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Título : “A world of different colors”: trying to teach solidarity and global consciousness in sixth grade.
Autor : Lacueva, Aurora
Palabras clave : Project-based learning
Health education
Multicultural education
Global consciousness
Values in education
Fecha de publicación : 2002
Editorial : International Organization for Science and Technology Education (IOSTE)
Citación : Lacueva, A. (2002). “A world of different colors”: trying to teach solidarity and global consciousness in sixth grade. En: Bizzo, Nelio y otros (eds.). International Organization for Science and Technology Education (IOSTE). X Symposium Proceedings. Volume 1. Pp. 28-39. IOSTE. São Paulo, Brasil.
Resumen : This is a case study of a teacher enacting project-based learning with his sixth grade students. The teacher Jaume Baras (not his real name) states that he uses projects as a way to break the barriers among subject-areas, give students a leading role, and develop creativity, initiative, collaborative work, solidarity and knowledge tied to action. During the project studied, I observed almost all the classes, interviewed the teacher at the beginning and end, interviewed six children at the end, collected didactic material and copies of children’s work. Also, the teacher agreed to keep a diary, using a form I gave him. Mr. Baras wanted children to get ampler perspectives and invited them to study health in six regions of the world. The project lasted five months, meeting once a week, plus some extra classes towards the end. There were three phases during the work. In the first phase each team chose a region and did library research about it, using a comprehensive concept of health they had constructed in class. The teams presented their results to their classmates, utilizing strategies like posters, dramatizations, a “TV news report”, etcetera. In the second phase, Mr. Baras asked them to go beyond data and try to present a message. In the third phase Mr. Baras found a collection of books about “children of the world”: in each book a child presented his or her own country. He decided to center each team work in a single country instead of in a whole region. Each team chose a country among the ones in the collection. In this phase, work went more smoothly because the books were easy to read and the information was more focalized. The class presented their project (named by them “A world of different colors”) in an inter-schools event. Besides, the children talked about it in a regional radio station. Baras thinks the project helped children “to get a new vision of the world”. And that the students also advanced in group work and independent search for information. To my question “What have you learned in this project?” children interviewed said: “Things about other countries we didn’t know, we thought everybody lived like us”, “Not all people live equally well… You have to respect others, no matter how different they are from you”. Other learning: to read and write better, to have a deeper concept of health. From my perspective, it would have been better if the project had focus in specific countries from the beginning. Also, it could have been enriched with more empirical research. The general idea was powerful and formative.
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