The LEGO Foundation launches global partnerships to support primary school teachers’ use of Learning through Play across five countries

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Billund, Denmark - Today, the LEGO Foundation announced partnerships with the Aga Khan Foundation, BRAC, Right To Play, UNICEF, VVOB - education for development, and RTI International. Each organisation will integrate Learning through Play pedagogies into the official in-service teacher professional development systems for primary school teachers in Kenya, Bangladesh, Ghana, Rwanda and Vietnam, and conduct cross-country research, respectively. Collectively this will benefit an estimated five million children aged 6-12 years, 190,000 teachers, and three million parents and community stakeholders.

The five partners will work with Ministry of Education teacher professional development systems to promote the use of Learning through Play pedagogies, many of which have already been introduced by the implementing partners in their prior work to support teachers across the five countries. These play-based pedagogies are well-aligned with ongoing curriculum reforms in the partner countries to enhance teaching and learning in primary school.

“The LEGO Foundation is committed to working with teachers and education systems in using the transformative power of play to improve learning for millions of children all over the world,” said Sarah Bouchie, Head of Global Programmes at the LEGO Foundation. “Through these partnerships teachers in our partner countries will be better supported as they respond to the complex needs of learners.”

Play-based pedagogies are proven to help children gain a breadth of skills, thus fostering critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving competencies that now feature in most primary school curricula all over the world. For teachers to effectively use these pedagogies in their classrooms, the LEGO Foundation will work with partners and government systems to provide effective, ongoing teacher professional development integrating the use of play-based learning in teaching the country’s curriculum.

“By focusing on teachers, these partnerships bring Learning through Play approaches directly into children’s classrooms,” added Sarah Bouchie of the LEGO Foundation. “Working with stakeholders across the system, including classroom teachers, school leaders, parents and community members, and Ministry of Education officials from district to national levels, these partnerships can help to create an enabling environment that supports and sustains the use of play-based pedagogies in achieving improved learning for millions of primary school learners.”

To ensure sustainability and scale, the LEGO Foundation’s five partners will integrate play-based pedagogies into teacher professional development systems. This work will include:

  • Aga Khan Foundation in Kenya: The partnership will strengthen the capacity of 3,000 primary school teachers in implementing playful pedagogies in their everyday teaching and learning, thereby benefiting 120,000 children. It will reach out to 6,000 parents and community members to bolster acceptance for the use of learning through play methodologies in implementing the new curriculum. Four hundred school-based pedagogical leaders and resource teachers will be trained and engaged in supporting teachers’ use of playful pedagogies at the school and classroom level. 
  • BRAC in Bangladesh: A whole systems development approach will be applied involving all key constituencies of education, reaching and benefiting approximately 60,000 children, 120,000 parents and 25,000 community members. The project will develop a robust, hands-on, contextualised Learning through Play model, train 300 head teachers, 1200 teachers teaching in grades 1 to 4 in applying play-based pedagogies in classroom instruction, and 225 field level government education supervisors
  • Right to Play in Ghana: In partnership with five district governments and the Ministry of Education, the project will extend the use of Learning through Play teacher training package to 312 primary schools. This will expand Learning through Play pedagogy coverage of all 451 government primary schools in the five districts. It will build the capacity of 1,870 teachers and benefit 65,520 children in 312 primary schools. It will also reach approximately 14,400 parents and community members, building their support for Learning through Play both in school and at home. 
  • UNICEF in Rwanda: This partnership will embed Learning Through Play pedagogies into Rwanda’s in-service teacher training system nationwide, refining school-based mentoring materials to better integrate Learning through Play pedagogies, and use these materials to build the capacity of over 800 Mentor Trainers and the 2900 school-based mentors nationwide reaching approximately 29,000 teachers and supporting integration of Learning through Play in their classrooms, resulting in approximately 1,450,000 primary school children benefitting from the transformative power of learning through play. 
  • VVOB - education for development in Vietnam: To support the objectives of the new Vietnamese general education curriculum, the partnership will integrate Learning through Play pedagogies into the country’s in-service primary teacher professional development system, through a combination of national in-service trainings and school-based professional development. Applying a 3-step scaling strategy, this partnership will reach 14,695 schools and more than 150.000 primary teachers in the country by 2023. The project also estimates that it will reach 3 million parents by 2024

Through the partnership with RTI International, the LEGO Foundation will study the outcomes of scaling Learning through Play in teacher professional development across the five countries. Findings from the research spanning five years will be broadly shared with the global education community to help inform ways forward for improving teaching and learning in primary school settings.

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About the LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for learning through play. Learn more on www.LEGOfoundation.com

Media contacts   

Sunshine Sachs   
lego@sunshinesachs.com
+1 212 691 2800    

The LEGO Foundation    
rajdeep.roy.chowdhury@LEGO.com
+45 5215 9745