Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is called information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action. 

And in order for us to ensure that successful knowledge sharing is taking place in our Vietnam Deaf Education Program, we track the participants’ acquisition of knowledge over time. 

For example, we administer written tests both before the start and at the end of each summer’s training program.  These tests ask questions about material covered in the previous summer’s workshop as well as material in the current summer’s program.  In this way, we can evaluate how well the particpants are retaining lessons learned over time as well as measuring their understanding of new material.  We also collect qualitative surveys about the training from the participants themselves to help us gauge what we are doing well and where there are opportunties for improvement.

The participants who pass each post-workshop test receive a certificate of achievement signed by the director of the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss and the dean of Ho Chi Minh City University of Education. They also are admitted to the next level of training in the following summer’s program.

We are collaborating with academics on other measures such as comparing the progress of children with hearing loss with teachers in our program against those not in our program over time. 

Such tests and evaluations help us shape future curriculi design and have contributed to the identification of new avenues of Global Foundation programming to meet the participants needs.
Our third summer training program starts in a few weeks on July 9, 2012.  We will have 98 teachers of the deaf returning to take part in our level 2 and level 3 teacher training curricula. We also have 38 participants divided across three levels of our audiology program. The advanced levels will undergo competency tests as well as written tests to evaluate their ability to apply what they have learned.

We have been working with the same teachers of the deaf over the past few years now. They come from 38 schools across 20 provinces to take part in our summer training programs and we travel to their schools during the year during our mobile missions.  We have tested the hearing of over 200 children associated with these school programs and provided 214 hearing aids to those who needed them.  The children’s parents have taken part in our Family Program to learn how they can help their children learn to make use of hearing technology and learn to listen and talk.  Meanwhile, our audiology program has been training educational audiologists and local audio-techs so they are prepared to provide support to these children ongoing.

We recently confirmed the list of children with hearing loss that will be engaged in our Level 3 teacher training program. Thirty-six children under age of 6 will take part in a stimulated summer school format with pull out individualized sessions or early intervention therapy sessions with their families.  These children come from four different school programs. Those that live far away will board at the center with their families, providing an opportunity for the families to really immerse in the learning experience.

I was recently pleased to see another example of the integrated nature of our summer program across audiology, teacher training, and parent education at work. I was reviewing the case histories and audiological information of the 36 children with hearing loss that will take part in our summer program. All of their teachers have been in our program for the last two years.  Most of their parents have been in our Family Program. Many of the children have had their audiograms recorded and hearing aids checked by the participants in our audiology program.  Some of these children received hearing aids from the Global Foundation. 
The stimulated summer school, therapy, and early intervention format will grant us a forum to assess how the training provided to the children’s support network over time is helping with the progression of these children’s auditory and language development.