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Agreements at school: why they are important since early childhood education

From Early Years, Lumiar students are invited to make agreements, always aiming the well-being of all. Instead of simply communicating a rule, the idea is that decisions involve student’s participation, no matter how small they may be. If the rule comes done, the agreement is built collectively, which makes each one also feel responsible for enforcing it. When a child is invited to participate in the discussion, their autonomy is promoted.

combinados na escola


“In early childhood education, it is very important that we talk about things they deal with at school. For example, the use of toys in the park ”, says Liss M. Mineiro, tutor of kindergarten at Lumiar Santo Antônio do Pinhal. Everything is done based on questions for the students themselves, respecting the principles of participatory management. “We asked the children which toys we can use outside and which ones should be inside the space. According to the answer, we ask why,” he explains.

The concept of agreements, which may have to do with any daily activity, also shows how much more motivated the student is to follow a rule when he or she participated in the decision. If the school only advises that cutlery should be placed under the sideboard after meals, many children may want to circumvent the order. However, if the decision was taken after a collective reflection on the importance of collaborating with the cleaning team, the act will not be understood as an imposition, but naturally incorporated into daily life.

From then on, these agreements should be revisited periodically so that children learn to evaluate what is working or not. They may have the chance of revoke a deal and put another one in place/

When a kindergarten student interferes with the whole school

It is important to keep in mind that giving students voice is actually considering their opinion on the topics. Even when they are still very small. At Lumiar Santo Antônio do Pinhal, for example, the I3 class – which brings together 4 and 5 year olds – no longer wanted to participate in Roda (our weekly meeting with the participation of all students). The reason was simple: they found it very tiring to sit for an hour.

After listening to the petition, Liss explained to them that if they did not want to participate in Roda, important decisions could be made and they could not interfere. Even so, the complaints continued. “So the students suggested making a Roda with the principal and we had an extraordinary meeting where they could explain how tired they were,” Liss recalls.

During the conversation, a student made a suggestion: “Why don’t we do two Rodas with half the time instead of one of 50 minutes?” The child took this agenda to the meeting with all the students – and everyone liked the idea. A 5-year-old’s suggestion changed the dynamics of the school and created a new combination.

When agreements are not followed

Over and over, some arrangements end up not being met. In this case, there is a general combination that goes from child to F3: remember and alert the friend. “They will help each other out. One child can warn the other that the toy needs to be stored in the right place, ”recalls Liss.

If it doesn’t work, an adult can be called upon to help – always with a purposeful approach. After all, in addition to punishment, the combined must focus on negotiation strategies, encouraging the building of convictions about interpersonal relationships.

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What is competency-based learning?

You have probably already heard or read the phrase “competency-based learning”. The term, while not so new, is becoming evident at a time when the traditional learning model – in which the professor is responsible for teaching the content to a room full of students lined up in a passive way – is ineffective at the challenges of the 21st century.

ensino por competências

In order to understand what is competency-based learning, we need to exercise what was discussed over 120 years ago in the late nineteenth century. At the time, John Dewey, one of the leading representatives of Pragmatism theory, said that experiences can be the driving force for the absorption of knowledge. This idea evolved and Paulo Freire, already in the mid and late twentieth century, developed studies and advocated learning linked to experience – practical problems approaching the daily lives of students.

Given the context of experience and knowledge, the concept of competence is born. In Education, the most used definition was conceived by the Swiss sociologist Phillipe Perrenoud, according to which competence refers to the “faculty of mobilizing a set of cognitive resources (knowledge, skills, information, etc.) to solve a series of situations with relevance and effectiveness. “

This definition transcends the idea of content-based learning, which impacts a review of the entire school structure. In a school that works with competency-based education, there is no compartmentalization of knowledge in disciplines, since the problems presented to individuals in the real world are hardly complex and mobilize knowledge from different areas.

At Lumiar, we believe that competency-based learning leads to learning that does not conform to the “know-how”, which founded the education of the twentieth century. The 21st century school must enable individuals to develop themselves personally, professionally, academically and in community.

What is the difference between competencies, skills and content?

