Marzo 2010

Symposium Expanded Education

New digital culture is characterised by networked organisation, collective work, convergence culture, copyleft, etc. The fact that most of these processes haven’t been incorporated into conventional educational systems means that new forms of education aren’t taking place only – or even mainly – within formal schooling, and they are not being led by educational institutions. There are now countless artistic, scientific, communicational and educational projects of a cultural, social, digital and audiovisual nature, and these make up the cutting-edge of 21st century education - an expanded form of education that goes beyond the narrow, traditional institutional, thematic and methodological boundaries.

Media literacy merges with science and creativity to generate a third networked culture which places special value on design thinking, laboratories as working spaces, the idea of process rather than instrument, the blurring of boundaries between professional and amateur (the concept of pro-am), innovation as a driving force for knowledge and the commons as a research tool.

Education can happen everytime, everywhere. Inside and outside the walls of the academic institution. The context of the digital economy represents a new opportunity to recover the idea of reciprocity in the distribution of forms of knowledge.

The inspiration and the touchstones behind this symposium include Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of the question, Ferrer i Guardia’s rationalist schools, the evocative images of Zero for Conduct, political anarcho-syndicalism and anarchist education practices (from Kropotkin to Chomsky), video as a tool for social change, community media, free radio, telestreets and the theatre of the oppressed.

The symposium is structured in three main parts: lectures, project presentations and workshops.

1. The lectures will be presented by Jesús Martín Barbero, Brian Lamb and Ronaldo Lemos. They are - from different perspectives - actively involved in developing new educational models for networked, digital culture based on a critical and proactive attitude to traditional educational systems and paradigms. Martín Barbero will present “Educational City: from a society with educational system to a knowledge and learning society”; Brian Lamb will talk about “The urgency of open education: cheap thrills, radical reuse, and feed-frenzied learning”; and, finally, Ronaldo Lemos on “The Future Challenges of Education: Communities, Free Culture and Intellectual Property”.

2. The workshops will allow participants to implement many of the ideas behind the symposium, and allow an opportunity for “learning by doing” in a broader context than that usually offered by academia. If the lectures think in global, the workshops are working on local. The Bank of Common Knowledge is “a pilot experience dedicated to the research of social mechanisms for the collective production of contents, mutual education, and citizen participation”. Platoniq - responsible for this project - will work in a different context they are used to: the “Polígono Sur” in Sevilla, the cheapest site in Europe, very close (a bit more than 1 km.) to the most expensive site in Sevilla (”La Buhaira”). Is it possible to get this neighbourhood self-esteem back reconsidering the value of common knowledge further than inside the school?. A group of theachers from IES Antonio Domínguez Ortiz,, ZEMOS98 and different associations from the Polígono Sur have been working on this idea for 3 months, and will work intensively from 16th to 20th, March. They will present the experience on Wednesday, 25th March in the 11th edition of ZEMOS98 International Festival.

In the Andalusian International University, the workshop “Introduction to the theatre of the oppressed” by Julian Boal will put into practise the idea of theatre “as means of knowledge and transformation of the interior reality in the social and relational field”. The Expanded Factory and Approximation to the creative process will complete the programme of workshops in this symposium.

3. The call for projects invited everybody actively working in education to present and discuss their experiences. The Festival has received more than 50 projects from all over the world and the list of selected presentations is available here. All of them are projects working on research process, experimentation, reflection and development of new educational models and learning environments.

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