Equity-Centered Education in Brazil

Our work in Brazil focuses on the whole learner, closing learning gaps and expanding the representation of diverse voices in policies, school curricula, research and leadership. We support Brazilian education initiatives and programs that understand learning can happen inside and outside the classroom and are equity-centered because we know that real systemic change for learners requires a fully embedded racial justice and equity lens.

The Challenge

Brazil's education system provides opportunity paths for the privileged few and not for the vast majority of learners. Structural racism permeates the system, resulting in wildly different learning outcomes. Not surprisingly, there is a significant underrepresentation of Black and Indigenous groups in positions of power. This cyclical inequity is compounded as teachers continue to be undervalued, and education remains a low priority in many households. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these problems, while also accelerating the need for equitable edtech, especially for communities with limited access to resources.

What If

Imagine a world where learners, families, educators and communities are co-creating a shared vision of education aimed at holistic development. Where learners have a strong sense of identity, self-worth and agency. Where learners of all backgrounds are represented at all levels of the education system. Where learning gaps are closed and learning experiences are rooted in justice, dignity, compassion, collaboration and democracy. This is the future that we imagine and are co-creating with our partners.

Our Approach

We know that challenges in education systems are highly complex and often based on deep explicit and implicit patterns. That’s why we take a systems approach to begin to see and understand these patterns. We engage with stakeholders and partners across multiple backgrounds to gather rich data, insights and perspectives. Together, we constantly adapt our work so that we are investing in people and ideas at the crossroads of needs and momentum. Watch our video to see how stories connect to underlying systems of inequity.

Explore Our System Map

Our practice involves detailed mapping of the key components of a given system as a way to identify leverage points, which have the potential to yield positive impact.

What We Focus On

Strengthen the Whole Learner

A holistic learning experience positively impacts learners throughout their lives. Key elements include exposure to culturally and contextually relevant curricula and dedicated stakeholders placing the learner at the center. A crucial contributing factor is the professional and personal development of leaders across public policy, districts, and within classrooms. We invest in and support organizations taking a whole-learner approach that contextualizes school curricula, strengthens human capital of the education ecosystem and cultivates family and community engagement.

Foster Community through a Shared Vision of Education

Community engagement in learning inside and outside of school ensures political and collective accountability for quality education. Successful examples illustrate how teachers, administrators and community leaders can showcase how schools are an integral element for overall community outcomes. We support initiatives that promote the interdependence between schools and communities and efforts that build a shared vision for learning through a participatory approach.

Expand Access through Representation

Representation matters. Yet children and young people from historically excluded communities often do not see themselves in leadership positions, undermining real political and decision-making representation. We invest in the career development of values-aligned educators and leaders from Black and Indigenous communities. We rely on local knowledge to guide our approaches. In this way, we’re able to help inform public policy decisions and increase stakeholder accountability.

Ensure Equitable Edtech Is Prioritized

We maintain our focus on what equitable edtech means within Brazil and the structural challenges and opportunities in the space. We continue to watch for equitable edtech solutions while engaging with communities to see where the needs are for further evolving programs. This includes partnerships and alliances with governments, advocacy organizations and values-aligned entrepreneurs to continue supporting innovation in the public education system.

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