UK Press release: 03 June 2019
UK’s best kept education secret, MESHGuides free research-based online database, nominated for prestigious YIDAN Prize, the world’s largest education prize
Key words: Educators as change agents; Re-framing teachers’ roles; Re-framing research and publishing expectations of academic staff; Creative approach; Knowledge bridge; Translational Research
MESH is a worldwide network of educators who are working voluntarily, to share, freely, research-based knowledge with teachers, parents, policy makers and research funders. The key outputs of the network are MESHGuides published in a free research-based online resource bank that is accessed in 193 of the 196 countries in the world. As a result of MESHGuides involvement in key sustainability projects in developing countries, MESHGuides and its parent charitable organisation, Education Futures Collaboration (EFC) have been nominated for the internationally recognised and prestigious YIDAN Prize.
Founded in 2016 by Dr Charles CHEN Yidan, Yidan Prize has a mission to create a better world through education and at a value of US$3.9million to the two winners, is the world’s largest education prize. It is the use of MESHGuides in challenging educational situations around the world that has attracted the nomination for EFC/MESHGuides as a potential winner of the award.
Most recently MESH worked closely with the international charity VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) to produce a MESHGuide on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) to support ‘Education in Emergencies’ . This Guide provided practical guidance informed by research for teachers/volunteer aid workers/parents and siblings to address UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.2. which emphasises the importance of early childhood development in preparing all girls and boys for primary education.
Thousands of Rohingya refugee children have been living in camps in Bangladesh. Very young children have experienced violence and ongoing trauma and still lack safe spaces to learn and play. Working in partnership with the VSO, the Early Childhood MESHGuide, an online knowledge map focusing on the learning of very young children, has been developed by volunteer educators from ten countries working online with VSO volunteers in refugee camps. This provided a rapid response to a critical need for families and children missing education at an influential time and who urgently need interventions and learning support. The turnaround time from identification of problem to publication of the Early Childhood MESHGuide was within a matter of weeks.
Meanwhile, MESHGuides are rapidly developing in countries all over the world, as tool to help:-
- teachers use research to inform their practice,
- school leaders use research-based knowledge to make better informed decisions
- parents to help and support their children’s learning at home.
We have created MESHGuides as a creative approach to providing useful research summaries for teachers. MESHGuides are designed to accumulate knowledge and create a knowledge bridge between research and practice. MESHGuides are kept current by the teachers and researchers themselves, with educators using this knowledge to improve their classroom teaching. We use quality assurance processes typical of academic articles such as blind peer review. For academic staff, reaching potential users of their research has always been a problem; MESHGuides offer a practical solution to this problem.
The MESHGuides A-Z index (www.https://www.new.meshguides.org/mesh-guides/) is like a quality assured Wikipedia. We see digital tools as allowing new solutions to the often intractable of problem of keeping teachers’ knowledge up-to-date. We are aware, as teachers, that to teach well, we need access to the latest knowledge from research; not only research into pedagogy, but research across the subject disciplines, so that the content of lessons is current and relevant.
Over the last few years, volunteers have developed the MESH system of ‘translational research’ (theory to practice) through Global Summits, seminars and consultations. There are now users from 193 of the 196 countries in the world. MESH has developed from donations and is seeking to attract further funding and volunteers to develop the initiative to give easier access to this free, research-based online teaching and learning resource library. The goal is to enable translational research to be available to enrich education in the UK and worldwide in a low-cost, sustainable way.
We see MESHGuides as transforming education from the inside out. Linking research and best practice and making MESHGuide research-based summaries more readily available and freely accessible to everyone. Most recently we have teamed up with VoicEd Radio, a 24/7 Internet-based Radio Station originating from Toronto but listened to all over the world. VoicEd Radio is a participant-driven community dedicated to both broadening and deepening the conversations we have about education and whose values align very closely with those of EFC/MESHGuides. We are looking forward to an exciting future in this forward-looking community of educators and those dedicated to providing quality education free at the point of access.
Further information regarding EFC/MESHGuides available from email@example.com (@meshguides on Twitter) or from the MESH Executive Board members:-
Stephen Hall E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: 07714 231327
Professor Marilyn Leask E-mail: email@example.com
Mobile: +44 7568520447
Professor Sarah Younie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information re. VoicEd Radio available from:- Stephen Hurley E-mail: stephen@voicEd.ca