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  • Translator: Sebastian Betti Reviewer: Gisela Giardino

  • A few days ago we were talking with my kids at home

  • and I was telling them that we were living a historic moment,

  • that we would never forget these days.

  • And one of them said to me,

  • "Mom, I want to live a historic moment, but a good one."

  • I do research on education

  • and I feel like the pandemic forced us

  • into a kind of global educational experiment

  • that's making us explore, unintentionally,

  • what's going on in a hyper-connected world

  • where we cannot attend a physical school.

  • I've been thinking a lot about that these days.

  • Is there anything we can learn

  • from this educational scenario that we didn't choose?

  • And I do think so, that we're learning some important things.

  • I'd like to share with you three of those ideas

  • I'm thinking about these days

  • and hopefully they will help us

  • keep thinking further about education from now on.

  • The first is that, for the first time, all teachers together

  • have the urgency to take courage and try new ways of teaching.

  • Innovation in education is something that has been discussed for some time now,

  • but has been a compartmentalized venture.

  • And overnight, everyone at the same time

  • had to help each other take a huge leap.

  • With a lot of effort and forced by the emergency,

  • those of us dedicated to teaching

  • we have to redesign our classes remotely

  • and in that process we are daring to try

  • new ways of doing things.

  • And we realized we didn't have to reinvent the wheel.

  • That there were many things already available

  • but we had never had until now

  • the urgent need to use them.

  • Videos, tutorials, online books, remote learning platforms,

  • social networks, e-mails, video calls,

  • whatever gives us results to keep teaching

  • and especially to stay connected with our students, with their families,

  • which is so important these days.

  • And the good news in the middle of all this, I think,

  • is that once we try them, we use them,

  • those strategies become ours,

  • they become part of our know-how,

  • of our toolbox.

  • And little by little in the midst of the frustration that comes

  • with having to adapt so quickly even trying to be patient,

  • being kind to ourselves when things don't go so well,

  • because we're also learning,

  • we begin to enjoy the taste of trying new ways of teaching and learning.

  • And this isn't just happening in the formal system.

  • Today, teachers of all kinds

  • are teaching online what they know.

  • From yoga classes to knitting workshops.

  • Even people with a vocation to teach are bringing themselves to do it.

  • I don't know if you saw these days

  • that old man who started teaching how to use the computer

  • to do banking operations, for people his age.

  • We're learning in community.

  • The second thought these days

  • is that we are witnessing what happens when we radically change

  • how we use our time to learn.

  • In a research we did last year,

  • we asked groups of teenagers to imagine the ideal school.

  • And there was something that came up over and over again.

  • Boys and girls would mention consistently that the school they dreamed of

  • had a space, at least in part,

  • to choose what to learn, when and how.

  • And all of a sudden today, overnight, that's happening.

  • These days many families are beginning to realize

  • that many times kids, especially when they are teenagers,

  • learn best when they manage to organize their own time.

  • Some study more at night.

  • Others start with the subjects they care about most.

  • Others connect with classmates to do homework.

  • Or look for videos online

  • to understand something they don't finish to get.

  • Or to learn something new they wanted.

  • And this also helps us think about education

  • from here onwards.

  • Because we see that those spaces of autonomy for the kids

  • can be combined with other instances

  • in which we are all working together.

  • And it also shows that in order for all kids

  • to take advantage of those more autonomous moments,

  • we have to teach them from a little age

  • to manage their time, to manage tasks

  • and everything that implies learning to learn.

  • And my last thought is rather a question:

  • What happens when, as it happens these days,

  • we don't have the physical school as a place to go?

  • Quarantine is making us realize --

  • this time not theoretically, but for real, in our own flesh --

  • the value of the school and the enormous task

  • that teachers are doing every day.

  • When kids cannot go to school,

  • the need for it as a space that ensures everyone can learn

  • becomes clear and stronger than ever.

  • When we try to help our children with their schoolwork --

  • I don't know if it's happening to you these days --

  • we realize how difficult to be a good teacher is.

  • This pandemic is making the differences

  • between households more visible than ever.

  • It's not just the one who has a computer and the one who doesn't,

  • the one with Internet connection and the one with none.

  • There is the one who has a quiet place to study, and the one who doesn't;

  • the one who has someone to ask, and the one who doesn't.

  • The one who has to do all the house chores, and the one who doesn't.

  • The school, with all its difficulties,

  • for a few hours a day at least,

  • puts in parentheses those inequalities

  • and helps all boys and girls be protected

  • and focused on learning.

  • As an educator, I'm very concerned about where this is all going.

  • I also wonder what will remain

  • of what we're learning in this quarantine.

  • My feeling these days is:

  • Did you see when the tide goes down and the beach is bare?

  • Among all the things the tide takes with it, what it breaks, what goes away,

  • at the same time the beach unveils some of its hidden treasures.

  • I hope that this historic moment,

  • although, as my son said, is not at all a good one,

  • helps us make those treasures we are finding our own.

  • The desire to explore in community new ways of teaching,

  • rethinking the use of time and ways of learning.

  • And, also, realize

  • how much we need the school and teachers, as a society.

  • Today, physical classrooms are closed, but you never know,

  • maybe a door is opening to keep creating, all together,

  • and when this is over, the education we dream of.

  • Thank you very much.

Translator: Sebastian Betti Reviewer: Gisela Giardino

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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