Dario Garcia, a Social Science graduate at the UPN, has been analyzing the geographical transformations from the social organization, and working in a different perspective of the geography since 2007. From an article derived of his thesis for master’s degree in Education at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, he earned the third place in the Educational Research and Innovation Award (experiences in 2019) granted by the Institute for Educational Research and Development –IDEP–.
Garcia carried out a hands-on exercise with 21 of his students from Cristóbal Colón School, interviewing the population of the Soratama neighborhood (an urban area in the eastern hills at Usaquen) during 14 educational visits. They could transform the territorial reality of the neighborhood with a mural in which the result of the investigation was made known, highlighting the environmental importance of this place and the transformations it has undergone in recent years.
The goal was to bet on a critical geography to consider the forces that cause spatial variations starting from pedagogy, school and territory. "The geography teaching has been somehow neglected in recent times, because in the curricular guidelines its relevance was blurred a little, that is why this work was done," the teacher said.
This award, according to his opinion, is important because a great part of the social sciences researches remain in a university's repository and they are rarely consulted, so it becomes a recognition to the fact that teachers do research in classrooms, reaching conclusions that deserve at least to be taken into account. Therefore, it is a way of demonstrating that it is possible to make the social sciences much more relevant to the demands of today's citizens.
"Almost always we teach about abstract spaces for the student, either as a country or continent, but not taking into account changes in the neighborhoods themselves, in the nearby territory, because it has been a long time since the school geography was renewed, not realizing the fact it could develop a more critical and empowered citizen," Garcia explains.
Finally, speaking about the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, this teacher sustains it is his home as it has prompted his research work upon his own problematization of geography and his professional practice. "I would not be the teacher I am without what I have been taught and given me at the UPN," he concludes.