Tomás Recart studied civil engineering at Pontificia Catholic University and later received a Master's in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University. Prior to founding Enseña Chile, Tomás worked with the Catholic University of Chile Centre for Public Policy Research. There, he created a tool to monitor and establish incentives for improving school attendance and founded a school. These experiences convinced him that in order to achieve social and economic equality it is necessary to systematically incorporate leadership into the educational system. In 2006, Tomás met Wendy Kopp, the Founder of Teach for America, regarding adapting the model for implementation in Chile. After developing a plan and adapting the programme to the Chilean context, Tomás formally co-founded Enseña Chile in January 2008. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader 2011 and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur.
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- Enseña Chile
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- Hybrid Social Enterprise
- Areas of Impact
- Latin America, Chile
Enseña Chile seeks to transform young professionals from different areas into teachers of excellence for the pupils in the country's most vulnerable schools. It is based on the successful Teach for America model, recognized for creating a corps of leaders committed to improving access to excellent education regardless of socio-economic circumstances. Many join straight after finishing college, but others have gathered professional experiences outside the education sector. All applicants need to have demonstrated skills in leading and motivating teams, such as campus initiatives, community organizations or sports teams.
Enseña Chile has adapted the model for the Chilean and Latin American context. By bringing bright college graduates and professionals to teach in underprivileged schools, they provide a significant contribution to bridging the inequality gap. Although Enseña Chile believes that good teachers have similar characteristics independent of culture, the organization has been adapting the Teach for America model in the way these competencies are measured and trained, and in teacher training.
Enseña Chile draws a highly competitive application pool, and selects teachers based on eight fundamental criteria, including ability to organize/achieve goals, leadership and perseverance. Training for teachers is based on the Teaching as Leadership model, divided into two phases: an intensive training period prior to the start of the school year, followed by support activities during the two years of work. In 2009, Enseña Chile selected 29 teachers to work in 14 schools.