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The Intercultural Center for Research in Education (INCRE)

The Intercultural Center for Research in Education (INCRE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational research and development organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1990. Over the past eleven years, INCRE has engaged in extensive work in educational reform efforts, including curriculum development, teacher training and educational evaluation, locally in Boston and Massachusetts, nationally, and internationally in Latin America and the Caribbean.

INCRE has established international experience and expertise in several areas of Learning Systems Activities, including 1) teacher training programs; 2) curriculum development projects; and 3) installation of IT networks and management information systems.

Teacher Training Programs

INCRE has conducted thousands of hours of training in the educational uses of computers, the integration of computers in different subject areas K-university, and educational uses of the Internet. Clients include the Ministries of Education in Honduras and Panama, U. of Santiago, Chile, U. of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), Mexico, the DelCampo International School, Honduras, and numerous school districts across the USA.

For example, as part of a comprehensive educational reform effort in Puebla, Mexico, INCRE has developed a three-year high school curriculum that integrates computers in the learning process. All high school students utilize computers to collect and analyze data, present results, write reports and publish illustrated documents, all geared to learning objectives in different subject areas. INCRE has provided extensive staff development and has formed a cadre of highly computer literate teachers.

At the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), INCRE developed an introductory computer course for all entering freshmen that promotes computer applications in different areas of study, and prepared a group of 30 professors to teach the course for all 7,000 students who enter the university each year. INCRE also participated in the design and installation of a new $2 million educational technology center that houses instructional and open-access computer laboratories, and developed an educational technology implementation plan for the 50,000 student university.

Curriculum Development Projects

INCRE has developed print and multimedia curriculum materials for K-university in many subject areas, including science, environmental education, Spanish, social studies, mathematics, language arts and parental involvement. INCRE instructional materials are multicultural, bilingual (usually in Spanish and English) and designed to preserve, respect and value indigenous cultural values.

For example, INCRE developed and published a video and multimedia curriculum entitled Los Arboles Hablan, Spanish language curriculum based on the study of Latin American rain forests. INCRE has also developed a bilingual multicultural science and literacy curriculum entitled Sunflower/Girasol, which has recently been endorsed by the prestigious US Department of Education Expert Panel on Mathematics and Science Education. The curriculum consists of a series of 8-week thematic modules that promote student investigations of science and environmental phenomena in their schools and communities, and is accompanied by a series of multicultural story books based on the child characters that appear in the science materials. The curriculum utilizes an Internet web site for classes around the world to exchange data.

In Costa Rica, INCRE worked with the Ministry of Education to develop a primary school environmental education curriculum for grades 1-6 that was integrated with the national curriculum. INCRE also created an extensive teacher training network that provides staff development and on-going support for teachers around the country.

INCRE has worked with the Government of Honduras on the design and implementation of a national health and primary education program called the Escuela Saludable. INCRE trained more than 50 promotores for the project, who are working in 800 low-income communities to provide medical care, school lunches and education in preventive health, nutrition and environmental issues.

Installation of IT networks and management information systems

INCRE has designed and implemented IT networks, international satellite-based communications systems, and state-of-the-art management information systems. Clients have included a large Central American corporation headquartered in Honduras with offices in 8 Central American countries, and a major manufacturer and distributor in the Dominican Republic.

INCRE has provided technical assistance and training to a Central American corporation headquartered in Honduras in the design and installation of a Management Information and Accounting System. The system includes a centralized MIS database and SAP accounting software, with satellite-based telecommunications connections to offices in 8 countries. The multinational corporation Unilever has recently decided to expand the MIS implemented by INCRE to all of its Latin American operations.

INCRE has also assisted a corporation in Santo Domingo in the selection, design and implementation of a management information system to integrate company operations in six locations across the Dominican Republic.

In addition to work in training, curriculum development and MIS, INCRE has also worked on the design and implementation of national educational statistics databases in several Latin American countries, and has designed web sites for numerous organizations, including CEPAR in Ecuador, supported by USAID LearnLink. As part of LearnLink, INCRE has also provided technical assistance in the development and maintenance of an educational technology web site in Brazil. The web site is part of a Brazil Ministry of Education project to support teacher's increased educational use of computers in schools across the country.

INCRE has also conducted more than 30 program evaluations in the USA and internationally in the areas of educational technology, early childhood education, bilingual education, alternative education, science and environmental education, parental involvement, and after-school programs; and has designed and implemented the national testing and student assessment systems in El Salvador, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

In all, over the past 11 years INCRE has worked on USAID education development projects in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. INCRE has also worked on national education reform projects supported by the World Bank in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, and on projects financed by the Inter-American Development Bank in Panama, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Republic of Guyana.