On an expedition

A few years after participating in my first pedagogical expedition with the Princess of Girona Foundation (FPdGi), the week of November 27-30, 2023, I could fulfill my dream of “repeating” the experience, this time in Castilla-León, specifically in Valladolid and Zamora. I can assure you that actively participating in the seventh edition of the Pedagogical Expedition for teachers from all over Spain accompanied, on this occasion, by alumni of the “Generation Teachers” program has been a very good experience.

In case anyone still doesn’t know, since 2012 the FPdGi has been promoting educational innovation in the ordinary practice of teachers at different educational levels, through training and different types of experiences that I invite you to get to know.

Today, I would like to share with you what the pedagogical expedition that Sandra Camós, the Foundation’s director of educational programs, and her team prepare with such care at the FPdGi, consists of.

On the one hand, the Foundation brings us closer, through direct visits to benchmark and innovative schools that are considered good practices, so that we teachers have different types of tools at our disposal to manage and promote changes in our corresponding educational centers and thus adapt to the reality that each one of us lives.

The visits are places of inspiration (and some envy), which show us that dreams, together with the daily effort, the commitment to change and educational innovation, the good working environment, and the belief in a shared project, become realities. This year, we had the opportunity to get to know closely the Language Teacher Training Center of Valladolid; the CEIP Kantika Arroyo of Valladolid, an innovative public center focused on the full development of the students’ personality, on projects to actively participate in social and cultural life, and on taking care of training for peace, cooperation and solidarity among peoples; the El Majuelo Center in Valladolid, a center that was born in tune with the Sustainable Development Goals and its commitment to the adoption of sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and cultural diversity; the Trilema center in Zamora, a reference center that stands out for its work on personalization in the Stations model, learning by challenges and projects within a context of environments, as well as the care for student welfare and the work on metacognition and the learning portfolio; and the IES Condesa Eylo in Valladolid, another reference center, this time in Valladolid, in various fields of educational innovation, standing out in coexistence and media projects, as well as in its commitment to the promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence, global citizenship and cultural diversity, bilingualism work in high school, and care for the cultural life of the entire educational community, connecting informal and formal learning.

Not only that, in the pedagogical expeditions, which bring together about 30 teachers, a certain magic is created, in which teachers who live our profession with passion, the passion to educate, we create community from practically the very moment we meet. Talented teachers, leaders in educational innovation, and teacherpreneurs (I had to insist on this concept), we come together to continue sharing our commitment to the transformation of the educational system.

As if that were not enough, during the expeditions, we were given the great opportunity to participate in training workshops led by Maria Batet and Esteve Lopez. On this occasion, we enjoyed three workshops. Two of them were led by María Batet, ‘Traveling and learning: Pedagogical Tourism’ and ‘Let the creativity flow’. Maria taught us that, if we put creative thinking and curiosity in on mode, we already have a long way to go. She also taught us how to apply tools, as well as dynamics to get to know our creativity and train it. It was a workshop to put visual thinking into practice. Another workshop, ‘Give them wings: Student autonomy’, was led by Esteve López. The objective focused on how to activate students as owners of their learning, applying models that facilitate their self-regulation and thus take steps towards differentiation in the classroom.

This year we also met Jorge Castrillo, from Edunexis, a tool of a new idea generator to make programming easier through learning situations and to integrate, through artificial intelligence, the development of transversal and specific competencies in the process of teaching.

Another of the experiences presented to us was a different way of getting to know Valladolid. Albert Herraez and Mario Herraez from eTwinz showed us a different and innovative way to ignite students. We explored innovative and practical strategies to plan and carry out educational excursions that are attractive, interactive, and exciting. We experienced defining clear objectives, selecting appropriate destinations, and designing enriching activities that promote active student participation.

I am already looking forward to the new FPdGi event, will you be there?

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