Continuing Preparation

The experiences with continuing preparation before 2011 were not very significant. Below information about some of those efforts will be presented. Beginning in 2011 the reform of Mathematics Education was begun in the country.

Teacher Professional Development for Grades 1 to 6

Teacher professional development for grades 1 to 6 (cycles I and II) has been offered, mainly, by the following Costa Rican institutions: The College of Graduates and Teachers of Letters, Philosophy, Sciences and Art (a professional association to which all teachers and even certain university scholars should belong by law); the Omar Dengo Foundation (which was created more than 25 years ago to promote informatics for primary and secondary students); the MEP through the Uladislao Gamez Solano Institute for Professional Development (IDP-UGS), and public universities (Barrantes et al. 2010).

The efforts of the MEP to reinforce the idea of a process of continuing and permanent preparation of teachers were considered in the National Plan for Professional Development. That plan was approved by the Higher Council of Education in 1971 with the support of UNESCO. However, the efforts have been scattered, not well articulated and without significant consequences for professional development (Venegas 2010, cited in Estado de la Education 3, 2011).

Between 1991 and 1995, to support new programs of study, regional advisers and university specialists provided professional development to almost 16,000 educators (Estado de la Education 3, 2011). Beginning in 2006 a Plan to Improve

Achievement in 200 School Days (Plan 200 of the MEP) was proposed. One of the activities was the professional development of the teaching force. The last two weeks of every school year were chosen for this professional development (Venegas 2010, cited by Estado de la Education 3, 2011). However, these actions have not had a significant impact on classroom practice.

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