Photograph granted by permission from 10x10, producers of the film, “Girl Rising”

ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN
STATES
Inter-American Council for Integral
Development

PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE EIGHT
INTER-AMERICAN MEETING OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION
IN THE FRAMEWORK OF CIDI
October 14-15 2014
Ruben Dario Room, Organization of American States
Washington, D.C.

OEA/SER K/V
CIDI/RME/doc.10/01 rev. 1
1 October 2014
Original: Spanish

RESEARCH BRIEFING and PRELMINARY DRAFT AGENDAFOR AGENDA

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.

BACKGROUND AND PRESENTATION.................................................................................... 3

II. FIVE THEMES FOR CONSIDERATION.................................................................................... 5
1.

Promoting and Monitoring Policies of Quality, Equity and Inclusion..........................................5

2.

Strengthening Initial Teacher Preparation/Development and the Profession..............................11

3.

Promoting and Integrating STEM in Grades K-12, Using Modern Pedagogy............................14

4.

Using ICTs in the Teaching and Learning Processes..................................................................18

5.

Ensuring Comprehensive Early-Childhood Care and Education................................................21

II. OBJECTIVES............................................................................................................................... 25
III. METHODOLOGY....................................................................................................................... 26
KEY REFERENCES........................................................................................................................... 29
APPENDIX: REGIONAL EDUCATION INDICATORS PROJECT................................................31

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I.

BACKGROUND AND PRESENTATION

The Ministers of Education of the Americas will convene in City, Country February from dayday, 2014 on the occasion of the Eighth Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education in the
Framework of CIDI.
That meeting shall take place only months prior to the expiration date for the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) initiatives. Authorities of the Inter-American
Committee on Education (CIE) wish to acknowledge our inspired participation in the global
conversation. We also commend this august body for its enthusiastic contributions and insights as we
develop a collaborative, intersectoral post 2015 Hemispheric Education Agenda, based upon mandates
adopted by the Ministers of Education of the Americas in the last two Inter-American Meetings of
Ministers of Education – carried out respectively in Ecuador in 2009 (Statement of Quito) and Suriname
in 2012 (Declaration of Paramaribo).
Referencing those mandates and the CIE 2012-2014 Work Plan, CIE has examined a
considerable body of global, regional, and sub-regional research in order to facilitate fruitful dialogue
and collaboration around five central themes:
1. Promoting and Monitoring Policies of Quality, Equity and Inclusion
2. Strengthening Initial Teacher Preparation, Professional Development and the Profession;
3. Promoting the Teaching of STEM in Grades K-12, Using Modern Pedagogy;
4. Using Information and Communications Technologies in Teaching and Learning Processes;
5. Ensuring Comprehensive Early Childhood Care and Education
The proposed structure for our meetings in February reflects formal protocols and effective
processes developed by, and extending from, the previous two Ministerial meetings in Quito (2009) and
Paramaribo (2012). Those protocols and processes are outlined in III. Methodology.
Just as our very best teachers facilitate learning by stimulating collaboration around central
questions and problem solving, CIDI has also developed central questions – based upon the global,
regional, and sub-regional research – for each of the five themes. Your perspectives, expertise, and
leadership will develop and extend scalable data-driven initiatives, strategies, and policies that address
solutions to persistent, emerging, and future challenges facing individual nations and our region as a
whole. In proceeding along these lines of action, we can build a comprehensive and operational
framework for our post-2015 agenda.
The five themes listed above represent targeted areas of focus, yet we must acknowledge that
they are not only connected, but also the fundamental components of a larger, more comprehensive
educational framework. This research briefing ties together those components as we examine their
cross-sectoral dimensions. In so doing, we recognize three over-arching central questions for which we
also seek your expertise and experience:
1. How might centralization and decentralization policies be strengthened in order
to quantify the positive connection between measurably improved education
quality and a substantial decrease in inequality? What regional and sub-regional
initiatives and collaborations in measurement and shared practices have

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accelerated education quality and slowed or reversed social, economic, and
educational inequality?
2. How can we define, refine, measure, and scale educational quality throughout
the education lifecycle in our individual countries and throughout the region?
What strategic infrastructure must be in place in order to do so? How might
regional and sub-regional collaboration on measurements and shared practices
accelerate and deepen education quality?
3. How can centralization and decentralization policies be strengthened so that we
may quantify the positive connection between measurably improved education
quality and a substantial decrease in inequality? How might regional and subregional collaboration on measurements and shared practices accelerate and
deepen education quality?
4. How might regional, sub-regional, and national priorities discussed here help
forge national strategic plans, as well as a a unified and operational education
framework for our a post-2015 hemispheric post-2015 agendaagenda?

The prospect of educational transformation is daunting. Some policy-makers may argue that for
a more incremental approach, citing efforts that have proven impulsive, jarring, expensive, risky, or
cumbersome to manage, measure, or scale. Research suggests, however, that such concerns deserve
close attention not so much as a rationale for dismissing educational reform or subsuming it into other
development priorities, but for diagnosing how reforms can be improved and accelerated.
We can all acknowledge that we live in a rapidly changing society. So, too, must we
acknowledge that our policies and pooled experiences can yield rapid, as well as sustainable, impacts.
The promotion of educational quality and its accompanying reduction in inequality, the strengthening of
teacher professional development, the integration of STEM in modern K-12 pedagogy, the seamless use
of ICTs in teaching and learning, and the capacity for children to get a healthy start early in life is within
reach. The expertise, visionary leadership, and managerial capacity reside in our own countries and in
the collective intelligence of the OAS community.
The successful Ministerials in Suriname (2012) Quito (2009), and Cartagena (2007) have set in
motion a range of actionable initiatives. In August 2014, The Economic Commission for Latin America
and the Caribbean (ECLAC) hosted a consultation in Santiago, Chile to discuss regional mechanisms
for the implementation and accountability of the post-2015 development agenda. 1 This and subsequent
planning meetings shall finalize the structure for the 2015 Ministerial represents an opportunity for the
Americas to serve as the exemplar for integral development.
We have much work to do to connect the quantity of educational access with quality teaching and
learning: to strengthen the weak links in the educational lifecycle – from targeted services for early
childhood education through post-doctoral research; to revitalize teacher induction and professional
development; to enhance our national capacity through relevant STEM education; and to enlist ICTs in
the development of innovative minds; and to ensure that our children enjoy a healthy start to a fruitful
life of learning, living freely, and enjoying an equal chance to build a productive future.

1 ECLAC (2014). The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Regional
Consultation on Accountability for Post-2015. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1uglx6Y
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II.

FIVE THEMES FOR CONSIDERATION

1.

Promoting and Monitoring Policies of Quality, Equity and Inclusion

RESEARCH EVIDENCE

As our hemisphere approaches a population of 1 billion, Over the past decade, our hemisphere
has madeOAS member states e past decade has seenmade impressive gains in educational proaccess and
achievement. In aggregate, across the educational lifecycle in our hemisphere. pPre-primary education
enrollment has grown to 73%; on; on-time primary school enrollment has jumped to 89% and g;
graduation rates rose by 14%. UNESCO’s 2014 EFA Global Monitoring Report reports that genderbased gaps in primary and secondary enrollment throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have been
virtually eliminated.2 According to the UNDP 2014 Development Report, “where inequality declined,
notably in Latin America and the Caribbean, it has been due mainly to the expansion of education
and public transfers to the poor.”3 These strong redistribution programs have provided ample research
evidence of the interdependent relationship between economic growth, equality, and educational
development.
A new emphasis on adult education in Latin America and the Caribbean is impressive. The adult
literacy rate has risen to 92%. UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) reports: “About 10 million
adults are enrolled in primary and secondary education programmes and more than 2 million participate
in literacy programmes. These findings are part of the first regional survey of statistics on adult
education, focused on primary- and secondary-level education programmes, as well as literacy
programmes. The data reveal the extent to which such programmes help countries meet international
development goals that target education.” 4 Traditional knowledge networks have been of immense
importance in fostering support for lifetime education and community participation. Skill-based
employment opportunities are widening opportunities for economic mobility and enabling citizens to
learn about – and lowering barriers to – services, independent learning, and networks made available
online. A rise in women’s leadership for local assemblies has strengthened education policy and
accountability.
These promising developments and tangible initiatives have fueled new questions. Shall we stay the
same? Are we educating for today and for the future? How do we measure and scale what works?
Most of all, how do we develop policy designed around the inextricable correlation between educational
quality and the reduction of inequality?

2 Murname, R. and Oanimian, A. (June 2014). PREAL: What Can Latin America Learn from Rigorous
Impact Evaluations of Education Policies? PREAL Working Paper, Inter-American Dialogue, and
UNESCO (2014). EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/4: Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality
for All.
3 UNDP (2014). Human Development Report. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1qGfndU
4 UNESCO (2013). Latin America and the Caribbean: Survey on Adult Education and Literacy
Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1ojczjX
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CHALLENGES

This last question has been a theme running through the last two Inter-American Meeting of
Ministers of Education, carried out respectively in Ecuador in 2009 (Statement of Quito) and Suriname
in 2012 (Declaration of Paramaribo) and has only grown in intensity since our last Ministerial.
The construction of more schools is essential and growing (in light of increased demand caused
by larger numbers of transitioning primary students). The quantity of new buildings is neither a
sufficient nor reliable guarantee of a responsive educational structure conducive to quality student
achievement. Without visionary leadership and effective management practices, a new school planned
for a rural area may very well stand empty. Without qualified and supported teachers, students leave
school. Without relevant curriculum, we cannot prepare students for 21st century challenges. A
community without the capacity to learn cannot earn. An unsafe school building or neighborhood makes
learning impossible, if not dangerous. At the same timeDespite major progress, the post-2015 global
conversation has expanded its goals of educational access to include sophisticated, quantifiable
measurements of both access and quality. Buildingremains a necessity, but schools alone neither
sufficiently nor reliably guarantee educational achievementSchools staffed often deepen inequalities
Uneducated communities and unsafe school buildings make learning impossible. Tackling these
obstacles proves a crucial step in ensuring continued progress for educational access and quality.
Our societies pay a high price for low social, economic, and educational inequality. We can read
the disheartening narrative of inequality on the faces of children who must work rather than learn, and
who do not recognize the path toward a different future. We also hear inequality in the voices of
marginalized communities expressing “a wave of disappointment and social discontent” about not being
heard.5
Comparative data such as The Inequality Database on Education reveal a consistent pattern of
misalignment between our development goals, current educational systems, and our vision of a stable
democratic, progress-oriented region. 6 These issues are well publicized in the public domain. The field
of international comparative education has emerged from its obscure place in academic circles to a
central debate in community centers. That debate has catalyzed calls for education reform, a new vision
for teacher education, and substantial policy change.
Human Opportunity Indices clearly show how and when inequality begins and how it festers throughout
a child’s life, into adulthood. These issues are discussed at greater length in the discussion entitled: 5.
Ensuring Comprehensive Early-Childhood Care and Education.
Inside the formal educational system, our focus for this line of action, children from families of
low social-economic status (SES) miss important links in the educational supply chain. In the absence
of targeted and accountable interventions during childhood, the odds of compensating for a poor quality,
inequitable education are almost insurmountable.7

