UNOi education is the most innovative educational project in Latin America and dates back to 1990 within Santilliana, the biggest educational group in Portuguese and Spanish in the world, present in 22 countries. The project is also present in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. In Brazil alone we are a network of more than 400 partner schools, with more than 130 thousand students.
Our transformational education project is an initiative that emerged to meet today’s educational needs. At UNOi we study, discuss and integrate the best practices in the international educational community to discover and suggest innovative paths for our partner schools. Our purpose is to promote a structural change within schools, combining discussions regarding educational principles from the 21st century with the most advanced knowledge in pedagogy, technology, bilingual education, assessment and continuing education of the teaching staff.
UNOi education was elected by the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) as one of the 50 most innovative educational initiatives in Latin America.
UNOi education project is based on values, challenges and goals. We work towards a school that is inspired, intelligent, innovative, interactive, integral and international.
Schools need to reinvent themselves, discuss new ideas, new practices. Think differently and do what hasn’t been done.
Schools need to think about their role. They need to think what makes sense for the contemporary students, how they learn and get ready for the future.
Schools need to innovate in order to make sense. What ideas help a school to change? What type of attitudes can create the school yet to come?
Schools need to learn collectively. They need to create and make use of spaces designed for interactivity and sharing. It goes further than content: it is the creation of a learning experience.
Schools need to be built around curiosity, creativity, doubts and uncertainty. They need to inspire compassion, generosity, dignity.
Schools need to be connected with the world, different ways of living, feeling and thinking. They need to cultivate a bilingual education.
TO BE HUMAN IS TO BE WHOLE
We are unique and complex. We’ll have a fragmented and outdated education if we keep separating nature and culture, body and mind or reason and emotion, while in this world of constant transformation. We’ll remain paralyzed by illnesses such as stress, anxiety and depression – at an increasingly earlier age. Our challenge is to educate for today, to build a world of self-awareness, physical and mental health, sustainability, citizenship and ethics.
A LIFE OF PEACE EVERYWHERE
To reach world peace we need to cultivate peace wherever we live. We promote peace when we respect the environment and the diversity of human beings, whether it’s ethnic, social or economic; when we recognize multiculturality as a value. When we understand that despite having different interests, we can still converge towards a peaceful life. To educate towards peace is to take care of our everyday actions, both in the physical and in the digital world, and to collaborate for the well-being of everyone.
EMOTIONS TO LEARN
There’s learning only where there’s interest. Human beings don’t pay attention to something new if there’s no desire for the discovery itself, just like they don’t remember something they don’t value: you need to get emotionally attached in order to learn. Our emotions are also subject to our relations. To acknowledge your own emotions and those of others is the starting point for us to collaborate, have self-criticism and the ability to deal with challenges.
RISK DOING, DARE TO ERR
Creativity is not exclusive for geniuses, artists and inventors. To create is to be willing to risk, experiment, investigate, imagine, go back, persist and allow yourself to make mistakes. Let’s value the attempts, the flaws and the learning that is conquered collectively and by experience, by getting your hands on. To learn by making and creating with others is the best way to develop the skills you need to solve problems, make decisions and work in teams.
It is limiting to use technology for outdated tasks. To think technologically is to develop our digital proficiency. To master and use effectively each device and resource. To create solutions collaboratively and to build bridges between citizens from different backgrounds, respectfully and ethically. To educate to think technologically is to lead our students towards the discovery of their own development paths.
TO GROW AS A NETWORK TO GROW STRONGER
Intelligence within a network is the best way to generate knowledge. Network among students, educators, collaborators and managers. Network between schools. Collaborative work allows us to expand our social circles and resonate good practices. In a network, we can go beyond boarders and find the opportunity to grow together, respecting and learning from our differences, background and aptitudes.
PLAN THE PRESENT
The present is the most important moment of our lives, because it is the only one that’s within our reach. Our current social and economic reality present us with challenges that were previously unimaginable, and what worked in the past may not be a good solution now. To plan the present with perspective and conscience is to commit to what we are today and to hold ourselves accountable for tomorrow.
INNOVATION EMBRACES UNCERTAINTY
To assume that human knowledge is changeable and incomplete is essential to create new ideas and projects. The ever-so-desired certainty can paralyze us and let us settle for less. Uncertainty, however, shelters the principles of restlessness, curiosity, plurality and transformation. To acknowledge the value of doubt is the starting point for innovation in the most dynamic and complex society that we’ve ever seen.
EVALUATIONS ARE MORE THAN JUST MEASURING
We evaluate so we can redefine routes, pinpoint what we need to work on and offer new opportunities. Evaluation is not an end goal but rather a process. It is like collecting evidence, validating what worked and providing the opportunity to correct our mistakes. A good assessment is co-responsible and serves all players involved in learning. It values the different stages of development and favors the progress of each and every one at once.
A learning environment is one that allows investigation, interaction and discovery. It is an educator by itself that can work everywhere, both inside as well as outside the classrooms and school walls. As any educator, the environment must adapt to the learning process, not the other way around. It must be ready to transform, embracing technology and transcending the physical space.