Rawan Barakat

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2014


This profile was prepared when Rawan Barakat was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Rawan is shifting the educational emphasis in a predominantly visual society to incorporate listening skills to increase interactivity, imagination, creativity, critical thinking, and empathy. Coming from her own experience as a blind person, Rawan realized that the ability to listen and learn by ear is quickly fading in a predominantly visual culture. In an age of increasing mass individualization and on-demand visual learning, oral histories and a culture of listening is losing its place in education. Rawan has, therefore, institutionalized the concept of listening classes to equip teachers with non-traditional curriculum linked to interactive and applicable teaching tools.
A classroom environment where listening is a core method for education delivery immensely contributes to shaping a culture of collaboration and community, influencing younger children’s personalities while equipping older students with dialogue, negotiation and presentation skills. Recognizing this, Rawan is influencing the education system by working with the Ministry of Education and involving teachers, students, mothers and community volunteers to offer access to education in a non-traditional environment. This creative teaching methodology is paving the path to other innovations in education, principally in teaching methodologies. Rawan’s work creates a space for more participatory interaction and creative learning and invites teachers to re-think traditional learning methodologies.
Already replicated in schools and refugee camps throughout the Levant region, Rawan has plans to spread her methodology to the rest of the Arab world.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

More For You