Views to the Future
Three important partnership actions were in focus in 2020: with the Institute of Advanced Studies (IEA), of USP, Itaú Social advanced in the development of the Chair of Basic Education; with the social organization Ashoka and the College of Education of USP, it organized Schools2030; and together with another eight institutions, it created a platform for the support of learning, to be used by teachers.
The teacher’s perspective and voice
Launched with Itaú Social in 2019, the Chair of Basic Education of the Institute of Advanced Studies (IEA) of USP was occupied in 2020 by a new professor: Naomar de Almeida Filho
Seeking to combine the experiences of researchers and the everyday practice of teachers so that, together, they can find solutions to cope with the complexity inherent to the education of children and youths, in order to improve the quality of basic education Brazil, especially in the public networks. This is the premise of the partnership between Itaú Social and the Institute of Advanced Studies (IEA) of the University of São Paulo (USP), signed in 2019, for an initial period of five years, and focused on proposals for improving the initial training of teachers.
The novelty in 2020 is the work of Professor Naomar de Almeida Filho, who assumed the chair. From Buerarema, in the Ilhéus region of the state of Bahia, Almeida Filho completed her education in medicine in Salvador to become a physician, then earned her PhD in epidemiology in the USA and went on to serve as rector of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), from 2002 to 2008, and of the Federal University of Southern Bahia, from 2013 to 2017, where she led the creation of an innovative university curriculum. In this interview, she talks about the challenges of basic education in Brazil.
In 2020, the chair began a cartography of outstanding bachelor degrees and the development of innovative models. It offered 23 virtual minicourses, free of charge, about the contents and the perspectives of basic education in Brazil. Aimed at public school teachers and other interested people, the minicourses such as “Dilemmas of Basic Education in the Postpandemic” or “Games and Active Methodologies in the Elementary School” can be seen on the chair’s YouTube channel. For their part, the contents of the seminars held in 2019 are available in books, reports and videos.
Learning by acting
An international research study will monitor, for a period of ten years, the experiences of schools that overcome adversities to promote intercultural education. Brazil is one of the ten participating countries
Schools2030, led in Brazil by Itaú Social, in partnership with the social organization Ashoka and the College of Education of USP, aims to influence global educational policies, and is referenced in the Objective of Sustainable Development 4 (OSD4) of the United Nations. It has two differences, however, in relation to the already existing formulas. The program inverts the logic of the educational policies proposed from top to bottom, thereby creating conditions for practices with good results to emerge precisely from the bases, from the organizations and people working with the learners. The second difference is that it involves an international articulation in the countries of the Global South. The program is being implemented simultaneously in Brazil, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Portugal, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Today, all the evaluation tools used around the world for quality of education and learning are formulated by countries of the North. That vision and philosophy are imposed on the other countries as a reference to be followed, without valorizing the specific nature of the countries of the South.
The implementation began in late 2019, with the definition of 14 educational organizations and schools that will function as regional poles for the program. The aim is to reach 100 participating institutions. To find good practices, the coordinators are resorting to various sources. One of the starting points is a survey of 180 innovative educational organizations, which was carried out by the Brazilian Ministry of Education in 2015.
One of the international program’s premises is that the organizations chosen should work with children and youths in a situation of vulnerability. In Brazil, the work will be with public schools and tuition-free community schools, and their only commitment is to maintain the research throughout the 10-year period. The method chosen for the collection of evidence was the research-action, a procedure which is simultaneously a process of learning and action. Guided by the team of USP, teachers, administrators and staff members of participating educational organizations and schools will operate as researchers of their own work. It will be up to the educators indicated by the schools to identify and collect the data generated by the experiments, which they will analyze together with the USP researchers, as shown in more detail by the report “From Bottom to Top,” published in the News section of Itaú Social’s website.
Union for the restarting
Institutions have come together to develop a free platform for supporting the public teaching networks in the return to in-person activities after the period of social isolation
Illustration on the platform’s homepage: a little color to reinvent and overcome obstacles after a gloomy year
Nine important institutions came together around a clear objective: to support the public teaching networks at the moment of restarting the in-person activities after the period of social isolation. Based on an initiative of the National Council of Education Secretariats (Consed) and of the National Union of Municipal Education Directors (Undime), through its Evaluation Front, with support from the Center of Public Policies and Evaluation of Education of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (CAEd/UFJF), from Instituto Reúna, from Fundação Lemann, from Itaú Social, from Fundação Roberto Marinho, from Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento and from Instituto Ayrton Senna, an open platform was created for teachers and managers, with the mission of supporting the accompaniment of learning in this very adverse context.
To meet this enormous challenge, a broad, diversified and flexible course was conceived. Within the platform, the user has access to tools related to the combat of COVID-19, socioemotional strengthening and the prioritization of curriculum, as well as activities to verify the performance of students and pedagogical orientations, along with a guide for the development of evaluation tools.
The space was conceived as a way to adapt to the different needs of teachers and a wide range of contexts, although improvements are still needed. The networks, the schools and their professionals have autonomy to appropriate and make use of the tools available for diagnostic use.