5 Talvi, E., Munro, I. 2013. Are the Golden Years for Latin America Over? Brookings Institution:
http://bit.ly/1s84tOk
6 WIDE (World Inequality Database on Education). Education for All Global Monitoring Report.
Retrieved from: http://www.education-inequalities.org
7 Levens, M. (2014). Inequality and Social Inclusion in the Americas: 13 Essays. Organization of
American States
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Educational quality is weakest at its critical transition points.8 Also in aggregate, close to 22% of
students aged 11-14 has still not completed primary education. Research correlates the repetition of
beginning grades with teaching problems in reading and writing. According to UNICEF, these issues are
largely due to pedagogic methods that do not encompass language and children’s learning processes and
are glaringly evident in “bilingual or multilingual contexts, where students (and often teachers) must
learn (and teach) in a language that they do not know or master.” 9 Here, the quality of literacy matters
most, and has bearing on overall development. Large portions of our populations are excluded from
civic and economic participation simply because they cannot read or write. An unacceptable number of
young people leave the education system without gaining the knowledge and skills needed to be even
minimally employable. According to the Global Campaign for Education, “If all students in low
income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of
poverty.”10 The Americas are no exception.
The economic costs of grade retention or reenrollment have become substantial and, in some cases,
debilitating. In several countries, these costs have escalated to twice or more than the cost of providing
education for children who remain in school and advance according to schedule. UNICEF reports that
governments in the region spend well over US $12 billion annually as a result of grade repetition and reenrollment, as they have to provide for additional school places. In several countries, those costs have
risen to as much as US $19.9 billion, or three times the cost of universal coverage targets from initial to
lower secondary education, as stipulated in Targets 2021. 11 OECD’s “Investing in Human and Social
Capital: New Challenges” concludes that, “in order to have lasting impacts on social outcomes, each
stage in the learning trajectory of an individual learner should be connected to other stages.” 12
The UNDP reports: “Minority ethnic groups are, by overt design or marginalization, cannot rely upon
access to land, housing, health, political representation and, in particular, education.13 Once enrolled,
they show substantial gaps in basic knowledge and early signs of failure and inequality. In Latin
America and the Caribbean, 82% of disabled people live in poverty, and approximately 6.5 million
children do not attend school, including 20-30% of children with disabilities. 14 Children whose families
speak an indigenous or non-official language are at a distinct disadvantage, and marginalized even
further.
A poor-quality and unequal education has manifested itself as a public health issue by shortening the
length and quality of life itself. Inadequate support for education correlates to persistent public health
crises and undermines achievement. Students not well enough to learn will not learn well enough.
8 OAS (2010). Statistics and Education Policies Related to Early Childhood Transitions: Studies from
Colombia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil
9 UNESCO/UNICEF (2012). Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children. Finishing School: A Right
for Children’s Development. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/Zf9fAh
10 Global Partnership for Education (2014). Overview: Why Education? The Benefits of Education.
Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1kJl86q
11 UNESCO/UNICEF (2012). Ibid.
12 OECD (2010). Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Investing in Human and
Social Capital: New Challenges.
13 UNDP (2010). Marginalized Minorities in Development Planning: UNDP Resource Guide and
Toolkit. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1q4eIoI
14 World Bank (2014). Disability and Inclusive Development in Latin America. Retrieved from:
http://bit.ly/1q4XfNm
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Reversing this cycle requires an accurate assessment of who is – or is not, attending our schools, targeted
and accessible and public-health education programs, teacher training, and community engagement. A
lack of education has been tied to increased obesity, mental health crises, alcohol abuse, and higher statesponsored medical expenses, including treatments for incidents of sexually transmitted diseases.
As students depend upon the educational chain to hoist them to higher levels, classrooms that
tolerate bullying, dismiss cultural diversity, and ignore students with different learning needs become
laboratories for failure, yielding high percentages of students who cease their pursuit of gainful
employment, do not partake of health services, and restrain themselves from participating in civic
affairs. With inadequate skills to gain employment, young people feel powerless amidst, and distrustful
of, the powerful. Exclusion decimates self-respect and feeds a vicious cycle of self-imposed
discrimination.
Both the Sixth and Seventh Ministerials (2009, Quito and 2012, Paramaribo respectively) have
put forth declarations to highlight these challenges and the necessary preparation needed prepare
children for secondary school. Enrollment and graduation goals at the secondary school level show
clear signs of stagnation as they strive to meet increased demand, yet even in countries close to
reaching universal secondary education, quality has suffered due to teacher absenteeism, a lack of
curriculum reform implementation, and weak support for the professional development of innovative
school leaders. Surveys of teachers and students point to irrelevant curriculum. Marginalized socioeconomic communities continue to perform at a dramatically lower rate. Private school enrolments
have climbed considerably and are amongst the highest in the world, further widening the gulf between
the education haves and have-nots. UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova writes: "There can be no
escape from poverty without a vast expansion of secondary education," which she determines as "a
minimum entitlement for equipping youth with the knowledge and skills they need to secure decent
livelihoods in today's globalized world." 15 Multi-age classrooms have attempted to provide a viable
solution to the expense of accommodating repeat students, but unless instruction is differentiated to
meet their needs with dignity, older students can be easily alienated, presenting a new set of challenges
for individual development.
Global comparative testing has also raised the stakes on the skills and cultural acuity necessary to
participate actively in a 21st century global economy for which collaboration, innovation, and
knowledge development have become a primary currency. The Programme for International Student
Assessment (PISA) exam, designed as a diagnostic tool for assessing the degree to 15 year-old students
can “apply their knowledge to real-life situations and be equipped for full participation in society,” 16
ranks participating Latin American countries in the bottom third in reading, mathematics, and science
among the 65 countries that took the test.
This widely publicized statistic, we believe, must also include a more thorough view of research on
globally-applied standardized measurements. Critics attribute several factors to low PISA scores, not
the least of which is the implausibility of a one-size-fits-all measurement. Sample sizes for PISA
surveys and tests, remain small; not all countries provide school location data; dropouts are not
calculated; and the test itself does not account sufficiently enough for context and culture. Nevertheless,
comparative exams, as well as highly publicized rankings of universities, have captured the attention of
journalists, policy makers, and parents.
15Provost, C. (25 Oct. 2011). Developing Countries Face Growing Secondary School Challenge.
Guardian: Global Development. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1g6vdry
16 OECD (2014). Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Home page. Retrieved
from: http://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/
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The educational challenges we face, from pre-natal services through post-graduate research, can be
addressed through an evidence-based post-2015 educational framework, much of which depends upon
our collective expertise capable of turning challenge into opportunity and opportunity into innovation.

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OPPORTUNITIES
STRATEGIES

THE EDUCATIONAL CHAIN IS WEAKEST AT CRITICAL TRANSITION POINTS, DEFINED IN A
SPECIFIC OAS STUDY AS "CRITICAL MOMENTS OF CHANGE THAT CHILDREN LIVE WHEN
MOVING FROM ONE ENVIRONMENT TO ANOTHER OPENING OPPORTUNITIES FOR HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING FOR LIFE AND SCHOOL."17 TRANSITION POINTS ARE ALSO
CRITICAL MOMENTS WHEN AND WHERE DROP-OUT RATES ARE GENERALLY AT THEIR HIGHEST.
IN SEVERAL REGIONS THROUGH THE HEMISPHERE, CLOSE TO 22% OF THE STUDENTS AGED 1114 HAS STILL NOT COMPLETED PRIMARY EDUCATION.”18 AS A RESULT, AN UNACCEPTABLE
NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVE THE EDUCATION SYSTEM WITHOUT GAINING THE
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS NEEDED TO BE EVEN MINIMALLY EMPLOYABLE. OECD’S “INVESTING
IN HUMAN AND SOCIAL CAPITAL: NEW CHALLENGES” CONCLUDES THAT, “IN ORDER TO HAVE
LASTING IMPACTS ON SOCIAL OUTCOMES, EACH STAGE IN THE LEARNING TRAJECTORY OF AN
INDIVIDUAL LEARNER SHOULD BE CONNECTED TO OTHER STAGES.”19

RESEARCH CORRELATES THE REPETITION OF BEGINNING GRADES WITH TEACHING PROBLEMS
IN READING AND WRITING. THESE ISSUES ARE LARGELY DUE TO PEDAGOGIC METHODS THAT DO
NOT ENCOMPASS LANGUAGE AND CHILDREN’S LEARNING PROCESSES AND ARE GLARINGLY
EVIDENT IN “BILINGUAL OR MULTILINGUAL CONTEXTS, WHERE STUDENTS (AND OFTEN
TEACHERS) MUST LEARN (AND TEACH) IN A LANGUAGE THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW OR
MASTER.”20 HERE, THE QUALITY OF LITERACY MATTERS MOST, AND HAS BEARING ON OVERALL
DEVELOPMENT. LARGE PORTIONS OF OUR POPULATIONS ARE EXCLUDED FROM CIVIC AND
ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY CANNOTREAD OR WRITE. ACCORDING TO
THE GLOBAL CAMPAIGN FOR EDUCATION, “I21

