“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education” – Martin Luther King
Our Golden Hour supports the teachers’ use of native languages and contemporary methods of education, such as discussion and activity-based learning. Teachers use these methods with the curriculum we have developed. The curriculum is based on the illustrated books, published by Our Golden Hour, that retell ancient indigenous stories. These illustrated books are published in the native language and in English, which the children also learn.
Our efforts align with the recommendations of a Save the Children report, published in 2015, that recommends the use of “reading material in students’ mother tongue,” developing “teachers’ skills in reading and writing in local languages,” and “parental support for children’s reading […] and ensuring access to child-friendly books at home.”*
Importance of Professional Development
In many under-served regions in the world, teachers receive little or no training in pedagogy, and teach using only lecture and rote memorization. Research shows that children benefit tremendously when teachers are introduced to and implement educational methods that engage children in learning. In these regions teachers are dedicated to teaching and welcome new, effective methods to use in the classroom.
The newly introduced curriculum emphasizes civics, ethics, and cultural history. Children are encouraged to imagine that they are the characters in the story, to empathize with the situations the characters are facing. The children’s enthusiastic embrace of the stories provided by Our Golden Hour serves as a foundation for a new approach to education in these regions.
Part of the goal of the curriculum is to encourage children to engage in empathy and a wide embrace of cultural diversity and variety. The focus is to help children move beyond tolerance, to expand a wide appreciation of other people’s perspectives. It is important for children to understand the ‘other’ and value diversity. They are the future leaders who can bring these values to their communities.
* Leer, Jane; Liana Gertsch, Shahana Parvan, et al. Language Use and Literacy Skills: READ Baseline Assessment and Situational Analysis: Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, UNESCO Save The Children, 2015 http://resourcecentre.savethechildren.se/sites/default/files/documents/bangladesh_cht_synthesis_final_20151111.pdf, Accessed 8-2-2016.