One way to better understand how competency-based learning happens is to differentiate between skills, abilities and content. Skills are more abstract and broad, while abilities are more concrete. An example: creativity and critical sense are skills that, in order to be developed, require the student to manifest abilities such as synthesizing, judging and analyzing problem situations. Together, skills and abilities serve to absorb content matrices. In other words: content will always be matched with abilities and skills to make sense.

BNCC Skills

The Common National Curriculum Base (BNCC) establishes that throughout Basic Education (early childhood education, elementary and high school) pedagogical decisions should be oriented towards the development of skills that ensure the essential learning that is the right of each student, regardless of where they live and study.

At BNCC, competence is defined as the mobilization of knowledge (concepts and procedures), skills (practical, cognitive and socio-emotional), attitudes and values to solve complex demands of everyday and working life and to exercise citizenship fully.

All content and skills provided by BNCC are included and can be viewed on Lumiar’s digital platform. By designing each teaching proposal, educators can indicate which BNCC competencies are being addressed. The platform also indicates which skills are required to acquire that competency and which activities are appropriate for the development of those skills.

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Lumiar Platform includes the BNCC contents and skills framework 

Lumiar Education begins this August with big news: our entire curriculum has been revised in light of the Common National Curriculum Base (BNCC). This means that all content and competencies provided by BNCC are covered and can be viewed on our digital platform.

BNCC no Mosaico Digital

“Even before the emergence of the BNCC, Lumiar was already working with competency-based learning. We have been doing this since we started with our first school, over 15 years ago, with our own tools. With the review that has just been done,communication becomes universal and everyone can easily identify the richness and compatibility of what we work on our projects with what is expected in the national curriculum parameters”, explains Fabia Apolinário, the institution’s implementation manager.

Currently, in addition to the Lumiar Schools abroad, the Lumiar Methodology is implemented in eight schools in Brazil, two of which are public. “This update will make it easier to scale our innovative methodology while safeguarding the freedom of each school to organize its activities.”

Schools using the Lumiar methodology still have autonomy to build their local curriculum based on students’ interests and learning needs. But they will have a simple and clear way of knowing what content and skills defined by BNCC are being addressed in each pedagogical activity.

How the Digital Mosaic works

All this “pedagogical engineering” happens in the Digital Mosaic, a key piece of the Lumiar Model. Besides containing the matrices of content and skills, it is in the Mosaic that our pedagogical modalities are organized.

Projects are our main unit of work, and within them there is always a combination of teaching skills and content, which can also be explored within learning modules and workshops. By accessing the tool, managers, educators, students and guardians can monitor, record and evaluate all these processes.

“After about a year of pedagogical research, we have developed a rigorous work of programming and information architecture to ensure the best usability,” says Luiz Piazentini, project manager of Lumiar Education. “The goal was to ensure the tool remained simple and intuitive to the user while realizing the complexity of learning construction.”

Andressa Caldeira, Lumiar São Paulo’s director, already uses the Digital Mosaic to follow the work of the educators team and students’ development. Updating the tool with the skills provided by the BNCC, she said, will facilitate a more assertive orientation. “I will get a clearer picture of how these skills are being worked on and what points of attention should be the focus to each group of students.”

The tutors, when designing each proposal, may list which BNCC competencies are relevant to the cycle or school year that are being addressed. And that’s not all. The platform indicates which skills are required so that the competency can be acquired.

As an example: to develop the “Critical and Scientific Thinking” competency, one must have the “Explore Hypotheses” skill. And what is required to acquire that skill? “Formulate assumptions and suppositions for specific issues, circumstances or scenarios. Develop hypotheses based on observations and up-to-date scientific arguments on the subject.” All of that information is mapped and available on the platform.

“When we are going to design a project, there are many possibilities. If all of this is already organized, it is much easier to match students’ interests with their learning needs, which is the core of the Lumiar methodology,” summarizes Dalila, tutor at Lumiar São Paulo.

Beyond BNCC

In addition to complying with national legislation – with the content and competencies provided by the BNCC – the Lumiar curriculum is grounded in the latest and most relevant research on education worldwide.

