[MUSIC PLAYING] CEI is a collaborative student-led effort to create and fully implement the first inclusive primary school in Haiti. So it kind of has three different teams. I'm on the education team. You have an architecture and design team who's working on the engineering and the architecture of the school. And then we have the business development team who's working on getting us funding and all the kind of logistical aspects of everything.
The project in Haiti is a fantastic example of what really can happen when we have the resources to bring together students, faculty, and a community that has a concerted need. This is student-driven and faculty-supported with a community that has bought into understanding that this is something that's in their best interest and they're putting their resources behind it. And I think that's the perfect blend for something that is truly engaged learning and research.
The goal of this project is for engaged learning of disabled and non-disabled students in Lake Les Cayes, Haiti. OK. That's our goal.
And then from that spawns the engaged learning of the trained instructors that are from Les Cayes, Haiti. And from working with these two groups of people, in comes the engaged learning of the students here at Cornell University and those who are working down in Haiti. Working in an international and an interdisciplinary system.
Engaged means not sitting in a cubicle by yourself checking email and drawing things without checking with anybody. It doesn't mean drafting up a curriculum plan because that's what you learned was right and it seems good enough. Engaged learning is asking all of the questions that you can, going everywhere that you can with as much funding as you can muster. And engaged means being there in mental and physical presence as much as possible.
When you think about what it takes to actually implement change, part of it is true technical learning and the things that students learn in their courses. But a lot of it is actually learning to be effective leaders and getting other stakeholders involved in this. There's a whole literature, actually, on what's called participatory research and participatory projects that brings the local community in as partners, not as that you're delivering service to them.
So my view of what this project is, this CEI project, is really in that mode that we are not delivering a school to this community. We are working with this community together to build a school. And I think that is what engaged learning at its best is about.
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Centre d'Education Inclusif (CEI), a student-led project to build inclusive school for Haitian earthquake survivors is "engaged learning at its best." Students and faculty members from four colleges have worked alongside Haitian organizations and individuals to develop architectural, engineering, education, and development plans in a truly collaborative effort.