Maria da Graça Mendes de Abreu
This profile was prepared when Maria da Graça Mendes de Abreu was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1990.
The New Idea
According to Maria, many Brazilian children don't know how to read or enjoy books because most teachers don't know how to make the written word come alive for their students. To address the problem, Maria has designed a simple but innovative methodology for teacher reeducation called rever (meaning "to look or see again"). The methodology trains educators to teach reading using language, logic, and symbols their students can readily understand. The result is that both students and teachers gain a new enthusiasm for the task, and become more competent, creative, and critical readers in the process.