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  • This blog is written by specialists from the Education Division of the Inter-American Development Bank. Its objective is to provide arguments and ideas that will spark debate about how to transform education in Latin America and the Caribbean. This blog is a call to action for the reader. An idea, a project, or a question can make a difference.
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    Las opiniones expresadas en este blog son las del autor y no necesariamente reflejan las opiniones del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, sus directivas, la Asamblea de Gobernadores o sus países miembros.

    The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inter-American Development Bank, its Management, its Board of Executive Directors or its member Governments.

    Archive for December, 2011

    On Models for Positive Behavior

    By - 21 Dec 2011

    By Fadrique Iglesias

    The use of inference is a fertile source for drawing a framework for solid experimental, and eventually, scientific learning. When a person relates inferences regarding ideas, capacities, and opportunities (and also impossibilities), that person awakens the creative force that lies within.

    Fortunately there is an evolutionary chain of evidence for this proposition that goes back thousands of years. As an exercise in historical memory, we merely have to look around ourselves and ask what explains the success of a particular activity.

    Bolivia, a country that contains some of the highest mountains of the Andes, is rich in traditions and indigenous cultures, though this is perhaps apparent only to the lucky and the curious, partly due to its landlocked location and inaccessibility, again due to these same mountains.

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    Is teaching a profession?

    By - 16 Dec 2011

    Written by: Jorge Mahecha

    Neither medicine, nor engineering, nor law came into being with a professional status. The same clearly holds true for teaching. These modern elite professions acquired their status during the 20th Century, and in a few cases even earlier. Through their rise, these former occupations became professions, not in the narrow dictionary meaning of the word, but in a fuller sociological sense. This fuller sense includes a number of elements that are important for understanding the teaching profession.

    A degree, usually at the college level, is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a high-status profession. You cannot practice as a physician without a degree of doctor of medicine, and the same holds true with lawyers and engineers. But teaching is an exception, and requirements for holding a degree vary across Latin America. In Brazil, it is necessary to study pedagogy to become a teacher. In Colombia, the case is nearly reversed: It is unconstitutional to demand training in education as a qualification for teaching. In fact, many elite private bilingual schools give preference to hiring teachers without teaching degrees. So here, while one would assume a degree to be a necessary requirement, this is not the case.

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    Gauguin, Art and Open Educational Resources

    By - 5 Dec 2011

    Written by: Nadia Mireles*

    Recently, Yale University announced open access to its cultural collection of more than 250,000 images. Works by Picasso, Renoir and Gauguin, among many others, can be now found electronically. However, what does art—and the great artists of past centuries—have to do with Open Educational Resources (OER), technology and education?

    The “open access” movement and the use of OER are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the discourse of the international educational community. More and more, the potential impact and benefits of open access and open educational resources on the field of education are being documented. The benefits of this movement include, among others, encouraging self-taught learning and collaborative learning at the same time, providing incentives for creativity in teaching and improving the quality of educational resources.

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