It is always emphasized on the leadership team that our curriculum is not set in stone, but instead continually evolves as we see new needs arise and discover innovative ways to improve our teaching. Last month we trained all of Nuru’s staff in our week-long Basic Nuru Leadership Training (BNLT). During this time, we faced break-through moments where staff took the concepts from this training and applied it to their real lives, as reflected in my last blog, and we also faced the challenges of teaching over 130 staff members, some of whom have a lower level of education and struggle with reading and writing.
Given these positive outcomes and challenges, and also that this was the first time leadership Field Managers taught this training series, the leadership staff had incredibly valuable insights about what went well and what could be improved for the future. For a glimpse of our discussion, read the excerpt below as the leadership staff thinks critically about the definition of scaling:
Vincent (FM): There is a contradiction between what the definition is. Someone will say that it is increasing and expanding, but we see that this doesn’t accurately portray the meaning of the word scaling. Increasing and expanding shows how Nuru scales but doesn’t necessarily define the word. The meaning of scaling doesn’t come out until we do the [cups] activity. They understand when we do the demonstration.
Francis (DM): To me scaling is the process of increasing and expanding, and this is a Nuru definition. If you try to go literally into the definition, you might get confused. But this definition is according to Nuru.
Paul (DM): It’s like extreme poverty; if you define it according to the dictionaries it is different than how Nuru defines it. Scaling is the increasing and expanding of what? Scaling is the process of expanding and scaling to new areas.
Gisiri (FM): But you are using the same word to describe the same word.
Vincent (FM): According to the demonstration [in the lesson], we see that scaling is the way that Nuru moves to new areas and if that’s the case we need them to know that scaling means moving from one place to another by increasing and expanding. We should make it a new definition.
In culmination of this discussion, the leadership team came up with a new definition of scaling which more accurately represents the concept in the context of Nuru. Just a snapshot of our discussions about BNLT, this excerpt clearly shows the insight that the leadership staff has about our curriculum. They are constantly looking for ways to improve what we teach and make sure that the concepts will be understood by all levels of staff, from Field Officers to District Managers. As a result of excellent insight and strong critical thinking skills, leadership curriculum and scheduling continues to improve and make positive impacts in all of Nuru.