Learning and Teaching in Mexico

Isabel García
March 1, 2016

My experience with Redes deIsabel García Tutoría Aprender con Interés A.C. has been transformative. I have learned a methodology that gives students the opportunity to take ownership of their learning, to challenge the traditional schooling hierarchy, and to reflect deeply on their individual processes. My many encounters with tutoría, which range from observing students in a classroom setting, to training educators in the model, to critically discussing the future of the practice with founder Dr. Gabriel Cámara, have left me tremendously hopeful about the future of learning and thoroughly convinced that Redes de Tutoría will continue to make a difference throughout Mexico and beyond.

My role within the organization is multi-faceted and diverse. Most notably, Aron Lesser and I have designed and realized a website for teachers practicing tutoría. The website includes a virtual library with a catalogue of all the lesson plans, an interactive map with contact information to connect our teachers, and a space for participants to share their own tutoría lessons as well as their experiences. For teachers without access to a reliable Internet connection, we have downloaded the content of the website onto USB drives that will be distributed by local authorities.

Redes de Tutoría

Another project has been the creation of materials that will be part of the new curriculum enforced by the National Council for the Promotion of Education (CONAFE). I developed a lesson on spatial relations (ubicación espacial), and trained multiple educators in the pedagogy of tutoría using the lesson I created. As part of the curriculum development, we have supported CONAFE by providing well-written found texts in English that are linked to each specific lesson, to provide even the most low resource schools with access and exposure to English. In addition, there has been a financial component to help secure funding for the future of tutoría, and I have contributed to this endeavor through grant writing and presenting our projects to authorities and donors.

To say the least, these past few months have provided me with more practical and lifelong skills than I could have ever anticipated. Not to mention, my Spanish, both written and oral, has undeniably improved. It has been a powerful experience that has pushed me to re-evaluate my own understanding of learning, and has taught me to truly respect everyone’s capacity to both learn and teach.

Want to support future PiLA fellows' work with Redes de Tutoría? Donate here and send us an email at pila@princeton.edu to let us know that you'd like your donation to go directly to Redes de Tutoría fellowships.