Stir Education (STIR)
STiR Education is an international NGO that supports education systems to make intrinsic motivation and lifelong learning central to what they do at all levels. Although the world has made great progress in improving access to education, technical ‘seeds’ at the heart of education reform – such as reading improvement programmes or adaptive learning software – need rich motivational ‘soil’ in order to grow and flourish. Many promising models have failed to grow because they were not supported by teachers and local officials – we need to invest as much time in generating the demand for these interventions as we do in perfecting them.
STiR is the only organisation globally focused on making that ‘soil’ fertile again, by developing autonomy, mastery and purpose within individuals, and lifelong learning across systems at large. Their approach is implemented through a model of localised teacher networks – think of these as ‘micro-finance groups for teachers’. Groups of 20 to 30 teachers meet every month and are exposed to evidence-based ideas for how to improve their teaching practice. But they aren’t told what to do. Instead, they decide as a group what action plans to put in place in their classrooms, commit their actions to each other, and practise this in the meetings. Between meetings, they are observed in school (by a peer or headteacher) trying out the new practice and receive useful feedback for further improvement.
These teacher networks are run, managed and monitored by local government officials (at district, block, cluster and school level) right from the outset – so no dependency is created since accountability and ownership of the programme are the responsibilities of the district. During the 5-year partnerships, STiR provides quality assurance, data, training and coaching support to a district with the aim of fully embedding the model into government systems, after which it retains only light-touch support.
STiR is currently impacting more than 200,000 teachers and 6 million children through supporting four state education systems in India (Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) and the national education system in Uganda. By 2030, 300 million children will have an intrinsically motivated teacher, and national governments around the world will recognise the importance of developing this critical profession.See more