Since its founding in 2003, Lumiar has been collecting knowledge about competency-based learning. In the last year, the pedagogical directorate has carried out, in partnership with consultants and researchers from institutions such as MIT, a thorough research and bibliographic update work that culminated in this update of our curriculum matrices.

On the one hand, the main needs of public and private schools were mapped. On the other hand, the latest discussions from the OECD(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; an association of 34 nations to promote growth and trade) on the skills required in the 21st century were taken into account.

In practice, by accessing the tool, the educator can design an activity and have competencies and content already mapped – having broken down the BNCC codes with the orientation per cycle or school year. In a project on the Federal Brazilian constitution, for example, the tool shows the theme “Routes of settlement in the American territory” and it belongs to the content of History with the code BNCC “EF06HI06 – Identify Geographically”, indicated for the sixth grade of elementary school. Within our competency matrix, a project like that can work at least two sets: “Feel, express, connect” and “Think, research and create.”

See the fac simile:

Mosaico Digital

“In short, we set up a curriculum that responds to the most up-to-date Brazilian and international discussions. The same matrix of competencies used at Lumiar São Paulo is applied at the Santo Antônio do Pinhal public school, that uses our methodology, and at the Lumiar school in the United Kingdom”,concludes Piazentini.

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BNCC – Meet the ten competencies


The National Curricular Common Base (BNCC in portuguese) establishes that throughout the Basic Education (kindergarten, elementary and high school) the pedagogical decisions must be oriented towards the development of competences that assure the essential learning that are the right of each student, regardless of the place where they live and study.




At BNCC, competence is defined as the mobilization of knowledge (concepts and procedures), skills (practical, cognitive and social-emotional), attitudes and values ​​to solve complex demands of everyday life, the full exercise of citizenship and the world of work.


Meet the ten general competencies listed at the BNCC:


1. Knowledge

To value and use historically constructed knowledge of the physical, social, cultural and digital world to understand and explain reality, to continue to learn and collaborate in the construction of a just, democratic and inclusive society.

2. Scientific, critical and creative thinking

To exercise intellectual curiosity and make use of the sciences’ own approach, including research, reflection, critical analysis, imagination and creativity, to investigate causes, to elaborate and test hypotheses, to formulate and solve problems and to create solutions (including technological) based on knowledge of different areas.

3. Cultural repertoire

To value and enjoy the diverse artistic and cultural manifestations, from the local to the world-wide ones, and also to participate in diverse practices of the artistic-cultural production.

4. Digital Culture

Use different languages ​​- verbal (oral or visual-motor, such as the Brazilian Sign Language, and writing), body, visual, sound and digital – as well as knowledge of artistic, mathematical and scientific languages ​​to express and share information, experiences, ideas and feelings in different contexts and produce meanings that lead to mutual understanding.

5. Communication

Understand, use and create digital information and communication technologies in a critical, meaningful, reflective and ethical way in various social practices (including school) to communicate, access and disseminate information, produce knowledge, solve problems and play a leading role in life personal and collective.

6. Work and life project

To value the diversity of cultural knowledges and experiences and to appropriate knowledge and experiences that enable them to understand the proper relations of the world of work and make choices aligned with the exercise of citizenship and its life project, with freedom, autonomy, critical awareness and responsibility.

7. Argumentation

Argue on the basis of reliable facts, data and information to formulate, negotiate and defend common ideas, views and decisions that respect and promote human rights, social-environmental awareness and responsible consumption at the local, regional and global levels, with a ethical in relation to caring for oneself, others and the planet.

8. Self-knowledge and self-care

Knowing, appreciating and caring for your physical and emotional health, understanding each other in human diversity and recognizing your emotions and those of others, with self-criticism and ability to deal with them.

9. Empathy and cooperation

To exercise empathy, dialogue, conflict resolution and cooperation, respecting and promoting respect for others and human rights, welcoming and valuing the diversity of individuals and social groups, their knowledge, identities, cultures and potentialities, without prejudice of any kind.

