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Michael commented on Lima 2035

Greetings to the inspiring change makers involved in this project. I appreciate the invitation to participate in the dialog. My area of contribution is in education. I am an elementary educator at a school that uses the well known Primary Years Programme, an inquiry-based approach to learning. I have experience designing curriculum that is action-oriented, student-centered, and concept driven. Yet, I have had my most memorable experiences leading my school’s gardening club where our learners explore the beauty of nature, how to grow plants, and the underlying science of the garden.

As part of this dialog, I think there are several aspects of how to develop learners with the skills necessary to be able to contribute to and implement the Lima 2035 project. I will highlight my initial thoughts.

First, this project presents a multitude of potentially powerful learning experiences for young learners within both the Primary Years Programme and the Peruvian National Curriculum. In Peru, there are 15 PYP schools. The PYP has six Units of Inquiry, and each unit is personalized within a school based on its cultural and local context. These Units of Inquiry include: Who We Are; Where We Are In Place And Time; How The World Works, How We Express Ourselves; How We Organize Ourselves; and Sharing the Planet. Just a glance at the Lima 2035 vision would excite any PYP educator, as there are many avenues where the knowledge, skills, attitudes, concepts, and action that the PYP emphasizes can be developed. In Newton College, we are currently investigating our Unit of Inquiry “How We Organize Ourselves”. Our Central Idea is: “The Well-being of Society is Shaped by Innovation and Collaboration”. I will develop and teach two lessons in connection to the Lima 2035 project to my 5th grade students. In one lesson we will investigate the rain-catching technology used in this project. Another lesson will be about how the Lima 2035 project is presented to an institution to obtain funding for a vision they find important. Lima 2035 could easily be proposed toward the PYP schools of Lima. It might be stated that these schools are often where the business and governmental elite of the country who will have an influence on public policy attend. If we instill into these learners the concepts and attitudes contained within the Lima 2035 vision, they will be more likely to put their support behind such projects in the future.

This project also perfectly connects with the progressive Peruvian National Curriculum. It has 11 learner profile attributes that it has deemed each student accomplish by the end of their schooling. Of the 11 attributes, the ones that stand out to me as having the greatest opportunity to connect with this project are: 1. El estudiante se reconoce como persona valiosa y se identifica con su cultura en diferentes contextos. 2. El estudiante propicia la vida en democracia a partir del reconocimiento de sus derechos y responsabilidades y de la comprensión de los procesos históricos y sociales de nuestro país y del mundo. 3. El estudiante practica una vida activa y saludable para su bienestar, cuida su cuerpo e interactúa respetuosamente en la práctica de distintas actividades físicas, cotidianas o deportivas. 4. El estudiante indaga y comprende el mundo natural y artificial utilizando conocimientos científicos en diálogo con saberes locales para mejorar la calidad de vida y cuidando la naturaleza. 5. El estudiante gestiona proyectos de emprendimiento económico o social de manera ética, que le permiten articularse con el mundo del trabajo y con el desarrollo social, económico y ambiental del entorno. It is easy to see how learning experiences for Peruvian students could be centered around the Lima 2035 project in a real-world context and also develop the necessary knowledge and skills to attain the Peruvian national learning standards.

Finally, aside from all of the educational verbiage, as useful as it may be, two important reasons why this project is exciting for education in Lima is because it is beautiful and inspiring. I have witnessed, from the most elite schools in Lima, to the educationally underserved masses, that when a child grows a living thing, there is an irresistible attraction towards learning that occurs. I have walked through makeshift gardens in a variety of contexts where kids just want to get their hands dirty and play. When a child brings home a tomato or flower they grew by themself, and learned something about the beauty and science of our Earth’s delicate systems, something happens that cannot be expressed with data. This is what educators yearn for. Contexts that allow students to be intrinsically motivated to learn and serve humankind, as well as develop a greater understanding of what an ethical community might be for our barrio and our city. I am certain that the Lima 2035 project has all the potential to accomplish this.