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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 April, 2012

    Quality: N/A

    By - 24 Apr 2012

    By: Jorge Mahecha

    The enigma of why students do not learn with teachers who did not learn

    In Colombia, there are national exams for entrance into superior education administered to all students in the last year of secondary education. Since 1980, these exams have constituted a prime example of the continuing tradition of evaluation of students’ learning in the country. Following in this tradition, the Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education, ICFES, which administers these exams, introduced in 2003 a new level of standardized testing: exams for students graduating from higher education, called SABER-Pro exams.

    There is a specific SABER-Pro exam for each field of study: for example, there are different tests for students of engineering, medicine, law, etc. Nevertheless, since the second semester of 2011, a common module is being applied to all graduates: one of generic aptitudes. These aptitudes include critical reading, quantitative reasoning, writing, English, and civics. 145,799 students sat for these exams at the end of the 2011 year. These tests were taken by students in universities, technical and technological schools, and by the so-called pedagogical high-schoolers that is, those graduates of secondary education that then complete two years of a “pedagogical training,” which licenses them to be primary teachers. (Yes, in Colombia one can become a teacher without a university degree.)

    Read more…

    Let’s all learn from Einstein

    By - 18 Apr 2012

    Written by Nadia Mireles*

    The knowledge of one of the greatest geniuses of this planet and the winner of the Nobel Prize is now within reach for everyone. Recently, the Hebrew University opened access to 2000 of Einstein’s manuscripts (although access will continue to grow over the coming months).

    The news spread rapidly throughout the world, published in newspapers (El Universal, The Economist), magazines (Time, The Chronicle, Business Week), and blogs (Inside Higher Ed) of all types, not just within the education world. This evidence of access to the legacy of one of history’s geniuses confirms that knowledge should be free and accessible for everyone.

    Read more…

    OLPC Peru: Learning from the experience

    By - 13 Apr 2012

    This post was written  jointly with Julián Cristiá.

    We have recently published a Working Paper and a Policy Note presenting the results of the impact evaluation of the “One Laptop per Child” program in Peru, developed by the IDB in collaboration with the Peruvian government itself. Since this is the first large-scale experimental evaluation that has been done in the world, it has stirred up expectations, but can offer important lessons on how to implement programs that provide students with computers and what kinds of results we can expect from such programs.

    It is very important to commend the efforts of the Peruvian government for doing a serious evaluation of this program, and for sharing their results so transparently. It is a fact that there are few impact evaluations on the use of technology in education. Therefore, any contribution of knowledge helps support the efforts of many countries in the region and the world that are working to improve educational conditions for children that technologies can provide. Read more…