African Initiatives


Sam Mathews, working with colleagues in Critical Thinking International, 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 a workshop 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. 


Workshop participants engaged in a group project in an August, 2007 workshop in Monrovia, Liberia.



Participants at a workshop conducted by the International Rescue Committee. These participants were being trained on the Healing Classroom, an instructional system designed for students who had been involved in conflict as either child soldiers or as victims of the conflict.



Young children reading to the audience of an end of year celebration for the We Read project, a weekend literacy program for children of a district in Monrovia, Liberia



View of a river on the way to Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute, one training site for the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classroom