Oak Foundation: Learning Differences Grant Program

The Oak Foundation


Grant amount: More than US $25,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Europe, Ethiopia, United States

Location of residency: Europe, Ethiopia, United States

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?

Overview:

Overview

In the Learning Differences Programme, we envision a world where students with learning differences are agents of their own learning success and are supported by educators and environments that expect, embrace and respond to diverse learner profiles.

We support teacher development, student engagement and parental understanding to enable students to follow their own individual paths to lifelong learning success. We seek partners who design and create learning environments that are informed by student voices, neuroscience, personalised learning best practices and universal design concepts.

Our Strategy

Approximately 20 per cent of children (10 million students) in United States public schools have learning profiles that are not aligned with the expectations and teaching methodologies prevalent in mainstream school systems; they learn differently. Students with learning differences include those who have dyslexia, attention issues and learning disabilities. As a result of this mismatch, students with learning differences are often perceived as not being capable of performing well in school, as unmotivated or as just not trying hard enough. These students often disengage from school, perform poorly and may not graduate. Those who graduate often choose not to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities. As adults, many are under-employed or can even end up in prison.

Individuals with learning differences can achieve to the same standards as their peers; however, they often struggle to reach their full potential because:

  • teachers report being underprepared and lack resources to support diverse learners;
  • students are often misunderstood and not included in the conversation;
  • parents are not equipped with knowledge and tools to understand and advocate for their children;
  • most personalised learning environments are not optimised for students with learning differences;
  • neuroscience advances need to be translated into practice; and
  • tools need to be strengthened and developed to describe the dimensions of learning.

Priority Areas

In the Learning Differences Programme, we envision a world where students with learning differences are agents of their own learning success and are supported by educators and environments that expect, embrace and respond to diverse learner profiles. Our hope is that students with a wide range of learning profiles achieve success within public schools, from kindergarten through to high school, and transition to and through college and other post-secondary opportunities.

We support partners who:

  • Strengthen Teacher Capacity: Prepare teachers to expect and plan for all students’ learning profiles, especially those with learning differences.
  • Engage Students: Engage students with learning differences as key partners in their own learning and development.
  • Enhance Parent Knowledge and Support: Provide parents of students with learning differences the information, tools and guidance needed to support student academic, social and emotional success.
  • Personalise Learning Environments: Support the application of personalised learning and neuroscience research findings to strengthen educational environments for students with learning differences.
  • Build Demand: Promote awareness of, and strengthen demand for, educational environments that are responsive to students with learning differences.
  •  Explore Learner Profile Tool(s): Develop or enhance tools that support educators, parents and students in better understanding and responding to individual learner profiles.
Through these strategies, the programme will continue its efforts to improve the lives of those with learning differences across the globe. Our hope is that students with a wide range of learning profiles achieve success within public schools, from kindergarten through to high school, and transition to and through college and other post-secondary opportunities.

Our Beliefs

In addition to the overall principles of Oak Foundation, our programme strategy is based on the following core beliefs:

  • Each learner possesses a diverse set of cognitive, social, and emotional assets, knowledge, skills, interests and preferences. These characteristics interact to form a unique learner profile that changes over time.
  • Students, particularly those with learning differences, can achieve greater academic success when they understand how they learn and use that knowledge to plan for and adapt to learning environments and advocate for themselves as learners.
  • Educators should expect and embrace students’ diverse learner profiles and have the knowledge and tools to personalise their instruction based on these profiles.
  • Parents should understand their child’s unique learner profile and have the tools to advocate for him/her.
  • Education systems should hold themselves accountable for the success of their students who learn differently.
  • Student success should be defined using accountability frameworks with multiple indicators of academic performance as well as measures of social and emotional wellbeing, persistence and engagement.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • We support organisations in the United States and Europe as well as in a limited number of countries around the world. We aim to increase support to worldwide initiatives.

Ineligibility:

  • We do not provide support to individuals, and do not provide funding for scholarships or tuition assistance for undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
  • We also do not fund religious organisations for religious purposes or election campaigns.
  • Except in special circumstances or in Zimbabwe, we generally do not provide programme grants under USD 25,000.


About this funder:

Loading...
View past grantees & full 990 summary