The first PSE Virtual Seminar was held on October 1st to 3rd, with the desire to collectively dream and forge a world that is possible for everyone, in these difficult times of global syndemic, a confluence of social, political and economic crises, and now health, which affect to a greater extent the impoverished peoples of all latitudes.
We began by listening to our collective dreams in the voices of students, young people, teachers, mothers, leaders of different countries of the Continent. As they told us from Argentina “Dream and not stop dreaming in the transforming force of education”; from Brazil, “animated by faith and sustained by Hope ... ”; voices that joined others from Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and the United States.
Eliana Corbett, Coordinator of the Advisory Commission of the PSE invited participants to start this first Seminar daring on continuing to dream collectively and netx, Maite Uribe, President of the Teresian Association, called us to “strengthen the Culture of the Encounter where it is possible to make it emerge from education, an alternative lifestyle in front of our individualized society”. With these words of welcome and encouragement in these difficult times, the 516 participants of the Seminar were received. The seminar objectives were: To deepen the challenges posed by pandemics to our democracies and educational processes and, Analyze the impact of communication and information technologies in the current context and the training of educators.
Democracies and Education
Following the opening moment, the round-table on Democracies and education in times of pandemics was held with three speakers: Luis Bonilla-Molina from Venezuela, Extraordinary Professor at the University of Panama; Gaudencio Frigotto, from Brazil, Dr. in Education, Retired Professor at the Fluminense Federal University (UFF) and Associate Professor at the Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ); and Benito Baranda from Chile, Psychologist, Counselor and Social Activist and currently International Director of the organization América Solidaria. After the three provocative and critical interventions and the active participation in the chat of the participants with comments and questions, some of them were answered and discussed by the speakers.
Some urgencies were highlighted as conclusions and challenges proposed in this round-table: That the agenda of life must be the focus in this crisis accentuated by the pandemic, life must be put above the logic of the Market. The safe return to the classroom must be guaranteed to all members of the educational community. It is necessary to defend that education from remote technology does not fulfill the function of teaching, socializing, educating and emancipating diversity. It is essential to seek unity in this deeply unequal society. For this alliances, joint reflections, critical views are necessary. And finally, it is imperative at this time to democratize science, technology and the common goods of humanity.
Care is a key factor
Teresa Cristina Galhardo from Brazil participated in the second round-table dedicated to Subjectivities, Emotional Containment and Health. A Psychologist and Educationalist, she is Coordinator of High Education of the Teresiano School. Was joined from Uruguay by Susana González, Clinical Psychologyst and Educationalist; and by Julia Escalante de Haro, from Mexico, Lawyer Specialist in Human Rights from the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile and current Regional Coordinator of CLADEM.
The purpose of this second round-table was to provide reflections on care, self-care, the right to be cared for and the duty to care; also on the accompaniment of the different situations that the pandemic has generated both in the emotional spheres of the people and their families, especially to promote respect for the right of women to a life free of violence. Finally, it was emphasized that it is necessary for each person to individually and collectively seek tools to manage crises, focusing on expectations, demands and maintaining a horizon of hope.
Technology and Education today
The third day of the Seminar was dedicated to Reflecting on Technologies and Education in times of pandemics by presenting three distance education experiences through digital means. Partcipating in this round-table were Lorena Cardoso dos Santos from Brazil, doctor in Linguistics, Professor at Colegio Teresiano, Researcher of the Program of Studies on the Uses of the Language (PEUL); Mónica Diéguez from Argentina, Graduate in Social Education, Architect and Specialist in New Technologies, Director of the Pedro Poveda Institute; and Alejandra Arratia from Chile, Psychologist, PhD in Education from University of Melbourne, current Executive Director of the Education 2020 organization.
The speakers opened up countless challenges that are repeated in different contexts throughout the Continent: What does it mean to be digitally literate? How to promote reading, written production, assertive communication with diverse virtual objects and in diverse situations in the students? How to enable students to integrate their concern about the pandemic in a positive way to the learning processes? How to continue to strengthen this dynamic of autonomy that many students are achieving in this time of pandemic? What strategies should teachers use to address the diversity of learning rhythms that have been increased in distant education? How to guarantee pedagogical continuity indefinitely in the presence of acute digital gaps?
With these challenges open to seek answers in the educational task faced collectively, the Seminar closed with the words of Cecilia Padvalskis, member of the Governing Council of the Teresian Association who invited participants to do Hope and continue to hope from the understanding of these new challenges, from the richness of experiences and from continuing to dream. Finally, Eliana Corbett, Coordinator of the PSE Advisory Commission, encouraged to continue developing the capacity to learn, to learn again, renewing the ties of solidarity and the dynamics of transformation of society.
Documents from other seminars and repository, please click here
Continental Advisory Commission from the Socio Educational Proposal..