On Camino expeditions, students are asked to solve real-life problems

Guiding and relevant question for the age group ensures significant learning and leads to the search for a solution; projects involve the development of skills and competencies aligned to the BNCC

Active learning is an educational approach that places students at the center of the learning process, by performing meaningful activities and building their knowledge. At Camino Education, this methodology is used in so-called expeditions, in which students seek to solve a problem that is relevant to them, engaging in the search for a solution. The expeditions develop socio-emotional skills and competences aligned with the National Common Curricular Base (BNCC), articulated by the Camino Linear Curriculum, and contemplate three elements: a real-world problem, a guiding question and an achievement.

“We always start from a real-life situation suited to the age group, which can be as much of the immediate reality for the youngest children – as an issue related to living together, for example – as a problem in the outside world – the refugees , the question of water or communicable diseases – that the student will try to solve a certain aspect ”, says Juliana Ferrari, content manager at Camino Education.

She explains that the guiding question addresses the real world problem and invites the student to do something about it – for example, how to give visibility to refugees. The achievement is the pedagogical product of this expedition, that is, what the students have done to solve the problem or improve the situation. It can be anything from a product, like a podcast or an educational video, to an action, like an awareness campaign in the community, a poetic intervention or a letter to the city hall. "The achievements are quite diverse and respond to the size of the proposed problem, which is always significant for the child". There is no single possible solution: each student can creatively propose a valid solution, based on their experience and learning.

Knowledge for life

In elementary school, each discipline – arts, sciences, geography, history, English, Portuguese and mathematics – has its own set of expeditions. In addition to these traditional subjects, Camino offers a special discipline called Garage 21, divided into five contemporary themes: handiwork, economics and entrepreneurship, health and well-being, technology and ethics and culture. In Early Childhood Education, expeditions follow BNCC's fields of experience.

Juliana says that the anatomy of each expedition was formulated from the Science of Learning. Each expedition comprises a set of 8, 12 or 16 classes, which are divided into four stages: invitation, in which the student's previous knowledge about a certain topic is raised and the problem is contextualized; the action, in which the content is presented, and the student already begins to work on his project; the evaluation, in which he shows the result of his work (the achievement) and is evaluated; and reflection and metacognition, which always happens in the last class of the expedition and represents the student's awareness of the process he went through and the importance of that learning for his life.

This same logic serves as the basis for the creation of expeditions by Camino School, Camino's own school, in São Paulo. As the school is trilingual, the expeditions include, in an interdisciplinary way, activities integrated in several disciplines.

For Camino's content manager, one of the missions of the expeditions is to make the knowledge that the student had at school never seem futile or despicable. “The question of relevance is fundamental, because there is the problem itself and there is how the problem affects each one. When we are able to access this place of the student – which I have to do with it – he will be committed to solving it, be it an individual problem, be it a collective problem ”, says Juliana. "What we can do with the expeditions is that no student looks at the content of the school and says 'I have nothing to do with it' or I 'will never use it again in my life'".