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This report, produced by Integrity Research and Consultancy, examines the learning environment for children in Grade 2 and Grade 3 in areas of Syria not under the control of the Government of Syria. Specifically, the report reviews teacher practice and behavior, the learning environment and the effects this has on child learning and wellbeing. The report seeks to provide donors, policymakers, researchers and implementors with recommendations for how to better facilitate improved learning outcomes for children in crisis and conflict settings. As the first study of its kind since the onset of the conflict in Syria, the report represents a unique opportunity to critically assess the influence of teacher practice and learning spaces on child learning and wellbeing in Syria. The most impactful result of the study is the “careful alignment of the evidence about what works in EiCC [Education in Conflict and Crisis] to support learning and wellbeing to the degree to which such attitudes, practices, and policies occur, at a granular level.”

In order to provide positive learning outcomes for children it’s absolutely critical to provide activities in support of safe, flexible, and community-based learning opportunities, social and emotional learning support, literacy and numeracy skill development, support for teacher professional and wellbeing, and partnership between schools and homes in support of learning and wellbeing. Unfortunately, the study’s findings show that many of these elements are absent in the Syrian context. Poor basic teaching practices are pervasive and the available learning environments can impede learning and wellbeing. While teachers report high self-efficacy rates, they also appear to be under-skilled. This deficiency contributes to poor literacy, numeracy and wellbeing.

Based on these findings, the report recommends further investment in the professional development of teachers, increased support to school administrators, as well as parents and caregivers. The study also recommends that program design methodologies be improved to better involve teachers, school administrators and education authorities.