17 OAS (2010). Statistics and Education Policies Related to Early Childhood Transitions: Studies from
Colombia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil
18 UNDP (2013). Op cit.
19 OECD (2010). Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Investing in Human and
Social Capital: New Challenges.
20 UNESCO/UNICEF (2012). “Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children. Finishing School. A Right
for Children’s Development. The statistical analysis is based on administrative data from the countries
in the region. This data was collected using the UIS database as of May 2011, p.33
21 Global Partnership for Education (2014). Overview: Why Education? The Benefits of Education.
Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1kJl86q
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THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF A LOW-QUALITY EDUCATION ARE SIGNIFICANT. GRADE RETENTION
OR REENROLLMENT IS EXPENSIVE. THE ATTAINMENT OF A CERTAIN GRADE OR ACADEMIC YEAR
CAN BE PAID FOR TWICE OR MORE THAN TWICE. MULTI-AGE CLASSROOMS HAVE ATTEMPTED
TO PROVIDE A VIABLE SOLUTION TO THE EXPENSE OF ACCOMMODATING REPEAT STUDENTS,
BUT UNLESS INSTRUCTION IS DIFFERENTIATED TO MEET THEIR NEEDS WITH DIGNITY, OLDER
STUDENTS CAN BE EASILY ALIENATED. UNICEF REPORTS THAT GOVERNMENTS IN THE REGION
SPEND WELL OVER US $12 BILLION ANNUALLY AS A RESULT OF GRADE REPETITION AND REENROLLMENT, AS THEY HAVE TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL SCHOOL PLACES. IN SEVERAL
COUNTRIES, THOSE COSTS HAVE RISEN TO AS MUCH AS US $19.9 BILLION , OR THREE TIMES THE
COST OF UNIVERSAL COVERAGE TARGETS FROM INITIAL TO LOWER SECONDARY EDUCATION, AS
STIPULATED IN TARGETS 2021.”22 MULTI-AGE CLASSROOMS HAVE ATTEMPTED TO PROVIDE A
VIABLE SOLUTION TO THE EXPENSE OF ACCOMMODATING REPEAT STUDENTS, BUT UNLESS
INSTRUCTION IS DIFFERENTIATED TO MEET THEIR NEEDS WITH DIGNITY, OLDER STUDENTS CAN
BE EASILY ALIENATED, PRESENTING A NEW SET OF CHALLENGES FOR INDIVIDUAL
DEVELOPMENT.
SECONDARY EDUCATION HAS RECEIVED RENEWED ENERGY FOR ITS CRITICAL CONNECTION TO
FUTURE CAREERS. THROUGHOUT THE HEMISPHERE, STEM EDUCATION PROGRAMS HAVE
ENLISTED BOTH TEACHERS AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO STIMULATE NEW FORMS OF TEACHING
AND LEARNING. NEW INITIATIVES HAVE INTEGRATED DIGITAL COMPETENCIES INTO ALL
DISCIPLINES, SUBJECTS, AND EDUCATIONAL LEVELS. AT THE PARAMARIBO MINISTERIAL
(SURINAME 2012), SEVERAL COUNTRIES SHARED INITIATIVES DESIGNED TO SERVE TEENS. IN
ADDITION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFTER-SCHOOL SERVICES, YOUTH ENGAGEMENT
PROGRAMS HAVE CONNECTED COMMUNITY RESOURCES WITH SCHOOLS.23

22 UNICEF (2012). Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children. Finishing school. A right for
children’s development: A joint effort. Executive Summary, Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved
from: http://bit.ly/Zf9fAh
23 OAS (3 May, 2012). Final Report. Seventh Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education (pg.
22).
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IN TERMS OF QUANTITY ALONE (SCHOOLS BUILT, STAFFED WITH TEACHERS), DEMAND HAS NOT
KEPT UP WITH THE SUPPLY OF INCREASED NUMBERS OF TRANSITIONING PRIMARY STUDENTS. IN
ADDITIONADDITIONALLY, ENROLLMENT AND GRADUATION GOALS AT THE SECONDARY SCHOOL
LEVEL SHOW CLEAR SIGNS OF STAGNATION. EVEN IN COUNTRIES CLOSE TO REACHING
UNIVERSAL SECONDARY EDUCATION, QUALITY HAS SUFFERED DUE TO TEACHER ABSENTEEISM,
A LACK OF CURRICULUM REFORM IMPLEMENTATION, AND WEAK SUPPORT FOR THE
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INNOVATIVE SCHOOL LEADERS. SURVEYS OF TEACHERS AND
STUDENTS POINT TO IRRELEVANT CURRICULUM. MARGINALIZED SOCIO-ECONOMIC
COMMUNITIES CONTINUE TO PERFORM AT A DRAMATICALLY LOWER RATE. PRIVATE SCHOOL
ENROLMENTS HAVE CLIMBED CONSIDERABLY AND ARE AMONGST THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD.
IN ORDER TO KEEP PACE WITH INCREASED ENROLMENT AT THE PRIMARY SCHOOL LEVEL, EVEN
WITHOUT STEMMING THE CURRENT DROPOUT RATE, SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION MUST
MEET BOTH HIGHER QUANTITY AND QUALITY DEMANDS AND STANDARDS. "THERE CAN BE NO
ESCAPE FROM POVERTY WITHOUT A VAST EXPANSION OF SECONDARY EDUCATION," SAID
UNESCO'S DIRECTOR-GENERAL IRINA BOKOVA. "THIS IS A MINIMUM ENTITLEMENT FOR
EQUIPPING YOUTH WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS THEY NEED TO SECURE DECENT
LIVELIHOODS IN TODAY'S GLOBALIZED WORLD." 24

COMPARATIVE DATA SUCH AS THE INEQUALITY DATABASE ON EDUCATION REVEAL A
CONSISTENT PATTERN OF MISALIGNMENT between our . 25 The field of international
comparative education has emerged from its obscure place in academic circles to a central
debate in community centers, thereby catalyzing curriculum reform, serious introspection
about the state of the teaching profession, and substantial policy change.
OPPORTUNITIES AND INNOVATIONS

Our topic for this plenary, “Promoting and Monitoring Policies of Quality, Equity and
Inclusion,” has direct bearing on subsequent topics and plenaries because of its special importance as an
oversight mechanism to guide public policy. Our capacity to make evidence-based decisions, highlight
legislative and policy shortcomings, extend and adapt best practices, and both monitor and evaluate
strategies and programmes depends upon the quality and breadth of data we collect and verify, clarity
about the factors that distinguish the Americas as a whole, and an articulation of specific challenges and
opportunities characteristic of our regions, sub-regions and countries. To this end, we recommend
adoption of measures to support the Regional Education Indicators Project.26 The Conceptual
Framework and Analysis Model lists its last “in preparation” date as 2008. The Activities listed on the
OAS website are included in the Appendix of this document. Indicative of the need for stronger
research capacity in the Americas, they as relevant today, if not more so, than they were when they were
written more than a decade ago.
Educational growth is stymied if we cannot measure what matters, but has flourished in ecosystems of
collaboration. In a report for the Center for Global Development’s report entitled, “Improving Lives

24Provost, C. (25 Oct. 2011). Developing Countries Face Growing Secondary School Challenge.
Guardian: Global Development. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1g6vdry
25 WIDE (World Inequality Database on Education). Education for All Global Monitoring Report.
Website retrieved from: http://www.education-inequalities.org
26 OAS. Regional Education Indicators Project. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1u3ynWx
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Through Impact Evaluation: When Will We Ever Learn?” researchers conclude: “ignorance is more
expensive than impact evaluations”27
Governments can address inequality in higher education by (a) developing accountability standards to
support the diverse needs of its student body (b) creating outreach programs with university partners in
order to bolster the skill levels of those entering tertiary institutions (c) providing incentives to higher
education institutions to reach out to underserved populations, including – but not limited to – low-cost
loans, food and travel subsidies, and support networks.
Our tertiary institutions play a critical role in developing the research capacity to promote and
monitor policies of educational quality, equity, and inclusion. In an era of big data, these vital
institutions can attract a talent pool of mathematicians, development economists, scientists, and
technology experts who can design and interpret complex measurements befitting the educational
development of our region.
Research-driven enterprises and regional collaborations can adapt software platforms to
aggregate micro-level data from multiple health, labor, and education surveys in order to draw
conclusions about how to address challenging education issues and inequality. Low-cost or free
simulation, modeling, and poverty-mapping applications can equip decision makers and academicians to
test educational policies at scale. Computer-assisted personal interview programs can be customized to
allow field workers to develop dynamic evaluation questionnaires using mobile phones and low-cost
tablets. An ecosystem of collaboration pools expertise, accelerates transparency, removes barriers to
operational inefficiencies for decentralized operations, and scales effective educational practices.
A 2014 World Bank report distilled research highlighting the importance of factors
complementary to research and development in education and the quality of scientific infrastructure
made possible in higher education. The report is emphatic that poor countries must invest substantially
more in order to compete and exploit technological advance in the advanced countries. 28 External
evaluation is always valuable, but is often inaccurate and can never substitute for culturally astute and
regional research excellence.29
Universities can make significant strides in reducing inequality by (a) removing barriers to admission of
vulnerable populations without lowering standards (b) diversifying program offerings (c) extending and
enhancinge online and blended learning (d) continuing to support scholarships, and training professors
to adopt and adapt innovative pedagogies and technologies to ensure they reach diverse learners.
New models of multi-university collaboration and global partnerships counter perceptions that
support for higher education is an expensive, intangible luxury. Shared courses, open online courses,
blended learning, competency certificates, and outreach programs are programmatically sound, scalable,
and cost effective. To meet the needs of a globally interdependent world, universities must transcend the
brick and mortar model and reconsider traditional models of course delivery. Our region has embraced
world-class online education. A re-imagination of our tertiary institutions as flexible innovation
laboratories, capable of growing talent and addressing inequalities, is well within reach.
Transformed into practical laboratories for measurable teaching and learning, Schools of
27 Center for Global Development (31 May, 2006). Improving Lives Through Impact Evaluation.
When Will We Ever Learn? Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1tdPXnG
28 Goñi, E. and Maloney, W. (2014). World Bank: Policy Research Working Paper; no. WPS 6811.
Why Don’t Poor Countries Do R&D? Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1AaVdes
29 OECD (2014). Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry Main Science and Technology
Indicators. Retrieved from: http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=MSTI_PUB
- 13 -

Education can also make a fundamental contribution to community development. Those institutions
that continue to work with teachers are able to play an instrumental role in data collection and the
development of curriculum for disaster risk reduction, programs for the disabled, community learning
centers, livelihoods, civic engagement, rural development and health, ecological management, practical
skills and job retraining, and other forms of social capital generation and asset building.
DesiguALdades.net’s Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America has
been building an interdisciplinary network on entangled inequalities. 30 The OAS Academic Scholarship
Program has grown dramatically by proving the benefits of granting scholarships for the pursuit of
Master’s Degrees, Doctoral Degrees and graduate research. The OAS, through its Partnerships Program
for Education and Training (PAEC), is able to offer other attractive scholarship opportunities for
academic studies with the support of partner institutions in the Americas and around the world. By
supporting the scholarship program and simultaneously strengthening the research capacity of our
tertiary institutions, we can turn the brain drain into a brain gain.
CENTRAL QUESTIONS

How aligned is our economic growth agenda with our educational agenda?

