Foro Socioeducativo’s Round Table on good practices in extended day educational centres

Foro Socioeducativo presided a Round Table on good practices in extended day educational centres on Tuesday, 26th of March at the university Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Campus Santo Tomás de Aquino, as part of the celebration of the 2nd Latin American Week for the Right to Education, whose theme is ‘Education for freedom: For an education that is emancipatory and a guarantor of rights”.

Welcoming remarks were provided by Dr. Alina Bello, Director of The School of Humanities and Social Sciences of PUCMM/CSTA. An introduction was made by Professor Argentina Henríquez, Chair of the Board of Centro Cultural Poveda and member of the coordination team of Foro Socioeducativo.  Dr. Rita Maria Ceballos and Professor Magda Yvelisse Díaz, both experts, teachers of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of PUCMM/CSTA and consultants of Foro Socioeducativo, were in charge of presenting the Round Table and chairing a discussion around the presentation of four examples of good practice. Ynmaculada Torres, Professor and Director of the School of Education of PUCMM/CSTA pronounced the closing words, while Honorable Pedro Acevedo, Coordinator of Misión Educación Lasallista and General Coordinator of Foro Socioeducativo moderated the discussion.

During the Round Table, the systematisation of four best practices in learning processes was presented:

 

  • “The Traveler’s Book, A Journey through Ideas for a Better World” (Spanish: “El Libro Viajero, un viaje de ideas para un mundo más bonito”), presented by Professor Altagracia Sánchez Pacheco, from General School Antonio Duvergé, describes the role of families in promoting literacy and a reading culture  for their children.
  • A sign language workshop called « Learning Sign Language to Eliminate Communication Barriers » (Spanish : Taller de Lengua de Señas : « Aprendiendo lengua de señas para eiliminar barreras de comunicación”), held at the Sabana Japóny High School and presented by Professor Lucía Pérez de la Cruz, aimed to teach youth sign language through the support of hearing impaired youth, thus fostering relations and harmony between them.
  • “A Methodological Strategy to Develop Reading Comprehension with Hearing Impaired Students” (Spanish: “Estrategia metodológica para trabajar la comprensión lectora con estudiantes sordos”), was presented by Professor Julia Pérez de la Cruz, from the Christian Centre of Education for the Deaf public school.
  • “My Kite is a Fraction. A Fun Way to Learn Mathematics, Building Polygons, Fractions and Kites” (Spanish: “Mi chichigua es una fracción. Un aprendizaje divertido en matemática, constryendo polígonos, fracciones y chichiguas”), presented by Professor José Rafael Núñez Sánchez, is a new way of learning mathematics and deconstructing the fear around this subject through meaningful activities considering children’s experiences and preferences.

These examples of good practices in education originated at primary level and lower secondary level.

Representatives of Foro Socioeducativo advocated for the systematisation of these educational experiences to improve the quality of learning processes, indicating that it was about “thinking and reflecting on what we do and how to improve it”.

The Round Table ended with the affirmation that Dominican Republic counts with teachers that inspire and generously offer their time and passion, giving their best to the school, students, and country. They added that they have management teams in educational centres which motivate and enable the development of good practices by providing support to their teachers.

Panellists also indicated that more reflection about educational practice is needed. Regarding the teachers’ work day, it is important to differentiate between the time spent in classes teaching and the time required to prepare those classes, as well as needed resting times (as mentioned in the Dominican laws). Teachers need space and time to rethink and reflect on educational practices with other teachers. Also, they need more time to prepare their classes and their work days need to be rethought in terms of time allocation.

In this regard, panellists stated that when speaking of more time for greater quality, also recognising the value of the National Extended School Day Policy, this is usually focused on the amount of time students spend in school. However, this does not consider that more time required for students should also mean more time for teachers to prepare their work.

To plan a learning unit, project, thematic topic, etc., requires scientific and didactic rigour, studying the subject and creativity, which translates into a real investment in working time, beyond the 45 minutes or 2 hours a week. This is a challenge which a new policy could review, given the current ten-year Education Plan for 2008-2018 (Policy 6, chapter 6.3) where a working day composed of 5 hours of classes and 3 hours for preparation for classes is proposed.Lastly, it was highlighted that the training of teachers and planning of learning processes are challenges taking place against the clock. The process of systematisation also positions us against challenges in teaching training policies, both in initial stages and ongoing. How are teaching training universities and/or high schools doing their training? Who is training our teachers so they are empowered with official curriculum proposals and the latest advances in educational science?The planning of learning processes is a two-way challenge. On one hand, it requires a didactic and thematic mastering, and, on the other hand, it requires time and availability, as mentioned previously.

The objective of this Round Table was to disseminate the results of the research “Identification and Systematisation of Good Practices in Extended Day Educational Centres” within the scope of the advocacy project for an inclusive, equitable and quality education, through the support of the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE)) and the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF).

Foro Socioeducativo (FSE) is a coalition composed of civil society organisations who reflect and debate about socio-educational matters since 2000. They engage in creating information, drafting proposals to influence the improvement of Dominican Republic education and to develop a strong civil society, as well as supporting the creation of a State operating under the rule of law. Currently FSE is composed of a network of 15 institutions including universities and non-governmental organisations from the education sector.For more information see: www.forosocioeducativo.org.do.

 



Leave a Reply