Solving Brazil’s literacy problem one classroom at a time.
Literacy in Brazil is a major problem. Of the 28 million students enrolled, 50 percent of students scored below the basic proficiency level in the 2012 PISA international assessment tests, and according to the Instituto Paulo Montenegro, 27 percent of Brazilian adults are functionally illiterate.
In 2014, she founded her social business Guten, an interactive reading platform for primary students designed to improve engagement and reading comprehension. In Brants’ words, Guten’s mission is to “foster reading proficiency and engagement for Brazilian students, creating a new generation of readers.”
And the key to helping students become great readers is Guten’s bespoke technology. The program gamifies content like news stories and current events. Guten then captures each child’s reading level and sends weekly assessments to the student’s teacher. The assessments inform teachers of the students’ “major comprehension skills, such as making inferences, distinguishing facts from opinions, and detecting the theme of a text.”
In addition to providing a tool for building reading proficiency, the inclusion of news and current events in Guten’s content informs students about their own culture. To date, 25,000 students across 70 schools use Guten, and in 2015, Brants was named one of the “10 Innovators Under 35” by the MIT Technology Review. Brants shares that Guten has also signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Sao Paulo “to co-develop scientific research capabilities in natural language processing and machine learning applied to literacy.”
Guten is still an early stage company, but Brants and her team are confident that Guten’s technology is the key to scaling reading mastery among students. With its ability to customize to every student’s reading level, it democratizes reading mastery, allowing children to take a proactive role in society.
Author attribution: Cecily Mauran, Associate Editor UNREASONABLE.is.
Photo copyright to Guten
Tags: socent news, social business news