Title: 'The practice of educating to freedom: Erasmus projects and the language of peace'
Description: I am a teacher of English and I know the value of ‘space’. I know what it means to mimicry with the chaotic, destructured flow of my steps, the contents of those spaces I describe.Each phoneme, a ‘pas à deux’, a skyscraper, ‘une étoile’,a ‘juguete’ seen on the rambla. I see Europe because my feet have been there, my eyes have seen, my tongue has said. But what about our students? How much verbosity in those multiculturalist stories being told but never felt, this life-in- between, told by a voice-over. I am walking on a barbed wire, but with the elegance of a tightrope walker. I know their eyes are on me, but what if the wire breaks, if I fall? I will lose them. I will lose them all. I see Europe and that’s why I am asking it to radically change school, open its doors so that our children can see it as well. Time has come to challenge the teacher-student dualism, to turn the space of the classroom into a meeting point among Portuguese people and Italians, Greeks, Macedonians, and so on. I see Europe expanding the Erasmus Project to each and every student, to every country, thus becoming part and parcel of the educational system, without applications to send or pre-requisites to satisfy. My vision is a European Program which allows Hungarian students to go to Naples, and teach their language and their chocolate in Italian schools. I am looking at myself in 30 years time. I will be sitting in a chair, taking notes while my students deliver their lecture on their English program. Who is the student? Who, the teacher? Subverting roles. Daring. Let their knowledge Emerge from their mind and soul. We don’t have anything to teach, anything to plunge them into, as Paulo Freire claimed. The bigger picture is about a student aged 11, 12, 13, 18 moving to another country to teach his/her native language or share the results of his learning process with other students and teachers as well. I see Europe engaged in the real mission of ‘educating to the practice of freedom’ (Freire), of the perpetual voyage. A practice of freedom which is asking for a holistic vision where architects cooperate with the educational system, where architects and psychologists go to visit schools, spending a weekend with them, to touch the space, to sense their feeling of belonging and adapt that energetic space to the ‘meaning’ of Educational Architecture. I am advocating for an educational system that promotes foreign languages, and I am talking about the sign language that should be compulsory if we want to be called human beings. As a form of survival, I see each and every school becoming a stage for the Theatre of the oppressed, if our aim is to challenge conflicts in every language, be it maths or topography. I see European schools committed to composing the new book on peace, as if it were a universal hymn, the new Bible.