Are we paying attention to critical transition points in the educational supply chain so that we can
stem the tide of dropouts?

Are we promoting engaging and culturally astute teaching for social inclusion?

How do we know our initiatives to serve community education needs increase equality and decrease
inequality?

How can our tertiary institutions be engaged in educational research?

What collaborations amongst us can accelerate progress in monitoring policies of quality, equity,
and inclusion?

30 DesiguALdades.net (2012). Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America. W
- 14 -

2.

Strengthening Initial Teacher Preparation/Development and the Profession

RESEARCH EVIDENCE

The previous three Ministerials in Suriname (2012), Quito (2009), and Cartagena (2007) have
emphasized the critical role of teachers as the engine of integral development, quality education, and the
reduction of inequalities. Teachers tie together our nation’s’ historical and cultural memory with present
and emerging socio-economic challenges.
TeachersWhen skilled in intercultural, bilingual, and special-needs education, teachers not only
have supported retention and academic achievement of marginalized communities, but also have
contributed to measurably safe classroom environments. Bilingual education for students from
underserved communities has led to higher attendance and promotion rates and lower repetition and
dropout rates.
Teachers trained to work with deaf children, for example, are developing pedagogies that have led
to higher achievement in hearing students. Teachers trained to work with disabled children are enabling
effective methods for knowledge access that all students can enjoy. Teachers skilled in working with
indigenous students are revised lessons, incorporating multiple learning styles into teaching practice,
and paying greater attention to classroom climate, personalized learning, and overall student resilience.
Several new teacher professional development models, inspired by our three previous
Ministerials, are building a continuous cycle of improvement and engagement in which learning is
embedded in, and extracted from, daily practice, and supporting ongoing development of materials. The
evidence is clear: participants learn best from and with their colleagues. Relevant teacher professional
development depends upon local, regional, and global communities of practice, curated resources, justin time mentorship, and shared demonstrations of quality.
The reports from these consecutive Ministerials provide a wellspring of data supporting the
educational, economic, and social benefits of teacher leadership designed to put them at the center of
their own professional development. In place and on the horizon, too, are initiatives that can attract
high-achieving young people to the teaching profession and remain there as a career – vital minds who
are passionate about the subjects they teach, compassionate toward the children they face every day,
focused on student achievement, and committed to their communities.
Those promising days are ahead and, in examples we welcome, with us today. Our research has
led us a clear examination of our global, regional, and sub-regional challenges, as well as habits we can
break.
CHALLENGES

HoweverHigh-performing teachers and high-achieving students come in infinite variety. We
know, however, that they share one fundamental given: teacher professional development must reflect
the vitality and challenges of our time and cannot remain the same. A culture that emphasizes teacher
communities of practice has not permeated Schools of Education and teacher training institutions.
Induction programs continue to emphasize general, theoretical concepts over practical needs and
classroom realities. Professional development remains fragmented, disconnected, and dependent upon
pre-scripted courses, outdated textbooks, and parachute training, much of which evaporates quickly and
provides little measurable return on investment. A key element of success – a teacher led and mentorsupported environment of collaboration, inclusive instruction, and personalized learning – is
conspicuously absent.

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In UNESCO’s “Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Education in Latin America,” Denise Vaillant,
Academic Director of the Education Institute at the Universidad ORT de Uruguay, writes: “Teaching is
frequently associated with negative experiences such as work overload, fatigue, uncertainty about its
function, and new requirements often not covered in pre-service teacher education.” 31 She continues, “In
recent decades, pre-service teacher education has been the Cinderella of Latin American education.
Teachers are relatively neglected but they are still seen as the main hope for change.” 32 Still further, Ms.
Vaillant contends that “weak public institutionality on teacher policies in the countries of the region;
absence of integral teacher policies; discontinued levels of investment and actions; and insufficient
opportunities for participation and dialogue with actors of the educational system.” 33 Guillermo Perry,
former chief economist for Latin America at the World Bank, has expressed similar reservations about
teaching as “a fallback position, rather than a calling.” 34 Incentives of any nature must be connected to
accountability shared by unions and government alike.
At the Ministerial in Suriname (2012), Dr. Emiliana Vegas, Lead Economist of the World Bank’s
Human Development Network, suggested that the improvement of teacher policies be based upon “four
teacher policy profiles: (a) professional autonomy, to select the best into teaching, prepare teachers
exceptionally well, and give teachers ample autonomy; (b) shared responsibility, meaning excellent
teaching is a shared responsibility and there is collaboration and peer accountability; (c) career
development, to support teacher professional development, formative assessment, and strong
instructional leaders, such as school heads; and (d) performance management, tight control over
teachers’ work; and leaving nothing to chance.” 35
OPPORTUNITIES AND INNOVATIONS

The opportunities and innovations that follow identify adaptable research-driven models of teacher
preparation and development developed by scholars and practitioners from the Americas and, we
believe, should be taken seriously as recommendations for consideration:

Enable educators to use their classrooms as laboratories from which they can collect and
analyze research evidence and create adaptive measures to differentiate their instruction. 36

Accredit intensive, blended learning experiences rather than isolated courses so that students can
benefit from face-to-face interaction, accessibility to global experts, consistent interaction with
local mentors, and the ability work on their classroom projects. 37

Encourage collaboration and risk taking. Allow teachers to build communities of practice that
operate along the lines of a café, clearinghouse, and marketplace of ideas. The café elicits the

31 Vaillant, D. (2011). UNESCO. IBE Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Education in Latin America.
Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1wetitB
32 Op cit. (pg. 14).
33 OAS (3 May, 2012). Op cit. (pg. 8).
34 PREAL blog (17 December, 2013). PREAL Enlaces: Training First-Rate Teachers. PREALblog.
Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1nKidis
35 OAS (3 May, 2012). Op cit. (pg. 15).
36 Sclafani, S. Asia Society. Recruiting, Training, and Supporting a 21 st Century Teaching profession.
Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1pBnbtq
37 ECLAC (2013). Social Panorama of Latin America, Economic Commission for Latin America and
the Caribbean
- 16 -

power of transformational conversations between teachers in a safe atmosphere conducive to
problem solving, innovation, and subject-matter mastery. The clearinghouse leverages the social
network of the café by offering an interactive repository of shared
content and lessons, rapid feedback loops, and a cycle of ongoing improvement. The
marketplace stimulates breakthrough thinking and the development of educational applications
that meet local needs.

Encourage participatory teacher research based in research evidence gathered from their
primary and secondary classrooms. Professional development for teachers in research methods
can be integrated into the national curriculum in order to foster a spirit of curiosity and guide
innovative and collaborative projects such as science fairs and service learning.

Provide release time for teachers to participate in new professional development training
programs and to observe each other’s classrooms.

Support mentorship programs that ensure new teachers experience those with demonstrated
excellence in three areas: (1a) content-level mastery, (2b) results-driven and creative teaching
practices, and (3c) their effectiveness in adult learning.

Reduce the dependence upon textbooks to transmit the national curriculum. Immune from
improvement and outdated the moment they are published, textbooks can be supplemented by
open educational resources, curated locally in a continuous improvement cycle, and shared
broadly.

Examine policies regarding teachers and ensure to include all stakeholders. Pre- and in-service
teacher training and other interlinked aspects should examine mechanisms for selection, hiring,
promotion and the evaluation of teachers. At the same time, these mechanisms cannot succeed
unless there is an equal commitment to a stakeholder agreement about salaries, a classroombased professional development structure, mentorships, and rapid feedback loops so that the
effort is a truly common enterprise.38

Allow directors to adjust schedules and create homegrown, flexible solutions that allow them to
accommodate student work schedules and family obligations; provide multiple opportunities for
curriculum designers and pedagogy experts to collaborate directly with classroom teachers; and
connect after-school teachers to classroom teachers in order to share insights into how individual
students learn.

Create fruitful linkages with global universities, NGOs, and civil society organizations to
professionalize administration, management, infrastructure and research. Connect teachers,
curriculum developers, inspectors, school directors, consortia of universities, the Educational
Portal of the Americas, and communities of practice such as the InterAmerican Teacher
Education Network so that they may share practices.

Enlist and support school leaders to strengthen transition points in the education system.
Student leadership opportunities with their peers have proven successful as realistic alternatives
to life on the street for students approaching key transition points.

Provide support for mentors, inspectors, and school directors in order that they may foster a
climate for teacher professional development and innovation. Our extraordinary progress in
redistribution of resources must be accompanied by high standards for, and consistent
professional development of, managers and leaders. Programs in educational leadership are

38 Guzmán, J., et al (2013). Effective teacher training policies to ensure effective schools: a perspective
from Central America and the Dominican Republic. PREALblog. http://bit.ly/1iF0v8i
- 17 -

inexpensive (when measured against the consequences of spotty educational improvement),
replicable, and scalable. Professional development should not be limited to teachers, but
extended to all who interact with them.
CENTRAL QUESTIONS

Are our teacher certification and professional development programs relevant, focused, and
inspiring?

What are the obstacles to substantive transformation of teacher recruitment, induction, and
ongoing professional development?

How effective are our mentorship programs and teacher communities of practice?

How can we enlist teachers to strengthen the weak links in the educational supply chain?

What measurements are in place to determine the accountability of distributed leadership?

How free are teachers to create and modify curriculum within the structure of one’s national
standards?

