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“Learning must be done with practice!”

Lumiar Educação  |  11 October, 2019

 

The educational director of Lumiar Pinheiros is the educator Graziela Miê Lopes. Graduated in Biological Sciences and Pedagogy, Graziela has been working at Lumiar for eight years.  She started as a tutor and, from 2013 until July this year, she served as pedagogical director at Lumiar Internacional, in Santo Antônio do Pinhal.

Graziela’s choice of working at Lumiar did not happen by chance, but because of her belief in pedagogical models that favor the construction of autonomy so that people can act in the world in a more authorial, creative and responsible way. By doing so, they are able to discover their talents and validate their interests.

“Lumiar understands that learning happens when students are involved and aware that the information they receive and learn make sense in practice,” says the principal. Read the full interview below.

What is the main differential of Lumiar?

For us at Lumiar, it is essential that the student be encouraged to build autonomy to act in  a reflexive, authorial and conscious way not only in the present, but also in the future. And how do we do that? Validating children’s interests from early childhood education and motivating them to realize what they need to learn to achieve their goals.

Tools such as “World Reading”, “Group Planning” and “The Circle” help broaden students’ references and enable the tutor to understand what is really getting their attention. By observing the play time, directed or free conversations, and curiosities manifested by the classes, the tutor can be able to map these interests.

This is our starting point to ensure that learning is within a truly meaningful context for the child or youth. Thenceforth, it’s our responsibility as educators to ensure that, besides the interests addressed, the learning needs and essential content are also part of the planning and are worked on in projects and other activities.

It is the combination of interests with learning needs…

Exactly. The tutor’s task – when designing projects, modules and workshops – is to unite students’ interests with learning needs. Students actually participate in defining these activities, and the educators’ responsibility is to ensure complete coverage of all areas of knowledge and to stimulate the development of skills and abilities that are important for each learning step.

All of that is done with a curriculum that covers the BNCC (Common National Curriculum Base), isn’t it?

Yes. Our entire curriculum was reviewed as proposed by the BNCC, and that means that the whole content and skills considered essential can be viewed in Digital Mosaic, our learning management platform. In addition to complying with national legislation, our curriculum frameworks are built on an extensive analysis of the latest thinking on 21st century competencies, published by organizations such as the OECD and UNESCO, among others.

Is that an amount of knowledge that requires a full time school?

Our decision for a full time education goes beyond the high amount of content. We consider that the extended period (a 7 and a half hour stay at the school in São Paulo) is the appropriate way for our methodology to be applied with the tranquility and depth needed. Both our physical space and the various educational modalities used by us – such as projects, workshops, individual projects, etc. – make the students’ routine very dynamic and enjoyable.

Speaking of physical space, this is an important differential of this unit…

Yes, space is also a pedagogical work tool. At Lumiar Pinheiros, the teaching staff had the opportunity to plan alongside the architects to think of spaces that enhance the implementation of our methodology. A place where physical changes are always welcomed and easily accommodated, allowing for new ways of organization and customization – furniture and walls can be easily moved to create larger and smaller spaces. Large transdisciplinary spaces allow us to work on several areas of knowledge at the same time and express ourselves through different languages. We may, for example, have science, arts and technology material in the same place. In addition to age groupings, we can form student groups by interests and skills.

One of the pillars of Lumiar is multi-age groups. What are the benefits of bringing students of different ages together in one class?

In the family environment, we all have the opportunity to live with older and younger people than ourselves. In the professional world, the same thing happens. Then why is that people are segmented by age at school? At Lumiar, we believe that meetings between students of different ages promote the learning of important social skills.

In addition, age variation within a group eases real recognition of each child’s challenges and talents as it becomes more difficult to fall into the generalization of expectations based on a stipulated average for each age. While participating in projects and workshops, students do not necessarily have to do the same things or have the same learning expectations, but by working together, they can exchange ideas, share knowledge, and inspire each other.

And how is equivalence made?

Since students are grouped in cycles in the Lumiar methodology, here in Pinheiros’ school we will offer: Kindergarten with I2 (from approximately one and a half to three years old) and I3 (4 and 5 years) cycles; The Elementary School, which is composed by Elementary School 1, that covers students of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years; Elementary 2, for students of 4th, 5th and 6th grades; and, finally, Elementary 3, with students from 7th, 8th and 9th grade.

Students in these groups remain formally bound to the school year equivalent to their age, which allows for equivalence in case of students arriving or leaving Lumiar. Important: Multi-age group system is allowed by the LDB (Education Guidelines and Bases Act)

In addition to being full time, Lumiar is also bilingual. What is the bilingual school program?

We believe that English allows children to better understand other cultures, communicate and act as citizens of the world. Our way of working with English is completely connected with our methodology, so we would never consider decontextualized English classes. In the same way we work in other areas of knowledge, English is contemplated in transdisciplinary projects that are of interest to students and that account for the development of what they need to learn.

For example: children between 12 and 14 years old decided to make a flyer about our neighborhood because there were foreigners there, so they wanted to inform the touristic sights of the area. They made the flyer in English and, when they showed us the final project, there were some grammar errors. The students did not want to deliver the material with mistakes, so the tutor suggested working the grammar points as a strategy to correct the flyer. What happened here was connecting grammar to methodology, understanding that learning happens when the student is involved and aware that that information makes sense in practice. This is Lumiar.

Contact us! Come visit our school and get even more informed about our award-winning and innovative methodological proposal!

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