A training course for teachers on how to use the arts to make their education practices inclusive
- Inclusive Education Laboratory
- Country of Implementation
- Start Year
- First published
“The most remarkable thing is how much art and culture promote a more respectful and richer perspective in us.” Participant educator from a São Paulo public school
Mais Diferenças, a Brazilian NGO based in São Paulo, is committed to fostering inclusion in education and culture. The organization has developed the Inclusive Education Laboratory, a specialized methodology designed for public school educators in São Paulo. This laboratory offers a 20-hour course focusing on integrating art into teaching methods, curricula, and activities for students, both with and without disabilities. From 2019 to 2023, across five editions of the laboratory, about 300 educators from 233 São Paulo schools received training.
Many educators struggle to engage with cultural programmes due to limited time and uncertainty about incorporating artistic methods, often exacerbated by a lack of training resources.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Mais Diferenças has developed its Inclusive Education Laboratory as a ‘train the trainer’ model whereby educators are equipped to incorporate the arts into their cultural and educational repertoire. The course introduces various artistic disciplines, including visual arts, cinema, music, theatre, and literature, and is complemented by training materials. These sessions foster discussions on how art can enhance inclusive and diverse educational practices. One example is a workshop led by visual artist Paulo Bordhin, who employs materials such as aluminium and telephone wires in his art. He has shared his techniques with teachers, inspiring them to create tactile materials for student activities. The laboratory is accredited by the Technical Training Centre of the Municipal Secretariat of Education of São Paulo and forms part of the municipality’s training programme. The developed methodologies are published and shared by the secretariat. By 2023 the laboratory has trained approximately 300 educators from 233 schools in São Paulo, primarily catering to kindergarten and elementary school teachers, 80 per cent of whom are women. The programme’s impact is regularly assessed, showing increased use of artistic languages in classrooms and more frequent visits by educators to cultural events.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Funding for Mais Diferenças is sourced through partnerships with private foundations and the public sector, aligning with broader inclusive education initiatives. In 2023 the Inclusive Education Laboratory expanded to São Paulo's eastern region. Over 90 per cent of participants have rated the course as ‘excellent’. According to an anonymous educator’s evaluation, the most significant outcome is the way art and culture foster a more respectful and enriched perspective. (Awardee 2024)