Argentina: Virtual Campus Promotes Learning in Primary Schools

Fundación Leer in Argentina: e-learning and a virtual community to promote critical thinking projects in primary schools

online-educationFundación Leer, non profit organization promoting literacy in Argentina since 1997, began to experience the integration of information and communication technologies to train teachers on methods that encourage reading for understanding, critical thinking and active and collaborative learning. Since 2009, more than 350 teachers have been trained in our Virtual Campus. Coordinated by specialized tutors, this experience is giving teachers a theoretically grounded understanding of methods of teaching that encourage reading for understanding, critical thinking and active and collaborative learning. It is also providing them with techniques for reaching these aims in the classroom with their students.

Regarding the good results and acceptance by educators of this growing experience –which includes participants from other Latin-American countries such as Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia and Chile-, Fundación Leer is now widening the project.

With the support of the Open Society Institute, in 2011 we started a new course for teachers and by April 2012 we will be launching the Critical thinking hands on project, also based in the use of internet resources. Its goal is to promote the implementation in primary schools of projects stimulating Critical Thinking within children as a regular practice so that in every participating school teachers read different kind of texts and promote a deep comprehension of them, organize debates where children have to listen and discuss taking into account and respecting different points of view, write to express their opinions, within other activities. It includes teachers training and a web site for children to publish their own texts and participate in debates.

With this project, Fundación Leer gives an answer to the demand of teachers of acquiring new strategies to think over and improve their teaching practices, including internet as a mean that encourages collaborative work and debate within educators.


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