Educators continue collaborative work with Benin

Professors in Benin with students.Three members of SUNY Oswego’s School of Education recently continued the work of the college’s Project CLIMB in Benin, delivering intensive seminars to school inspectors and teacher trainees at the Ecole Normale Superieure of the University of Abomey-Calavi.

Eugenio Basualdo of the vocational teacher preparation department, Alfred Frederick of the curriculum and instruction department and Barbara Streets of the counseling and psychological services department made up the third team from Oswego’s Project CLIMB (Collaborative Link for Instructor Mentoring in Benin/Brazil) to work in Benin.

Basualdo provided a seminar on vocational teacher preparation and a presentation on the organization of the American educational system. He served as a consultant to the director of vocational education in Benin’s Ministry of Education regarding the organization of American vocational education at the secondary school level.

Frederick provided seminars and workshops in the area of curriculum organization and evaluation. Beyond the classroom, Frederick planned cultural tours of the area for his colleagues.

Streets gave three lectures pertaining to her specialty area, counseling psychology. With the assistance of translators, she also discussed the therapeutic benefits of storytelling by reading one of her original short stories based on West African culture and heritage. A student group asked her to provide an additional lecture on the role of a psychologist. In addition to her participation in cultural tours, Streets investigated how traditional healers consult with patients and effect cures.

Project SMART and Project CLIMB in Oswego’s School of Education “have not just provided professional development seminars and workshops for school inspectors and teacher trainees in Benin, but we are also serving a greater purpose in the area of educational development in Benin,” Frederick said, noting that Benin is one of the least developed nations in Africa.

Frederick said that Project CLIMB would next begin the same sort of research in Brazil that formed the foundation for the work in Benin—investigating the educational process in the public schools with an eye toward making suggestions and recommendations.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Eugenio Basualdo, Alfred Frederick and Barbara Streets, standing from left, of SUNY Oswego’s School of Education worked with teacher trainees at the Ecole Normale Superieure of the University of Abomey-Calavi recently in Benin.

(Posted: Oct 28, 2009)