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Why we believe on technology in education

 

Lumiar believes in the transformative and constructive power of technology in education and in the understanding of the knowledge that comes to children’s education inserted in a totally digital context, since they are presented to innovations from an early age.

New tools and solutions may facilitate the learning process, but the main contribution of technology in the school environment has much to do with the way of thinking that innovation has brought with it, such as the maker culture.

 

tecnologia na educação

Technology and the internet have democratized knowledge and action. Knowledge by making available a sea of knowledge. Action by allowing anyone to produce content. This, coupled with technological advances, has allowed teachers to bring more qualified, assertive, democratic and, no matter how contradictory it seems, human approaches.

 

Technology in education: how we use it effectively

Technology is a powerful ally and is part of one of the pillars of Lumiar education. So much so that it dictates the instrumental axis, one of the five axes of development that construct the whole methodology of the school. In this axis, there are three competences: research (data extraction), digital technology (competence in understanding, using and developing computer tools, with programming in particular), and media (associated to use and communication through electronic and virtual tools, mainly associated with the internet).

We understand that the child of today was born inserted in a totally technological context. Applications. Information Tsunami. Dozens of new gadgets. We live in a time when everything has changed – especially as we consume content. We know that digital communication comes almost from the cradle and we need to instruct, teach and give autonomy so that students can make the best possible use of so many platforms and tools.

Among the competencies addressed in elementary education are robotics and programming. In addition to helping cognitively, exploring these areas allows children to evolve with the context in which they live.

It is worth remembering that the entire Lumiar Model was born innovative and disruptive. Our methodology has been built 17 years ago: the idea is to bring practices that consider all types of tools that the XXI century brought with it. In 2007, the school was selected to participate in the Innovative Schools program, promoted by Microsoft. There, Lumiar came to be considered some 12 most innovative schools in the world.

Moreover, one of the greatest proponents of technology in education is Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. He believes that advances play a vital role in democratizing education and assisting traditional education. “Students and teachers have access to more accessible and powerful learning tools. Educators are looking for each other and sharing ideas in digital communities. And there are promising developments in neuroscience, cognitive psychology and behavioral economics, “says Gates in his blog.

Therefore, we understand that addressing technology in its different facets (hardware, communication, discussion about impacts and etc.) is essential in a school aligned with its time. At Lumiar, teachers and students use technology as a great ally of participatory, appropriate and preparatory management for a future that is knocking at our door.

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Literacy at Lumiar: understanding the process

 

It is not a question of opening a booklet and decorating the letters or following a program designed by a teacher in isolation. In Lumiar, literacy is born from the children’s engagement in the projects, workshops and modules they explore in each period.

“We always work on literacy from the context. We do not follow the logic of learning the letters first, then the syllabes. We already start with the social function of writing”, explains Alice Jimenez, tutor of Fundamental 1 of Lumiar Santo Antônio do Pinhal.

 

 

Writing learning, for example, considers the text in a context that makes sense to children. This means that the experiences used for inspiration are of daily life and of their interest.

Instead of a copy of content, students are encouraged to make different entries in the Logbook about what they have learned in the projects, to record their opinion on an event discussed at World Reading, to write a message to the family or to the assemble a word to be placed on the school mural.

“The logbook is an important tool for children to write and make other records every day. We use modules to systematize content that needs to be refined, such as a spelling or grammar rule,” explains Mariana Brancaglione, tutor of Fundamental 1 in Lumiar São Paulo.

It is in Fundamental 1, with children from 6 to 8 years, that the process of literacy gains evidence. Precisely in this age group, students begin to become more interested in reading and writing skills: they want to write a note to a friend, understand what is written in circles, such as school murals, and read works that instigate them – from a comic book to an adaptation of “Os Lusíadas”.

From these interests that naturally instigate the child for writing and reading, it is up to the tutors to make the necessary referrals so that each student develops his process and acquisition path of writing from the stage in which he is.

 

Literacy in multiage classes

At Lumiar, as cycles are multiage, children with more advanced hypotheses reinforce their knowledge as they help the younger ones to organize and structure their writing. Children with less advanced writing hypotheses tend to seek help from their more experienced colleagues and be inspired by their records.

A child with a predominantly syllabic hypothesis needs a different intervention from an alphabetic child who begins to worry about the conventional spelling of words.

The Tutor needs to have a good understanding of how the process of learning the written language takes place, knowing different approaches and strategies for literacy. Whenever necessary, he may revisit the guiding questions “on what, to whom and to whom to write” and thus make proposals to keep students engaged in their processes.

Interventions and corrections (punctuation, spelling, spacing between words, consistency, etc.) should always respect the development of each student while at the same time instigating them to advance in the knowledge of language standards and norms and to improve communicative skills.

