25 years Ago Nieves Tapia began to find throughout Argentina, from the Ministry of Education, schools that do service-learning —form through a task as a community without knowing the pedagogy what you called as well. Found many and from their experiences of education in solidarity account that made the policy. Today is a guru of this practice, which we cross half the world to advise. With this journal was interviewed at the Madrid airport, when he traveled to Pamplona for the delivery of the awarded by the Spanish Network of Learning and Service, the Foundation Educated and Edebé. “An american colleague says that this learning is the educational reform that is always because going from the bottom up. The first to know how it works are the teachers and their students. And she's right,” argues the founder and director of the Latin american Center for Service-Learning Solidario (CLAYSS).
Question. Is it a good idea that the subject is optional as raised in Spain?
Response. The debate is not settled. Children don't ask if you want to learn to read and write, we learn it because they need it. To form good citizens, service-learning is very suitable. There would be No reason that it should not be compulsory, but we cannot force teachers to be supportive. It can turn into something that you do because you command, as the mili. A subject ensures that there is a teacher with time to organize the project, but in reality it is a way to learn everything: Biology, History...
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Q. How is involves rich kids without problems in your reality?
A. Impacts especially at the extremes of the social pyramid. A child of a college exclusive to me and said: "it helped Us to get out of the táper". There are things that seem normal to confront with other realities. As when one has contact with a sick person and feel more valued in their health. It is very important that future leaders come out of the táper soon. There is a growing gap between those who have more and less. One may have studied all the statistics, but it is very different when it generates empathy with a experience of extreme vulnerability.
Q. do And for the students who are most disadvantaged?
A. gives Them a chance to not be the beneficiary, but someone who is able to offer something. One of the first investigations that were made in the united States many years ago concluded that service learning improved 10% the performance of school pupils and in the most vulnerable between 15% and 20%.
Q. In fact you ensures that the best projects to make the school poor.
A. Yes, indigenous schools, schools in prisons, the periphery... The only thing they have and can give is their expertise. For example, in a small school in Puna, close to Bolivia, started 20 years ago to study in primary school how did their ancestors incas to cultivate with so much aridity and extreme temperatures. Recovered the greenhouse, highland, and, in a small town in which the grocery nearest was 40 miles, they produced vegetables. The teacher and the children were trained by parents, pastors, and created a network of greenhouses family. In 2005 won the Presidential Award of Schools in Solidarity, and with those resources they grew trees to make an oasis. It seemed to Me too ambitious, but 15 years later the teacher sent me a photo from the hill and you can see the massive green.
Q. How is it spread in Argentina?
A. was introduced In 1997 in the secondary school is not compulsory and since 2006 the National Law of Education includes service-learning between the innovations that the State ensures that all schools can develop according to their educational project. From the ministry generated a fund of resources to encourage teachers.
Q. What happens now that it has dropped to 35% of its educational budget?
A. In the last four years, not only cut the budget, but that is subejecutó. The stimuli themselves remained, a miracle that follow 25 years later in Argentina. But, with an inflation rate of 70%, the federal contribution to the projects has lost impact.
Q. What separates service-learning from volunteering?
A. A supportive education can occur in any voluntary service, but the plus is that you program with the community what to learn and how. Has once again brought to the fashion to learn for projects and service-learning is one of these formats, but involves the community.
Q. isn't there the risk that the State make a dereliction of duties?
A. Yes, and the educators have to see what things apply to students. We have projects from kindergarten. There are recorded cases in which, for much the municipality has been attempted, until the school did not put to raise the awareness of adults, it was not possible to divide the trash. There is a place of partnership with the State, what we cannot do is use the children as cheap labor.
Q. These guys are more active politically.
A. There are several studies that say that in the united States they vote more and participate more in politics and volunteer work. I remember a girl in argentina who lived on the street and pointed to education for adults 15 years old at a centre of learning and service. Finished high school, became the bank's director of power of the neighborhood, and now advisor to the mayor of your city.
Q. why learning and service has caught on more in South america than in Europe?
A. In United Kingdom arose nearly at the same time in the united States and at the time Tony Blair was a compulsory subject. When I started in the ministry in 1997, the experiences british were reference. The German schools have service-learning since the eighties, but has gained a new momentum in the last few years. There is more awareness of the need to form participatory citizenship and solidarity and not a form of citizenship that is a client of the welfare State.
Q. Will you be changing the theme of the project?
A. There are many environment, issues of gender but also about what is happening in my town, my neighborhood... A school started a campaign for organ donation because a teaching very dear died of cancer and donated his organs. Why choose a theme and not another? Depends on particular situations of each center. In the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Joaquin Balaguer, it was decided that all the secondary schools for 70 hours had to contribute to reforest. It is not the same that you impose the obligation when it arises in the interest of the community.
you Can continue to THE COUNTRY of EDUCATION at Twitter or FacebookUpdated Date: 08 January 2020, 05:00