Advances and challenges: the essence of the Educator Nota 10 Prize

Following Brazilian Basic Education from the perspective of the teacher for 22 years

Photo of a card written "Acknowledgment" hanging from a scenic tree.

We believe in Education as the result of everyone’s involvement, commitment and responsibility. Brazilian society has increasingly recognized its power to change the present and the future, to drive prosperity and development and to preserve democracy. Education is, at the same time, attitude and hope, dedication and promise, innovation and continuity. The country needs to move forward in the implementation of public policies that result in educational quality for each and everyone

We have many challenges towards quality Education for more than 48 million students from all over Brazil. We know that isolated actions will not realize solving these problems at the speed required. That is why this Prize is made by many hands with the union of efforts of Abril, Globo, Victor Civita Foundation and Roberto Marinho Foundation for its realization. It also has the support of Nova Escola, Instituto Rodrigo Mendes, Unicef, BDO, the sponsorship of the Lemann Foundation and Somos Educação and the institutional support of Consed, Instituto Natura, Todos pela Educação e Undime. Since 2018, the Educator Nota 10 Prize has been associated with the Global Teacher Prize. Together to value this profession is fundamental for the development of the country.

With more than two decades of existence, the Educator Nota 10 Prize accompanied and continues observing changes in pedagogical practices, investment in continuing training, advances in infrastructure conditions and expansion of students’ length of stay in school. The universalization of access has been an achievement in recent years, although there are still issues to be faced, such as the challenge of quality and the fight against educational and social inequalities. We are in the middle of the validity of the National Education Plan (2014-2024) and so far none of the 20 goals outlined by this law, unanimously approved by the National Congress, has been met. And educators continue to work in schools across Brazil.

We recognize the work done by these teachers, like so many others that exist in the country, such as dedicated professionals who reflect about their reality and pedagogical practices. It is these experiences that must be shared and valued to inspire other good practices across the country. The 4.876 applications received in the 2019 edition say a lot about the teaching craft, about educational practices and students. They also reveal investments in study, because 58% of these teachers are graduate, 524 have a master’s degree and 101, a doctorate. There is an incredible diversity of contexts and scenarios, with representatives of capitals and very small cities, environments with support for educating and others with very few resources. What do they have in common? They are teachers and managers who believe in their power to transform childhoods and youths, to feed dreams, to discover talents and train ethical and able professional.

The projects submitted by them are read, evaluated and pre-selected, then begins a stage of interviews and request and analysis of materials that prove the accomplishment of the work and the positive impact on learning. The selectors analyze, write reports and defend the practices of excellence for the entire team, which votes for the best to generate the list of 50 finalists and choose the 10 winners. It is a rigorous process that lasts for months and relies on five guiding criteria: equity and inclusion as values; inspiration for applicability in other contexts; learning evidence; didactic advances and challenges: the look of the Educator Nota 10 Prize and a clear correlation between the proposed learning and the guidelines of the National Common Curriculum Base (BNCC). Each report that passes through the sieve of the selectors contributes to understand challenges, advances and difficulties that affect these educators. We are aware that these are only a glimpse of the Brazilian reality, because more than 87% of those enrolled in 2019 work in public schools and almost 60% of them come from the South and Southeast of the country. Even so, the observations of our Academy of Selectors update the educational debate.

We noticed these advances:

  • investment in continuing or specific training programs in collaborative networks that stimulate exchanges of knowledge;
  • in the expansion of school time in public and private schools, allowing students to experience diverse activities, including physical and cultural activities;
  • in the recognition of diversities in all its forms: learning rhythms, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and regionalities;
  • in the search for teaching methodologies that promote the role of students in their learning process;
  • the use of the Common National Curriculum Base (BNCC) as a reference for the construction of curricula and planning practices;
  • in the attitude of teachers, who take it upon themselves to become researchers and creators of knowledge, cultural and educational.

We have discovered challenges:

  • inclusion of all students – with and without deficiencies – in the teaching and learning process;
  • existence of schools with lower performance than the goals established by national evaluations, such as Prova Brasil and Basic Education Assessment System (Saeb);
  • evasion and abandonment due to the distance or difficulty of transport between home and school or the demotivation of students;
  • precariousness of infrastructure and technological resources;
  • lack of continuity of educational policies;
  • little use of active methodologies and collaborative learning environments;
  • lack of guarantee of pedagogical meetings and shared working hours between teachers and managers.

In addition to these, there are many aspects that hinder the progress of teaching-learning relationships. We argue that it is necessary to rethink the school in its times and spaces, to reorganize it, seeking integration between the areas and taking into account the contexts and life trajectories of the students.

We dedicate this Prize to all teachers and managers, for their courage to honestly expose their practices, their challenges, their insecurities and anguish. They are professionals who reinvent themselves every day, who learn from situations and problems brought by students. They don’t surrender, get involved, invest much more than time and accept fewer rewards than they should enjoy. We want to continue a selection process that stimulates, supports and, listens and makes the winners inspiration for all educators in our country. We know that making the teaching career attractive, with fair wages and adequate support for work are urgent measures. We need to effect the valorization of teachers and school managers in all spheres. And work for better conditions to ensure quality Education, essential to achieve a fairer and more developed society As an Educator Nota 10 Prize, we raise this flag and invite you. Let’s go together!

 

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Professor, a profissão que forma todas as profissões.

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)