Beatriz Cardoso

Ashoka Fellow
Brazil,
Fellow Since 2014
Laboratorio de Educacao

Citation

This profile was prepared when Beatriz Cardoso was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Beatriz Cardoso is revolutionizing the approach to early childhood learning in Brazil. Recognizing that solutions must be grounded in research and testing in order for them to be truly effective, Bia created the Education Laboratory, an organization emphasizing Research and Development (R&D) in order to connect academic work to educational practice. Unlike many organizations in the sector that see education as merely a product, the Education Lab develops materials and tools for early childhood education based on insights from the fields of cognitive psychology, linguistics, and pedagogy.

Every child learns all the time, and so, every adult educates all the time. Bia’s vision is to make adults aware of children's learning process and empower them to influence it, ensuring that all children have an equal opportunity to learn. Bia sees children’s interaction with parents, teachers, and other potential educators as the best way to bring about this change. As such, the material Bia develops is translated into communication tools for all adults who interact with children, giving them the means to be protagonists and mediators in children’s learning. For these tools, Education Lab focuses on language development as the common thread running through each of its projects, as it is the key for continued learning throughout a child’s life.

While many citizen sector organizations (CSOs) attempt to actually carry out models of education, Education Lab’s strategy is not to operate an educational model, but to produce quality solutions that are implemented by others and to serve as a model for other CSOs with their focus on R&D. The use of technology in many of their solutions is key to expanding their reach for little cost. The solutions are also designed to be accessible to adults with all levels of education. Partnerships with public entities and teacher training centers are also important for scaling Education Lab’s solutions. As Bia’s previous experience in leading in the education sector proved, if a solution addresses a gap in the public system, it can be taken up and scaled by the public sector.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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