Pre-Texts Workshop in Curitiba, Brazil

Colégio Positivo Junior & Colégio Positivo Internacional

Curitiba , Brazil

We arrived on Monday to work with an enthusiastic group of 25 middle school teachers. It was an eclectic crowd of 23 females and two males, a nice balance of seasoned and young educators eager to engage with something new. At first they were somewhat passive, trying to decipher our intentions and the scope of the workshop. But after the initial warm-up, Elsa and I were impressed with how honestly they embraced the exercises. From day two they challenged themselves and each other. We guided them the first two days and then invited them to propose, discuss and lead all of the exercises for the remainder of the week. They no longer feared exploring, and they began to freely express and contemplate challenges or emotions. We laughed frequently and probed continuously into various topics. By the end of the workshop an atmosphere of trust and solidarity was palpable.

The one activity that literally blew Elsa and I away was one in which groups were asked to interpret the text with sound. Given its scientific complexity (dealing with the perception of light, color and the Doppler Effect) the difficulty was obvious. Yet this one group began by collectively making noise and then going silent. Next they wrote: “Cover your ears” on a piece of cardboard and walked it around, followed by another one saying “Listen to the beat of your heart,” and finally, the clincher, “The Universe lives within you.” The activity was simply amazing.

We were humbled by the teachers’ love of learning, and their commitment to exploring new approaches to the subject matter they teach. They were conscious of the challenges they face but also very honest about their desire to seek new ways to work with their students. This bodes well for the overall success of the project.

Collaborators

Camila Magalhaes

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