Active Teachers 2020: A Virtual Program in Times of Quarantine

The first stage of this program has culminated, in which 12 teachers from the Araucanía region carried out a virtual program – adapted due to the health crisis presented by coronavirus– conducted by our Education and Territory Coordinators where they allowed teachers reflect on territory, nature, connection with the body and the near environment, through a series of sessions and artistic exercises from their homes.

Despite the health contingency, we chose to continue with our Active Teachers Program in its 2020 version and adapt its original programming into an online version, under the conviction that these historical moments we are living can also be an opportunity to rethink the way we relate to time, space, with ourselves, those close to us and the planet we inhabit and, above all, explore new forms of learning in together with this year’s 12 selected teachers from different schools of the Araucanía Region.

“Observe from another place” activity

Thus, a new structure was created to continue with our purpose of communicating and sharing innovative art-based methodologies, in order to educate on the care of ecosystems. This year’s program was an invitation to live a different pedagogical experience: that they become apprentices, artists and researchers in their own homes, to turn them into learning laboratories and also generate virtual spaces for exchange between each other and the our education team.

The first stage of this program was took place over 4 weeks divided into 4 sessions (from April 6 to 30, 2020). The participants carried out various exercises in their homes that they recorded in online journals on google Classroom and also met weekly in virtual meetings, to share experiences and reflect on artistic practices, connection with nature and new ways of learning.

This virtual stage of the program aimed to deliver remote teaching tools that incorporated experiential learning with an interdisciplinary approach, to reflect on territory and the human-nature relationship through an aesthetic experience and its intersection with environmental themes.

“Connection with the body and what we perceive” activity

Some of the activities carried out were active listening, connection with the body and drawing, for example: “Drawing our breath”; “How does my territory sound?”; “Connection with the body and what we perceive”; and “Observe from another place”, among others. In addition, during the 3rd session the teachers were able to participate in an online workshop–We are Nature: Foods that Conserve Biodiversity–taught by Renata Aedo, founder of the Museo Campesino de Lircay (MUCALI) and part of the Cooperativa Semilla Austral,  with whom they learned how to make fermented preparations and also reflect on the importance of food and ancestral traditions in relation to nature conservation.

The 2020 Active Teachers program will develop in three main stages. The first its online sessions, which has just concluded; then a face-to-face session in Bosque Pehuén, our privately protected area of conservation (APP) in La Araucanía; and the program will conclude with each of the teachers implementing their educational projects in their schools with their students.

The teachers who participated in this first virtual stage and who will continue in the 2020 program were selected in early March after presenting the following projects:

  1. Cultural Laboratories: Following the Dinosaur Route
    by: Claudia Marcela Fuentes Sepúlveda (preschool educ.) and Susana Consuelo Martínez Tobar (language arts)
    Escuela Las Hortensias – Camino Freire, CuncoA workshop to complement the research carried out on dinosaurs in 2019 in Cultural Laboratories, aimed at finding ways to disseminate information about the ecosystem of their territory through a visit to the Conguillio National Park, to visualize the flora and fauna, in addition to cultural production activities that the students will exhibit for the rest of the school community.
  2. The adventures of Dromi, a biodiversity trip
    by: Juan Carlos Muñoz Cea (visual arts) and Heidy Renatte Ringler Arratia (natural sciences)
    Escuela Mariano Latorre – VillarricaThe main focus is to teach about the value and care of biodiversity through field trips in green areas of their locality and National Parks, with the support of students from the group of Environmental Forgers of the establishment. They  will also artistically work on creating posters (brochures or comics) and graffiti with messages that encourage care for the environment, as well as creating nests with waste materials that will be installed in different parts of the school. Likewise, there will be a final exhibition with all the visual art projects and natural sciences works related to the project.
  3. Wiñokintuafiyiñ Kiufike Kimün: Revitalize ancient knowledge through recreational activities and art in an  ancient ruka
    by: Gloria Hortencia Mercado Treumun (mapuzungun) and Luis Andrés Calfunao Jorquera (P.E.)
    Colegio Mundo Mágico – TemucoThis projects seeks to link the subjects of mapuzungun (language spoken by mapuche –indigenous peoples of this region), physical education and science, to experience and reflect from the Mapuche worldview on healthy lifestyles. Through different expressions such as traditional games and dances, singing, crafts, and food. Scientific processes that occur during food growth and processing will also be taught.
  4. Endangered native species
    by: Gabriela Soledad Cervera (visual arts and technology) and Lorena Kriss Acuña (language arts)
    Escuela Libre Sombra del Árbol – VillarricaA workshop based on exploratory research into the natural and cultural environment, and methodology based on projects with territorial relevance, where various topics related to the care of nature will be addressed.
  5. School Theater Let’s Save Our Wetland
    by: Manuel Alonso Sánchez (language arts and theater) and Cristián Marcelo Calfuman (mapuzungun)
    Escuela Municipal Egon Keutmann Besgen – LoncocheIt consists of the production of a play in the Huiscapi wetland, in which boys and girls from the theater workshop will perform an “Epew” (Mapuche story), starring animals that live in the same wetland, to reflect on the importance of these ecosystems, their biodiversity and the great risk they face today. The script of the play will touch on themes such as progress versus care for nature. Thus, the indigenous language and technology subjects will work together to finalize the project, where the students will form work teams with defined functions and times (costumes, acting, makeup, dissemination on social networks, etc.). The play will take place on a stage near the Huiscapi wetland, with an audience made up of students, parents, teachers, local media and special guests.
  6. I see you, I observe you and I value you
    by: María José Roa (natural sciences) and Cristián Andrés Sepúlveda (visual arts)
    Escuela Juan Bautista Chesta Cheteau –  PitrufquénIt consists of a pedagogical outing with 7th and 8th grade students to the balneario Isla Municipal de Pitrufquén to observe their natural environment and describe their ecosystems and biodiversity that are currently  threatened by pollution and climate change. The students will make written and audiovisual records, to later develop the following activities: video interviews between peers; production of informative texts; creation of Pop Ups of some observed elements; realization and sound recording of a song created by the students; creation of choreography with mapping. And finally, the results will be disseminated to the community through a photographic exhibition.