personal reflections on human rights...and other stuff

She's Leaving Home


Wednesday night, almost 11, at the Wisma PGI
You know you're working with a dedicated group when you're the one pleading for a break during the workshop and you're the facilitator. The 12-hour flip in time zones still does hazards with my sleep habits, so I was awake at 3 this morning and quite honestly ready for a nap at 11 AM. The participants demonstrated an indefatigable work ethic from 9 this morning well past 6 PM. I left them by that time, most of them still working in the room.
We got as far as we could today, and I'm satisfied with our progress. We finished revising the module objectives and then took more time in the morning to discuss different models of instructional design. New for most people, and according to them, they were “still digesting it” by lunch time. This website: http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/idmodels.html has a bevy of instructional design models if you're ever looking to learn more about them.
After lunch we moved on to discuss two aspects of curriculum design I have adopted in the past few years that have helped me tremendously in designing stuff that works. The first is “the story” which is a narrative summary, usually no more than a page or two, of an entire workshop. One paragraph per module, or stream, or whatever. “In Module 1, participants will get to know each other and learn about the participatory approach used...” that sort of thing. If the description makes sense, then chances are so does your curriculum. The group tried to write the story of the AHRTP and it worked, although they were a bit more verbose than I had anticipated. They clearly know the content well.
The next thing I talked about was to develop (in this case, revise) content based on results. Too often I have found workshops based on activities or learning objectives (I count myself in that group too). These kinds of workshops might be interesting, but once participants return to their respective organizations, the applicability of what they learned is at time difficult to grasp. Hence a common utterance of “make it more practical.” So I suggested we read the module objectives and then try to identify what would be the expected results stemming from each module. In other words, the expected results among participants upon their return to their work. It took a while to explain, but once that was out of the way, the group split themselves up into four groups to revise specific modules. By 6, most had finished. If all goes well, most of the two-week AHRTP curriculum will be revised and finished by tomorrow. We still have to add educational evaluation, revise the individual plan, ensure consistency of grammar and style throughout the manual, and discuss different HRE techniques to use as alternatives to what's already there. I think that's it. Oh no, I forgot that they have to revise the manual to establish links between the modules and revise the content related to gender. I know I have a checklist somewhere.
I was out with Bing in a taxi earlier this evening. Stopped at a red light and a beautiful young girl came up to my window. You heard the clank of the taxi doors locking at the driver's command. She did something no beggar had done before in front of me: she sang. Couldn't remember the tune, but she wasn't bad. Slipped in a Hello, mister in between humming a few bars. Yesterday I read statistics on street children in Indonesia, and the number was a staggering 2 million. I ignored her, and as usual a little part inside me felt like crap. Who knows what her story is, whether or not she has a home to go to, why is her life so difficult that she must sing for money at an intersection at 10 o'clock at night. I can't imagine my children ever being in this kind of situation, but that certainly isn't the case here. I hope we'll find some answers or some stories of hope from Equitas Community members starting this Friday as we open up a new virtual conference on children's rights. In this day and age, with the Convention on the Rights of the Child turning 20 years old this week, it's boggles my mind to see children in these conditions.
More in a few days from my next stop, Erbil, Iraq.
paul



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