Archive

Monthly Archives: May 2015

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Learning by Doing: A Lesson for All Ages

Earlier this month, a Forbes article on unconventional and experiential learning caused a stir in education circles. The writer Jason Ma pointed to the overly theoretical and impractical approach taken by most U.S. universities, and then described a new trend that is changing how we approach higher education: alternative, experience-based learning. The article goes on to profile higher education institutions across the U.S. that are taking exactly that approach, incorporating personalized and experience-based instruction. The result? What Ma describes a “a sound combination of mindset and skill set” that prepares young adults to enter the workforce and give back to their Continue reading…

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Introducing Advancing Palestinian Women Entrepreneurs

We are so excited to share the latest news regarding TYO’s entrepreneurship programs! Following the success of the two-year regional Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East (FWEME) project in Palestine and Lebanon, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and TYO will continue to support women in northern Palestine with the launch of Advancing Palestinian Women Entrepreneurs in April 2015. The objective of the project is to empower women entrepreneurs and provide them with the tools and skills needed to grow profitable and sustainable businesses that are scalable and facilitate job creation. The four key objectives of the project are: Increase Continue reading…

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WISE II Entrepreneur Profile: Amna

Amna’s Business: Ibda’ (Creation) Embroidery Amna is from Arabeh village outside of Jenin, Palestine where traditional embroidery was very much a part of her childhood. As she grew older, she wanted to learn more about the craft. She purchased any book she found on embroidery and practiced on her own to master the trade. When Amna first began producing pieces for sale in 2005, she worked with two fellow embroiderers. After some time, she realized that they lacked the ambition and motivation to expand their market base. Recognizing that they were holding back her own potential, Amna branched off and Continue reading…

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Youth in Focus: An Interview with Iyad F.

Iyad F. is from Rommaneh, a village outside of Jenin. He graduated from An Najah National University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism. What sparked your interest in TYO’s Youth Service Learning Program? How did you hear about TYO? I heard about TYO’s Youth Service Learning program through an announcement at the graduate counseling office at the university. I took a look at the website and immediately was interested in TYO’s work, particularly what they offer for youth in terms of work experience and employability training. I was also very interested in working alongside native English language Continue reading…

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Salam and Mayar: A Multigenerational Success Story

Enter the first floor of TYO’s center, and – from a quick glance at the colorful, festive classrooms and the sound of children laughing and playing – you would likely think that TYO is an early childhood education center. But as you walk up to the second, third, and fourth floors, you would discover the many generational layers that make up TYO’s work: on the second floor, a group of youth learning photography from TYO’s international interns; on the third, university students participating in employability trainings; on the fourth, mothers of the first floor children letting off steam during Zumba or sharpening their IT skills Continue reading…

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Girls and Education: Four Reasons for a Brighter Future

Historically, and in many parts of the world, we have seen women and girls take the back seat in education. Some may wonder why this is, and the answer is long-winded, but simply put – many societies do not value the education of women and girls because they are not valued socially. Although in many societies, the tradition of keeping women and girls at home may be the dominant narrative, when given the opportunity, educating more women and girls has remarkable benefits for the local community and society as a whole. Besides a basic human right, equal education for men and women Continue reading…

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Every New Beginning Comes from Some Other Beginning’s End

I have sat in front of my computer, writing and re-writing the first sentence to my farewell TYO blog countless times. How do I synthesize and summarize my last two months as a Zahi Khouri Fellow? How can I adequately communicate what a gift this experience has been?  What I have come to realize is that sometimes words betray the heart. Nevertheless, here goes… Merely four months ago I was casually scrolling idealist.org. I came across an announcement for a Zahi Khouri Fellowship position for Palestinian-Americans interested in working in the West Bank. I was dubious at first, but applied Continue reading…

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Youth in Focus: An Interview with Bashaer K.

Bashaer Khdair is from Jamaeen, a neighboring village of Nablus. She is currently studying Mathematics Teaching Methods at An Najah University. What sparked your interest in TYO’s Youth Service Learning Program? How did you hear about TYO? My friend was a volunteer at TYO and always talked to me about her experiences with the early childhood education program. I loved what I heard about the program, and I also wanted to teach that age after graduating, so I thought it would be a great way to gain real experience in the classroom. I have to say, I was nervous at first; Continue reading…

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My First TYO Lesson: Learning Through Play

When it comes to teaching – especially for first-timers like myself – it’s easy to fall into the safe and traditional style of teaching we’re all used to: standing in front of the class, reciting, and having the children respond back. For years, teachers and educators around the world did just that and believed it to be effective; they never would have considered play as a way to teach (never mind an essential part of learning!). What is “play” anyway? Play is recreation, amusement, or in “kid terms” – fun! Even more, says special education professional and creator of Play Continue reading…

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Early Childhood Education: Access vs. Quality

In a recent podcast by the Brookings Center for Universal Education, Maysa Jalbout – an education advisor to government leaders and philanthropic organizations in the Middle East – discussed the greatest education challenges in the Arab world and what progress has been made to address those. “The Arab world has made huge progress in giving children access to school,” she says. However, she notes an important difference between access to school versus the quality of learning in the classroom: almost sixty percent of primary-school children in the Arab world are not achieving the minimum learning standards – for example reading Continue reading…