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All Children Can Learn – Professional Development

OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL . 2018

In conjunction with the in-school activities proposed by the “Learning Language” program in Mauá (SP), we implemented a rigorous design/research process to better understand the needs of local families. By identifying which types of content and materials effectively communicate the importance of adult-child interactions, we sought to expand learning opportunities outside of formal institutions.

Early on, we convened a meeting of principals from the city’s 46 schools to raise awareness about out-of-school activities and interventions that promote early childhood development. We then held workshops with 272 parents from 15 schools, 96.7% of whom rated the meeting  "very good" or "good", with 97.1% regarding the content as "useful". Post-workshop debriefs with educators discussed the principles and strategies for strengthening school-family relationships.

Through the workshops, we recruited 10 families to voluntarily participate in three home visits and a focus group.

Selection criteria included:

  • geographic diversity;
  • school affiliation;
  • child age (0 to 5 years);
  • child gender.

Each home visit consisted of a semi-structured interview that explored how the participant made use of a range of pilot materials and products designed by Laboratório de Educação. Insights provided by these interviews led us to adjust their content and form.

In 2019, we plan to complete the design and production of the materials, as well as try out strategies to involve doctors, social workers, educators, and other stakeholders in promoting richer interactions during early childhood.

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