3.Promoting and Integrating STEM in Grades K-12, Using Modern Pedagogy
RESEARCH EVIDENCE

Most global reports on participation in a global economy point to the critical importance of
education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, beginning with curriculum reform and
extending through post-doctoral fellowships. STEM is valued as an overall national capacity builder and
the catalyst for economic growth, and has gained momentum as an integral part of teacher professional
development.
Several initiatives have been promoting science exhibitions enabling children to experiment
with solutions to vexing problems. Trainings for teachers are increasingly emphasizing hands-on science
inquiry methods, Open Educational Resources, and mobile learning over rote learning. In the last five
years, the focus on STEM has led to an increased presence of Latin American and Caribbean students
studying in institutions of higher education abroad, as well as highly-qualified researchers from abroad
to work seeking opportunities in our regional tertiary institutions. Responding to projections of
increased demand for STEM expertise, greater emphasis is being placed on natural and geosciences, bio
and nanotechnologies, nuclear science, health and pharmaceutical innovations, renewable energy, and
disaster risk reduction.
In 2013, the Department of Human Development, Education, and Employment held preliminary
conversations with nine countries in Latin America in order to address the need for knowledge exchange
and cooperation to strengthen STEM education best practices at the pre-primary, primary, and secondary
levels. Presently, EducaSTEM is poised to expand the project to remaining member states of the OAS
based upon four lines of action (1) the development of the Regional Knowledge Network on STEM
Education through formal and non-formal programs, projects, and/or initiatives at the national or
regional level (2) an expanded STEM Education map, integrated into the Regional Knowledge Network
(3) Horizontal Cooperation between participating countries to support the transfer of STEM Education
knowledge and best practices, and (4) publication of a Guide for the Development and Transfer of
STEM Education Best Practices that outlines different stages of STEM education practice development

- 18 -

and transfer within the context of one’s country. EducaSTEM is also poised to expand organically
throughout member states.
Recalling the General Assembly’s adoption (at the second plenary session, June 5, 2013) of
resolutions reaffirming the priority assigned by member States to the Inter-American Council for
Integral Development and the Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology (COMCYT),
progress toward STEM development has become a clear educational agenda.
STEM is a household word, worldwide. Curriculum and teaching materials are readily
available. Mentors and networks are geographically close. Coordinated efforts across the hemisphere,
however, are scattered.
CHALLENGES

STEM development in Latin America and the Caribbean has been inspirational, yet uneven,
exposing an inequality divide between STEM-empowered and STEM-deficient education practices and
reforms. STEM-empowered education is supported by investment in homegrown solutions to persistent
problems. Policies to support STEM-empowered education facilitate curriculum revision and teacher
STEM communities of practice; emphasize ICTs in each of the four components (science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics); and bolster the research capacity of their institutions of higher
education. Meanwhile,
rRegions with STEM-deficient education remain saddled with staggering levels of debt, leave
little room for entrepreneurial innovation, have notlack development mechanisms for moving past a
service economy and freeing themselves from debt, are not equipped to offer high-technology jobs,
remain energy deficient, and have not closed their own poverty divide. 39 In these regions, students
avoid STEM-based careers largely because they are unprepared, intimidated, and do not see the
connection between STEM and their own financial or national economic development.
K-12 level STEM programs must viewed within the context of what they contribute to overall teacher
professional development. Public relations campaigns, science museums, mathematics Olympiads, and
science competitions also require the kind of experimental petri dish, even considering the risk of
failure, to grow a new culture compatible with curiosity and innovation. In short, STEM education is not
just an emphasis on content, but a creative and scientific structure and process for scientific inquiry,
critical thinking, and joy, made possible by skilled teaching.
The importance of STEM, and the challenges our region faces, are well documented. The key is
to identify, discover, and share opportunities and innovations unique to the Americas. Those
opportunities and innovations below have been selected specifically for their ability to spark national
and regional STEM education reform, cross borders, and find a home within teacher professional
development.
OPPORTUNITIES AND INNOVATIONS

STEM education has proven effective when curiosity, collaboration, and challenge face. New
textbooks or laptops, even online demonstrations, fall short when disconnected to classroom experience
and access to mentors who can ensure quality. Professional development programs, similar to effective
ICT training programs, use the classroom as the natural laboratory for understanding how students
construct knowledge. These non-threatening, but accountable programs in content mastery and
pedagogic skill are particularly critical for teachers in their first 3 years of teaching.
39 Shafik, N (20, Sept. 2013). Speech of Deputy Managing Director for the International Monetary
Fund.
- 19 -

STEM education is not contingent upon expensive resources alone. Poorer countries have
leveraged teacher expertise and incorporated local materials and community science into classrooms on
a daily basis. An earthquake science and safety program in Haiti, for example, provides hands-on
science activities to teach STEM subjects using bicycle parts and toys, along with an accessible,
localized curriculum in disaster risk management and preparedness. In the description of “Science for a
Sustainable Future,” UNESCO acknowledges the importance of such practices: “Indigenous knowledge
systems developed with long and close interaction with nature, complement knowledge systems based
on modern science.”40
For little or no cost, operational guides for teachers, combined with opportunities to evaluate one’s own
work in the company of colleagues, can be adapted for use in a wide variety of settings and depend less
on vertical oversight than horizontal support. The 5E Instructional Model, for example, is particularly
illustrative of transformative teachers:
1. Engagement: Teachers are able to determine what students know in order to build
curiosity and readiness to embrace new concepts. The key is to generate new ideas to
problems, make connections, and organize their thinking into a logical pattern.
2. Exploration: Here, teachers help students examine conceptual challenges, test their own
assumptions, complete lab activities, and design preliminary investigations.
3. Explanation: Teachers help students to focus their attention in order to study the subject
more deeply. Teachers introduce concepts, processes, and skills while learners explain
what they know so that they may test their assumptions.
4. Elaboration: Teachers challenge students’ conceptual understanding and skills. Students
then apply what they know to new challenges, thus building a scaffold they can
strengthenbuilding upon foundations that continue to mature.
5.

Evaluation: Both teachers and students develop forms by which students can identify
areas of opportunity and recognize their growth in the solving of problems.

STEM throughout the formal educational cycle requires a corps of educators that view
themselves as vital facilitators of inquiry and engines of change. They must lead the charge in aligning
STEM content and student-centric learning. In a STEM-empowered classroom, teachers elicit
responses that help students “uncover” material for greater retention, rather than “cover” the material
through lectures. The classroom should be “hands-on,” rather than “hands-off.” Even in some of the
poorest regions, skilled teachers have employed local materials (toys, bicycles, crops, building supplies)
in the curriculum. They have developed skills that help encourage collaboration, critical thinking, and
self-reliance rather than rote and disconnected learning. They help students solve problems rather than
mimic answers. They can create opportunities for captivating group and self-directed learning so that
they may personalize learning and document student achievement with greater accuracy.
A STEM-empowered educational environment requires planning, partnership, and support.
Global and regional research have identified a Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) capacity chain
central to the development of public policy, each component of which needs to be created, built, and
evaluated. Those components include: (a) human resource capacity building through an assessment of
needs, as well as assets, in one’s community in order to assess and strengthen links throughout the
educational supply chain (b) systems for acquiring and adapting existing knowledge (c) support for
research and development, not limited to tertiary institutions, but also in primary and secondary schools
40 UNESCO (website). Themes: Science for a Sustainable Future. Retrieved from:
http://bit.ly/YkUpbw
- 20 -

(d) a measured technology transfer informed by stakeholders who provide consistent feedback (e)
collaborations that enlist the private sector in order to invest further in the development of an educated
workforce (f) strong managerial and leadership capacity, governance structures, and sustainability
measures.41
While knowledge-intensive industries have focused largely on IT innovations, Latin America’s abundant
natural resources, combined with wind resources and biomass capacity represent equally abundant
opportunities to develop sustainable technologies with decreased dependence upon investment and
extraction from outside the region. Such an emphasis can also address cross-sectoral challenges that are
only increasing in intensity, most notably water pollution, shortages, and floods; waste disposal; traffic
congestion and urbanization; housing solutions; and development of more efficient mass transit
systems.42 The young people we teach today can become the national resources we need.
While we cannot emphasize enough the forward-looking nature of STEM, we must give equal credit to
research that has run parallel to these efforts all along: indigenous, local and scientific knowledge
systems have generated valid, verifiable, replicable and useful evidence for interpreting conditions,
changing the course of policy, and informing the sustainable governance of ecosystems and biodiversity.
Simply put, the United Nations once defined a teacher as “anyone with valuable information to share.”
The advancement of science for the future depends upon our active commitment to the wisdom and
limitless creativity of our elders.
OPPORTUNITIES AND INNOVATIONS

Support new and/or transformative degree programs in STEM Teaching. In so doing, focus on
STEM pedagogies that enable students to pursue their curiosity and address community needs.

Create external incentives (higher pay for entering the teaching profession), along with higher
standards for entry into universities focusing on STEM Teaching.

Attract science mentors from both the experienced teaching corps and the private sector to
support new STEM teachers (in both content mastery and inquiry science teaching methods),
particularly in their first three years

Designate and highlight schools as STEM centers of excellence that host creating a
collaborative scientific culture and demonstration of student work

Identify, validate, communicate, and disseminate science content through multiple platforms
ranging from story-telling to disaster-alert warning systems on mobile phones

Establish scientific advisory boards, consultations, working groups of funders, and networks of
universities and the private sector in order to build internal capacity and establish incubators at
institutions of higher education.

Enlist the science diaspora through organizations such as the Caribbean Science Foundation, to
support local talent
Find tangible ways to affirm ongoing programs, like EducaSTEM, that focus on open
educational resources, maps of excellence, and communities of practice

41 Watkins, A., and Mandell, J. World Bank (2010). Global Forum Action Plan: Science, Technology,
and Innovation Capacity Building Partnerships for Sustainable Development
42 Latin Link. Latin America: The New Home for Green Tech Industries. Retrieved from:
http://bit.ly/1f5H4sr
- 21 -

CENTRAL QUESTIONS

How can we measure the degree to which the communities and schools we serve are STEM
empowered or STEM deficient?

What is the connection between 21st 21st century STEM teaching and what we currently are doing
in our classrooms, and how can we develop STEM-empowered classrooms, even if we do not
have all the latest equipment?

Are there opportunities for students to demonstrate a command of STEM in order to compete in
tertiary institutions throughout our region and worldwide?

