Effective Multi Level Instruction

While spending time in the remote Napal Himalaya a few months back, closeto the border of Tibet, I walked through the small village of Samdo. While exploring, I always take time to stop into local schools-and this was no exception. However, I was quite surprised with the situation. The population of Samdo, never large, had dwindled to about 50-60 families (with familiar developing country urbanization taking its toll on remote mountain communities). In addition, many of these remaining families send their children to school in the capital; thus the local government school was left with approximately 10-12 children, across age ranges, and one teacher, attempting "exteme" multi-level instruction. Daunting during the best of times, with full resource sets, this was occuring in the courtyard of the building (that had been damaged during the earthquake of the previous spring), with minimal materials and resources (in addition to, I am assuming, training). This While there have been some resources which have been developed/do exist, their applicability is varied, especially in settings in which teacher support mechanisms are minimal to non-existant. Obviously this is the opposite of what is widely regarded as the most daunting challenge facing developing and post-conflict educators-large class sizes (which has been covered on this blog before)-but is the reality for many of the hardest to reach communities. Over the next several months, I'll be looking at some of these remote communities in the Nepal Himalayas, and working on a few case studies to better explore what is being done, what the true contextual challenges and limitations are, and what is the most practical and feasible path forward in supporting these multitides of teachers dealing with extreme multi-level class environments.