Friday 27 January 2023.
Dear Merici Community:
The Year 2023 started with activities for the staff from the first Monday of January, with the release of the official training plan of the “New Mexican School” and/or the “Plan and Programs of Studies 2022”, from the Ministry of Public Education, whose implementation starts in August 2023 for the initial grades of preschool, primary and middle school. As we reviewed and shared the official documents and learnt more about the model proposed by the SEP, it was pleasing to see that there is congruence and depth in the proposal as well as great coincidence with “Merici Moving Forward”. From the outset, the paradigm in which this initiative arises allows us to recognise a much more active and leading role for teachers, based on collegial reflection and favouring the convergence of the curriculum, the context, the student, the family, and the school, under a clear line of participation and positive interdependence.
By reappraising and empowering the role of the teacher, the teacher is given the great responsibility of developing the curriculum under certain guidelines and standards. Based on what the SEP calls the “Synthetic Programme”, which represents the competencies expected for each grade in the different training fields, it is proposed that the teacher collaboratively constructs the “Analytical Programme”, precisely through working with other teachers, knowledge of the context and, most especially, consideration of the needs of his or her students. It is encouraging that there is discussion about professional autonomy, collaborative construction, interdisciplinarity and projects, inclusion as well as dignity and human rights. It is also encouraging to see an integrated curriculum based on transversal themes (see Table 1), which seeks to problematise realities and generate answers, making teaching and learning more meaningful. It is also gratifying to see the emphasis being placed on the primary role of assessment as feedback, as a promoter of reflection, decision-making, and work based on error, and, above all, to see evolution towards a narrative that goes beyond the “getting grades” and favours dialogue around learning.
Table 1. Ministry of Public Education (2022). Advance of the content of the
Synthetic programme of Phase 1 [Material under construction].
It is worth highlighting and celebrating, from the above table, the relevance of all the transversal themes, especially those key elements of our own model such as the arts, critical thinking, inclusion, and reading and writing. Then, towards the centre of the diagram, we can see the 4 formative fields in which the educational goals and contents are included and finally, and precisely in the centre, the learner, the person, who represents the purpose and “raison d’être” of our educational work. All of these elements are transversal from preschool to middle school education.
Our holistic model, based on projects, questions, problems, solutions and creation, is now able to generate greater synergies for the benefit of our students.
We are very happy for all of the above and also for the re-launch of our D’Lab, now with new areas and with greater equipment; we are equally happy for the implementation of the development and transformation Plan for our library, which is now part of a global system called Follett that opens the door to a multidirectional development of the acquisition of knowledge, research and study, in what is shaping up – in the words of our curriculum director – towards a “Learning Commons”, a concept that we will be proposing to the community to rename our space. We also celebrated the visit of guest students from MIT who have already been integrating into the community and participating in various projects. February is shaping up to be a month for skills development through MERIMUN (our United Nations Model in Bachillerato) and an ideal month for community building through BLANCOS Y AZULES, among other events.
2023: Be welcome!
With warmest regards.
Alfonso García Williams,
Head of School.