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ERIC Number: ED537471
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 50
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-0-8949-2123-1
Teachers: Powerful Innovators--Generating Classroom Based Education Reform. GEC Working Paper Series. Number 4
Alvarado, Felix
Academy for Educational Development
The countries of Central America have made great educational strides in recent years. More children are now attending school and more finish primary school; however, there is still a long way to go. We still need to ensure that the children who go to school learn effectively and can use their education to develop useful life and work skills. This document sets out to recognize and commend the many ways in which teachers innovate inside and outside the classroom, as well as to identify the ways in which institutions, programs and projects can more effectively foster innovation. While this paper focuses on experiences in Central America, the findings have worldwide applicability and it is the authors' hope that the information will be shared across regions, countries, and communities to support and improve teacher innovation. The case studies used in this publication are based on Academy for Educational Development (AED) projects in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru and the Dominican Republic. In particular, the authors have relied on the help of many colleagues and leaders in these countries who are committed to improving educational quality, who have referred them to examples of teacher innovation and in many cases have written down the stories. This paper is divided into four sections. The first section explores the importance of teachers as the linchpin to effective learning in the classroom, the significance of innovation in that role and some of the assumptions that get in the way of seeing the teacher as an innovator. The second section illustrates, by using examples from teaching practice in the different countries, the wealth of innovative practices that teachers have discovered. The third section proposes a model for nurturing innovation based on teacher empowerment, teacher formation and institutional development. Examples of interventions that have been effective in strengthening teacher innovation are used to illustrate this model. Finally, the authors present a working framework of principles and components for a strategy to foster teacher innovation, taking into account the capacities and responsibilities of different actors in the education sector. Appended are: (1) Description of Projects and Initiatives; (2) Additional Resources; and (3) Bibliography. (Contains 1 footnote.) [This paper was written with Diane La Voy.]
Academy for Educational Development. 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009-5721. Tel: 202-884-8000; Fax: 202-884-8400; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Academy for Educational Development, AED Global Education Center
Identifiers - Location: Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua; Peru