African Initiatives


Sam Mathews, working with colleagues in Critical Thinking International (CTI), a non-governmental organization, has begun working on a series of projects in Africa. One project is focused on educational reform in Liberia. These efforts focus on reforms in university teaching, increased emphasis on literacy, and, with the International Rescue Committee, working to improve outcomes for youth who have experience conflict as child soldiers and victims of aggression. These efforts, for the most part, have been supported by the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation. Most recently, we conducted workshops for college and university faculty in Monrovia, Liberia. This was one in a series of ongoing workshops aimed at instituting teaching strategies that support active learning and critical thinking among university students. Other initiatives focus on working with teachers serving children who were child soldiers and their victims. Photos from the workshop and visits to remote sites are available by following this link.

A second and related initiative began in November, with a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia sponsored by the Canadian Overseas Development through Education (CODE) organization. At this meeting, along with my colleagues from CTI we worked with representatives of literacy and other educational projects in Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Guyana in South America. Our work focused on developing standards and assessment processes for their individual literacy, library, and book production projects. Many of these books focus upon cross cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS, Gender-based Violence, and environmental issues. We anticipate that the CODE projects will overlap with the Liberian projects in that many of the regions served by CODE are, like Liberia, post conflict regions. Several photos and more information can be found by following this link.