How can our tertiary institutions and the private sector develop programs that inspire secondary
school students to continue their professional career in STEM?

4.

Using ICTs in the Teaching and Learning Processes

RESEARCH EVIDENCE

Latin America is one of the fastest growing regions for social networks in the world, eclipsing
many parts of the world that were on a much faster trajectory. Rural and poor communities are
accessing more services, but the lack of training and awareness programs has exacerbated digital
inequalities. Teachers are multipliers of education, for each one reaches dozens of young people. With
the proper support, technology is rapidly becoming an accelerator of impacts, the research evidence of
grows ever week.
The Inter-American Teacher Education Network (ITEN) is representative of a greater focus on
teacher communities of practice as key stimulators of practical ICTs in daily practice. New classroom
applications have made creative use of mapping tools and social networks to aggregate open educational
resources, extend and enhance textbooks, and share ideas about educational reform. 63% of those who
enrolled in a recent free and globally accessible online course offered by Teachers Without Borders are
from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Increased collaboration between sectors within governments has led to more deliberate and
comprehensive ICT strategies in education. Several countries throughout our region have launched
projects that have demonstrated clear, replicable ICT-enabled impacts in formal, non-formal, and
community-based education settings, including basic training in disaster risk reduction through mobilephone early alert systems, technology and internet access in rural communities, and e-health; internet
access, ICT competitions, and computer repair programs have had success in after-school programs;
ICT-based educational training programs and blended learning have enabled greater community
participation; new mapping programs developed from the region have identified community assets; a
dramatic rise of open educational resources from Latin America and the Caribbean, teachers have
enhanced and extended textbooks and stimulated new ideas in curriculum reform. Increasing numbers
of teachers are adopting ICTs to measure student achievement through low-cost personalized learning
and customized tools so that they may meet the needs of their classrooms. 43
Given the opportunity to engage with ICTs, students from marginalized communities have been able to
obtain and interact with knowledge sources hitherto inaccessible. With support and immediately
recognizable benefits from access to ICTs, these same communities have participated with enthusiasm
43 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education (AMFIE) 2013
http://www.unescobkk.org/education/ict/ict-in-education-projects/policy/amfie2013/ 26-11- 2013
- 22 -

in support for secondary and tertiary opportunities in a knowledge economy. Scholarships, in particular,
have been inspirational for those imbued with the fire of possibility to innovate in all sectors.
Effective programs for ICTs in education also consider the wide gap in digital haves and havenots. For regions that have little access to ICTs, training has been conducted as an anticipatory set and a
pedagogical tool for introducing new forms of decentralized (yet effective) teaching. The concept of a
wiki has been made understandable using thumbtacks and pieces of paper to re-arrange concepts and
crowd-source ideas on an empty wall. Blogs and micro-blogs have been demonstrated through a
creative extension of one’s personal diary. In short, classroom-based professional development can be
taught through a blend of older technologies, mobile phones, and collaborative discussion.
ICTs have worked well as tools that integrate management (class rosters, grading, student
progress) with personalized learning programs. As personalized learning matures and Internet access
becomes more ubiquitous, programs can allow students to progress at their own speed.
Lessons learned have been transformed into productive activity. ICTs foisted on teachers or
training conducted to reach arbitrary adoption targets had given way to a more seamless component of
ongoing professional development. ICTs are particularly effective when they change professional
culture by encouraging individual teachers to reflect on their daily practice, share curriculum
innovation, and plan collaboratively. Communities of practice facilitated through social networks have
enabled teachers to ask questions and seek support without feeling stigmatized or evaluated. Attention
is increasingly being paid to how and when teachers embrace technology and consider how to address
resistance to change. They also change the locus of control from the teacher as sole source of
knowledge to the teacher as a both knowledge expert and facilitator of student learning. The most
effective use of ICTs in education cannot replace a teacher; rather, they help make good teachers better.
CHALLENGES

Our successes and the promise of technology have also been accompanied by setbacks, even
peril. Champions of technology may cling to unrealistic expectations that ICTs will offer automatic
gains capable of leapfrogging all development challenges. The dizzying pace of change in hardware,
software, and ICT-embedded daily business has raised the stakes for several countries in Latin America
and the Caribbeanthe region. . Unfortunately, Strategies and policies for ICT adoption, dissemination,
and integration have been deliberate and inclusive, yet implementation has not fully considered the
research evidence gathered to formulate those strategies and policies.
Deluged with research and recommendations on ICTs in education, decision makers have spent
substantial sums on equipment purchases and rapid rollouts. However, deficiencies have been identified
in institutional management, integration of ICTs in classrooms, the exclusion of teachers in technology
decisions, and inadequate measurements of both individual and institutional technology capacity. As a
result, poorly implemented plans have proven more invasive than pervasive. The ICT-enabled
innovation culture to which policy makers aspire may not automatically catch fire. Those not provided
laptops or tablets may resent those who received them. The technology itself may become stale from
underuse.44
Within the field of research on ICTs in education, evidence shows how and when digital inequalities
have exacerbated economic and social inequalities. As some schools and communities come online,
others unable to access vital information fall further behind. Bandwidth for mobile phones in urban
areas has contributed to the enticement of rural communities to seek opportunities away from home.
44 Stop the Madness of Blindly Dumping Technology into Classrooms. Retrieved from:
http://www.international1to1conference.com/ 08-11-13
- 23 -

Rollouts appear to have an on-off switch. Teachers with access to technology are able to enjoy the
benefits of curriculum revision, teaching innovations, and global education networks. Classrooms with
access to technology can connect to information and each other.
Transition programs using a blend of technologies (described in Opportunities and Innovations, below)
can provide the kind of readiness that can make adoption much easier the hardware and software
arrives. Curiosity once circumscribed to a world only accessible by local transportation can expand to
encompass possibility.
The key is not in the policy statements themselves, but in their implementation. Our efforts must
combine (1) the ubiquity and equitable quantity of ICTs to improve accessibility, affordability,
availability, and accessibility with (2) engaging professional development to improve adoption,
experimentation, acceptability, and adaptability to local context.
OPPORTUNITIES AND INNOVATIONS

Develop standards and professional development in ICTs for educational managers,
administrators, supervisors, inspectors, and policy-makers

Ensure that ICTs are integrated early on in teacher induction programs and sustain ICT
development, especially during the first 3-5 years of a teacher’s career

Create and nurture lines of communication between teachers, curriculum designers,
technologists, inspectors, school leaders, and government officials

Support the InterAmerican Teacher Education Network (ITEN) and the Educational Portal of
the Americas in building hemispheric-wide, classroom-based instructional capacities

Enlist in-country, regional, and sub-regional university consortia and teacher training tertiary
institutions to share ICT training programs and encourage teacher communities of practice

Build decision-making rubrics for hardware and software adoption based upon the capacity to
demonstrate both effectiveness (in pedagogy and measurable student achievement) and
efficiency (in managerial and student service functions)

Support training and ongoing development for rural areas and marginalized communities,
ensuring deep community participation and fostering enabling environments. Local resource
guides and interns can accelerate training in ICTs and lowering the anxiety level of new users

Expand the integration of ICTs into existing community interventions such as after school
programs, community centers, and other non-formal settings

Ensure heightened attention to issues of inequality when rollout hardware distribution and
training programs

CENTRAL QUESTIONS

How do our policies and strategies for ICT dissemination and Internet access in schools
(including cyber security and media literacy) connect with our overarching educational goals?

How effective are we in measuring the impact of ICTs in education for poor and rural areas?

What measurements are in place to scale and sustain ICT development?

How can we enlist teacher communities of practice, the private sector, and our tertiary
institutions in order both to accelerate and lower the costs of effective training?

- 24 -

5.

Ensuring Comprehensive Early-Childhood Care and Education

RESEARCH EVIDENCE

Educational development begins in the home. Throughout the world, families Families play an
essential role in influencing children’s cognitive skills and non-cognitive traits during early childhood.
Investment in early childhood consistently yields personal and societal returns far greater than those
investments made in later life to compensate for and insecure foundation. 45
Modest early investments in maternity services and intensive nurse-family partnerships throughout the
first two years of life are already yielding higher rates of school attendance and focus. Breastfeeding,
vaccination, and hygiene education efforts, combined with educational outreach, have been both cost
effective and more effective. In the health arena, effective early-childhood education programs with
outreach to families have substantially increased institutional births, vaccinations, and better nutrition. 46
Studies on brain plasticity of children (between 0 to 6 years) are validating the indisputable importance
of building strong neural connections. Research of evaluations on Early Childhood Education (ECE)
interventions to support parenting are yielding positive home-school relationships; social competence
and communication skills; a reduction in criminal activity, grade repetition and re-enrollment later on;
stronger literacy and expressive language; and greater resilience and optimism. 47,48
Regional studies of country-by-country early childhood development services and programs throughout
Latin America and the Caribbean have been facilitating a virtuous cycle of growth and development.
Children are making smoother transitions to primary school, exhibiting greater confidence, remaining
healthy, and are displaying increased levels of curiosity and motivation. Children from disadvantaged
backgrounds are bridging the achievement gap. Economic redistribution programs have raised poverty
levels that, in turn, have stimulated an expansion of early-childhood enrollment.
Strong programs often provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks, along with psychosocial services.
Health centers weigh and measure children every six months and use ICTs to monitor progress and the
provision of supplements. Schools work with community centers to offer home visits and direct
instruction. Monthly talks on childrearing, health, and learning issues are available to the public. In the
legal sphere, stronger human rights legislation instruments counter discrimination against women and
families. Latin America’s increased recognition of multiethnic, multicultural, multiracial, and
indigenous communities has led to constitutional reforms and a richer, more inclusive set of ECE
resources.
Member states have provided early childhood education for teachers in differentiated instruction
and cultural awareness; community-wide early childhood workshops for parents; home visitor
programs; comprehensive legislation protecting children whose rights are at risk; women’s advocacy
programs; support for teacher collaboration and problem-solving; sensitivity to languages and cultures
45 The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Executive Summary: Early Childhood Development in
Latin America: A Commitment with the Future of the Region.
46 Saavedra, J (2009). Measuring Equality of Opportunity In Latin America: A New Agenda. Poverty
Reduction and Gender Group: Latin America and the Caribbean Region. Banco Mundial.
47 Kamerman, S. B. (2007). “A Global History of Early Childhood Education and Care.” Documento
Encomendado para el EFA Global Monitoring Report, Strong Foundations: Early Childhood Care and
Education. UNESCO.
48 Vegas, E. and Petrow, J. (2008). World Bank. Student Achievement in Latin America: The
Challenge for the 21st Century.
- 25 -

of immigrant and indigenous peoples; partnerships with public health, culture and sports, and
agriculture sectors; the provision of learning manipulatives wherever children congregate; flexibility of
facilities to serve working families; increased training for teacher aides and para-professionals; targeted
services for special-needs populations and children under 4 living in poverty; briefings on early
childhood issues for newly elected officials about educational issues; universal coverage; ICT
applications designed to track and monitor educational progress from early childhood forward.
Comprehensive early-childhood care and education are also supported by a rich literature of
curriculum, checklists, networks, and research available for little or no cost and in multiple languages
spoken throughout our region.49
CHALLENGES

