The partnership between Toca Institute and Dulce de Faria Martins Migliorini Municipal School began in 2016 with the aim of promoting a great innovation process through Integral Development proposals focused on Ecological Literacy.
The opportunity arose after we created Sementes da Toca, right here on the farm, where more than 50 students attended weekly, among children and young people who were already outside the age group of Escola da Toca but wanted to participate in our activities, during the school counter-shift. With the demand exceeding what we could meet, we thought: why don’t we take this approach to a municipal school, with greater capacity? And at that moment, we began a co-creation process with the whole team of educators from the school, developing a proposal that could be applied in conventional education, Dulce’s case.
In a conventional curriculum, children spend a lot of time sitting inside the classroom, usually learning Portuguese and Mathematics. Our perception, however, after several studies, is that the development of the integral being takes place in multiple dimensions, beyond the conventional subjects and the walls of the classroom. So our first action when closing this partnership with the school was to conduct an exercise with educators, parents and students to gather and tune our dreams and desires for change of that space.
The transformation happens day by day: at first, we replaced the afternoon curriculum with a new one, full of workshops and social entrepreneurship projects. We encouraged teachers and instructors to contribute according to their hobbies and skills. We have brought to school the integral development concept, with cooking, sports, culture, dance, music and entrepreneurship projects.
Obviously, we couldn’t leave out the environmental part, and today Dulce already has an agroforestry garden, a herb spiral, PANC’s beds (Unconventional Food Plants), a cob bench and walls painted with earthen paint – everything made by students during projects full of meaning.
But the biggest change that can indeed be felt is in the team, who notices each day teaching and learning becoming more meaninful, as we can see in the speech of the school’s Physical Education teacher Sérgio Gastaldi:
“How much care, how much love, and how much hope have we given these children? Today we can’t quantify it, but in a few years we will look back and with our eyes watery we will see how many flowers have sprouted from the seeds we have sown this year. ”