“Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century Education in El Salvador”
A Project of EducateNow
San Salvador, El Salvador
October of 2011
Education in El Salvador focuses on rote memorization, copying and dictation. This type of education does not prepare students for the Age of Information. EducateNow addresses this by offering public school teachers in 3 schools of La Libertad and Ahuachapan training in participatory methodologies and literacy skills. In addition, EducateNow will create a small library in each school. EducateNow expects to see an increase in teachers using participatory methods and literacy skills, students with higher levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills, and higher levels of reading comprehension. Total project cost is $42,200. EducateNow is requesting $15,000 from the Strachan Foundation. EducateNow and other donors will cover the additional $32,200.
II. KEY PROBLEM
In El Salvador, and throughout Central America, students learn via rote memorization, copying and dictation. Schools lack books and teachers lack the guided support to incorporate progressive teaching methods in their classrooms. Latin America continues to struggle with dismal reading levels: according to UNESCO, 55% of third-graders in El Salvador read far-below grade level, a statistic representative of much of the region.
EducateNow transforms this paradigm. Through private-sector partnerships, we provide thousands of high-quality books so schools and communities can establish school libraries. Through intensive training, teachers provide education that is participatory, promotes dialogue and expression, and creates communities of deep thinkers and readers.
Since January 2010, EducateNow has partnered with the Ministry of Education El Salvador to improve the quality of teaching so that students develop critical thinking, problem solving and authentic literacy skills. EducateNow has offered teacher training and mentoring to teachers and principals in two public schools in the state of Santa Ana. In this project EducateNow seeks to train teachers in three schools of Ahuachapán and La Libertad, serving over 900 kindergarten-10th grade students and their 500 families.
Research consistently shows that teaching is the single most important factor in a student’s academic development. EducateNow considers that investing in quality teacher development in areas such as critical thinking, problem solving and literacy skills, will lead to improved student performance. In addition, providing students with books and literacy training for teachers will contribute to developing a love for reading in students.
IV. OBJECTIVES, ACTIVITIES AND INDICATORS
Improve quality of teaching in three public schools of Ahuachapán and La Libertad.
- 90 % of teachers participating in EducateNow´ training program apply participatory learning practices in their classrooms by December of 2012.
- 80% of students in participating schools increase critical thinking and problem solving skills by December 2012.
- 80 % of students in participating schools increase literary skills by December 2012.
¨ 4 teacher trainings on participatory methods in each school.
¨ 24 mentoring sessions per school per year
¨ 4 teacher meetings per year to discuss implementation of techniques
¨ 4 teacher trainings on improving literacy skills in students
¨ Provide a small library with 1,000 books for each school
Teacher trainings on participatory methodologies: EducateNow will offer 4 teacher trainings to teachers at Centro Educativo Corinto in La Libertad, Centro Educativo Román Sanchéz in Ahuachapan, and Centro Educativo Oscar Romero also in Ahuachapan. Trainings will focus on participatory methods of teaching, how to work in small groups of students, and how to plan classes to increase student participation. Program Manager Carmen Vasquez will offer the workshops. Carmen has 6 years of experience coaching and training teachers.
Mentoring sessions: Carmen Vasquez will offer 24 mentoring sessions in each of the three schools. She will observe teachers in the classroom and offer constructive feedback. She will also help teachers to develop materials for the classroom.
Teacher meetings: the purpose of these meetings is to facilitate communication among teachers at each one of the participating schools. The focus will be on sharing lessons learned and best practices.
Teacher trainings on literacy skills: EducateNow will offer 4 teacher trainings on age-appropriate literacy skills. Trainings will include teaching teachers to encourage critical analysis of texts and creation of texts by the students. Program Manager Blanca Cisneros, a literacy expert with 10 years of experience in this topic, will offer trainings.
Provide small libraries: EducateNow has developed a partnership with Editora Grijalba, a publisher of Spanish books in El Salvador. Editora Grijabla offers EducateNow a 70% discount on all books. EducateNow staff will help each school to set up a library with its Dewey Decimal Classification system. Students will be able to take books home to read. Teachers will also have books available in their classroom for reading exercises and practice. Darcy Rivero, an experienced librarian, will implement the library program.
¨ Number of teacher trainings (participatory methodologies) offered in 2012
¨ Number of teacher trainings (literacy skills) offered in 2012
¨ Number of mentoring sessions offered in 2012
¨ Number of teacher meetings in 2012
¨ Number of teachers participating in trainings in 2012
¨ Number of libraries set up and running.
¨ % of teachers participating in the project that apply participatory methods in their classroom at least twice per week
¨ Student satisfaction level increases from baseline at the beginning of the school year
¨ 80% of students increase their GPA by at least 1 point
¨ Number of students taking books out of the library
¨ Number of teachers that apply reading techniques in their classroom
¨ 80% of students demonstrate increased comprehension of texts as demonstrated by the DSR test.
IV. PROJECT MONITORING
EducateNow staff will monitor the project on a regular basis. The following tables show the process monitoring and outcome monitoring we will do.
|Teacher training participatory methodologies||Carmen Velasquez (CV)||March 15, June 15, September 15, December 15||# teacher trainings# teachers participating in trainings|
|Teacher training literacy skills||Blanca Cisneros (BC)||February 15, May 15, August 15, November 15||# teacher trainings# teachers participating in trainings|
|Mentoring sessions||CV and BC||Monthly||# mentoring sessions# teachers participating in sessions|
|Teacher meetings||CV and BC||Quarterly||# meetings# teachers participating|
|Small libraries||Darcy Rivero||Monthly||# libraries set up and running|
|Teachers apply participatory methods in class||% of teachers that apply participatory methods in their classroom at least twice per week||Class observations||Monthly|
|Students participate more in class||Student satisfaction level increases from baseline||Satisfaction surveys||Quarterly|
|Student performance improves||80% of students increase their GPA by at least 1 point||Report cards||Quarterly|
|Teachers apply reading techniques in class||# teachers that apply reading techniques in their classroom||Class observations||Monthly|
|Students increase reading comprehension levels||80% of students demonstrate increased comprehension of texts as demonstrated by the DSR test||DSR test results||Quarterly|
|Students develop an interest in reading||# students taking books out of the library||Library records||Monthly|
V. FUNDING REQUEST
EducateNow requests $15,000 for “Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century Education in El Salvador”. The total cost of the project is $47,220. EducateNow and other donors will be covering $32,220. This project represents 30% of EducateNow´ overall budget of $150,000. Strachan Foundation funds will be used to partially cover the salary of a program manager, classroom materials and workshop expenses.
|Item||Unit Cost||Units||Total||Strachan Foundation||EducateNow and Donors|
|Program Manager 1||$800||12||$9,600||$5,000||$4,600|
|Program Manager 2||$800||12||$9,600||0||$9,600|
* 8 workshops per school for a total of 24 workshops per year.
** Average cost of books is $6. However, costs range between $2 and $12 per book
 To see a list of published findings on effective teaching see Harvard University´s Center for Education Policy Research at http://www.gse.harvard.edu/cepr/research/
 The DSR test measures reading comprehension by asking students to describe their understanding of various texts. The DSR can accurately measure the reading comprehension of students.