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Early School Failure, a bottleneck for reaching the goal of Universal Primary Education + A proposal for overcoming failure: The Programme Todos Pueden.

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Presentation on theme: "Early School Failure, a bottleneck for reaching the goal of Universal Primary Education + A proposal for overcoming failure: The Programme Todos Pueden."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early School Failure, a bottleneck for reaching the goal of Universal Primary Education + A proposal for overcoming failure: The Programme Todos Pueden Aprender / Promoción Asistida 1 All children in schooll at 2015 Global iniciative on Out-of-School Children UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics Methodology Workshop Istanbul 21-25 june 2010

2 WHAT ? The challenge of failure in the lower grades

3 In LAC there is no quantitative restriction to universal primary education, and parents are very interested in sending children to school: -Access to primary education is almost universal -Access to initial education is sharply on the rise -Demand on secondary education is increasing steadily Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

4 16 of 100 age 8+ children are not in school 567891011121314151617 0,0% 20,0% 40,0% 60,0% 80,0% 100,0% 120,0% Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades For example, the school failure in the Central America is high:

5 55 of 100 children don´t complete 5 years primary in expected time 567891011121314151617 0,0% 20,0% 40,0% 60,0% 80,0% 100,0% 120,0% Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades For example, the school failure in the Central America is high:

6 Most girls/boys age 8+ that are not in school, have previously attended school, but they dropped out 567891011121314151617 0,0% 20,0% 40,0% 60,0% 80,0% 100,0% 120,0% Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades For example, the school failure in the Central America is high:

7 Bottleneck for achieving Universal Primary Education: EARLY SCHOOL FAILURE Shows up as grade repetition/retention, irregular attendance, temporary extended breaks in attendance Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

8 Population by age Enrolment in Appropriate age Enrolment By grade Steady enrolment, overage increases Latent riskDrop out Argentina, 2007 Total Enrolment by grade and population by age 0 100000 200000 300000 400000 500000 600000 700000 800000 900000 Grade / Age Students by grade and age 17years - Grade 12 16years - Grade 11 15years - Grade 10 14years - Grade 9 13years - Grade 8 12years - Grade 7 11years - Grade 6 10years - Grade 5 9 years - Grade 4 8 years - Grade 3 7 years - Grade 2 6 years - Grade 1 5 years 692.381 625.403 581.061 558.525 543.769 520.746 483.958 420.093 353.856 318.403 263.473 222.560 683.495 683.301 673.787 678.644 Analysis of early school failure and its after-effects: The Argentine context Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

9 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 17years - Grade 12 16years - Grade 11 15years - Grade 10 14years - Grade 9 13years - Grade 8 12years - Grade 7 11years - Grade 6 10 years - Grade 5 9 years - Grade 4 8 years - Grade 3 7 years - Grade 2 6 years - Grade 1 5 years 24.054 24.977 23.047 22.406 24.453 17.169 14.948 14.096 12.797 11.142 9.468 8.291 7.128 6.029 4.476 3.560 Early school failure and after-effects: the province of Misiones in 2001 Misiones, 2001 Total Enrolment by grade and population by age Grade / Age Population by age Enrolment in Appropriate age Enrolment By grade Students by grade and age Peak enrolment, overage increases Latent riskDrop out Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

10 The previous data and further research show that: Over-age condition predicts drop-out Attendance to preschool doesnt prevent failure in the first years of primary At the end of Grade 3, 2.5 in 10 children have experimented a failure Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

11 The previous data and further research show that: Many of the students in this risk group will drop out of school, at least 1 in 10 Others will persist, but their achievement will be endangered Many students in this group wont survive the transition to secondary school (3 in 10 ending primary and entering secondary) Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

12 WHY ? The causes and effects of low achievement in the first years

13 It is not about availability of resources… In the former example of Misiones, this situation happens even when there has been state investment: in resources for schools (buildings, books…) in social protection measures: School lunch, Scholarships, Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

14 The trigger of failure: Low quality instruction in contexts with low cultural capital of families Schools assume implicitly that insufficient, ineffective instruction has to be compensated by the family at home Families cannot give children the support that schools are obliged to provide them Children pay the price… Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

15 A self-fulfiling prophecy: the failure confirms the undisputed beliefs of families, schools and society that those children were not ready to learn Consequences: Grade repetition, starting point of a personal feeling of low self-esteem (personal dimension of failure) Schools dont feel the need to change because failure was inevitable; low learning of schools as organizations (institutional dimension of failure) Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

16 Research findings about low achievement in Grade 1 show that: 1)Many students from poor sectors experiment some difficulties with reading and writing short sentences at the end of Grade 1. 2)Many students are advancing in the process of mastering reading and writing skills, but the assessment instruments expect outcomes that are excessive, and not necessary 3)Teachers think that students that dont know well enough how to read and write can´t be promoted to the next grade Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

