In light of the negative news in Brazilian media, I’m happy to bring you something good-hearted.
Arte na Escola Institute is a project that hands out awards to teachers that start projects to improve the lives of their students. Each year, they give out awards to 5 teachers and record a clip detailing their project. While looking through their site (PT) I came across the winner for the Preschool Education category from the 10th edition (in 2009), Gilmária Ribeiro da Cunha, and her project “Somos brasileiros, somos diferentes”. Below, you can learn a bit about what she does.
“The experiment was carried out with children five years of age living in Subúrbio Ferroviário in Salvador, a region characterized by low-income housing, but rich in cultural traits with strong African and Indian origins. Having in mind this context, the experience sought to rescue and value these cultures in order to establish comparisons between the way of being and living of indigenous peoples and Africans with Brazilian culture and, especially, the local culture. The project has also sought to raise the self-esteem of children through the enhancement of their cultural heritage, especially African. The art was guiding the whole process, having been applied via different avenues: through visual arts, music, dance and theater.
In her report, the teacher said that the option of having art as the primary mediator in the acquisition of knowledge allowed the children to express themselves through various languages, building their cultural identity and expanding their vision through representations about multiculturalism, the playfulness of childhood, the artistic and cultural expression of the body, and their feelings.
As a result, also she points out that the experience contributed to the construction of the children’s identity and the strengthening of respect for differences leading to citizenship, supported by ethical values.
Besides the interaction with the professor of a theater school and university participation of trainees in this area, the development of the project had the full support of the Escola management, considering that its elements form the basis of its educational project, which brings Arts education as a guiding pedagogical practice aimed at valuing the culture of childhood and the local culture.” – Source (PT)