Organization of American States Department of<br />Human Development
Quality in Basic Education - 6th edition

Professional Development Scholarship Program

Quality in Basic Education - 6th edition[1]          


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OAS/DHDEC/CIR.060/2011 

1) Study venue: The course will be delivered entirely online (Internet) through the Educational Portal of the Americas Virtual Classroom.

2) Course Coordinator: Claudia Paredes – email:  portal@oas.org

3) Modality: Online

4) Start and end dates: September 13 to December 06, 2011

5) Duration: 12 weeks

6) Language: English

7) Objectives: This course offers an introduction to the philosophy of quality education. Its objective is to provide primary and secondary-level school teachers and administrators with the conceptual and methodological tools necessary to improve basic educational services from a team-based approach. Quality in education – as conceived within this course – is understood as a means of providing students with the skills and attitudes needed for comprehending and working with basic cultural codes, developing an appreciation for democratic participation and citizenship, the development of general problem solving skills and positive attitudes towards life-long learning as well as the development of values and attitudes that support a society that appreciates quality of life for all of its inhabitants.

8) Methodology: The course will be taught under the academic supervision of specialist tutors in place to support and orient the participants who will be expected to take a highly active role in the learning process. The participants will be introduced to a study methodology based around 4 main steps for each module: 1 – Read the material of the corresponding module. 2 – Read the forum discussion questions that have been developed for each module to encourage greater understanding and future investigation regarding the themes introduced in the readings of the module, and begin thinking of possible responses. 3 – Participants are then required to participate in the forum discussions that take place during and after the time allotted for the completion of module readings. Participants are asked to give their responses to the modules questions and to comment on the responses given by other participants and by the tutor. 4 – Complete the module assignment that serves to demonstrate to the tutor, each students understanding and control of the readings and topics within.

In order to facilitate a high level of interaction throughout the course, it is encouraged that students take advantage of all methods of communication available in the virtual classroom of the Educational Portal of the Americas including: the Chat (synchronous communication), Instant Messaging (synchronous and asynchronous), the Forums (asynchronous), and the Integrated Email (asynchronous).

9) Course Content:

Introduction to the Virtual Classroom.

Module 1 – Introduction to the philosophy of total quality education: In module one, the principal objectives of education are explored and some ideas linked to the philosophy of total quality as applied to education are presented.

Module 2 – Resolving problems in the school: In this module, a simple methodology for evaluating and resolving problems is presented. Problems that have the potential to affect the quality of educational services offered in basic education are also analyzed.

Module 3 – Quality in the school context: Explanations are offered regarding the reasons why the search for quality should be undertaken always while keeping in mind the specific contexts within which it is being sought.

Module 4 – Quality as a process: In this module the concept of quality understood as a process and not as a product is analyzed. Specifically, participants will analyze the processes of planning, teaching, the relations between schools and the community, teachers and families and also the process of overcoming challenges as a professional. Module 5 – Quality of education and participation in the process: In this module, the benefits of working as a team are analyzed and the concept of the “quality cycle” is presented along with examples of how this type of cycle can be used to resolve problems. Module 6 – Quality of education and leadership: Module 6 is dedicated to the roles of the directors of schools. In this module the functions that directors must perform and the responsibilities that they assume as education leaders are explained.

Module 7 – Quality and continuous personal improvement: This module is dedicated to the people that make up the school system. Herein it is explained in which ways the search for continuous improvement of educational services involves as a component the continuous search for personal improvement of each and every individual linked to scholastic activities.

Module 8 – Planning and Evaluation for Quality: In this module, themes related to planning are evaluated. The characteristics of plans are explained, including principal components that should be included and methods for incorporating the PDCA cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). Module 9 – Quality requires Community Participation: this module is dedicated to the families and communities that surround Basic education systems. Explanations are developed as to why it is crucial to create and expand links between schools and families/communities. Ideas and strategies are then given regarding how to better develop these linkages. Module 10 – Implications regarding quality: This module explains the implications of quality improvement for those working on this theme and the reasons why it is important to share achievements and understandings with regard to how these achievements have been made. Comprehensive Evaluation: Final project to integrate new concepts with local realities, final evaluations.