17 A study of the associated factors of cognitive achievement of students in the context of SERCE (OREALC UNESCO) shows that having repeated grades clearly worsens the learning outcomes of students, even after subtracting the effect of other variables Models for Latin America and the Caribbean showh that students who repeated grades get lower scores – equivalent to 25 points- in all tests of Spanish and Mathematics Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

18 HOW ? The Program Todos Pueden Aprender (Everybody can learn) An effective strategy for avoiding failure in the first years of primary school

19 The program Todos Pueden Aprender (TPA) Is a web of intervention strategies devised to protect the children from the negative effects of discontinuities in the school itinerary Aims: to broaden the learning opportunities for all children –increasing the number of students that show mastery of mandated curriculum content in literacy and numeracy in the first cycle of primary school, –reducing the number of students experimenting grade retention and the consequent problems associated with over-age Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

20 The program Todos Pueden Aprender (TPA) Is a web of intervention strategies devised to protect the children from the negative effects of discontinuities in the school itinerary Design principles: –respect and appreciation of children and youngsters potentials –adequacy and pertinence for teachers and principals –sustainability and possibility to go to scale Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

21 The program is based in a reduced but sufficient set of interventions to achieve improved results: 1. Teachers Implement effective, state-of-the-art instructional methodologies for teaching literacy and numeracy, based in well- structured, sequenced, step-by-step activities Review their theoretical frameworks and analyse impacts of changes in instruction methods on students outcomes Receive on-the-job coaching and mentorship Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

22 2. School Principals Optimize their decisions about time, space and staff management to reinforce the identity of the first school cycle as a multi-year process Design and provide in-school interventions for helping students with lower levels of achievement Strengthen their leading capabilities by building stable agreements with teachers for improved instruction The program is based in a reduced but sufficient set of interventions to achieve improved results: Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

23 3. A group of persons including, but not limited to, the school management team, take protective actions in the case of students that require particular help measures and medium- term support to avoid failure 4. All participants benefit from an information system that registers gradual improvements in the learning outcomes of students, through tests applied in a systematical way twice a year. The results are uploaded into an automatically operated website from where schools can download the processed data reports The program is based in a reduced but sufficient set of interventions to achieve improved results: Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

24 The program is based in a reduced but sufficient set of interventions to achieve improved results: 5. The program is developed in a time-cycle of 4 years to build local leading teams and allow sustainable, systemic change in school practices: Teacher Training Institutions involved in the program have developed their capacity for continuing support to teachers Supervision and/or Inspectorate teams have built tools for developing the competencies of school leading teams Principals and headteachers have increased their capacity for leading the pedagogical process in their schools Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

25 Results

26 0,0 % 2,0 % 4,0 % 6,0 % 8,0 % 10,0 % 12,0 % 14,0 % 16,0 % Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades 4,7 % 11,9 % 6,9 % 9,3 % 13,6 % 7,8 % Formosa CityFormosa TotalCountry Total year 2004 % of students repeating grades in the first 3 years of primary (2004 and 2008) year 2008

27 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 age 5age 6age 7age 8age 9 age 10age 11age 12age 13age 14age 15age 16age 17 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades Total enrolment and Enrolment in due age. Year 2009 Province of Formosa 12.125 12.522 13.650 12.714 13.029 10.860 8.114 10.227 9.440 7.311 6.594 4.886 3.357 Total Enrolment Enrolment in due age

28 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 20000 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades Students by grade and age (2004 and 2009) Province of Formosa 13.428 10.711 9.840 3.502 3.280 3.106 Grade 1Grade 2Grade 3Grade 1Grade 2Grade 3 year 2004year 2009 Due ageOver age 1 Over age 2Over age 3+ Total Enrolment 9.324 12.191 10.118 2.662 2.295 2.494 1.358 781 1.211 1.412 585 1.079 15.852 14.756 14.902 1.262 1.492 1.542 814 1.273 1.498 19.006 16.756 15.986

29 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 5.251 4.664 4.488 4.861 4.514 4.392 1.018 1.166 1.066 401 545 753 332 437 482 180 304 362 91 173 274 141 218 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades Students by grade and age (2004 and 2009) Formosa City Grade 1Grade 2Grade 3Grade 1Grade 2Grade 3 year 2004year 2009 Due ageOver age 1 Over age 2Over age 3+ Total Enrolment 6.781 6.571 6.398 5.405 5.373 5.637