Two factors hamper progress: inequalities in care and the quality of collaboration.
We have long known that economic and educational inequalities undermine development. Rural
populations often do not benefit from economies of scale in early childhood development made
available to working families in urban regions. Programs dependent upon inconsistent and rapid swings
of the economy, remittances, or outside investment suffer during economic downturns, while middleclass families can take advantage of private ECE services. Children without birth certificates, for
example, are especially unprotected and more vulnerable to disease, abuse, and trafficking. Of the 10+
million children who die annually in Latin America, most are from poor regions and succumb to
infectious disease.
While maternal and child health services, as well as legal protections throughout Americas, have
improved dramatically over the past five years, these services and protections need significant support.
Several communities within our own countries enjoy stimulating and healthy environments conducive
to learn, while others do not. Children in poor health learn poorly. In vulnerable communities, assistive
devices for children with disabilities are in short supply, and architectural barriers to access remain
restrictive. While medical interventions have helped control disease, hygiene education and preventative
public health programs are noticeably absent in poorer regions. Cand corporal punishment is at its
highest in poor countries. Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico have been working steadily to support
services for migrant families, those living as refugees, asylum-seekers, and repatriated children, yet
these exemplary practices need scale and support, especially in light of the unflattering media attention
to an escalating flood of immigrant children to the United States from Central America.
In an exhaustive study of early-childhood development services in Latin America and the
Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank points to a need for more professional training and
support. “Generally speaking, the care and attention of children in early childhood programs in the
region fall to shorthanded, poorly-paid staff with little training.” 50 More often than not, the child-tocaregiver ratio is too high and qualifications for employment are low. The majority of programs focus
on ages 3-6, though research has affirmed the importance of programs and services that address
maternal health and the needs and rights of those under 3 years of age. For early-childhood education
training, the focus has not considered the wide range of skillsets to serve children from birth to primary
school, as well as their parents.
49 Columbia University. Score Sheets –eets: Environment Rating Scales for School Age Care; Early
Childhood; Infant-Toddler; and Family Child Care. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1rT1blJ
50 Araujo, M., López-Boo, F., and Puyana, J. (2013). Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Overview of Early Childhood Development Services in Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved
from: www.iadb.org/SocialProtection
- 26 -

Early childhood education is the last of the five issues listed as priorities for the post-2015 agenda, but it
might as well be the first. It depends upon teacher development, quality data, ICTs, and STEM
education. Consistency of data and knowledge systems in early childhood care and education must be
consistently maintained, updated, and both integrated into and made interoperable with, other
development indicators. A structure for data design, collection, and analysis must include feedback
mechanisms so that stakeholders are informed and involved. Training for paraprofessionals, child-care
workers, new teachers, and both formal and non-formal teachers programs should pay particular
attention to rural and indigenous communities, different language learners, psychosocial sensitivity, and
personalized attention. Innovations of tertiary research and development in areas such as brain plasticity
and adaptive technologies, in turn, help teachers determine, with greater accuracy, the trajectory of their
students’ learning.
OPPORTUNITIES AND INNOVATIONS

We wish to acknowledge and affirm The Declaration of Principles Regarding Early Childhood in the
Americas,51 distributed for the consideration of Ministers of Education at the request of the delegation of
Mexico for the Seventh Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education (2012) in Paramaribo. The
Principles bear repeating and serve as apt recommendations for follow-through and development.
I.

Promote a comprehensive strategy for early childhood that includes strategically articulated services,
including: nutrition, health, education, welfare, labor regulations, breast feeding, protection for mothers,
and social assistance focused primarily on children and their mothers.

II.

Advance public policies that contribute to the implementation of high quality, universal, and
comprehensive care for young children, their mothers, the family, and the community.

III.

Create legal instruments and mechanisms that encourage shared responsibility and coordination between
various sectors and public, private, and civil society institutions in order to ensure that early childhood
programs are high quality, appropriate to the context, and sustainable.

IV.

Establish plans, programs, and curriculum structures for early childhood that identify capacities,
competencies, and objectives of significant and relevant areas of learning that should be emphasized in
order to foster the integral development of children.

V.

Increase the supply of duly prepared teachers, educators, and top administrative personnel in order to
care for, educate, and support the learning development of the child, the parents, and the family, with
active pedagogy that incorporates the sciences, art and music, and information and communication
technology tools.

VI.

Establish inter-disciplinary training programs for mothers, family members, and the community, to
inform them about early childhood education; the rights of the child and of mothers; physical,
intellectual, and brain development; health and nutrition; transitions; windows of opportunity; children’s
learning potential, and how to help them develop their competencies.

VII. Have systems and tools to evaluate, follow-up on, and systematize processes and results, as well as the
impact of policies, programs, and services, including children’s learning and development; and monitor
other components that contribute to their success or failure.
VIII. Make sure that sectors involved in early childhood care and education are coordinating with universities
and professional training institutions so they can review and update their initial training programs;
contribute to studies and research efforts; and incorporate components to promote the appropriate
51 Declaration of Principles Regarding Early Childhood in the Americas (1 March 2012). ECD
International. Retrieved from: http://ecdinternational.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/tripticoingles-1.pdf
- 27 -

supervision of pedagogical practice and care in other social professions.
IX.

Engage in social communications activities that help to publicize, form networks, and produce materials
to increase awareness about: the importance of early childhood and the window of opportunity that it
presents; the need to reduce violence and abuse and promote respect; and the importance of respecting
the rights of the child, of mothers, and of the family.

X.

Take actions to ensure that national development plans clearly reflect the high priority of appropriate
government actions to support early childhood development and their corresponding budget allocations.

XI.

Encourage private institutions and enterprises to reinforce their corporate social responsibility activities
through programs and projects that support early childhood development.

XII. Convene all of the sectors of society, without exception, to join this important endeavor in favor of early
childhood development
CENTRAL QUESTIONS

What mechanisms, standards, and accountability systems are in place to ensure that all children
get a fresh start and families consistently avail themselves of ECE services?

What exemplary scalable, sustainable, and measurable practices might fit one’s own national
context and culture, as well as reach rural, poor, or marginalized communities effectively?

What ICT platforms and learning opportunities available throughout OAS member states to
enable cross-sectoral and multilateral collaboration?

What role is higher education playing in the development of national expertise and research to
support early childhood care and education?

- 28 -

II.OBJECTIVES
The specific objectives of the Ministerial Meeting in February 2015 are:
a. To steer priorities in the area of cooperation with a view to improving the generation and
transfer of information on the five themes articulated in this document and their
relationship to the development of the next iteration of the CIE work plan and a
framework for a post-2015 educational agenda.
b. To consider the adoption of measures designed to support the Regional Education
Indicators Project in order to build research capacity across the Americas
c. To study the progress made on the mandates from earlier Ministerials and renew
commitments reforms conceived to solve the challenge of funding the expansion and
improvement of educational quality, teacher development, ICTs in education, STEM
pedagogies, and early childhood education
d. To examine the central questions as they pertain to issues of educational quality and
socio-economic and educational inequality, including the main challenges that the
member states encounter in their effort to make the transition between the quantity of
education as measured by MDGs, Education for All (EFA), and Ministerial mandates
and declarations adopted at plenary sessions in Cartagena (2007), Quito (2009), and
Paramaribo (2012).
e. To reaffirm the principles of quality, equity, relevance and efficiency, as well as the
commitment to accountable measurement tools designed to inform and guide public
policy and management in topics as such as teacher induction and ongoing professional
development, the use of ICT, funding, STEM education, and early childhood
development
f. To review the lessons learned from collaborative initiatives on a regional and subregional level as opposed to individual national program or bi-lateral exchanges
g. To share promising experiences at various stages of implementation in the Americas,
and to analyze their capacity to meet the challenges in specific settings and to form a
network of countries and institutions in order to be able to continue to share experiences;
h. To discuss and approve Declarations proposed by member states and distributed well in
advance of the Ministerial itself;
i.

To elect the authorities and the Executive Committee of the Inter-American Committee
on Education (CIE) for the 2015-2016 term.

j.

To affirm protocols regarding the election of the chair and vice chair of the meeting as
well as an affirmation and/or follow-up on agreements (Style Committee, deadlines for
submitting proposals, plenary sessions)

k. To determine the scope and sequence of Plenary Sessions in a call for proposals
following the adoption of protocols and strategies emerging from this planning meeting
– in the form of presentations and dialogue based upon the central questions and
research themes framed in this briefing.

- 29 -

III.

METHODOLOGY
I. Discussion of the planning process by which every country is given an opportunity to share
programmatic and policy resources in a central database, to be made available to all member
countries.

