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Inés Sanguinetti -“We should redesign past models of learning”

Argentinian dancer and educator explains how the arts can enrich traditional education

Ines Sanguinetti

Andrea Abellan | 23.02.2017

The arts have a powerful role to play in enriching education, explained Argentinian dancer-cum-educator Inés Sanguinetti when attending the recent Salzburg Global Seminar program The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal. Sanguinetti made the switch from dancer to educator through Crear Vale la Pena (“Creating is Worth It”), an association that aims to put arts at the core of the learning process.

Sanguinetti believes students today are all too often educated in the opposite of bonding, making them isolated and constrained by too many prejudices and too little empathy – and the arts can help change this. Through Art, Wellbeing and Creativity, one of the projects developed by Crear Vale la Pena, Sanguinetti and her team are trying to change this situation. 

“We try to develop a kind of new laboratory of teaching and learning between schools and communities,” she explains. 

Through the project, “social actors” and “creative agents” – typically community artists coming from a variety of different backgrounds including visual arts, dance, music, and even technology – are brought into schools where they help teachers design their classes. The methodology is based on involving arts in the curriculum and encouraging dialogue between artists, teachers, and the community.

Sanguinetti compares this project with what used to occur in Ancient Greece, when going to the gymnasium was routine for students looking to train their body and mind. At that time, exercising was not viewed that far away from other subjects, namely philosophy and poetry.

“Now we are taught that everything must be clearly differentiated,” she laments. “I do enjoy mixing different styles even in my choreography, ranging from martial arts to rugby or tango. I trust the power of moving together minds and bodies to explain any kind of topic and this can be very helpful to learn about new subjects,” she explains.

Sanguinetti is not a supporter of the education system still being followed in some areas. In her view, traditional teaching methods are not capable of satisfying the needs of the students anymore. 

“I see traditional schools as a dying institution. We should redesign past models of learning and teach the students the skills they actually need to survive to the 21st Century.” 

Research conducted by the University of San Andrés based in Buenos Aires together with the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has reinforced Sanguinetti’s program. The increase in the students’ motivation, the improvement in the coexistence inside the classroom, and the positive attitude of the community towards the arts as a suitable form of learning and not only as an entertainment were all highlighted as positive outcomes from her programs. 

Sanguinetti is now exchanging experiences and collaborating with other associations. These are based in different countries, namely Colombia and Chile. Soon she will start cooperating with organizations outside of Latin America, such as in Germany, where similar programs are being carried out. In her home country of Argentina, Crear Vale la Pena will start receiving support from the government. Thanks to this, the number of schools and associations implementing the program will grow from 20 to more than 150. 

Through her experience in Salzburg, Sanguinetti had the opportunity to learn about similar projects conducted in Morocco and Cambodia, presented by Salzburg Global Fellows Karima Kadaoui, co-founder of Tamkeen (“Empowerment”) Community Foundation for Human Development, and Bun Rith Suon, manager of the culture and arts education project at Cambodian Living Arts, respectively. Sanguinetti expects to be able to start working with them too in the near future. 

“We are already planning our next meeting to keep working on what arts can do for resilience. We are looking forward to keep exchanging ideas and collaborating between us.”

23.02.2017 Category: CULTURE, FACES OF LEADERSHIP, IMAGINATION, SALZBURG IN THE WORLD, SALZBURG UPDATES
Andrea Abellan