10) Requirements:

· Citizenship or permanent residence of an OAS Member State [2], with the exception of the United States since is the host country.

  • Participants should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent.
  • Be currently employed as a primary or secondary level school teacher or administrator, or teacher trainer and 02 years of experience in the field of study.

· Possess basic computer and internet skills.

· Be fluent in English

· Be able to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week for course activities.

· Be a registered user in the Educational Portal of the Americas (www.educoas.org)

· Have an e-mail account, reliable and efficient. (E-mail accounts are personal and cannot be shared)

· Submission of completed application form by the deadline set by the National Liaison Organization (ONE).[3] It is the candidate’s responsibility to ascertain the deadline set by the ONE in his or her country of residence.

11) OAS Scholarship Selection Criteria: In accordance with article 4.2 of the Manual of Procedures of the Scholarship and Training Programs of the OAS, OAS scholarships shall be granted based on the following criteria:

· The objectives and priorities established in the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development;

· The training priorities of the member states;

· The merits and overall credentials of the candidate, including his/her academic and professional background;

· The financial need of the candidate; and

· An extensive and equitable geographic distribution for the benefit of all member states and that takes into account the greater needs of the smaller and relatively less developed economies.

12) Benefits: The OAS Department of Human Developments, Education and Culture and the Educational Portal of the Americas will cover the total of the tuition fees for the selected candidates.

13) Certification: Participants who successfully complete the course requirements will receive a certificate for the successful completion of the course.

14) Responsibilities of the Scholarship Recipients:

· The selected candidates must confirm their acceptance of the scholarship by signing and returning to DHDEC their completed “form of acceptance of the scholarship award” that will be sent shortly to their e-mails; only after this has been done will the OAS proceed with the necessary scholarship arrangements.

· If the fellow declines, cancels or terminates the Scholarship after the course or program has started without providing the GS/OAS with a compelling reason, he or she will have to reimburse GS/OAS the total amount of incurred costs/expenses.

· Access to technological hardware and connectivity (internet and email) costs are responsibility of the participant. Have unrestricted access to a computer with Internet with following minimum technical specifications:

Processor

  • 500MHz, Pentium II or equivalent OS: Windows 98, NT, 2000 or XP, Apple Macintosh G3 or G4

Memory

  • 64Mb or better

Monitor

  • Minimum resolution 800 x 600

Internet Access

  • 56K modem or faster

Applications

  • JavaScript active, Cookies active

Browsers

  • Netscape 4.76 or more recent (for Windows),
  • Internet Explorer 6, newer (for Macintosh), or 6 newer (for Windows),
  • Mozilla 1.0 or Opera 6 for Windows.

Software

  • Adobe reader 8 or superior
    Flash 7.0, Multimedia is optional; antivirus


15. Presentation of candidacies:

Please Notice: If you were awarded an OAS Professional Development Scholarship in the past twelve (12) months or if you currently hold an OAS Scholarship for Academic Studies, you are not eligible to apply for another Professional Development Scholarship.

REQUIRED APPLICATION DOCUMENTATION:

Once the applicant has completed the online application form and submitted it, a copy will be sent automatically to his/her e-mail account. This completed form must be printed, signed and submitted to the Organization of American States through the National Liaison Office that serves as the official channel established by the Government of each country (ONE). This is a mandatory requirement.

All the additional forms must be completed electronically or in typewritten format.

The following is the list of National Liaison Organizations (ONEs) in the OAS Member states: http://www.educoas.org/portal/en/oasbecas/ones.aspx?culture=en&navid=282

Any questions regarding submission of applications for this course should be sent to: PDSP@oas.org

IMPORTANT NOTICE: THESE SCHOLARSHIPS ARE SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS CORRESPONDING TO THE 2011 REGULAR BUDGET