First Conference on Teaching Humanities in Secondary Schools
On Friday and Saturday, 1-2 March 2013, the UIC Faculty of Humanities and the Official Association of Doctors and Graduates in the Arts and Sciences of Catalonia held the first Conference on Teaching Humanities in Secondary Schools, which took place on the UIC's Barcelona campus.
More than 50 university and secondary-school teachers took part in the conference, which aimed to reflect on practical methods and resources for understanding and interpreting the different types of documents used by teaching staff in the classroom, including historical and literary texts, maps and images. The objective was to bridge the gap between pre-university and university humanistic education and to create collaborative synergies by providing a space for dialogue and exchanging real-life, valuable teaching experiences.
During the opening ceremony, Dr. Teresa Vallès, the Dean of the UIC Faculty of Humanities, highlighted the relevance of humanistic studies these days and emphasized the key role played by school teachers in providing guidance for future university students. Josefina Cambra, the Dean of the Official Association of Doctors and Graduates in the Arts and Sciences of Catalonia, explored the wide range of professional opportunities offered by humanistic studies at the moment.
The conference was divided into two sets of practical workshops, and each set included three sessions. The attendees had to choose one session per set from the six available. The practical sessions included subjects such as “Reading Poetry as Literature”, “Calendars and Climates: The Mechanics of the Planet”, “How to Interpret a Work of Art” and “Texts to Read to Teach Students How to Think and Enjoy”.
Over the course of the two days, school teachers described some of their teaching experiences. One of the most prominent presentations was titled “ARC: Teaching Proposals to Apply and Adapt in the Classroom” and was given by Francina Martí and Natalia Maldonado from CESIRE-CIREL of the Ministry of Education of the Catalan government.
Dr. Joan Manuel del Pozo, a Professor of Philosophy at the Universitat de Girona, gave the closing session, which was titled “Humanism in the 21st Century: Meaning and Values”. During the session, Dr. del Pozo examined the contribution that humanism has made to historical progress so far and the contribution that is required in order to resolve the lack of direction in today’s society.