PREAL maintains an active set of regular and special publications focused on contemporary education research and the status of learning programs in the Americas. We include brief synopses and links to our most recent publications below. To access PREAL’s complete publications archives, visit our website.
PREAL – Best Practices 40 (Spanish)
This edition highlights private sector initiatives in Chile, Guatemala, and Peru that seek to promote the contributions that teachers make to society and, as a result, attract strong candidates to the profession. Each emerged from the private sector but have been implemented with government support.
The first is “Choose to Educate” (Elige Educar), an initiative in Chile that includes several methods to attract young people to the teaching profession. By 2014, the initiative aims to have all teacher candidates come from the top 30% of high school students and to ensure that teaching is one of the country’s five most prestigious careers. The other two experiences seek to recognize the work of effective teachers so as to call attention to their work within society. The “100 Point Teacher Prize” (Premio Maestro 100 Puntos) in Guatemala identifies best practices in the classroom and innovative projects from the best teachers, so that they can be replicated by other teachers. The other prize is the “Teacher Who Leaves a Mark” (Maestro que deja Huella), implemented in Peru to identify and disseminate teacher practices that have a positive impact on students.
PREAL’s Working Paper No. 62, by Carol DeShano da Silva, is entitled “Recruiting Teachers: Guidelines for Policy Design in Latin America.” The publication is accompanied by PREAL’s Education Synopsis No. 46, which highlights several of the author’s conclusions.
The first section of the report presents a general perspective of the Latin American teaching force. The second describes several problems that affect teacher recruitment in the region. The third section examines academic theories that explain why a candidate might enter into the teaching profession and how their motivations might differ based on specific environments (such as urban or rural schools) or specific group characteristics (for example, bilingual teachers). The fourth section presents possible policies and programs to overcome obstacles to teacher recruitment. The report concludes by relating examples of teacher recruitment in high-income countries to the context in Latin America in order to recommend policy guidelines. The principle messages in this section are also outlined in PREAL’s Education Synopsis No. 46.
Pro-Educación May-June 2012 (Spanish)
The Dominican business professional Juan Tomás Tavares opens this issue of ProEducation with an opinion column emphasizing the importance of the private sector commitment to education. This is as important on a micro level – involving businesses in the education of their own communities – as it is on a macro level – leveraging businesses to contribute to policy development and institutional reforms.
This edition highlights, among other things, the launch of the movement “Together for Education” in Paraguay; the opening of a new chapter of “United for Education” in Coclé, Panama, adding to the chapters already established in the provinces is Chiriquí, Colón, Herrera and Los Santos; and the teacher policy events that PREAL organized in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic with national partners EDUQUEMOS and EDUCA, respectively. The newsletter also summarizes the Business-Education Alliance Program’s visits to three countries to collect information for the document “Business Groups for Education: Lessons and Reflections About the Experience,” which PREAL will publish in the second half of 2012.
Working Paper Number 61, “How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better“
We are pleased to share PREAL’s Working Paper No. 61, “How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better.” The document makes this important McKinsey & Company study available in Spanish for the first time. PREAL circulated the original document in English when it was released in late 2010. View the report in English here.
The report studies 20 education systems from throughout the world that have achieved significant, sustained, and widespread improvements in student learning, and analyzes why they have succeeded where so many others have failed. It concludes that leaders should consider three elements of development when seeking to improve—from poor to fair, from fair to good, from good to great or from great to excellent—depending on the starting point.
The first element—the “performance stage” —identifies the starting point for the system based on academic results. The second is the “group of interventions” required to raise student performance from that starting point. The third element addresses how to adapt the interventions to the local context. To understand the complex paths toward improving education systems, there are two additional themes: sustainability and implementation of the reforms.
These issues summarize the proposals outlined in the document “Background and Criteria for the Development of Education Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean” (May, 2012), prepared as part of UNESCO/OREALC’s Regional Strategic Project on Teacher Policy.
The new PREAL Education Synopses synthesize guidelines in four areas of teacher policy: pre-service training, in-service training, the legal framework governing teachers, and policy institutions and processes. The proposed guidelines derive from the interaction between two typesof knowledge: specialized knowledge of teacher problems on a regional level, and that which has emerged from the experience of national groups relating to such problems.
The guidelines recognize that any particular criteria may be more relevant to some countries than to others. Countries may adopt the guidelines under different timelines or conditions in order to adjust to the local context. In each country, a deliberate effort should be made to consider cultural, political, social, and economic characteristics.