I have created this web page for students enrolled in the University of Cuenca Webinar titled, “Teaching English Using the ‘TiNi” Methodology,” to be held July 16, 2020 from 11:00AM to 12:00PM. Here you will find the outline I intend to follow in the presentation and teaching of this short course, one that I hope enrollees find to be both engaging and helpful in their own profession as English teacher, student or fellow researcher. I take responsibility for all translations made from Spanish to English and acknowledge the assistance of Google Translate to speed the process. I encourage enrollees and visitors to use and download any of the documents I have created and uploaded to this site, except for the photos, and only ask that you give credit to me and this website for any such utilized material.
All of us need mentors to inspire our journey on this road of life. One of my mentors has been Dr. Albert Schweitzer, perhaps one of the last Renaissance thinkers of our time. A fellow human being who excelled in the fields of philosophy, theology, music and medicine, Dr. Schweitzer remains a point of light on my horizon, one that I can turn to whenever I am lost in the darkness of this world. Those of us who teach and are entrusted with the development of other souls, young and old, should consider how we are going to interact with those under our care and the sentiment we bring to these encounters. It is for this reason that I wish to share with you the life and thought of Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
A Philosophy for Teaching: Albert Schweitzer – Life & Times
Albert Schweitzer & Reverence For Life
I think is important to approach our teaching craft with some kind of transcendent philosophy that will ground our work in a source of inspiration. For me, one of those sources has been Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s Philosophy of Reverence For life. Let us give some thought to how our teaching of English (or any other discipline) may bring life and light to the mind, no matter how mundane our jobs might appear to be.
Albert Schweitzer & Education
TiNi – “Tierra de niñas, niños y jóvenes para el buen vivir”
Working for nearly three years in many public schools within Zone 6 of Cuenca, we discovered that few schools know that the “TiNi” program has been mandated from the Ministry of Education in Quito to be part of the “malla curricular” and is to be included in daily teaching of other required subjects including mathematics, literature, language, social studies, physical education, cultural and artistic education. It is not a “special project” as most administrators and teachers seem to believe and the Ministerio has mandated that 5 hours a week be devoted solely to the “TiNi” curriculum and methodology. Here is one of the statements that appears in the Guia and available as a link in the following section below.
De conformidad con el Acuerdo 020-A del 2016, la flexibilidad en el Plan de estudios para Educación General Básica, establece que cada institución educativa podrá aumentar o disminuir la carga horaria de las áreas instrumentales (Lengua y Literatura, Matemática y Lengua Extranjera) en función de las necesidades que presenten sus estudiantes orientándose a cumplir con los objetivos curriculares de cada una de estas áreas en cada grado y nivel; las instituciones educativas deben incluir su Plan de estudios e incorporar TiNi, como un espacio pedagógico o aula de recurso que permita a los docentes trabajar las asignaturas establecidas en la malla curricular de manera transversal. (Guia, p. 8).
To help teachers and participants better understand the position of the Ministry of Education in Quito regarding the “TiNi” Program, I have linked several documents that contain the history of the implementation of this program in Ecuador along with a few news articles about different schools who have implemented the program into their curriculum.
Ecuadorian Education Ministry Agreements Regarding “TiNi”
Ecuador Newspaper Articles About “TiNi”
YouTube Videos About TiNi in Ecuador
What is “TiNi”?
During our first 6 months of Peace Corps Service as Community Health Volunteers, my wife (Ana María) and I visited about 50 public schools within Zone 6 of Cuenca. We were charged with implementing a nutrition education program, and in the process of doing this task, we were approached by one of the emblematic schools (Unidad Educativa “Dolores J. Torres”) to assist them with creating and developing the new mandated “TiNi” program. This was how I became intimately involved with the “TiNi” program of Ecuador.
For nearly three years, I worked to develop a curriculum based upon the particular school conditions I was presented with and one that I could actually implement in a manner that I thought was consistent with the principles outlined in the Ecuadorian TiNi Guide available as a link just below. In doing so, I had to learn many things on so many levels just to have some kind of reportable success for the TiNi program for which we were responsible (Peace Corps expects volunteers to report assessment results every 6 months according to specified objectives and variables).
One of the first things we learned was that new programs and projects are typically introduced with a good deal of fanfare and opportunities for photo and video shoots (as you can see in the above linked videos), but actual program substance, development and support over time quickly wanes. This fact is conveyed, not as a judgmental bias, but simply a truth that we had to adjust and deal with if we were going to have any actual reportable results for our Peace Corps Volunteer activities with the TiNi program.
The Guide presented below became the philosophical basis for the lessons I developed but it is not an actual developed curriculum that a teacher might use in the classroom. Yes, there are a couple of tables of importance and that we will discuss during the webinar, but every teacher has to give some thought to how they actually wish to proceed, once they have a fundamental grasp of the philosophical and pedagogical principles the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education hopes to achieve with this UNESCO TiNi program.
In summary, it is my intent to show you, as an English teacher, just how you might implement the TiNi Methodology to teach English without actually having to create an outside space, such as we did. I believe it is possible to teach English and also receive credit for having implemented your own TiNi program, even if it only takes place online, or within the space of a physical classroom. To reiterate, that is my mission for conducting this webinar.
Please familiarize yourself with the TiNi Guide (linked below) as it will become the “bible” for this webinar.
TiNi PowerPoint Presentation
Please review the PowerPoint presentation (linked below) I created and delivered to Peace Corps Trainees June 2019 in Quito during my PC service. The short PowerPoint will give you a quick idea of exactly how we developed a TiNi program consisting of two parts, one, lessons that were taught in the classroom, and two, experiential activities that sought to reinforce and support classroom lessons that transpired in the TiNi laboratory. For this webinar, I will take the classroom lessons and tweak them to illustrate how you, as an English teacher, can adapt these lessons to your specific classroom and teaching requirements.
History of the TiNi in Ecuador
The following document is a selected English translation of the initial pages of the Guía that summarize the history of the TiNi program and illustrate how Ecuador, as a signatory member of the United Nations, is fulfilling its responsibilities to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the new sustainable development agenda published in September 2015 particularly with respect to Goal #4 on education.
What is the “TiNi Methodology”?
We are now in a position to begin our discussion of the “TiNi Methodology” and see how we may use it to teach English while also satisfy the requirements for integrating the TiNi program into our Ecuadorian curriculum requirements. I maintain that we may do so without having access to an outside area such as we find ourselves during this period of Covid-19 quarantine. Please open and read the document I have linked below about this topic.
Sample TiNi Lesson Plan
I have attached a sample lesson plan for a TiNi class I taught nearly two years ago in one of the Cuenca public schools. Although this was not an English class, I always included some English vocabulary to practice with the children, but you can see how this may be easily converted into an entire English lesson and adapted to your particular grade level and teaching needs.
Sample TiNi Vocabulary Exam
Teaching Tips: ESA – Engage, Study, Activate
In teaching English, it is advisable to build a lesson plan that is designed to enhance an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment. I use the rubric I learned when I was enrolled in my Oxford University TEFL Certificate course, namely, “Engage, Study, Activate” as illustrated on the attached handout. This sequence can be ordered in any way you see fit, adapted to the particular topic and lesson plan you are creating for a specific class. We might have to become a bit more creative in order to engage students in this manner when teaching online.
This concludes the material I had planned to upload to this webinar website. During the webinar, we will follow a schedule intended to divide our sixty minutes together into interesting thematic sections geared toward teaching English using the TiNi Methodology as I understand it. I remain indebted to the many teachers and students with whom I had the unique privilege to teach and have fun with this program in the emblematic school Unidad Educativa “Dolores J. Torres” during my three years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.