“Are there more efficient ways to foster a transformative learning experience, how can we prepare teachers for this change to occur?” This was one of the questions that motivated the psychologist and educator Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal to conduct studies and guide teacher training programs in Singapore. She is a member of the team of the National Institute of Education (NIE) in the country, responsible for training about 30 thousand educators, and was at the headquarters of the Ayrton Senna Institute in São Paulo (SP) last Tuesday with the team on the importance of preparing educators for the demands of the 21st century.
An international highlight in PISA 2016 (International Student Assessment Program, an initiative coordinated by the OECD – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), Singapore has undertaken reforms in its education system, especially in pursuit of an education that promotes individuals abilities not only to do well in a test, but also to relate to their own emotions, to other people and to their life project.
“Multicultural classes with an intense mix of diversity have become a reality for teachers. It is necessary to prepare this educator to deal with situations in the classroom and promote a more holistic practice, “said Myra, referring to a concept close to what the Ayrton Senna Institute works as integral education, that is, the one that seeks to develop the individual in all its dimensions, not only in the acquisition of content.
To guide these practices, Singapore has defined a framework, a frame of reference on which competencies education should develop among students of all levels of education, in any school in the country, positioning education as a training for citizenship. “Teachers know what they should develop, but they still have difficulties on how to do it. So I research the use of books to promote holistic development, “he said.
In the view of the educator, it is necessary to have criteria to choose books that favor this approach and, according to her, this especially involves the use of multicultural literature – one that represents in depth the aspects of diversity using different language patterns. “The teacher will have many advantages in using this type of literature, not only the didactic text or the book with moral lesson, but that history that promotes a shift in the reader to have other perspectives, to pass through an authentic experience through subtle narratives that can be worked out with some guiding questions, “he explained, adding that the development of students’ socio-emotional skills can be positively impacted by these strategies.
In this way, teacher training courses should expose future teachers to multicultural literature to promote different ways of acting. “This is crucial given the current context of education. I strongly advocate that teachers be readers, take part in book clubs, and learn to ask good questions after reading these materials so that their practice is truly transformative, “he said, indicating a NIE survey that showed that teachers who read more for pleasure tend to promote differentiated work approaches. “As educators, we should stimulate reflections and promote holistic education, contemplating diversity, not just a unique way of seeing the world.”
Ayrton Senna Institute