Work in Progress - A New Teacher in Argentina

Luciana Garate and children at a Saturday workshop

Two years ago we sponsored a young trainee- teacher from Argentina to spend a whole academic year as a classroom assistant at St James Junior School in London. Luciana wanted to take back to her country the St James philosophy of education and put it into practice there. She also attended ERT’s international teachers’ conference in Lucca, last summer.

Luciana now writes:

“What I learnt is a gift that goes with me everywhere. Luckily, after a long search, a month ago I started working at a school in Buenos Aires that I found. I like the atmosphere at the school where I am in charge of Year 2 girls (this school is one of the very few that keeps boys and girls separate), who are gorgeous, bright and very respectful. From the first day onwards the girls have been responding very positively to pausing between activities and serving each other at lunchtime; needless to say that these ideas are new to them!”

A geometry session

Luciana reports that the Head teacher of this school is open to experimentation, and she is introducing St James ideas to him – slowly!

As well as her regular teaching job, Luciana is using her experience at St James to help a new educational project. Called Nityam (Sanskrit for ‘always’), the project is setting about raising the level of consciousness in the educational community in Argentina. A group of teachers has been meeting regularly to study the philosophical principles of education and enrich the love of their subject.

Luciana and her colleagues at the School of Practical Philosophy in Buenos Aires have also begun to offer workshops for children on Saturdays. Already, parents are reporting children putting into practice what they’ve learned at the Nityam sessions. Such as two brothers deciding to serve their parents during meals!