evaluating and refining Krey˛l-based and technology-enabled learning environments for elementary schools in post-earthquake Haiti, and to initiate research on the effects of native (vs. non-native) language and student-centered technology in reading, writing, math and science. Such a study will provide crucial data toward improving education in Haiti, especially future implementation of policies on the respective roles of Krey˛l vs. French in Haitian schools. The main hypothesis of the project is that Krey˛l-based and technology-enhanced education will help create more progressive, collaborative, student-centered, and inquiry-based materials and methods. These resources can constructively enlist Haitian children's cognitive, linguistic and cultural assets to help them achieve academic levels that have been lacking so far.

This project will undertake an empirical study on the impact of Krey˛l-based and technology-enhanced pedagogical materials and methods on the academic performance of Krey˛l-speaking students. The project will use various methods such as informal pilot programs for comparison, initial development and refinement of Krey˛l-based and technology-enhanced learning environments, and qualitative assessments. The results of such an evaluation will help inform curriculum reforms and teacher training during reconstruction of post-earthquake Haiti. Furthermore, the results of this research may also shed light on issues in U.S. education related to immigrant and minority populations with native languages or dialects that are distinct from mainstream varieties of English. More generally, the findings from this project will bear on all educational contexts where students are taught in an "official" language that is distinct from their native "vernacular" language. This project further aims to plant additional seeds for research and teaching partnerships that will benefit society at large, including schools in Haiti and elsewhere.

 

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