Here in the UK, it is easy to take for granted the fact that our schools are run in a certain way. There are established ways of operating, which have been in place for many years. We have the Department of Education offering guidance and making decisions about policy. Then there are various organisations that support individual members of staff, from head teachers’ associations to teaching unions.
For many developing countries, the picture is very different. Schools may have to start from scratch, coming up with processes and policies as they go. Head teachers very often do not have an industry body or network of peers to support them. Teachers may lack sufficient training.
As you can imagine, this makes life much harder for schools. For example, if there is no process in place to track the achievements of pupils, how can a head teacher know that the children are learning effectively? Without a support network in place, where can a teacher turn for advice if there is a disruptive child in class or if they have to deal with up to 120 children in one go?
There are so many barriers that can prevent schools from delivering a high-quality education.
This is where Aprender fits in.
We help schools to find solutions without spending money, highlighting instead on the value they already have, respectful of their context and culture, and sharing best practices from around the world.
We focus on shifting mindsets because when we think differently, we behave differently. This shift empowers them to sustainably improve their school.
Many people who love education, including school leaders, teachers, and parents, connect with us from all over the world. They all have much in common; a love of learning and a hope for children. But they also have real concerns about the following:
Injustice of the spread of quality education. They are saddened by the widening gap between the West and the rest. Children around the world from underserved communities need the best education. They often get a poor-quality schooling where they soon become all too aware that education, in their setting, will fail them.
Lack of training for school leaders. School leaders try their best but are often in post with very little training and continuing professional development.
Large class sizes. Amazing teachers show unbelievable resilience and determination but are ill equipped and trained to deal with class sizes sometimes up to 120 children. Can you imagine?!
Poor resources. Schools do not receive big budgets. Often buildings are crumbling, and salaries are inadequate. Classes often have one textbook to share between 30 students.
Lack of teacher training. Many teachers have only completed a high school education. Others have had some teacher training but tell us it was very theoretical with very little practical application. They feel lost in the classroom and are thirsty to be developed.
Our school development model, birthed in Brazil and combining best international practice with local high value experience and knowledge, addresses all of these concerns.
We are very cost-effective as our approach produces self-replicating hubs of excellence.
Although our model is based on sophisticated development, it is deliberately designed to produce simplified professional training pathways for school leaders and teachers.
We provide excellent client service, evidenced through evaluations and ongoing relationships. Leaders are not left alone to struggle; we are with them every step of the way.
We cooperate with local regulatory obligations, so we are more likely to avoid negative political challenges.
We operate globally and use all this experience to continually improve our methodology.
Ultimately, our approach spreads quality education at grass roots level.
We target training and support of the school leader – the key agent of change in any school.
We share practical strategies to reduce class sizes.
We build local know-how to use local, often free resources including recycling.
Our approach delivers sustained professional development for teachers, followed by coaching so they hone their skills in a supportive environment.