Spain – About 500 teachers discuss educational change

(ANS – Madrid) – In the words of Jonathan Bergmann, professor of chemistry and one of the authors of the teaching model known as the “flipped classroom”, the best resource in a classroom are the teachers. Teachers, therefore, should be aware of improvements in educational practice and offer better ideas to their students, so that the students can feel active and that their presence in school may be effective and profitable for their lives.

On 28 October the largest educational event ever organized by the Salesian School of “San Juan Bosco” of La Cuesta began. The International Congress of Active Methodologies for Learning brought together 500 teachers conscious of the fact that education needs a profound change to meet the needs of today’s world.

The Don Bosco Educa Conference transformed the Salesian House into a meeting point for dialogue and the promotion of new ideas in education. During the first day of the congress a tribute was presented to the students of the centre and this was followed by a contribution on Cooperative Learning.

On Saturday 29 October the participants enjoyed a talk from Jonathan Bergmann. Despite being known for his style of teaching, Bergmann decided to “reverse” what students do during lessons. He told them to look at the lessons at home and do the exercises, and then do their “homework” in class, under the teacher’s supervision. Bergmann and Sams not only discovered that student achievement had improved but also that they had more time for other activities, which, according to Bergmann, are more important than the videos themselves. Since then, Bergmann has become the main technological facilitator of a school in Illinois and has worked to promote this model of teaching in other schools, universities and other educational institutions.

The conference was attended by Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy and Fr Cristóbal López, the superiors of the two Spanish provinces of St James the Greater and Mary Help of Christians. The conference also represents the beginning of the union of the teachers of the two Provinces.

On the fringe of the Don Bosco Educa conference there were also several workshops, for example, on Cooperative Learning, Multiple Intelligences, Information and Communication Technologies, the Flipped Classroom etc.

And the words of Dr Bergmann “the best resource in a classroom are the teachers” remained in the hearts of all the teachers who participated.

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