Teacher-led Learning Circles for Formative Assessment – First Learning Circles held across Brazil

published 3 April 2023 updated 15 May 2023

The Teacher-led Learning Circles for Formative Assessment project began in Brazil in early February. The project in Brazil is coordinated by its dedicated national researcher, Professor Dalila Andrade Oliveira.

The project in Brazil consists of three learning circles, named Team A, B and C. These circles are composed of teachers that come from urban and rural areas across Brazil.

Between the 2nd of February and the 7th of March 2023, the circles held their first virtual workshops. These workshops provided a space for teachers to come together in their learning circles to introduce themselves, co-create group norms, discuss the objectives of the Learning Circles project, and address any concerns that they had regarding the project.

The workshops began with participants introducing themselves and clarifying their motivation for participating in the project. In Team C, teachers noted that their motivation to participate in the project stems from their engagement in pre-existing social movements and additionally derives from a desire to understand how to improve upon conventional teaching models.

Next, teachers in all circles produced a range of important norms that would provide the foundation of their learning circles. These norms provide a common ground for the teachers participating in each circle in Brazil. The norms ensure that the circles are safe environments that lead to a fruitful discussion on effective formative assessment. The norms underscored by Team A included active listening, empathy, cooperation, commitment, and transparency.

Consequently, the facilitators in each team gave the circle participants an overview of the project and outlined the tools developed by HertsCam as part of the project that would be used to help guide the teachers through their professional learning and development journey.

Finally, the teachers in all learning circles noted their concerns regarding the circles. For Team B, the core concern was the limited time for group discussion during the first workshop, indicating that there was further discussion to be had beyond the 2 hours dedicated to the workshop.

The enthusiasm among teachers to engage in the project was noted by all circle facilitators in all teams, reporting that participants demonstrated a keen interest to continue to use the circles to develop work on effective formative assessment practice to improve student outcomes.

Want to find out more? Continue to keep up to date with the project in Brazil and across our six other project countries by visiting our dedicated project page.