148 The College had started out right there two years earlier, upon certification of the Administration course by the MEC, but now, with the new structure, it was ready for expansion. “Now we had a proper university environment to support as many as 2,000 students per shift, which may be a high number in relation to what the demand was at the time of its completion, but allows us to meet the region’s potential future demand,” says Nahid Chicani. In addition to that second campus, the College has generally experienced a very positive development over this decade, according to Edman Altheman. “From eight graduation courses, we now have 20. For post-graduation, we went up from three to 15 options. We have implemented a scientific initiation program and extension programs for the community. We’ve raised the percentage of masters and doctors in our faculty to approximately 90%. We’ve approved the first career plan to be certified among higher education institutions in the State of São Paulo, which is essential for retaining our teachers, who are our main point of difference. Those and other advances have been the result of the Fundação’s commitment to the Faculdades project and to an attitude of always keeping up with new demands and changes in the world,” he says. Colégio Rio Branco has also had several accomplishments in the period. Of those, one of the most important was joining in 2008 the UNESCO Associated Schools Project (ASP), an international network of schools that put into action the principles advocated by that United Nations agency towards improving living conditions and fostering peace around the world through educational projects. As a member of that network, the Colégio keeps in touch with institutions in the other member countries, thus learning about the most advanced of their practices and influencing the renewal of education by means of pilot projects in the field of science and culture. More recently, the Colégio has introduced, in 2014, an innovative experience directed at pre-school pupils: the Modular Bilingual Full-Time Period. In that program, offered both in Higienópolis and Granja Vianna Units, students learn and have fun with a well-planned, dynamic routine that reflects in the development of a sense of responsibility and autonomy. Activities include music, cookery, origami and practical life workshops, as well as sports, reading and role-playing, most of which are conducted in English, increasing the children’s exposure to that language. In the same year, another highly relevant initiative was introduced in the Colégio: the creation of applied technologies laboratories, one in each unit. Equipped with notebooks, tablets and smart TVs, those facilities were designed based on the concept of design thinking, with the support of the MBA Branding Innovation course, from Faculdades Integradas Rio Branco. The space was specifically structured to stimulate collaborative practices and the sharing of ideas amongst students, while encouraging creativity. One of the milestones of that period was the completion, in 2008, of the Fundação’s Political Pedagogical Plan (PPP), which lists the goals, guidelines and actions of the education process to be pursued by its maintained entities. The document is based on a humanistic view of education, which means that both thought and action must be aimed at the development, well-being and dignity of mankind, irrespective of religious, ideological or national ideals and values. While revealing the way in which the institution thinks and acts, it expresses its culture and contributes to transforming it. It defined the guiding principles of the Fundação’s educational action (see Box) and reaffirmed its values, providing the basis for all of the practices in use at maintained entities —which also prepared their own Political Pedagogical Plans, the characteristics of which are adapted to their activity. “That plan has been instrumental to clarifying the Fundação’s educational practices and vision concerning education,” says Marco Rossi. “Outlining our guiding principles has been essential. For example, the first of them is open-mindedness, which means knowing how to listen and coming into contact with the new without Educational Action guiding principles • Being open-minded; • Receiving and educating; • Welcoming diversity; • Instituting curricular flexibility; • Assuming the contents as means; • Taking institutional responsibility for student learning; • Institutionally acknowledging that all of those interacting with families and students are educators; • Making a commitment to continued teacher training; • Fostering an evaluation culture.
Livro Comemorativo dos 70 anos da Fundação de Rotarianos de São Paulo - Uma história de ideias e ideais
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