Educational reform was topic of new Yale-Brazil leadership program

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Stefan Pryor, commissioner of education for the State of Connecticut, led a discussion and question-and-answer session during the program. (Photo by Harold Shapiro

Reforming Brazil’s educational system was the focus of a leadership program held at Yale recently at the invitation of Lemann Foundation, a Brazilian non-profit organization focused on education.

Titled “Leading Educational Reforms: Empowering Brazil for the 21st Century,” the initiative marked “the first time we have hosted a group from Brazil for this type of leadership program,” says João Aleixo, associate director for Latin America in the Yale Office of International Affairs. “We are so pleased to be working with the Lemann Foundation on this important initiative.”

The 35 participants in the program included members of Brazil’s National Congress, state and municipal secretaries of education, officials from foundations and civil society organizations, and representatives of other stakeholders in Brazil’s education system.

During their time in New Haven, the participants discussed education reform in Brazil and developed an action plan they could implement upon returning home. The group heard from Yale faculty — including President-elect Peter Salovey, and psychiatrist Walter Gilliam of the Yale Child Study Center — as well as the school administrators, policymakers, and advocates who helped to develop and promote the common core and other reforms in the United States. Opening the program was Connecticut’s commissioner of education, Stefan Pryor, an alumnus of Yale College and the Yale Law School, who spoke about educational reforms in Connecticut. The participants also visited schools in the New Haven area where they met with administrators, teachers, and students. The program at Yale will be followed by another session in Brazil in October 2013.

“We see this program as another significant building block not only for our goal of enhancing the quality of public education in Brazil, but also in our partnership with Yale,” said Denis Mizne, executive director of Lemann Foundation and an alumnus of the Yale World Fellows Program.

Yale and the Lemann Foundation have been working together on programs like the Yale World Fellows, a leadership training program for emerging leaders in different sectors around the world, and Yale Partnerships for Global Health, an innovative program aimed at building human research capacity through education and training. Both programs are led by Dr. Michael Cappello, professor of pediatrics, microbial pathogenesis, and public health at the Yale School of Medicine. Yale is also working closely with the Lemann Foundation to support the Brazilian government’s Science without Borders program.

Lemann Foundation is a non-profit organization, created in 2002 by Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann. The foundation works to enhance the quality of public education in Brazil by designing and implementing programs that will enhance the management of education and teacher efficacy, funding educational research and spreading the results, and investing in talent engaged with transforming Brazil.

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