Why do our children, who learn so well at home, show so much difficulty at school?
It was 1991, when the failure and dropout rate in Brazil reached frightening numbers. The same profile took place in the microcosm of the Aldeia de Rio Bonito, a unit of the SOS Villages * in the south of São Paulo. There, educators and managers, volunteers and donors were looking for a solution to the problem, realizing the need to look for a different way of teaching that would better match the way of learning from public school students; that managed to arouse interest in school content and favor its assimilation.
The first step was to look for success stories: How do those teachers who always get a good performance from their students? What happens in those times when everything goes well for most teachers?
This research and the consultation of the specialized literature resulted in a proposal to improve teaching and prioritize the permanence in schools of children at risk of school failure or dropout. Labor Pedagogical Proposal.
A pilot project was applied (for 13 years) at a small elementary school - "Labor First Grade School Hermann Gmeiner" - to test and perfect the Labor Teaching Proposal. The school started in 1992, with 25% of children from Aldeia SOS in Rio Bonito and 75% of students from surrounding public schools, those children who repeat and which schools considered “lost cases, without learning conditions”.
The experience was essential to confirm the correctness of the new proposal and better adjust it to the school reality.
In 1995, the Labor Proposal was mentioned in the collection Raízes e Asas, a survey of innovative school experiences edited by CENPEC with support from UNICEF. From that year on, some public schools interested in learning more about the proposal also appeared.
In 1997, four public schools in São Paulo participated in a 2-year course on transferring the methodology of the Labor proposal. The main objective was to instruct educators to be co-authors of more effective teaching for children and adolescents at risk of exclusion from school.
This course was the subject of research by PUCSP with support from FAPESP and VITAE. It was a very important research for Labor, because, in addition to endorsing the proposal and the way to introduce it in public schools, it brought a new challenge: the verification of the importance of the principals to effect the changes in the school.
In 2000, Labor returned to research and elaborate a democratic school management proposal, with tools that facilitate the elaboration of Pedagogical Political Projects with the entire school community, as recommended by the LDB of 1996.
From the foundation of the organization in 1991 to 2015, 45 different projects were developed, involving many partners, in several Brazilian states, with 2,841 schools, directly reaching 21,500 educators, of which 2,560 with individual guidance. Indirectly, around 1,492,450 students were benefited. In addition, the “Labor pedagogy” has directly influenced many other projects whose pedagogical proposal was directly inspired by the way in which this organization works. This was the case, for example, with the Fonte da Vida Project (80 schools in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, with the transfer of methodology to schools in Argentina) and the Genesis Project (90 schools in Espírito Santo, with the transfer of methodology and didactic material for schools in the Principality of Asturias - region in northern Spain). Find out more in Success Stories.
Labor's work is based on the premise that children's education is an indispensable channel for socialization. Today, without school, exclusion is inevitable.
* NGO founded in Austria in 1949 that is dedicated to welcoming children deprived of their families, offering them a life as similar as possible to that of a natural family.