Local Nicaraguan Education

Our island will become a revolving door tourism training organization for parents in Bluefields as a way of creating jobs and micro-businesses for the community which will also serve to instill the value of education in the areas young people. We know that one-third of the entire nation of children in Nicaragua are dropping out of school by the 6th grade because there are no good jobs. Children don’t understand the point of going to school if there’s no meaningful or gainful employment waiting for them when they graduate. We know that children emulate their parents. If their parents can’t find work because there are no jobs, or no hope for good jobs coming to the region, children rationalize that there is no point in staying in school. Our goal is to instill hope. We can do so by showing kids that jobs are coming to the region, especially through tourism since a paved road from Managua, when finished, will finally connect the Atlantic/Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua to the rest of its country, opening new opportunities for employment through tourism.

Visitor and Worldwide Education

The island will simultaneously be used to engage and educate children everywhere about environmentalism through a collaborative approach to STEAM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math education). Through a professor/teacher/student-inspired curriculum, we hope to motivate children everywhere to stay in school and to tackle even the most impossible of dreams, while making them more aware of the less fortunate around them.  

Corte Magore Island Curriculum Project Prospectus

Submitted by Maureen Reilly Lorimer, Ph.D. for Finding Corte Magore

California Lutheran University

Objective:

Build cross-cultural relationships between children in Nicaragua and children in Ventura County, California through interactive science, technology, art, and math learning with an emphasis on increasing worldwide understanding of biodiversity needs surrounding Corte Magore Island

Key activities:

·         Create a technological infrastructure to support international communication in dual languages (i.e. ongoing communication between students in Nicaragua and students in Ventura County)

·         Collaborate with university environmental science programs to develop K-8 science explorations aligned with graduate research conducted on Corte Magore Island

·         Develop an interdisciplinary and intercultural curriculum (science, technology, art, and math) centered on biodiversity for K-8 students in Ventura County and Nicaragua.  An enduring understanding and essential questions with explicit attention to culturally responsive pedagogy and cross-cultural learning will be developed as the overarching goal of this curriculum.

·         Create opportunities for children in Nicaragua and children in Ventura County to communicate with graduate researchers (e.g. share findings, propose questions, and compare data). This experience is modeled after the school-to-space communications experience.

·         Create a professional development series for teachers in Nicaragua and teachers in Ventura County based upon the Corte Magore Island Curriculum

·         Develop a formal science, technology, art, and math exhibit to prominently showcase student work and outcomes emerging from the Corte Magore Island Curriculum Project – exhibitions will be presented in Nicaragua and United States as well as a virtual exhibition available online

·         Create a Corte Magore Island Curriculum Project Website

·         Collect data to evaluate curriculum outcomes

Requirements:

·         Secure grant funding

o   to support curriculum development, professional development, and technology infrastructure

o   to support the purchase and delivery of materials and resources for science, technology, art, and math learning to Nicaragua and Ventura County schools

o   to support project evaluation research

·         Generate contacts with schools in Nicaragua and schools in Ventura County (possibly k-8 Dual Immersion Programs)

·         Determine project coordinator and additional personnel requirements

o   Recruit  and hire support staff

o   Recruit and hire project researcher

Budget:

Estimated costs for a 12-month time period includes:

Curriculum development for grades k - 8:

-          collaborate and plan curriculum framework with university environmental science program faculty and administration

-          research and align curriculum with existing national and state curriculum requirements (U.S. and Nicaragua)

-          create lesson plans and other support materials1

-          support staff or graduate student salaries

$   35,000

Planning and preparation of professional development series for teachers

-          support staff or graduate student salaries

$   10,000

Conduct professional development series for teachers (U.S. and Nicaragua)

-          support staff or graduate student salaries

-          project travel and mileage

-          honoraria for teacher participants

$   40,000

Planning, preparation, and implementation of student exhibition (U.S. and Nicaragua locations, and web)

-          support staff or graduate student salaries

$   10,000

$   95,000

1 Contingent upon funding and development of technology infrastructure, lesson plans

and activities may also include interactive communication with university researchers

Timeframe:

An estimated timeline of 12 – 24 months is required to develop the Corte Magore Island Curriculum Project

Benefits:

·         Enhanced cross-cultural relationships and partnerships between local and international private and public universities and k-8 schools

·         Aligned state and national standards through social constructivist learning (Vygotsky, 1986), multiple intelligence theory (Gardner, 2011), higher order and critical thinking (Bloom, 1984), art as experience (Dewey, 1959), problem-based learning (Hmelo-Silver, 2004), and design thinking (Brown, 2008)

·         Increased awareness of biodiversity surrounding Corte Magore Island

·         Potential project expansion to other schools and universities

References:

Bloom, B. J. (Ed.). (1984). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals Book 1 cognitive domain. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Brown, T. (2008). Design thinking. Harvard Business Review, 86(6), 84.

Dewey, J. (1959). Art as experience. New York, NY: Capricorn Books.

Gardner, H. (2011). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, 3rd edition. New York, NY: Basic Books

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn? Educational Psychology Review, 16(3), 235-266.

Vygotsky, L. S. & Kozulin, A. (Ed.). (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Donate to this specific project.