Failing Forward: Educative Curriculum Materials, an English Teaching App, and a Revolution

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Janine Julianna Darragh
Gina Mikel Petrie
Stan Pichinevskiy


Educative Curriculum Materials (ECMs) are teaching materials that have the dual function of providing learning activities to students and providing professional development to the teachers that use them. Answering a call for professional development opportunities, and with input from English teachers in rural Nicaraguan schools, the designers created a set of ECMs aligned with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education Curriculum. When physically bringing the completed materials to educators in rural Nicaraguan schools became impossible, it was determined that the delivery system had to change. With support from a team of undergraduate computer science students, the ECMs were transferred to a digital delivery system, the new format allowing for even more English teaching and learning support. This paper shares how a revolution in Nicaragua and failed project ultimately led to the creation of the English teaching app Reaching for English.


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How to Cite
Darragh, J. J., Petrie, G. M., & Pichinevskiy, S. (2021). Failing Forward: Educative Curriculum Materials, an English Teaching App, and a Revolution. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 12(2), 137–148.
Author Biographies

Janine Julianna Darragh, University of Idaho

Janine J. Darragh is Associate Professor of Literacy and ESL at the University of Idaho where she instructs courses in English teacher preparation. Her current scholarship centers on supporting teachers and learners who are culturally and linguistically diverse, supporting teachers in rural poverty contexts, and trauma-sensitive teaching strategies.

Gina Mikel Petrie, Eastern Washington University

Gina Mikel Petrie is a Professor in and coordinates the ESL program at Eastern Washington University, preparing students to teach English overseas and in K-12. She investigates the sociocultural contexts in which language learning, language teaching, and teacher education occur around the world.

Stan Pichinevskiy

Stan Pichinevskiy is a Career Developer for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program. He supports high school students with discovering their skills and potential and capturing in writing their goals so that they can pursue technical or higher education.