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Peroline Ainsworth

Birkbeck: University of London (United Kingdom)
Research Project Title: Reimagining School with Cooperative Educators in Patagonia

Research Project Title: Reimagining School with Cooperative Educators in Patagonia

Peroline's project activities will build on a year of close engagement with pupils and staff at Don Jaime de Nevares Secondary school in Villa La Angostura (VLA), a remote town in the northern part of Argentine Patagonia. During this year, she set up a radio station with staff and pupils and facilitated a podcasting project in which they explored the values and practices of their school, which uses a pedagogical approach staff describe as wellbeing-centred, democratic and cooperative. her fieldwork explored how staff and pupils envision and enact their pedagogical approach. They plan to reflect more deeply together on the following questions:

• How does the pedagogy evoke and make concrete counter-hegemonic ideas that resonate with social movements in the region and beyond? For example with regional worker cooperativism (Aiziczon 2019), local feminist and other spaces practicing horizontalidad (Sitrin 2006, 2010) and local understandings of buen vivir/Küme Mogen (Mendoza 2021)?

• What challenges and opportunities do staff and pupils encounter practicing this pedagogy?

Specifically, she will co-facilitate with research collaborators two reflection and knowledge-exchange events with a range of people from the school community, broadly defined. Both events have been requested by staff, pupils and others active in cooperative projects linked to the school, who are keen to participate.

Community Charla (Feb/March 2023) The Community Charla (conversation) will be held at the Biblioteca Popular Osvaldo Bayer, an autonomous community library founded by activists campaigning against inequality and for the rights of local indigenous communities. It will be organized in conjunction with the Instituto Superior de Formación Docente (Teachers’ Institute) of VLA and staff and pupils from Don Jaime. Pupils will present their podcasts as stimulus for discussion about the school’s pedagogic project and its implications. Discussions will be carefully facilitated with breakout groups, tactile and visual aids, and icebreaking exercises, and pupils will stream discussions through their new school radio station. The event will also be a social occasion bringing together a range of interested parties including staff and pupils from nearby schools who are currently developing their own school cooperatives.