Transcript – Principal Graciela Bellome – Statistics, students’ assessment and trajectory
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Transcript – Principal Graciela Bellome – Statistics, students’ assessment and trajectory

That pyramid you mention, Alicia, which is present in common schools, for lack of a better word, is something so strong and so naturalized among adults that it also occurs in our school at certain moments, I mean, I’m talking about moments in time and points in curricular units. And what’s crazy is the difficulty, or rather, how matter-of-factly this thing is regarded, in a way that makes it impossible to articulate the problem. So, precisely, part of the leading team’s responsibility is to put the problem in words, to work alongside students to articulate the problem and then to try to find the solution. What I mean is, we have a few bottlenecks, as we call them, we have some moments in the students’ trajectory and especially—and this also happens in other schools in Argentina—the jump from junior high school to the senior high school creates a very big bottleneck especially in the so-called basic subjects, such as Math and Spanish. And so in this regard, it is our responsibility to consider other devices that will enable us to get around this difficulty.

The conditions are in place and it starts immediately. We adults get into a kind of inertia and we end up saying, Well, it’s what we expected, but it’s not what we expected. So at that point, the interesting thing to do is to put up a stop sign, so that someone can pick up on this situation, make it explicit, articulate the problem and find different devices to get around it.

We have designed in each of the areas several devices according to the specific situation. That is, how many students are there, what is the difficulty they have? The goal is to identify the difficulty and find different solutions—different causes call for different responses. We also identify a few possibilities the teachers have, and if they are not in place, we start to generate them and to work alongside those teachers to be able to think up devices. In some cases, the school principal’s office makes a proposal related to interventions; in other cases, the matter is discussed with teachers in order to build things alongside them.

And in other instances, the teachers themselves are the ones who create proposals that enable the student to keep moving forward. And again, it depends on the situation, depends on the teacher. We create the devices, or they create the devices, or we create them jointly, or the principal’s office creates the devices that allow students to overcome the obstacle. But the pyramid does occur, make no mistake, it’s immediate, and it requires paying close attention, because the feeling one gets is, it’s such a finely woven fabric that you don’t even realize it and you get caught in that net.