About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3551-3562
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO EDUCATION IN A RURAL POORLY DEVELOPED ENVIRONMENT

J. Jiménez1, R. Marín2

1National Autonomous University of Mexico (MEXICO)
2Academia Mexicana de la Ciencia de Sistemas A.C. (MEXICO)
We wish to emphasize in this work the role the systems approach has played in the success of an educational project. The Justo Sierra Studies Center (Centro de Estudios Justo Sierra, CEJUS) was founded 35 years ago, in 1978, in an isolated, poorly developed rural community: Surutato, Sinaloa, located in a high mountain range of Northwest Mexico. This paper describes the evolution of this rural community self-development experience, taking advantage of systemic concepts rarely used in a rural environment. A major accomplishment of this community is the implementation of an alternative educational model ranging from pre- to high-schooling and, with the association with another organization, the realization of professional studies from the bachelor’s to post-graduate degrees for the exploitation of natural resources. The project’s most salient characteristic is that the parents themselves designed and implemented for their children their own concept of development, based on an alternative educational model. The problem that sprang this initiative was the poor elementary schooling their children were receiving. In addition, there were no alternatives in town for continuing education after finishing the sixth degree elementary school. The parents’ objective back in 1978 consisted of offering the youth that had finished elementary education, an alternative to formal post-elementary school that would prepare them to remain in the community as productive individuals. Previously, if a student wished to continue his formal education, he would need to move to one of the neighboring urban centers. The project has always been confronted with a major socio-ecological obstacle: the pernicious influence of the production and traffic of drugs, being done in the neighboring area. Through a participative process of reflection-design-action, with the assistance of external consultants, the community embarked on its own educational project, consisting of an alternative high-school, including the formation of educational promoters who, in turn, would expand the project beyond the community’s own boundaries to other neighboring settlements. By 2003-2004, CEJUS made a strategic alliance with the Center for Innovation and Educational Development (Centro de Innovación y Desarrollo Educativo, CIDE), to provide professional and graduate studies geared to research in applied disciplines related to sustainable exploitation of natural resources. CIDE is another alternative learning model, whose major features are problem-solving learning, individual and group study, individualized study plans, and most importantly: the intensive use of Internet for the retrieval and use of up to date scientific and technological information. Recently, this association has permitted CEJUS to graduate five of its members as Engineers. An important factor for the success of the CEJUS model is the provision to the community of a participative strategic planning tool, based on systemic principles, at the beginning of this long process. The continuous support of a key external advisor, and the use of the Reflection and Design Conference, another systemic tool, to back up the idealized design of the future, have also been fundamental for the success of this alternative learning project.
@InProceedings{JIMENEZ2013ASY,
author = {Jim{\'{e}}nez, J. and Mar{\'{i}}n, R.},
title = {A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO EDUCATION IN A RURAL POORLY DEVELOPED ENVIRONMENT},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {3551-3562}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Jiménez AU - R. Marín
TI - A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO EDUCATION IN A RURAL POORLY DEVELOPED ENVIRONMENT
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 3551
EP - 3562
ER -
J. Jiménez, R. Marín (2013) A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO EDUCATION IN A RURAL POORLY DEVELOPED ENVIRONMENT, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 3551-3562.
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