Focus Groups

From 2019 to 2021, Alma grew its reach by a factor of 1000. That’s right! We went from training 30 public school teachers working with 525 students, to 31,050 teachers working with 499,656 students! Though those numbers are exciting and evidence of buy-in from teachers and educational authorities in Peru and Bolivia, they also represent a big quality control challenge. How can we possibly assure the same depth of engagement and personal understanding when we are working with a population 1000 times larger? We always wanted to expand, but never wanted to sacrifice the quality of our work just to show bigger numbers. The answer is two-fold: strong partnerships and focus groups.
First, in various municipalities, the educational specialists and a group of high-performing teachers attended all of our training sessions in order to replicate our training sessions throughout the year. We don’t have enough staff to give continuous training to the thousands of teachers who participate in our programs, so have the state take on and continue our training program is a huge help in assuring more teachers get the support they request.
Second, we have 1,200 teachers divided into three focus groups, which Alma staff personally accompanies through an accredited ecourse, online meetings, and in-classroom visits. At this time of year, the bulk of our work is working directly with the focus group teachers, helping them implement all of the practical strategies and techniques learned in our training program in the classroom with their students.
It’s fun to get back into the field and see our Alma Methodology in action, and even better to see the smile on the kids’ and teachers’ faces as they have fun learning and growing together!

Ian McGroarty
Executive Director
Alma Children’s Education Foundation