The ultimate goal is for all students to appropriate the different uses of the language for the development of oral, written and reading skills that allow them to participate effectively in the social and citizenship exercise.

 

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Protagonism: We value students’ interest

 

A kindergarten student used to love cars. He talked about them with passion. As in every process within Lumiar, we try to understand the reason for the interest. Was it the design? Or, maybe, the noise? Or simply because it is a means of transportation? When we talked to the child, we discovered the real reason was different: his father worked with cars. So, he was actually interested in his father. At Lumiar, every moment is an opportunity to explore subjects that make the eyes of the little ones shine. This is how the projects that children work are born – their real interest in something.

 

 

When we say that every moment is an opportunity, it is because it is literally that. Sooner or later, the student will talk about what interests him. “We can pay attention to what they say at lunchtime, at snack time. What they are joking about, “says Graziela Miê, director of Lumiar in Santo Antônio do Pinhal.

Tools such as reading the world also help to increase children’s references and enable the tutor to realize what, in fact, is drawing their attention. In some situations, it is the role of tutors and teachers to encourage children to talk about their preferences. That is, ask about what they like and, from the answer, map the real interest – as was the case of the boy who loved cars, but, in fact, was really interested in his father.

From this diagnosis, the first proposal was to carry out a series of world readings that approached the family. Subsequently, a project was developed whose final product was the “Livro sobre mim” (Book about me). The work brings a little about the identity of each child, photos of the family, the house etc. In the meetings, each child told a little about family dynamics and about their own residence: where they were located, what room they liked the most, among other stories.

 

Interest and need for learning

Link students’ interests to their need to learn – this is the task of tutors when defining project themes, modules and workshops. If, on the one hand, students actually participate in the assembly of the activity schedule, on the other, educators are responsible for constructing a sequence of exploration that allows the acquisition of skills and abilities important for that stage of teaching.

“We can not leave our interests aside and think only about what is necessary, or just use what they bring as an interest and not consider the repertoire of what they need to develop,” explains Graziela.

Érico Soares and Flora, a F2 student at Lumiar São Paulo, reminds us of the difference to traditional teaching methods. “The power of choice makes a difference. In a traditional school, you want to learn about monkeys. But then there is no class on monkeys and you need to search outside the room. Here, if the majority wants and find this cool, we learn about monkeys and, at the same time, assimilate the other necessary contents, “he says.

That is, if students are interested in monkeys, the tutor and teacher can prepare content about the animal, also thinking about what skills need to be developed. In this context, they can work on relevant knowledge, depending on the age and timing of the children. The class, for example, may be more science-oriented, talking about the mammalian digestive system. Or about philosophy, talking about the similarity between monkeys and humans and the theory of evolution. Contents that work on the development of skills such as critical thinking and logical reasoning.

 

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Tutors and masters: understand who are our educators

 

If Lumiar proposes an Active Methodology, it does not make sense to have a teacher who holds the knowledge and transmits it in a magical way. At our school, educators responsible for working directly with students are called tutors and masters. Together, they act in the creation, monitoring and evaluation of different projects that will be developed by groups.  

 

 

It is the responsibility of tutors (pedagogues or graduates) to map students’ interests and learning needs and ensure that the two points are covered in the projects. The masters are professionals from different areas who assist the tutors in the development of projects and workshops.

It is the work of the tutor that enables the deepening and continuity of  learning – this educator manages the projects and other activities that will be carried out by the group. Masters are passionate professionals with specific knowledge about some subject and they want to share it with students. Many of them are entrepreneurs, architects, engineers, chefs etc.

In a traditional school, the child has contact with teachers, even if the curricular matrix contemplates various disciplines and educators. In Lumiar Methodology, the joint tutor / master work allows the contact with a diversity of different talents. The abilities of a physician are distinct from those of a biology teacher. It is a possibility of references that oxygenates and inspires.  

 

Integrated work: tutor and master

In this first half of 2019, for example, the Fundamental 3 class chose the pounds study. Every week, they meet Margareth for the learning of what is the second official language of Brazil. Fundamental 2 students are exploring the neighborhood of Bixiga, near the school. During this period, guided by the tutor Mariana and the teacher Gabriela, they walked through the area and researched the architecture, history and socioeconomic changes of the emblematic region of the city. They could absorb, in an integrated and contextualized way, knowledges of history, geography, mathematics and literature.

In short:

Tutor (certified education professional)

Responsibilities:

  • Development of each group cycle.
  • Development of each student in all relevant aspects: physical, social, emotional, moral and intellectual.
  • Help students identify, validate and broaden their interests, as well as learn to understand the needs of their own development.
 

