PHOTOS: 10 Chileans Participate in Innovative Teaching Program At Framingham State University

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FRAMINGHAM – Ten teachers from Chile completed their month-long stay at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, studying in a graduate-level class on teaching innovation.

The teachers participated in a graduate-level course, met with educators and researchers from Harvard and Lesley University, visited cultural and educational institutions, and immersed themselves in the Framingham public schools.

The teachers were part of a highly competitive selection for a cohort of teachers committed to
learning about best practices in teaching and sharing those practices in Chile.

The ChileMass Teachers Program is a key initiative of the Chile Massachusetts Alliance, Inc. (ChileMass), a non-profit based in Boston, which is building a bridge of knowledge and innovation between Chile and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

ChileMass is focused on four interconnected sectors for the future: economic development, sustainable energy, technology and education.

The ChileMass Teachers Program is a nine-month, three phase program designed to provide
teachers access to the most successful teaching and learning practices and resources available
in the United States and arguably the world.

“Education is the foundation. We want to support teaching that encourages independent,
curious and creative learners, and match that with the language of innovation — which is most
often English — for the next generation to create their future. Massachusetts is the center of
many of the world’s best universities, and their public education is the best in the United States. We believe this partnership helps our teachers, and at the same time offers international
connections — especially for Spanish, science, and green technology — to American teachers to
enhance their teaching,” said Fernanda Soza, Executive Director of ChileMass.

After selection to the program in January 2021, teachers participated in Phase One: intensive
online English classes to develop their professional English. They researched topics in pedagogy and gave presentations to prepare for their stay in Framingham.

Phase Two began when teachers arrived at Framingham State University on September 5, to
live on campus and participate in student life. In addition to their class Universal Design for
Learning (UDL), teachers developed their teaching skills in Experiential Learning, with specialized visits to museums.

Following strict COVID protocols, teachers were allowed into the
public schools to observe theory turned into practice in the American classroom — shadowing
teachers in English, Science, History, Math, and Robotics.

They spent time at Walsh Middle School in Framingham, among other schools.

During the month, teachers met with researchers to discuss the emotional and creative aspects
of learning. In a Lesley University workshop about the powerful impact of negative experiences
on children’s learning and behavior, teachers began to explore strategies to create safe and
supportive schools (Trauma Sensitive Schools). In a discussion with Harvard University’s
Project Zero, teachers engaged in questions and answers about design and maker-learning in
the classroom.

As one teacher explained, “For me, getting to know a new culture, customs, language…in an
educational context was a tremendously enriching experience, and is what I most appreciate
about the program. This country and its people opened its doors to us and showed us how they do things in this place, being loving and very respectful with us, inspiring us not only to be better teachers, but to be better people. It was also great to meet other colleagues from different schools in Chile, and to be able to share our experiences in another country. It allowed us to open our visions of the world and how education works here in the US.”

As teachers return to Chile for Phase Three, they will prepare and present professional
development workshops for their colleagues and school administrators, with topics such as:
Developing Flexible Learning Environments (Universal Design for Learning), Creating Safe and
Supportive Classrooms (Social Emotional Learning/Trauma Sensitive Schools), and Comparing
Chilean and American Teaching.

Once the third phase of the program is complete, Teachers will join ChileMass’s Innovation
Community and become Mentors to the 2022 ChileMass Teachers who will come to
Framingham in February.



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