10. Responsibility and citizenship

To act personally and collectively with autonomy, responsibility, flexibility, resilience and determination, making decisions based on ethical, democratic, inclusive, sustainable and solidary principles.


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Hybrid education: technology for learning


In an age when a child is able to search on Google before even knowing how to write, we work with hybrid teaching, a type of learning that means merging face-to-face meetings with non-face-to-face activities.

Common in higher education, basic education can also benefit from this learning model. Fábia Apolinario, Lumiar’s implementation manager explains how this works at Lumiar.


Ensino híbrido


“Lumiar recognizes the student in all its potential and organizes the curriculum with activities that lead him to develop a range of fundamental skills, such as autonomy and responsibility. In this context, hybrid education is important because technology allows the deepening of content worked in the classroom and creates opportunities for the child or teenager to co-plan learning objectives and the stages of their activities.

This is evident in the development of individual projects – moment of introspective and individualized study on a topic of student interest. In order to support the research, the students both carry out field trips, interviews and questionnaires, as well as research on the technological platforms, always guided by the tutor.


How hybrid teaching is structured

In 2018, a report from Clayton Christiensen showed that, despite a long way to go, Brazil has shown breakthroughs in the hybrid study. About 94% of respondents (teachers, tutors, directors, etc.) said they use some form of online learning – but that does not necessarily mean blended learning.

An analysis by the researchers is that many schools claiming to be hybrid are just “technology-rich.” That is: some schools use technology only to facilitate research, but they do not integrate it into the active construction of learning.

At Lumiar, we understand this challenge and, to overcome it, we believe that everything starts in the formation of the pedagogical team in this context. Tutors, masters, and other professionals need to appropriate technology in the making of education, but not to have it as an end in itself.

“We know that the use of technology does not always mean that its content or tools will be brilliant, in addition to understanding that technology alone does not guarantee meaningful learning,” notes Fábia.

In the development of projects, for example, research and treatment of information online at different times, and the possibility of students interacting with online masters in the development of projects – professionals that can be from Brazil as well as from anywhere in the world, in a true global community.

Technology, therefore, is an ally in order to deepen the content worked in the room and the search for new sources to enrich the repertoire or broaden the communication.

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From school supplies to SATs, Edutechs revolutionize education


The union of education with technology goes very well, thank you. The latest industrial and technological revolution allowed several areas to take an exercise in rethinking the whole way of delivering products and services. With education, it was no different. Today, dozens of Edutechs come up with alternatives to the traditional teaching method. If fintechs dominated the market in the last decade, experts say the next 10 years should be from edutechs.

But what, after all, are edutechs? Startups that mix education and technology, using innovative solutions like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and big data or rethinking business models that, compared to our way of life, were plastered. The result is a more streamlined, democratic, effective education that prepares students for the future.




Does that mean that technology is enough to improve children’s education? Not really. A JPAL North America survey compiled 126 studies on edutechs and found that technology can often be an enemy and increase problems of access to education.

The indisputable fact is that making computers available, for example, increases the ability of children and teenagers to use machines. But the use of PCs is not related to better grades.

In Lumiar, for example, we understand technology in education as a fundamental tool for teaching, but our understanding and application of classroom innovations goes far beyond making computers or other gadgets available to students. We think technology teaches us how to reason and can help in the development of children’s logic. In addition, we prepare the students for a hyperconnected world – that is, we discussed topics of vital importance in the decade, such as excessive information and fakenews.


Edutechs: from school supplies to SATs

The best way to understand how these companies work is the practical examples of what they have been doing for our education. Here in Brazil there are 364 edutechs, according to the Brazilian Startups Association – the highest number among registered startups. That is, the Brazilians really understood the opportunity (and the need) to evolve the teaching methodology.

The number of young Brazilian companies investing in this field shows that there are gaps to be filled in almost every stage and element of education. In other words, from kindergarten to higher education, from the use of virtual reality in teaching to change the way of selling school material, startups are modifying all these processes.

The variety begins with Eduvem, a startup that uses technology, design, and usability to create applications and tools that aid learning and passes through the already consolidated and famous Descomplica, a subscription model with online classes focused on college entrance exams.