II. A full articulation of plenary sessions shall follow this planning meeting and shall begin with the
formalization of agreements reached during the preparatory process and include the affirmation
of protocols regarding the election of the chair and vice chair of the meeting as well as an
affirmation and/or follow-up on agreements (Style Committee, deadlines for submitting
proposals, plenary sessions). This initial plenary session shall be followed by presentations and
dialogue regarding progress made and challenges for the InterAmerican Committee of
Education 2014-2016.
III. In addition to organizational Plenary Sessions (call for proposals), additional Plenaries
addressing the five lines of action articulated in this research briefing, as well as central
questions, all of which shall be summarized, following this meeting, and sent out to member
states interested in leading or facilitating Plenaries.
IV. Breakout Plenary Sessions Plenary Session on Post 2015 Hemispheric Agenda
Prior to the plenary sessions on XXX date, if necessary to finalize preparations, a Preparatory
Session would be held at XXX date in order to review the details of the Meeting, including a review of
the documents that the Ministers will discuss, such as any Draft Declarations, agreements on the
election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Eighth Meeting, membership of the Style Committee, the
deadline for submitting new draft resolutions, the duration of the Meeting, and election of authorities
and of the Executive Committee of the CIE. In order to encourage ministerial dialogue in each of the
sessions and provide additional input, CIE will put at the Member States’ disposal a series of essays
prepared by experts from the region and serve in a supporting capacity as a function of the Technical
Secretariat.
I.

The Opening Session, to be determined, shall include the participation of the National
Authorities of the host country and the Secretary General of the OAS. At that time, the
substantive topics on the program will be reviewed. We shall also seek to formalize the
agreements reached in the Preparatory Session held on X date. The Chair of the Meeting
will preside over all of the plenary sessions. Each following session will run according to
the following methodology: the Chair of the Meeting will introduce Ministers and regional
experts who will use their national experiences to elaborate on each of the main topics (10
mins. each). The floor will then be opened for an hour for ministerial dialogue.

II.

The Second Session, entitled: Progress Made from the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of
Education, will report on progress under the CIE Work Plan since Paramaribo, Suriname,
2012. This session will focus on reports to the ministers on the progress made on the topics
that the ministers set as priorities at previous meetings and that the member states are
working on with support from the OAS Technical Secretariat: The Chair of the CIE and the
Technical Secretariat, together with the countries coordinating various projects, will support
the development of these reports. Lines of action, as described in this briefing session, will
follow the protocol

III.

The Third Session, entitled: The Voice of Teachers. At the suggestion of the host
country, X, and with approval from the Meeting of Authorities and the Executive Committee
of the Inter-American Committee on Education (CIE), which took place at the OAS
- 30 -

headquarters in X date, will invite a small group of teachers to report and participate in the
session itself in order to assure a greater voice in the consideration of proposed reforms and
policy recommendations. The report will be followed by ministerial dialogue on the role of
teachers in the promotion of integral development, innovations in Schools of Education, and
the changing nature of education, for which new skills and capabilities are needed.
Emphasis may be placed on the role of existing OAS programs worthy of scale throughout
the region.
IV.

The Fourth Session, entitled: Promoting and Monitoring Policies of Quality, Equity and
Inclusion, will be devoted to presentations on the research evidence, challenges, and
opportunities insofar as they represent experiences and expertise conductive to the building
of a practical post-2015 educational agenda. The idea is for the ministers to contribute to
the dialogue by sharing their own countries’ experiences in crafting policies and
implementing programs, particularly at the system-wide level, to emphasize oversight and
the connection between equality and inequality. It also represents an opportunity to
introduce sub-themes; new challenges; or implementation of changes identified on the basis
of local, regional and national development plans. Declarations may be proposed at this
time. This session shall run according to protocols observed in the Opening Session.

V.

The Fifth Session: Strengthening Initial Teacher Preparation/Development and the
Profession, will be devoted to presentations on the research evidence, challenges, and
opportunities insofar as they represent experiences and expertise conductive to the building
of a practical post-2015 educational agenda. The idea is for the ministers to contribute to
the dialogue by sharing their own countries’ experiences in crafting policies and
implementing programs to transform the structure of teacher professional development
(including, but not limited to STEM, ICTs, measurement, and early-childhood education),
particularly at the system-wide level. They may introduce institutional and organizational
reforms; sub-themes; new challenges; or implementation of changes identified on the basis
of local, regional and national development plans. Declarations may be proposed at this
time. This session shall run according to protocols observed in the Opening Session.

VI.

The Sixth Session: Promoting and Integrating STEM in Grades K-12, Using Modern
Pedagogy, will be devoted to presentations on the research evidence, challenges, and
opportunities insofar as they represent experiences and expertise conductive to the building
of a practical post-2015 educational agenda. The idea is for the ministers to contribute to
the dialogue by sharing their own countries’ experiences in crafting policies and
implementing programs to expand and share STEM education programs and support OAS
initiatives, particularly at the system-wide level. They may introduce institutional and
organizational reforms; sub-themes; new challenges; or implementation of changes
identified on the basis of local, regional and national development plans. Declarations may
be proposed at this time. This session shall run according to protocols observed in the
Opening Session.

VII.

The Seventh Session: Using ICTs in the Teaching and Learning Processes, will be
devoted to presentations on the research evidence, challenges, and opportunities insofar as
they represent experiences and expertise conductive to the building of a practical post-2015
educational agenda. The idea is for the ministers to contribute to the dialogue by sharing
their own countries’ experiences in crafting policies and implementing programs to expand
and strengthen ICT integration in schools by focusing on curriculum development,
inclusion, and teacher professional development. They may introduce institutional and
organizational reforms; sub-themes; new challenges; or implementation of changes
- 31 -

identified on the basis of local, regional and national development plans. Declarations may
be proposed at this time. This session shall run according to protocols observed in the
Opening Session.
VIII.

The Eighth Session: Ensuring Comprehensive Early-Childhood Care and Education, will
be devoted to presentations on the research evidence, challenges, and opportunities insofar
as they represent experiences and expertise conductive to the building of a practical post2015 educational agenda. The idea is for the ministers to contribute to the dialogue by
sharing their own countries’ experiences in crafting policies and implementing programs to
expand, share, and scale ECE programs at a system-wide level. They may introduce
institutional and organizational reforms; sub-themes; new challenges; or implementation of
changes identified on the basis of local, regional and national development plans.
Declarations may be proposed at this time. This session shall run according to protocols
observed in the Opening Session.

- 32 -

KEY REFERENCES
Promoting and Monitoring Policies of Quality, Equity and Inclusion



ECLAC (2014). The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Regional Consultation on A
for Post-2015. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1uglx6Y
ECLAC (2013). The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Preliminary Overview of th
Latin America and the Caribbean
UNESCO/UNICEF (2012). Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children. Finishing School: A Right for Child
Development. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/Zf9fAh
WIDE (World Inequality Database on Education). Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Retrieved from
http://www.education-inequalities.org

Strengthening Initial Teacher Preparation/Development and the Profession

Provost, C. (25 Oct. 2011). Developing Countries Face Growing Secondary School Challenge. Guardian
Development. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1g6vdry

Sclafani, S. Asia Society. Recruiting, Training, and Supporting a 21 st Century Teaching profession. Retr
http://bit.ly/1pBnbtq

Vegas, E. and Petrow, J. (2008). World Bank. Student Achievement in Latin America: The Challenge fo

PREAL blog (17 December, 2013). PREAL Enlaces: Training First-Rate Teachers. PREALblog. Retriev
http://bit.ly/1nKidis

Promoting and Integrating STEM in Grades K-12, Using Modern Pedagogy

OECD (2014). Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry Main Science and Technology Indicat
http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=MSTI_PUB

UNESCO (website). Themes: Science for a Sustainable Future. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/YkUpbw

Sdf

Sdf

Using ICTs in the Teaching and Learning Processes

- 33 -

OECD (2014). Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry Main Science and Technology Indicat
http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=MSTI_PUB

International Telecommunication Union (2014). Manual for Measuring ICT Access and Use by Househ
Geneva, Switzerland

Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education (AMFIE) 2013 http://www.unescobkk.org/educatio
education-projects/policy/amfie2013/ 26-11- 2013

Stop the Madness of Blindly Dumping Technology into Classrooms http://www.international1to1confere

Ensuring Comprehensive Early-Childhood Care and Education

Araujo, M., López-Boo, F., and Puyana, J. (2013). Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Overview
Development Services in Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved from: www.iadb.org/SocialProtec

The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Executive Summary: Early Childhood Development in La
Commitment with the Future of the Region.

Araujo, M., López-Boo, F., and Puyana, J. (2013). Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Overview
Development Services in Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved from: www.iadb.org/SocialProtec

OAS (2010). Statistics and Education Policies Related to Early Childhood Transitions: Studies from Col
Venezuela, and Brazil

- 34 -

APPENDIX: REGIONAL EDUCATION INDICATORS PROJECT
ACTIVITIES
I.

II.

III.

Activities needed for development and analysis of indicators
 Evaluate the relevance of the indicators developed on the first stage of the project in
relation to the Summit goals in education. Carry out a study on the data sources used
(feedback forms) to suggest modifications or improvements to improve their
international comparability.

Develop strategies and define activities for a diagnostic study on existing indicators in
the region. Hold a first meeting of the Countries Committee

Complete the statistical information on education for the countries with comparable
information from population censuses and home surveys. Study them in order to
establish procedures for information processing.

Develop, adopt and/or adapt achievement indicators for the region through a
commissioned study.

Develop standards of academic achievement

Develop and prepare the analytic report on the education status of the countries of the
region regarding the goals of the Summit of the Americas.

Develop analytic reports on topic areas of sub-regional interest, related to the Summit
goals.

Activities necessary for strengthening educational statistics systems
 Meet with the countries of the region and international organizations in order to define
the work schedule, plan and define strategies, build agreements, coordinate efforts,
experiences and knowledge, to establish a program with a vision that answers to the
expectations of the Summit of the Americas.

Hold training workshops for monitors who will conduct diagnostic visits to the countries
that require them, in order to retrieve detailed information on the inner working of their
educational statistics system and the evaluation of academic achievement.

Diagnostic missions to the countries of the region, to prepare detailed reports on the
operation and products of their Information Systems.

Give regional technical workshops for Latin America and the Caribbean to open a space
for communication, follow-up, exchange of experiences with the technical coordinators
of statistics and their policy makers, in order to promote the usage of information in
decision-making.

Hold sub-regional analytic workshops on topics of interest to the region, and which
allow liaison with regional initiatives that aim at monitoring the goals.

Activities necessary for publishing information on indicators and fostering their use in the
design of education policies
- 35 -

Inform about each country's situation in the context of the Summit's goals. Printing and
distribution of the goals status report.

Web site design and maintenance, using its full potential as a space for communication
between decision-makers on education and project personnel.

Periodic publishing of the status of education on regional web sites

NOTES

- 36 -

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