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Redes de Tutoría

location_on Mexico

An educational movement to build networks of learning based on personalised dialogue, reflection, and community presentations.

Over the past 20 years, Redes de Tutoría has sought to transform students and teachers by developing tutorial relationships and harnessing the power of one to one dialogue. The Redes de Tutoría approach moves away from the traditional classroom where a teacher delivers standard content for all students to work through at exactly the same pace. Instead, tutees enjoy greater autonomy and choose what interests them most from a selection of inquiry-based projects called ‘Temas’. Supported by individualised guidance from the teacher, students build on their prior knowledge with self-directed study. Once their study is completed, students reflect on their learning before presenting their Tema to the class.

Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2021 HundrED 2020 HundrED 2019 HundrED 2018

1997

Established

14 995

Children/users

5

Countries
Organisation
Not-for-profit
Target group
All
Updated
October 6th, 2022
In my view, tutoria occupies a very special niche among the exemplars that will guide the future of learning.
Dr. Richard Elmore, Harvard University, January 2016

About the innovation

What is Redes de Tutoría?

In many school systems, for a number of different reasons, students can be unmotivated and unwilling to learn. For some, the traditional style of the school in which the teacher imparts knowledge to be recalled in tests is deeply alienating and can lead students to question the value of education.

Furthermore, for some areas, there may not even be a teacher. For example, it can be very difficult to get a fully trained teacher to work in rural, isolated areas of Mexico or in some Thai classrooms where one teacher is responsible for 50 students.

Over the past 20 years, Redes de Tutoría has sought to transform students and teachers by developing tutorial relationships and harnessing the power of one to one dialogue. The Redes de Tutoría approach moves away from the traditional classroom where a teacher delivers standard content for all students to work through at exactly the same pace.  

Instead, tutees enjoy greater autonomy and choose what interests them most from a selection of inquiry-based projects called ‘Temas’. Supported by individualized guidance from the teacher, students build on their prior knowledge with self-directed study. Once their study is completed, students reflect on their learning before presenting their Tema to the class. The presentation not only builds confidence and self-esteem but also creates a shared learning culture within the classroom.  

Peer learning and mentoring is an essential element of the Redes de Tutoría approach. Students are empowered to be both learners and teachers. Following the completion of a Tema, tutees become the tutors and are trained to support others who choose to study that topic. Through analogies, examples, and questions, teachers and tutors guide the tutees to find their own answers.

Within this pedagogy, the process is more important than the answer and students are often encouraged to try to find more than one solution to a given problem. Students feel valued and more willing to take chances and make mistakes within the supportive learning community.

Another important aspect of Redes de Tutoría is the way that families and the wider community are included within the tutorial networks. As a result of this, school and education have moved into and become part of the local community. One teacher can transform a group of students who, in turn, transform the community. The dynamic has changed and education is more social and available to all. Paradoxically, fringe public schools are becoming the harbingers of change.

The event that most ambitiously projected tutorial practices into the public school realm was a visit to a one-room rural middle school by the national Mexican Undersecretary of Education in 2008. Impressed by 21 students indistinctly teaching and learning under the direction of a single teacher, the Undersecretary saw it fit to promote the practice among willing teachers working in similar school situations. Interest in Redes de Tutoría grew rapidly following the release in 2013 of a moving documentary, which demonstrated the power of the Redes de Tutoría approach. Now schools across Mexico have adopted the technique and it has spread to be used in vulnerable communities in South America and Southeast Asia.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews
This innovation is rethinking the way students learn and teachers teach. It imparts so much more than just knowledge to students. It gives them confidence, ownership, and responsibility. There is much potential to implement this in other contexts.
I am very excited about this innovative model of learning in areas where traditional teaching may not have the required resource and also to 'flip' the power of learning to be one which is more empowering and to create a holistic learning community.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Steps

Getting started

Begin by building a small team dedicated to transforming education

The first step is to negotiate with corresponding authorities access to public schools in which promoters of the NGO (Redes de Tutoría in our case) would present the methodology to teachers willing to receive help. Financial support comes either from the public authorities or from a private source.

A small team of promoters at the federal, state and regional levels is required. Benevolent administrators of public schools that invite the team to offer help to interested teachers in difficult, at times rather hopeless situations. The administrators provide political cover and the funds needed to support the intensive work of few promoters, which soon morphs into networks of convinced tutors and learners triggering what amounts to a grass-roots educational social movement.

Sustainability can be an issue. When governments change, the incoming administration may wish to change education policy. However, in Redes de Tutoría the strength of the innovation can be seen in the sheer number of schools, districts, and countries which have already adopted the innovation which lasts to this day.

In this documentary, K-12 students, educators, and families from the modest village of Presa de Maravillas, Zacatecas show us that another educational system is possible in which one teaches and learns with interest. Learning communities (comunidades de aprendizaje) have become the antidote within their schools by integrating mentoring networks that teach youngsters to become more confident in their ability to learn.

Share the idea
Build the movement by reaching out to teachers, parents and the community.

Start with a small group of teachers and demonstrate the difference between teaching and tutoring. Tutor them on a few school subjects to be mastered and incorporate interested students. In turn, the group will train fellow students and/or teachers in how to learn in dialogue, and so expand a learning community.

Learning in dialogue is visible and demonstrable, so organize public demonstrations attended by parents and relatives. Organize tutoring exchanges –fairs in which to proudly share earned knowledge with neighboring schools. 

The Redes de Tutoría approach can be used with younger learners too. 

In the primary school "Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla" in the community of Guacamaya, in the State of Mexico, the educational revolution is already bearing fruits.

In March 2011, a team from the Mexican Ministry of Education's Integral Strategy to Improve Academic Achievement (Estrategia Integral para la Mejora del Logro Educativo, or EIMLE) trained students and teachers at this school in a new pedagogical method called relación tutora, to bring about a fundamental change in the school's results and culture. Relación tutora promotes a close academic relationship between tutors that have mastered certain materials from Mexico's basic education curriculum and those tutees that want to master these materials. Students are already making this methodology their own.

Build and expand

Share successes widely to gain momentum and spread the movement

Register and report learning processes, discuss results, write about it and negotiate the expansion of the work. The event that most ambitiously projected tutorial practices into the public school realm was a visit to a one-room rural middle school by the national Mexican Undersecretary of Education in 2008. Impressed by 21 students indistinctly teaching and learning under the direction of a single teacher, the Undersecretary saw it fit to promote the practice among willing teachers working in similar school situations. Interest in Redes de Tutoría grew rapidly following the release in 2013 of a moving documentary, which demonstrated the power of the Redes de Tutoría approach. Now schools across Mexico have adopted the technique and it has spread to be used in vulnerable communities in South America and Southeast Asia.

The process proceeds by the inner thrust of empowered teachers and students –their parents included—and, in parallel, by the good judgment and perceived benefit of enlightened politicians and administrators.

Learning communities can learn from each other to strengthen and improve. At the end of October 2011, EIMLE (Integral Strategy to Improve Academic Achievement) brought together students, parents, teachers, and advisers from 26 states to celebrate what they learned during the year working in relación tutora. They met their counterparts from other parts of the country, tutored each other, created colorful visual representations of the webs of tutors and tutees that were formed, and attended workshops in art, literature, theater, and science.

In the end, participants felt a noticeable difference between traditional ways of learning and those they practiced at the festival. As Giovanni, a student from Mexico City in third grade, remarks in the following video: "Here, everything is done calmly."

Spread of the innovation

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