First evaluation of “Rethinking School” residency dedicated to Pedagogical Innovation

It’s been two weeks since the first residents of Faber arrived. The first of them was Taylor Webb (from Canada) and then came Sheelagh Mayes-Daniels and Angela Fitzgerald, both Australian. The next day Mary K. Bryson and Janice Stewart arrived by car from Barcelona. They are both Canadian and together with Taylor are part of a large delegation from this country that will continue with Suzanne de Castell, Michelle Stack and Jennifer Jenson.

Academic professionalism has been a decisive factor in the choice of residents. This time, during this period in residence, residents are almost all university professors. Also Jennie Schaeffer, who is coming from Sweden. And Alessandra Romeo, who already visited us during the period of Urban Planning, has continued with her workshop at the Pia School in Olot.

It is still too early to make an overall assessment of this stay, there are residents who are yet to arrive and workshops that must be set up with care, but the activities we have been doing have been fruitful and represent a step forward for Faber in its relations with the universities of Catalonia, in this case UdG, UAB and UVic.

Faber’s intention in planning this stay in residence was to see what the new ways of thinking about school and education around the world. That is why we have discussed educational policies with Taylor Webb in a seminar at the University of Vic, where we have had the presence of one of the fathers of this discipline, Professor Stephen Ball. We have also discussed education and health in cancer processes, with Mary K. Bryson, and the boundaries between play and education. Both talks at the Faculty of Education of the University of Girona. Jennie Schaeffer explained at ICE at the same university the need to rethink how to distribute the spaces in primary school.

As can be seen, there is a great diversity of themes that converge in the desire for change, experimentation and debate of concepts that are present and central in the world of education. Sheelagh worked with the concept of racism and Angela in documentaries about the first year as a teacher. And so we continue with Michelle Stack, who investigates how Eurocentrism and Neoliberalism affect the valuation rankings of educational institutions.

We believe that the school, like any other institution, is as alive as the people it houses, as the people who live there. This is also the spirit of Faber, the activity of which depends on the networks that we are able to weave in the world, in Olot and in Catalonia.

Meetings with other teachers in the region have been informal but fruitful. Also the discussion spaces of own and other people’s projects, both secondary school teachers and members of UdigitalEdu, a multidisciplinary research group of the UdG (made up of researchers from the Faculty of Education and Psychology and researchers from the Polytechnic School) that develops projects in the fields of Creative Learning, STEAM and Social Change. Marta Peracaula, Eduard Muntaner and Jordi Freixenet were able to explain their project to the residents.

This is only the first part of a stay that will also feature teachers like Roxanna Pastor, who works on the early stages of schooling. Other residents who will visit us are Pilar Cataño, Charo Altable, Anna Peña or Heike Freire. Beyond names and projects, we believe that what is really positive is that we have been able to maintain a relationship of proximity and collaboration with institutions that have previously hosted Faber residents. Residents who on many occasions were also related to the educational world: computer scientists, artists, engineers, theologians, translators and a long list of professionals who wanted to share their knowledge with teachers and students of any age or city.