May 8 2018 PREAL Blog
This 180-hour training program has two main training mechanisms, both of which have proven effective around the world.
First, the program requires principals to work in groups to discuss topics and share experiences, following the “quality circles”* methodology, frequently used in teacher training.
Second, it requires principals to develop and implement a School Innovation Project (PIE) as part of their training. During the six-week training, principals, together with their school pedagogical adviser, must design a PIE that addresses a major challenge within the school, presents a possible solution with clear objectives, and puts forth a plan of action to be implemented once they complete the in-person phase of the training program.
In 2017, 2,112 Argentine principals were trained through this program. In 2018, the objective is to train about 4,500 in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Corrientes, Jujuy, Mendoza and Salta, with a goal of adding more provinces in the future.
Peru and Colombia have also devoted increased attention to training principals following similar programs.
Under the guidance of the Empresarios por la Educación Foundation, Colombia launched an initiative in 2010 to train principals with the goal of improving the quality of educational institutions.
This public-private partnership created the Rectores Líderes Transformadores program, that has trained around 500 principals in eight regions in Colombia. Based on initial monitoring results, all these programs seem promising.
Many stakeholders, including academics, policy makers and practitioners, are recognizing the importance of school director training. (Even the World Bank is including it as an additional topic to its SABER instrument, as a part of education system management).
We agree with this position and believe in the importance of principals as key stakeholders responsible for the success or failure of their schools. What Argentina, Jamaica, Peru, Colombia and others are doing should be monitored and evaluated closely to learn more about how to empower principals as a way to improve the quality of the education systems in Latin America.