The Exponential Power of Teaching

Thinking about exponential growth is enough to get anyone’s head spinning. But exponential growth isn’t just a brain-busting mathematical concept. When your goal is to give people the skills to train others, it can be an exciting possibility.

Double anything once, you end up with two. Use exponential math and double something ten times, however, and you’ve got yourself a massive exponential increase… which is just the kind of result we hoped for when we sent SIL LEAD executive director and Bloom Master Trainer Paul Frank to the “Enabling Writers: Bloom Software Training of Trainers Workshop” last month.

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Held by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), the workshop brought Paul and SIL LEAD Africa Partnership Coordinator Robert Waliaula to Abuja, Nigeria, where they and workshop leader Lily Nyariki spent an exciting five days teaching thirteen participants how to use Bloom to create reading materials, including decodable and leveled readers, as well as “talking books” that contain recordings of each page of a book.

Workshop participants came from all over Nigeria, from Cameroon, and from Ghana. Teachers, writers, civil servants, and others had a great time and will take what they learned back to their communities. Khalid Imam from Nigeria said of his experience that "Nothing gives me greater hope that the thirst for story books for an African child to read would soon be over."  (read more participant endorsements in this Bloom book created by Paul Frank).

 Photo Credit: @ADEAnet (twitter)

Photo Credit: @ADEAnet (twitter)

Books are so ubiquitous in our culture that we sometimes take them for granted. But with the power of Bloom at their fingertips, these educators and leaders will be able to bring books to language communities that have few if any books.

At the end of the workshop, one of the participants wrote a song in Hausa that he then performed for the rest. The joy and enthusiasm of this new-found community of book-creators was palpable. The trainees have become trainers, and exponential growth will bring the ability to create simple books and translate them into multiple languages to hundreds if not thousands more.