I am back in Sao Paulo after three very full days in Curitiba. When I started writing on Saturday about it, I thought I would be able to sit down and write my impressions after the sessions but this was just as impossible as go to sleep at a normal hour…lol
On Sunday we stayed the whole day in the conference room of the hotel listening to the different speakers. I was very impressed by the work some state teachers are developing in their classes in spite of the unfavourable environment they face. Flat Stanley, a Canadian project caught my attention. I must pass it on to the BaW working with children. It is much fun and I am sure they have lots of creativity to adapt it online, using bloggers/webpages.
Theory sessions and discussions turned around post-modernism in education and the dilemmas an educator faces with the relativisation of values, multi-culturality and the ever-changing and constantly evolving identities.
Ethnographic research was introduced as a means to alleviate this problem as it describes, analyses and interprets the relationship of a particular person or group of people interacting in a situation at a moment in time. Although these presentations gave us food for thought, and some of us stayed afterwards to discuss it, I noticed many of the teachers who were the target of this seminar did not see the point or plainly did not understand what was going on or how to include this into their practice. They had come for a more practical reason: how to face their classrooms and how/what to present to their students.
I have not had any formal training as I have built my teaching philosophy from practice and reading on my own…so the two things blend somehow. I would find it very difficult to have the theory first and then apply it to practice. I believe theory-practice is an intertwined process as you construct and change your practice from reflecting on it…and vice-versa…