“A small difference generated in a classroom can cause a domino effect in a generation of children,” says president and director of Fundación Mar Adentro, Madeline Hurtado, when referring to the importance in encouraging children and young adults open their minds beyond their context.
This is what has motivated Fundación Mar Adentro to develop its Active Teachers program within the framework of the Puerto de Ideas Festival. By participating in cultural instances, teachers can improve work in the classroom with visible results ranging from artistic learning strategies inspired by neuroscience, to transforming an empty school playground in the desert into a playful space that can provide shade.
Part of the group of guest teachers with Polish artist Dagmara Wyskiel, on their way to the intervention of the artist in the Prat Wharf
“We are interested in promoting equitable education and a harmonious life with nature. We believe that a teacher who is up to date in diverse subjects will educate people with sustainable habits. This program focuses on granting an opportunity to teachers located in very isolated and difficult areas” explains Madeline Hurtado.
Other guest teachers are selected by FMA from the work they have done with Alberto Hurtado University, Fundación Origen and Toki NGO. In the 2015 version of Puerto de Ideas they attended more than 12 activities: lectures by Chilean intellectuals such as Andrés Claro, Raúl Zurita, Sonia Montecino, Eugenio Dittborn, and foreigners, such as the sociologist Derrick de Kerckhove, Polish artist Dagmara Wyskiel, environmental economist Jason Shogren and historian Martin Jay. They also enjoyed performing arts shows and exhibitions.
Transforming an Idea Into Acción
Jairo Palleros in Eugenio Dittborn’s conference
Miriam León, a teacher at the Juan Pablo II School in Antofagasta, is so enthusiastic when she remembers her stay at Puerto de Ideas, Valparaíso in 2013, that she does not know where to start. She was invited by Fundación Mar Adentro because her school was awarded by the Colorearte Contest. “I not only went to listen to talks, from which I learned a lot, but I came up with things talking with the new people I met. At the hotel we were all together, from important international guests to colleagues who work with children with special needs. There was a very stimulating atmosphere, our minds opened,” she says.
For Jairo Palleros, a teacher at Sagrada Familia School of Hornopirén, this experience motivated him to change his teaching strategy. He shared experiences with guests at Puerto de Ideas 2014 and 2015, then consulted bibliography. In his class he began to encourage his students to express the information they could bring to the table with their knowledge and skills. He took them out to nature and accompanied them to connect with their emotions to create work processes.