BASIC EDUCATIONAL PRINCIPLES
TO GUIDE THE PUBLIC POLICY CHANGES
The Educational Reform that is being implemented
in Puerto Rico is ruled by legislation. Some of the laws which orient the
reform are: Law 68 (1990) as amended, Law 18 (1993) as amended and Educate
America Act: Goals 2000 (1993). There are other documents as by laws and
circular letters: These mainly states the following:
The student is the center of the Puerto Rico Public Education System geared
at the developing a rational, autonomous and moral human being committed
and engaged with social service. To obtain this human development it is
necessary to encourage students to develop:
a. a sense of self-esteem and self-knowledge concept
c. the capacity
to perceive and react to their own and other feelings.
b. the capacity to establish and to enjoy significant interpersonal
relationships at their homes, the school and the
community as well
d. the capacity
to compete in the global economy
The teacher is the principal agent of change and the determinant factor
in the formation and development of the students, therefore, he/she must
have high levels of rationality, autonomy and moral life. Also, the teacher
should have freedom to select the best and adequate methods for whatever
is going to be taught according or within the parameters established by
the standards of academic excellence.
The Department of Education has the responsibility to provide teachers
alternative activities for their professional development in order to update
their knowledge and teaching skills, This can be done with the collaboration
with different universities which have programs for teacher preparation,
maintaining always a constant and constructive communication to facilitate
the teachers' professional development.
The curriculum will propitiate the development of an integral and integrated
human being, sensible and capable to communicate in Spanish and English
with correction and fluency.
The curriculum should be flexible and will provide diversity or educational
experiences to fulfill the students' interests, capacities, character,
and individual needs. This principle also applies to the texts and other
The curriculum is framed by the cognitive-humanistic theory of learning;
in other words, directed to the child and youth that thinks and feels.
The Educational Reform based on the Community based Schools should guide
the academic autonomy by the standards for academic excellence and the
integration of the core components of the curriculum: knowledge, values,
skills, prevention, study and work, and cultural diversity.
The assessment of the educational experience is based on a formative and
summative evaluation with the purpose of monitoring the students' progress
in the development of their communication skills in Spanish and English,
as well as their academic performance in the other disciplines.
The school administration should be flexible enough to facilitate the mobility
of students from one level to another when they master the required skills
for the level in which they are studying.
The school director has the professional, moral and social responsibility
to give support to the academic component at all levels. Therefore, he/she
should be an agent of change providing time, motivating and facilitating
the development of creativity among teachers and students.
The English Program will be flexible and diverse in order to enable students
within a bilingual approach to develop communication skills, creative writing
skills, and reading skills.
English teaching will be developed within a bicultural context using as
the starting point the Puerto Rican culture. Then the american culture
or other English speaking countries, in order to help students understand
the similarities and differences between cultures.
This process of teaching - teaming will promote and develop among the students
respect to their own language and culture, as well as to the North American
and other cultures and languages. Also. they will learn, and understand
that no culture is inferior or superior, but, that they are similar within
the same human parameter that all share. This feeling and understanding
will be applied to other cultures.
This same instruction will also promote among students the understanding
that by integrating in other cultures, one grows more humanistic and is
able to share traits and customs.
The vision and knowledge of other cultures equip the students to know much
better their own culture.
There is no possibility to acquire cognitive learning if students are in
an affective disorder. The school has the responsibility to
dedicate their better talent and their best economic resources to establish
effective learning programs; that is, to implement the humanistic learning
The instruction of language should use resources from the fine arts by
integrating into the teaching, singing, dancing, painting, plastic arts,
theatre, literary creation and crafts. The teaching of arts should
take place at all levels of our educational system. This applies also to
the artistic expressions of the Anglo-Saxon culture: singing, dancing and
The educational system will develop among students, through individual
and group activities to develop their sense of responsibility and commitment
with the social welfare.
By integrating the humanistic learning theory the teachers will propitiate
the development of the students as healthy, positive and productive human
The school will organize activities to serve the community where the students
will be integrated with the purpose of encouraging them to be responsible
and to look for solutions of community problems.