137 We had barely set up the primary school in it, and the next thing we knew was that the middle school was being opened, and the high school was on its way. Again using funds out of his own and his siblings’ pockets, he started construction on a new building, to which we would transfer the primary school, freeing up the older building for middle school and the future high school. The action had to be quick because the pace at which the Colégio was growing was such that we were running out of time.” Ligeia Stivanin adds further that it was a new school model, based on the North American campuses: “I heard it from José Ermírio that the inspiration was the Colorado school he went to, which had plenty of space, areas for sports, and a holistic education (body and mind). The buildings with spacious rooms also stem from that model.” The team leading the new unit innovated in comparison to Rio Branco Higienópolis in many respects. “For example, we worked with a literacy primer that was put together in the house. There was a group of very young educators who took a more constructivist approach, based on the work of Emilia Ferreiro, from Argentina. Much of our focus was on creativity and critical knowledge. That made a good impression on the local public, who were different and pursued other priorities,” Ligeia Stivanin recalls, stressing that in no way did that mean breaking with the Colégio’s tradition or the line it followed. Not only did it introduce all those innovations in a relatively short amount of time, the Granja Vianna Unit still had plenty of space in which to carry on with the activities of the now extremely traditional Lar Escola Rotary and take on any such other plans it might arise. In the meanwhile, backed up by the power of its tradition and quality teaching, combined with facilities constantly updated, Rio Branco Higienópolis remained in a prominent position. The current general principal of Colégio Rio Branco, Esther de Almeida Pimentel Mendes Carvalho —a student between 1976 and 1981, when she graduated from high school— shows in her testimony what the institution then meant to those who went to school there: “I entered at age 13, in 6th grade. Here I met my friends and was given every means to secure my cultural development, besides learning the contents proper. I had real educators, such as Valdir Fernandes, who was my go-to teacher, and teacher Primo Páscoli Melaré, who was excellent at literature.” The Fundação’s administration was updated as well, and one of the practical results of that process was a substantial restatement of the By-law approved in 1984. The governing bodies were now three. The first was the Board of Directors, now consisting of seven members representing São Paulo city’s oldest Rotary Clubs: Rotary Club de São Paulo, whose membership included the 20 Rotarians who founded the institution, would have a right to elect the president and 1st vice president, whereas the other seats on the Board of Directors would be taken by representatives of the São Paulo Leste, São Paulo Sul, São Paulo Santo Amaro, São Paulo Norte and São Paulo Oeste clubs, all of which were created in the early 1950s. The Advisory Board was maintained, and the Fundação gained a Superior Council, which would consist of not only the last 20 presidents of Rotary Club de São Paulo, but also any members of Rotary Clubs based in the São Paulo state capital who might have been district governors. The idea, according to teacher Nórton Batista, was to “bring the governors inside the Fundação, causing it to be more fully integrated with the Rotary movement.” One of the results of that change would appear a few years later, when a governor was the first ever chosen to be president of the Board of Directors —which will be shown further on. Emilia Ferreiro and literacy Starting in the 1980s, Argentine psycholinguist Emilia Ferreiro has become a leading authority on the theme of literacy. A Jean Piaget disciple, she has raised doubts about traditional methods of teaching reading and writing. Criticizing literacy primers that made children but mere passive receivers who should only repeat and memorize, Emilia highlighted that children play an active role in learning. According to her studies, in the literacy learning process, children start from the knowledge they already have, and then they build, each at their own pace, their understanding of the workings of the written language.
Livro Comemorativo dos 70 anos da Fundação de Rotarianos de São Paulo - Uma história de ideias e ideais
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