How do local actors, schools and school communities respond to educational quality challenges? The SUMMA Innovations Map includes, in this first phase, 50 successful experiences of educational innovation driven and developed in Latin America, the Caribbean and other parts of the world
Three types of expectations seem to be converging over the last few years in the world of education. First, a concern to achieve higher levels of educational innovation to improve quality, equity and inclusion. Secondly, a greater awareness of the need to make systematic use of scientific-academic research and the evidence it generates. And third, a demand that calls for all educational changes to start by giving recognition to existing knowledge and experiences of educational communities in their local contexts.
These three claims seem to be based on a common diagnosis.
To begin with, the challenges imposed by today’s society are marked by trends of a diverse and often contradictory nature. On the other hand, even when high levels of exclusion and segregation persist, there is a better social integration resulting from the penetration of information and communication technologies.
In addition, there are structural mismatches between the type of skills that the workforce possesses and the advance of artificial intelligence and robotics that make those skills demanded by the twentieth century irrelevant. In this sense, there is also a growing tension between the old systems of knowledge transmission based on the hierarchical and closed-off school and the current availability thanks to the digitization that transforms knowledge into a common good that is free to use.
How do local actors, schools, and school communities respond to these challenges?
To answer this question, SUMMA, the Laboratory of Innovation and Educational Research for Latin America, produced a map of innovations that, in this first phase, includes 50 educational innovations that address diverse challenges. These are 50 cases that stand out not only for showing a rich creative diversity, but also for advancing willingly in deploying concrete actions to respond to those challenges.
Among the topics covered are the role of parents in the early childhood education of their children, the challenges of literacy or mathematical thinking in vulnerable groups, new ways of articulating secondary education with the job markets and entrepreneurship, new school models that transform the sense of education to respond to the most urgent problems of the communities in which they are inserted, the role of the school in promoting sustainable development or citizenship of the twenty-first century, among other cases that are similarly rich.
These innovations are developed in very diverse and particular contexts, some marked by problems of social exclusion, situations of armed conflict or areas of social catastrophe, versus others developed in safe environments and where many of the economic, social and cultural rights are covered.
But they are contexts and territories with something in common: they challenge their inhabitants to try innovative solutions with the existing resources at their disposal. From the natural environment, the willingness of families to volunteer part of their time to projects to the technology available through the use of radios, internet or cell phones, including the support of collaboration networks that offer guidance and resources to implement the innovations. In short, a creative spectrum that combines innovative ideas, methodologies and resources to achieve their goals.
These 50 cases included in SUMMA’s Innovations Map are, in short, an invitation to continue talking about the challenges that education faces today.
SUMMA in Ecuador
With the objective of increasing innovation to accomplish quality, equality and inclusion in educational systems, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Fundación Chile (FCh), with the support of the Ministries of Education of seven countries in the region, including the National Institute of Educational Evaluation (INEVAL), will launch the first Education and Research Laboratory in Latin America and the Caribbean, SUMMA, on Friday, July 28 at the Ministry of Education of Ecuador.
The event will also officially present the Platform for Effective Educational Practices, which aims to generate, systematize and make available robust evidence from different parts of the world, for educational decision-making.
This post was written by Dante Castillo C., Coordinator of Innovative Policies and Practices in Education at SUMMA.