30 0,0% 5,0% 10,0% 15,0% 20,0% 25,0% 30,0% 35,0% 40,0% 45,0% grade 1grade 2grade 3grade 4 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades % students over due age, by grade (2004 and 2009) Province of Formosa 29,3% 36,1% 38,4% 41,3% 23,1% 32,1% 36,8% 39,2% year 2004 year 2009

31 0,0% 10,0% 20,0% 30,0% 40,0% 50,0% 60,0% Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades Improvement in literacy outcomes during the program Province of Formosa (2006 and 2008) 4,1% 21,2% 51,3% 23,5% 1,0% 31,4% 45,6% 13,4% 5,6% 3,1% Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5Level 6 Placement in the Literacy advancement scale grade 1 - year 2006 grade 3 - year 2008 Students with low initial scores

32 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades Improvement in literacy outcomes during the program Province of Formosa (2006 and 2008) 0,0% 10,0% 20,0% 30,0% 4,1% 21,2% Level 1Level 2 Learning outcomes in literacy at the end of the program of students with low initial scores. Province of Formosa (2008)

33 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades Learning outcomes in literacy at the end of the program of students with low initial scores. Province of Formosa (2008) 0,8% 1,6% 2,6% 4,9% 9,1% 6,3%

34 Main Achievement… Students at risk are protected and enjoy from better learning opportunities to build a solid foundation for literacy and numeracy Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

35 Other Achievements Schools develop a readiness to include children out of school, and reduce the risk of dropping out Teachers improve their ability to revise their practices, knowledge and beliefs Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

36 A sustainable reduction in grade retention 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 20022003200420052006 1º Grade Provinces implementing the program: Rest of the provinces: 1º Grade 3º GradeProvinces implementing the program: 14,6% 14,9% 12,0% 11,5% 12,1% 12,5% 8,8% 7,7% Provinces implementing the program: Chaco, Jujuy, Misiones and Tucumán Source: MECyT, RAMC 2002 - 2006 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

37 0 5 10 15 20 25 2000200220042006 Total country 3rd. Grade Misiones 1st. Grade Misiones 3rd. Grade Total country 1st. Grade Source: MECyT, RAMC 2002 - 2006 Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades Lowering retention: the case of Misiones

38 Research on brain development and learning Research on brain development and learning shows that all children, independently of gender, ethnic background or social origin have a full set of natural capabilities for learning, even when its true that some children can enter school with differences in cultural capital or cognitive stimulation adult misconceptionsinadequate instruction methods However, adult misconceptions and inadequate instruction methods are in the roots of failure: low achievement is misconceived as a lack of children´s capabilities, adult teaching skills have nothing to do with failure Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

39 The problem from the point of view of learning disabilities more than low instructional competencies Key (wrong) assumptions: Becoming literate is natural and easy for humans Low achievers have learning disabilities or they need to mature Children coming from illiterate backgrounds cant learn literacy is a complex, high level cognitive ability, requiring well-structured, strategic teaching interventions) children have a ready, willing and capable brain, wanting to be stimulated and open to development, to learn complex content they need method, time and redundancy in interventions) underestimation of the power and function of school, overestimation of social determinism) Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

40 The problem from the point of view of teacher discouragement more than low instructional competencies Key (wrong) assumptions: Teachers are not capable, are not motivated, dont want to teach well Underestimation of existing lacks of training and capacity building to enable teachers to: Implement effective instructional strategies, especially for early reading instruction Understand brain processes (cognitive and affective) that are in the base of learning and using this info for planning teaching Detect behaviors that show incipient learning levels (usually interpreted as errors) Implement diversified teaching strategies for students in different starting points, within an inclusive methodological approach Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

41 Key action: Improvement of the pedagogical practices of schools catering for population at risk or that could receive children currently out of school. Leverage points - Breaking the inertia by promoting a virtuous circle: Implementing high quality teaching methodology during brief periods, observing and registering improvements in learning, Analyzing theoretical background and questioning assumptions, expanding confidence in teachers own competencies for teaching and students competencies for learning Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

42 Principles Quality instruction is considered the main factor in triggering quality learning Learning is conceived as a continuum, where each students advances at her/his own pace Assessment is devised to show intermediate advances of students along the learning process, and to detect children who need additional help Additional opportunities given by their teachers to students with slower learning rhythms help them to keep pace with their age group Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades

43 Principles Grade promotion in the first years is assessed in the framework of the multi-year process required for developing literacy Unconscious assumptions that portray grade retention as a positive mechanism need to be revised and challenged by the results of introducing new practices in teaching and assessment School change is sustained by medium term agreements among principals and teachers Programa Todos Pueden Aprender – Promoción Asistida: An effective strategy for avoiding school failure in the first grades


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