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10 ways in which ELI is innovative

1Gender Equity

A focus on addressing gender inequalities by ensuring that female participants are equally represented, both as instructors and participants.

Canadian female instructors model effective teacher professional development practices through face-to-face sessions.

They are also core instructors in areas not traditionally pursued by females in many countries, for example school leadership and mathematics.


ELI involves "co-mentoring" where Canadian and local teachers learn from each other in all aspects of teaching and leadership.

We believe strongly in cultural humility. It is a collective effort built on reciprocity, authenticity, and trust.

3Direct Impact

ELI strategically commenced in one of the poorest regions of the world and is now rippling out to other fragile and developing contexts.

It was not conceptualized and piloted in a stable, developed context but in the very type of context that it seeks to directly impact.

4Local Partnerships

We have deliberately focused on fostering healthy partnerships with local organizations before the ELI commences. We invest deeply in long-term and trusting relationships with a mindset of reciprocity focused on supporting social and human capital at the local level.

We do not provide a North American model of how education should be "done" but work with local partners to understand how they can implement teaching methods and resources that will engage students to be change agents in their own communities.

5Engagement with Civil Society

The professional development is provided by Canadian volunteers and every effort is made to connect with in-country participants from a peer-to-peer basis and in a common language.

This model supports culturally responsive teaching and is an approach that values local knowledge as well as providing opportunities for Canadian educators to develop global competencies.


Accompanying programs that support science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). These range from camps for children to specific workshops on technology for teachers.

Children who attend theses camps also participate in practicum experiences that teachers complete where they are able to put into practice the things they have learned in ELI.

7Research Studies

Each ELI site has an accompanying research study attached to it so that we can measure the effectiveness of the professional development in the context.

These research projects support the development of effective practices and allow for comparative studies. Publications of research studies have been completed in international, peer-reviewed journals.

8Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfrid Laurier University is a founding partner and its continuing leadership supports organizational governance and research.

In addition, public-private partnerships including technology companies such as D2L, 360Insights, and Vretta provide opportunities for using technology to supplement the face-to-face training


A plan for sustainability which includes identifying key local instructional leaders.

We train local instructional leaders to be effective adult educators and pair them with a Canadian instructor to co-instruct courses. We continue to coach local instructional leaders as they independently instruct courses. This train-the-trainer model builds sustainability and capacity.

10Online Support

We are developing and delivering online supports to supplement the face-to-face training.

This allows professional learning to continue even in the midst of political or economic challenges.