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Refugee schoolchildren attend an official ceremony to return to school at one of the UNRWA schools at a Palestinian refugee camp al Wehdat, in Amman, Jordan, September 2, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed - RC164AB22ED0

Millions Learning focuses on how to scale quality education initiatives for all children and youth. Now in the second phase of the project, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) is implementing Real-time Scaling Labs in collaboration with local institutions and governments in a number of countries to generate more evidence and provide practical recommendations around the process of scaling in global education—encouraging a stronger link between research and practice.


Working with partner institutions around the world, CUE is co-creating a peer-to-peer, adaptive learning process to learn from, support, and document interventions focused on improving children’s learning as they scale in real-time. The ultimate goal is to support initiatives as they deepen and expand while simultaneously gaining deeper insight into how policymakers, civil society, and the private sector can most effectively work together to bring about large-scale transformation in the quality of children’s learning and their development.

Real-time Scaling Lab Iterative Learning Cycle

Real-time sclaing labs iterative learning cycle

14 CORE INGREDIENTS that contribute TO Scaling quality EDUCATION

In the first phase of the project (2014-2016), CUE undertook research to discover how policies and programs that have improved learning in low- and middle-income countries have gone to scale, and what the public and private sectors and civil society can do to more effectively scale up quality learning in their own communities. Drawing upon literature and case studies from around the world, the report, Millions Learning: Scaling up quality education in developing countries, identifies 14 core ingredients that, in different combinations depending on the context, contribute to scaling effective practices and approaches that improve learning.

Continual testing and refinement

The Real-time Scaling Labs will be an opportunity to test and refine the Millions Learning scaling framework and 14 core ingredients and to learn more about the scaling process in real time. CUE will draw lessons from these labs to provide feedback directly on the education initiatives, as well as contribute to a more robust, actionable evidence base on scaling globally, taking into account the technical and political considerations needed to expand the impact of quality education.

Select a location to learn about each scaling lab Real Scaling Labs

Teaching at the Right Level, Young 1ove


CUE is partnering with the NGO Young 1ove, which works with the government of Botswana to adapt and scale the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) remedial education approach that groups students according to learning level rather than age or grade. Young 1ove is working with UNICEF, the University of Botswana, the Ministry of Basic Education, and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport, and Culture Development with the goal of reaching 80,000 learners by 2022. This lab brings together key stakeholders to collaboratively learn from and strengthen the adaptation, implementation, and expansion of TaRL in Botswana, as well as share key learnings with the broader TaRL community as other countries across Africa implement the approach.

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Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities, Jacobs Foundation

Côte d’Ivoire

CUE is partnering with the Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) initiative to implement a Real-time Scaling Lab to learn from, support, and document the adaptation and scaling of education and early childhood development interventions in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire. This lab works closely with the Ivorian government, the cocoa and chocolate industry, and NGOs and social enterprises to collectively advance shared objectives that align with national education priorities. This initiative supports the development and scaling up of interventions that span parenting and early childhood development, primary education, and relevant technical and vocational training.

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Financial Education Program, INJAZ


CUE is partnering with INJAZ, a nonprofit Jordanian organization, to draw lessons from the adaptation and mainstreaming of an NGO-developed Financial Education Program (FEP) across the secondary school system in Jordan. The Ministry of Education, with support from the Central Bank of Jordan, commercial banks, and NGOs, is rolling out the FEP to improve the financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills of youth so that they can better participate in the national economy. The Real-time Scaling Lab documents and learns from efforts to mainstream financial education in all public, private, and refugee schools for grades 7 through 12.

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Playful Learning Landscapes, Temple University Infant and Child Laboratory


In partnership with the Temple University Infant and Child Laboratory, this Real-time Scaling Lab learns from, documents, and shares findings on a Philadelphia-wide initiative to transform everyday public spaces into learning opportunities to maximize the “80 percent” of time children spend outside of school. Playful Learning Landscapes looks at new designs, gathers evidence of impact, connects like-minded actors, and ultimately contributes to building a new field of theory and practice that blends the science of learning and innovative urban planning. The lab will capture how key stakeholders in Philadelphia unite around the common activity of supporting children’s development and learning through transforming city spaces and will share lessons learned both within and outside of Philadelphia.

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Teacher Professional Development @Scale Program, Foundation for Information Technology, Education, and Development (FIT-ED)


CUE is collaborating with the Teacher Professional Development at Scale (TPD@Scale) Coalition for the Global South, through direct engagement with the Coalition Secretariat, the NGO FIT-ED, to draw key insights and recommendations from the Philippine Department of Education’s scale-up of a blended TPD program for K-3 teachers in more than 36,000 public elementary schools across the country. Lessons learned inform the expansion of TPD programs in other countries that are part of the Coalition, and are shared with the broader international education community.

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Learner Guide Program, The Campaign for Female Education


In partnership with The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, this Real-time Scaling Lab supports the expansion of CAMFED's Learner Guide program across five new regions of Tanzania, with the longer-term goal of national integration. The program is designed to improve education outcomes among marginalized children while simultaneously opening new pathways for young women in the transition from school to the workforce. Young women who have graduated from secondary school sign up for an 18-month voluntary commitment to become “Learner Guides” in local secondary schools and obtain qualifications after their service, which can help them enter formal teacher training programs. Lessons learned from the scaling lab help reach more communities in Tanzania and inform future efforts to adapt and scale the Learner Guide program in other countries.

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