”There are official searchers, inquisitors. I have seen them in the performance of their function: they always arrive extremely tired from their journeys (…) they talk with the librarian of galleries and stairs; sometimes they pick up the nearest volume and leaf through it, looking for infamous words. Obviously, no one expects to discover anything.Jorge Luis Borges
During the last months we have been working side by side, picking up our volumes in search for words and actions that could silent the pessimism of suddenly being locked at home, far from our routines, colleagues, extended families, and friends. But jp.ik and families seem to have grown stronger through quality interactions where learning was placed both as a process and an output.
On a weekly basis, we brought you a bunch of educational resources properly curated, to support you on this demanding task of making home a meaningful learning place. All the suggestions had an emotional touch that distance learning could underestimate, so that motivation could flourish and new paths for communication could be written in the family story. In fact, we have tried to seize the opportunity to push sense back into the learning experience and we did that recalling parents’ role as models who do really know how to balance purpose and play.
From music videos – that disclosed secrets from sciences, humanities, and arts – to coding, composing, travelling, and animation movies – to learn on virus or emotions – we kept our hearts tied to curiosity and knowledge. To each educational resource – whether it was a software or application, a multimedia content, or a ingenious website – we have highlighted its relation to subject fields and added a collection of didactical proposals for you to go further together, showing that a good resource is a fruitful stimulus for other personal and academic narratives and constructions. And all of this to helps us on that never-ending process of writing our storyboard: a process that has learning of our own self and ours as a capital characteristic to accordingly act towards the world.
This perspective on families had another fundament and purpose: if parents/guardians could feel confident assuming a role on intentional learning, then teachers would also be supported on the difficult transition to distance education, being assisted on learning transfer and subjects’ consolidation in real-world connections that were made at home.
So, we feel our mission here was already accomplished, as we believe each intentional action for others should envision their autonomy and agency. And we are sure you were already prepared or willing to find your ways through digital or transmedia content. But we will keep supporting you indirectly, backing your kids’ teachers!
These last few months revealed our formal education was not ready for this transition. If learning was enabled it was due to a bottom-up approach, where teachers together with principals and parents took the lead, finding so many surprising ways to deal with or even succeed. Anyway, these were challenging and truly demanding times for teachers as they had to respond to their students’ and parents’ needs while realizing their own fragilities and necessities on this process. Their own professional development was many times put into the equation as a crucial piece that must not be forgotten: although they are dealing with other necessities, they are lifelong learners along with their students. And those who were not afraid to acknowledge it, made a meaningful journey of experimentation with their students, where new ways of encoding and expressing the (inner) world came to life. So, we think we now owe this time to teachers. The same curation we did for you we will be now doing to teachers, giving sense to the universe of didactic applications and websites out there. Because we all know they can be really overwhelming without a guiding line! Therefore, we will propose teachers a clear alignment of that digital content with curricula and strategy where project-based learning, group exploration and a personal meaningful introspection may be kept as ingredients that a learning experience must guarantee whether it is face-to-face, online-based, blended or hybrid.
So, it is your turn now! We would love to have you as champions or ambassadors on this mission, engaging teachers with our monthly tips, that will promptly start next September. And let us keep the joint work, not just because together we go further, but because we do really learn along the process, through the journey’s dissonances and echoes of appreciating the landscape from the same bus. Obviously, we expect to discover something or at least we will perform our functions less tired and our galleries and stairs will definitely be disclosed from a different door.
In the case you want to remember all the resources we have curated and shared, here it is:
Ana Mouta, Ana Paulino and Inês Sá Couto
Ana Mouta, Ana Paulino and Inês Sá Couto are Pedagogy Specialists at jp.ik.