STEAM & English in the Public School System

The United States Embassy RELO Office in Brasília, Brazil, announces a notification of funding opportunity (NOFO) to support a 2-week Exchange Program in the U.S. for 54 (fifty-four) representatives from Brazil’s 26 states and the Federal District (school administrators and coordinators from secretariats of education along with a mixture of STEAM and English language teaching professionals from public schools), followed by a 2-week online interaction, with up to US$540,000 in FY2020 for a project period not to exceed 14 (fourteen) months. The preliminary start date for this professional development program is October 1, 2020, and one award is anticipated as a result of this NOFO. However, should both parties consider the results of this exchange to be positive – and also subject to availability of funds – we may agree to renew this NOFO for up to two additional years. We are seeking for proposals for the development and implementation of a two-week exchange opportunity for up to 54 school administrators and coordinators from secretariats of education along with a mixture of STEAM and English language teaching professionals from public schools, followed by a two-week online course two months after they return to Brazil. This online portion shall focus on topics dealt during their exchange, so that participants continue with the development/implementation of a strategic plan for their institution, community, or state, a plan started when they were in the U.S. The face-to-face interaction of the project must include (but is not limited to) the following:· Meetings with key stakeholders in the educational system, as well as with school principals and coordinators of the teaching of English and STEAM;· school visits (those that work with speakers of other languages/ESL teaching shall be included);· classroom observation – learning through observation; · opportunities to co-teach with a local teacher; · student-centered activities; · cultural excursions designed to enhance the participants’ knowledge of U.S.culture and values;· social activities to expose participants to U.S. culture and way of life;· a home hospitality dinner. Core themes of the program are Content-Based Instruction and leadership. That considered, teaching practices and classes on methodology should focus especially on these topics, also integrating important subjects in the field of teaching. Innovative best practices for teaching English as an international language and assessment shall also be included. Other general activities shall: · Deepen participants’ understanding of current English Language Teaching (ELT) methods and techniques; · Improve skills to conduct professional presentations and workshops in English; · Develop leadership skills that will enable participants to share knowledge gained in the program with colleagues through workshops or professional presentations in their local communities, thus leading to the creation of communities of practice; · Enhance understanding of the U.S. and international cultures through their professional interactions between U.S. and other ESL/EFL educators; · Develop a professional development plan, including an assessment component with measurable objectives, for the dissemination of best practices uniquely suited to each participant’s local EFL context. Organizers/coordinators of the program shall also provide: · Orientation to the community and program activities (e.g., program itinerary, host community overview, transportation, medical care, places of worship, dietary needs, technology access, etc.); · Meetings with key stakeholders in the educational system, school principals, course coordinators and/or educators, community programs or teachers’ associations focusing on leadership, English as the Medium of Instruction, or Content Based Instruction, as well as on the Teaching of English as a Second/Foreign Language, also discussing its impact in the local community. U.S. Embassy Brasília-Brazil reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted and will determine the resulting level of funding for the award. The authority for this NOFO is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. Eligible organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to read this NOFO thoroughly to understand the type of project sought and the application submission requirements and evaluation process. BACKGROUND The U.S. Mission in Brazil, Public Affairs Section has included English Teaching/ Learning as one of the five pillars of its current strategy, thus focusing on expanding our English programming to facilitate partnership, investment, and understanding. One other pillar relates to people-to-people mobility – and this project would strengthen our relationship with and amongst future scientists and current educators, strengthen English in STEAM in education, and the emerging workforce. In order to advance English language learning and teaching in Brazil, the RELO Office has constantly supported and implemented programs that benefit English educators and students, with a special focus on the public school system. As English has become mandatory under the latest guidelines and regulations established by the Brazilian Federal Government (BNCC – Base Nacional Comum Curricular) at the same time that STEAM has become a focus of the Brazilian education system, we envisage this project as a catalyst for future Brazilian policies and a reference for future secretariat and school district initiatives. In addition to supporting the current implementation of the BNCC for elementary school (at different stages throughout the states) and secondary school (the final document was published at the end of 2018, and its implementation is in the planning phase), this professional development program benefits both English and STEAM teachers to incorporate the language into their teaching practices, particularly in the vocationally-focused tracks in the new BNCC secondary school guidelines. This project also provides support to municipal and state secretariats and incipient bilingual initiatives in the public school system in Brazil. Teaching subject matter in English brings more meaning to learning the language, as many students in elementary and high school are unaware of its importance in their future careers and professional development. PROJECT PURPOSE Through this exchange, we want to expose Brazilian educators and administrators to the best of the U.S. educational system, focusing on the teaching of English through content (to speakers of other languages) – the CBI (Content-Based Instruction) / CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approaches, key institutions and specialists in the field, as well as to key partnership models, synergies and potential areas for collaboration. PROJECT GOALS By providing Brazilian educators and administrators with the opportunity to improve their knowledge of best practices in the U.S. educational system, improve their leadership skills, and build a strong network for future collaboration through strategic planning, we want to highlight our bilateral efforts in the area of Education and, thus, maintain the U.S. as Brazil’s most logical and preferred partner in education. PROJECT OBJECTIVES During their program in the U.S., we would like selected participants to: · Exchange experiences and learn from different stakeholders in the U.S. educational system;· Exchange experiences and best practices with experts and counterparts in the teaching of English as a second language; · Develop English teaching skills and methodology that focus on CBI (Content-Based Instruction) and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning); · Deepen their understanding of current ELT methods and techniques through workshops, classroom observation, and co-teaching with a local teacher; · Develop leadership skills that will enable them to share knowledge gained in the program with colleagues through workshops or professional presentations in their local communities; · Enhance their understanding of the U.S. and international cultures through their professional interactions with U.S. educators; · Develop a professional strategic plan, including an assessment component with measurable objectives, for the dissemination of best practices that will result in communities of practice that are uniquely suited to each participant’s local teaching context. IMPLEMENTATION MECHANISM U.S. Embassy Brasília-Brazil intends to implement the project through a cooperative agreement. The focus is on creating local capacity for school administrators and coordinators from secretariats of education, along with a mixture of STEAM and English language teaching professionals from public schools, to improve their practices in the basic educational system. For those working directly with students, we aim at providing them with tools to teach different subjects through English and how that would be incorporated into the public school sector. This would certainly reflect in the administrative department of the institutions, so some overview on that would also be of essence. Different approaches to the flexibility of the curriculum, as well how to manage these changes, should also be considered. Another important component is how participants can engage the local community and have them as partners for the success of their own institutions. Capacity building to deal with new methodologies shall be the core of the proposal.

fundingOpportunityNumber: 
SBR25020CA022
Competition Opens: 
07/13/2020
Competition Closes: 
09/10/2020
Agency: 
U.S. Mission to Brazil
Eligible Applicants: