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Postcards from Accra Ghana, West Africa

January 26, 2017
Postcards from Accra Ghana, West Africa
5.6037° N, 0.1870° W
 
Greetings from Accra Ghana!
 
Doc student Corinne Brion and I are once again in Ghana collecting data for a mixed-methods research project.  We’re doing four case studies of low-fee private schools.  Data collection includes interviews with school leaders, teachers and other staff members, parents and local community members. We’re also using a classroom observation instrument that focuses on student-teacher interactions.  Additionally the study involves assessing reading competencies of students in grades 2 & 3 using the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) tool. I love being in classrooms so this is great fun!
 
The photo on the top left is a classroom we visited and the teacher is conducting a science lesson about weather.
We’re working here with Edify (www.edify.org/) an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) based in San Diego, but with offices in many countries:  Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and India. Last week Edify held its annual retreat for all staff at a hotel in Elmina Ghana (photo on the top right).  
 
Elmina is a lovely area along the beach and it’s the location of Elmina ‘Castle. ’ Built by the Portuguese in 1482, Elmina was the first trading post on the coast, so it is the oldest European building in existence below the Sahara. Originally it was a trade settlement, but later became one of the most important (and infamous) stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. Elmina Castle is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and President and Mrs. Obama visited a few years ago.
 
We attended a wonderful cultural event that used music and dance to tell the audience about Ghana’s history.  This photo on the bottom left depicts university students and their professor.  The man in back is playing a handmade zylophone.
 
Finally, we create training modules for Edify.  A new one is: Leadership in Creating and Developing Early Childhood Education Programs. Our target audience includes principals and coordinators/directors of early childhood programs. We use a Trainer-of-Trainers (TOT) model.  The four people in this photo (on the bottom right) with us are local educators.  Sakina (left), one of our newest trainers, is a professor at Winneba Teacher Training College.  To Corinne’s left is Adwoa who is a very talented teacher and one of our best trainers. In the middle is Dr. Alfred, a researcher at Cape Coast University—and an excellent trainer with a quiet and wonderful sense of humor.  To my left is Dorcas. She is the education specialist for Edify and helps make all the trainings run smoothly.  It’s such a pleasure to work with a team like this!
 
If anyone reading this postcard would like to talk about possibly being involved in our projects, please email me. (cordeiro@sandiego.edu)
 
The next postcard will be from Ethiopia in a few weeks!
 
Happy 2017 to All!
 
Professor Paula A. Cordeiro
Doc Candidate Corinne Brion (defending 2/17/17)
Dept. of Leadership Studies