What do we teach?

What education topics do we currently cover?

Early childhood /Primary infancy (Including health topics, nutrition, early stimulation)

Everybody recognizes the importance of the early years of a child’s life and its impact on a child’s health, well-being and lifelong learning. We are part of the Regional Network for Early Childhood that aligns priorities to support young children and their families.

The parents, caregivers, guardians and staff who work in early childhood education services have a major influence on children’s learning and development and there is considerable research evidence pointing to a strong link between the levels of staff training and the quality of early childhood education services. This obviously justifies the importance of offering staff the latest in-service training.

We focus on “in-service” training for teachers in Primary and Secondary schools. This means that we work with teachers who wish to improve their knowledge, training levels and overall ability to teach children of all ages. We currently organise courses and workshops on:

  • Developing math skills. This is particularly important because only 2.4% of children in the 5th year of secondary education in the Cusco region achieve what is classified as the sufficient grades in Logical Mathematics. This number drops to a mere  1.8% of children in the 6th year of primary school in the same region. We work on a regional level using the proven Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT) method. More information and resources on the program (in both English and Spanish) can be found at the CIMT website here.
  • Citizenship. In a country with such a turbulent history, where there are over 10 languages which people may consider their mother tongue, and where people used to be officially given a place in society based on the tone of their skin, it is vital to mend the damages done by the past and improve relations between Peruvians.
  • Heritage education. With a history as rich and diverse as that of Peru, it is hugely important that children learn about their past, in order to understand who they are and where they come from. We work both in schools, and in communities to improve the understanding of Peruvian heritage.
  • Nutrition. We are part of a regional network targeting nutrition issues in both the Urubamba area and in Huayopata. Members of the Hummingbird Collective has been invited to give talks in rural communities, and have also developed materials which have been presented on a regional scale.

Community development issues

It always baffled us that the big majority of regional and local authorities do not have a basic updated diagnostic of the situation they currently live in and wish to change. In 2011, the Hummingbird Collective elaborated an extensive diagnostic of the Huayopata district in La Convencion province, which you can see here. Setting priorities can only be done after a diagnostic and with that information we put our Project Cycle Management into action. Sharing this expertise is one of our priorities and we try to “asesorar” all local organisations and institutions that are interested.

Intercultural competencies

There are many aspects to becoming a global citizen, and one of the most important areas is developing an awareness and understanding of the variety and relevance of all cultures and being able to communicate effectively within this variety.
Although developing a cultural awareness helps bridge cultural differences, it is not sufficient. Acknowledging cultural differences and understanding how they affect thoughts, feelings and actions is only a first step. If the complexities of culture and cultural differences are to be handled in an effective way, it is essential to be systematic. We familiarize course participants with methods and strategies that allow them to develop their own “system”.

Conflict management

We believe that Conflict management is not only a matter of direct intervention through mediation, but also requires indirect interventions such as media coverage or other social activities related to the conflict. During these courses we aim to make the participant aware of the bigger picture (structural violence) involved in the elaboration of sustainable solutions. We teach participants how to maximize all contributions using guidelines and toolkits. We teach that situations in which incompatible goals are set by different groups do not have to inevitably lead to conflict when citizens are effectively prepared in conflict management. Our courses include communication, concepts, conflict dynamics, as well as how to respond to conflict and build peace.

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