STIR Newsletter - May 2017
Dear Friends of STIR,

In the 5 years since STIR began, these past months have probably been our most hectic. 

Over 26,000 teachers have now joined STIR, and are collectively teaching 1.1 million children in over 10,000 schools in India and Uganda. 

We've been unlocking a lot of early insight and learning around what really motivates teachers, which we are sharing in this newsletter.  And we've been in exciting discussions with governments in India and Uganda to more deeply embed and scale our approach - which we'll update you more fully on in our next newsletter. 

Thanks again for all your help and support. We hope you enjoy the "newsflashes" below.

Sharath and the STIR Team
Sharing our Learning: Moving from Carrots and Sticks to Lightbulb Moments

STIR's vision is of a world where every child has a motivated professional as a teacher, whom they trust, respect and value. We partner with governments to ignite and sustain teacher intrinsic motivation, in order to improve classroom practice, student learning and financial efficiency. We do this through supporting officials already in the system to build teacher networks: local, ongoing communities of practice that support teachers to tangibly improve their classrooms, as well as develop the mindsets and behaviours that set them up for long-term success. 

In this thought piece Sharath Jeevan, STIR's CEO, shares some of the emerging learning we've (often painfully) unlocked around what really motivates teachers, and how it differs from the traditional "carrots and sticks" thinking. 
To the article
We launched a new research study with WISE and UCL, and an associated business case, around teacher motivation. 

We began developing a global research study in partnership with UCL, supported by WISE, around a new approach to motivating and harnessing teachers in education systems. The study will incorporate a rigorous review of the existing literature around teacher motivation and also review a number of country and regional case studies. We further hope to develop the research findings into a fully fledged economic analysis and "business case" that provides education systems with evidence around why this can be a compelling investment, and practical recommendations for implementation. 
We have been hugely grateful for input and advice from global actors and partners such as the World Bank, GPE, OECD and Education International and the Education Commission. We launched the creation of the business case with a breakfast roundtable at the CIES Conference in March 2017. We hope to launch the business case in Q4 2017. 
We've had three new members join our Governance Board: Andreas Schleicher, David Rothschild and Amrita Ahuja.

Andreas is the Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. David has held senior roles at the Fossil Foundation and the Skoll Foundation, and Amrita is a director at the Douglas B. Marshall Jr. Foundation. We are grateful and excited to have them all on board!

More about Andreas Schleicher here, including his TED Talk "Use data to build better schools".
We are grateful to some key new funding partners who have come onto support our work, as well as the continued support of existing partners.

Dubai Cares is a UAE-based global philanthropic organisation working towards improving children's access to quality education in developing countries. Dubai Cares will be supporting our primary programme in Uganda for the next three years; helping to equip 17,000 Ugandan primary school teachers to become education change-makers. The programme will benefit learning outcomes for nearly 1 million students.

The IKEA Foundation is supporting us to launch a movement of nearly 16,000 secondary teachers committed to improving students’ learning in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state. This will impact over 500,000 students in government schools who will benefit from receiving a higher-quality education driven by passionate, well-trained teachers. The IKEA Foundation believes all children deserve a quality education and are supporting us over the next four years to reach this goal across the state.

The Maitri Trust is based on the belief that high quality education for every child is the keystone to eradicating poverty and creating fairer and more socially responsible societies. The Trust strives to improve the quality of education at the systems level and are therefore well-placed to fund for our primary and secondary programmes in India, one of their key geographies, over the next two years. This funding will support over 18,000 teachers to become education changemakers, impacting learning outcomes for over 600,000 students.
We are also thankful for renewed support from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Douglas B. Marshall Foundation, Mulago, Peery Foundation and the Segal Foundation.

We are very grateful to all our funding partners for their financial support as well as their support as thought partners, particularly at our third annual funding partner strategy group which took place on 8 April 2017 and from which we have plenty of exciting learning we are looking forward to sharing!
We would like to share one story from the last quarter that really inspired us. This is the story of Bindu Katyal, a network teacher from East Delhi.

Bindu is one of the 22 network teachers in SKV Radhey Shyam Park school. Her network is led by an energetic Education Leader from the same school called Seema Bahl. 

Bindu has been instrumental in getting the teachers together and actively involving them in all the network meetings. She accompanied Seema to the Teacher Changemaker Summit where Bindu presented her micro-innovation to other Education Leaders and network teachers and subsequently got shortlisted for the much-coveted Roehampton University Innovator Certification. 

Moreover, after the network meeting, Bindu and the 22 other network teachers from her school campaigned to spread the message of ‘Swachh Bharat’ (a national cleanliness drive) along with the young students. The initiative was taken by the teachers themselves and supported by the Head of School and parents.

The Head of School, Geeta Goyal told us “I was very impressed to see Bindu and Seema taking charge and initiating a rally as part of the School Eco Club with our students and other teachers. These teachers under the guidance of Seema are not only helping better the attitude of other teachers but also taking additional responsibilities to change the classroom and staff discourse towards a more teacher-led learning environment!” 

This is exactly the kind of impact STIR is trying to have on the learning environment within schools, creating an inspirational set of teachers to lead change within their schools and classrooms.

Photo: A teacher presenting their micro-innovation at the STIR Teacher Changemaker Summit in Delhi last October.
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