Masters

Responsibilities:

  • Professionals from different areas, passionate about their study and work themes and open to sharing their knowledge.
  • They do not need to be graduated in any area, they only need knowledge, passion and availability to work in the school environment in partnership with the tutor.  

 

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Lumiar Methodology: our pedagogical proposal

 

The Lumiar Methodology aims to build students’ autonomy so they can act in the world in an authorial and conscious way. To achieve this goal, our pedagogical proposal for both kindergarten and elementary education is built on six pillars. Get to know each one of them:

 

Curriculum in Mosaic

Our curriculum is based on our own matrix of skills and abilities of the 21st century, allied to a modern matrix of contents. Innovation is completed by assuming that each child, in his / her individuality, has a developmental trajectory of his / her own.

The curriculum, therefore, is lived in a collective construction of pieces, composed of projects, workshops and research – besides the experience in the participative management of the school. This contributes to the integral development of the student.

 

 

Active learning

Working with projects is a thought-provoking experience that favors critical thinking and student engagement. In addition to enabling the development of skills and abilities, it also opens up ways to work contents in a practical and contextualized way.

Therefore, in Lumiar, interdisciplinarity happens naturally. Projects emerge taking into account the learning expectations of the cycle, the map of student development and the survey of their interests.

 

 

Tutor and Master

In Lumiar Methodology, our educators are called Tutors and Masters and they work together. Tutors are education professionals who act as development counselors, helping students discover, validate, and broaden their interests.

Masters are professionals from different areas, invited to co-create the projects. With their participation, new learning resources are inserted, repertoires are enlarged and other points of view penetrate the walls of the school. This all breaks down limitations on knowledge and opens space for innovations.

 

Integrated assessment

In Lumiar, it is essential that students understand their own learning process, so we do not limit the evaluation method to only questions in tests.

In addition to the self-assessment, which allows students to reflect on their own learning, evidence of development is recorded by educators using different procedures and languages. Therefore, we form a rich individual portfolio, guaranteeing intentionality and offering constant feedback. All student development history is recorded on our platform.

 

 

Multiple ages

Students of multiple ages interact in all activities. This choice in  Lumiar Methodology is related to the possibilities of learning and socialization that a diverse environment promotes in the student development process. There is also the intention of the school to create environments that dialogue with life in society.

In projects, the division of roles takes place in a natural way, provoking cooperation among students and opportunities for children to go beyond previous expectations, from what we think is common.

 

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BNCC: Digital Mosaic contemplates all mandatory content

 

This week, we have implemented the revision of the entire Lumiar curriculum in light of the National Curricular Common Core (BNCC). From now on, the content matrix of all Lumiar schools in Brazil is integrated with the mandatory content provided by BNCC.

In practice, schools continue to be free to build their local curriculum based on students’ interests and learning needs, but the activities will always be guided by the minimum content suggested by the BNCC.

While designing each proposal, educators will be able to search the content relevant to the project per learning cycle and also by the BNCC code in our Digital Mosaic platform. In the case of public schools that work with Lumiar methodology, it is also possible to search according to the school year the child is attending (kindergarten or 1st to 9th grade).

In the image below (in portuguese), for example, when looking for contents related to integrated arts, educators can visualize the topics to be addressed, the cycles or years indicated, and the BNCC code that indicates where the item is found in the official MEC document ( Ministry of Education).

If the search is from the BNCC code, the platform lists all the moments in which that item appears linked to the different contents. A single item, for example, may appear in History, Arts and Literature.

 

We organize the curriculum in our platform so that tutors and masters can design the course of all our organizational modalities (projects, workshops, modules and individual research) in a transdisciplinary way, making the experience more organic, instead of being stuck in textbooks .

It is important to note that Lumiar’s content matrix goes beyond what BNCC envisages by also contemplating relevant areas of knowledge in the 21st century, such as information technologies, anthropology and geopolitics.

 

BNCC and the Digital Mosaic

 

The National Curricular Common Base is a document that determines the essential knowledge that all students of Basic Education – that is, from Kindergarten through High School – must learn year after year, regardless of where they live and study.

From the BNCC, each network or school can build its curriculum, which should present the most appropriate methodological strategies for the development of what is being proposed at BNCC.

At Lumiar, our Curriculum in Mosaic is based on an own matrix of skills and abilities of the 21st century. XXI, allied to a matrix of contents.

Why a Mosaic? Because we present the matrices of Competences and Contents in the form of circular mosaics. This format frees the student from the traditional timeline and makes room for him to build his own path within the curriculum. Mosaic matrices also allow the educator and student to clearly visualize their formative learning path.