Professor Randall's Summer Vacation: Indonesia!
In July 2009, Assistant Professor Jennifer Randall spent several weeks in
Indonesia as part of USAID's Decentralized Basic Education, Teaching and
Learning (DBE 2) Project, which seeks to improve the quality of teaching and
learning in Indonesia's public and private sector primary schools. The goal of the
project is to increase Indonesia's capacity in educational assessment expertise
as part of their national educational improvement efforts.
DBE is based on successful aspects of existing efforts to improve educational quality and seeks to leverage these efforts by focusing more on teacher training and the learning environment. An intricate combination of teacher training, school-based management, classroom materials development, civic education and service learning, early childhood education, university partnerships and ICT strategies have been implemented to strengthen Indonesia's primary education system, ensuring that Indonesian youth have the knowledge necessary to compete in the global economy.
As part of the multi-year collaboration, Professor Randall (assisted by Dr Urip Purwono from Universitas Padjadjaran Bandung and a graduate of UMass' REMP program) conducted two summer workshops designed to improve the quality of teachers' in-class assessment practices - Using Performance Based Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning & Differentiated Instruction and Assessment - across three of Indonesia's major universities: University of Padjadjaran (in Bandung), the State University of Medan, & IAIN Walisongo (in Semerang). Participants, over 250 total, included DBE personnel, university faculty in the fields of education and psychology, elementary and secondary classroom teachers, and graduate students from various fields of study.