A Kingston lecturer has been sharing her thoughts on some of the latest developments in the education sector with counterparts in South America. Cynthia Jones, Head of Continuing Professional Development at the School of Education, has started running thinking skills workshops for school teachers and university lecturers in Chile. Ms Jones, who first visited Santiago two years ago, flew out to the Chilean capital again in late November to present her ideas on ways to encourage able pupils to fulfil their potential.
The South American link was forged after Chilean lecturer Josefina Ramirez enrolled on Kingstonâ€™s MA in Education programme. She invited Ms Jones to provide education specialists at the Universidad Andres Bello with advice about raising gifted and talented pupilsâ€™ achievement levels. More than 150 educators attended the two-day workshop. â€œTeaching children to become effective thinkers is now recognised as an important educational goal,â€ Ms Jones said. â€œPupils are being encouraged to develop analytical and evaluation skills so they can solve problems themselves in all areas of the curriculum. Teaching practice in Chile is advancing quickly and staff are keen to learn about the techniques we use in the United Kingdom.â€ Ms Jones has now run another workshop at the Gabriela Mistral University in Santiago.
Mrs Ramirez said she was keen for more of her compatriots to learn about the ways the English education system supported talented children. â€œMy experience of learning new ways to work with the gifted and able has enriched my vision of the possibilities for my country developing education in this area,â€ she said.
Ms Jones hopes to foster further links with institutions in South America and, ultimately, set up a staff exchange programme. â€œIâ€™m sure school teachers and university lecturers from Chile would benefit enormously from the opportunity to see examples of good practice in Britain first hand,â€ she said.