What have you done today to change the world? A different learning method

“We decided to tear down walls, gather students. We understood that alone we couldn’t teach everything to everyone. But, working as a team, following a project and making the act of learning autonomous, we could effectively respond to each student’s needs.”

José Pacheco, Portugal & Brazil

 

José Pacheco is a Portuguese educator and a visionary. Back in 1976, he almost gave up teaching due to the constant feeling that he was, somehow, excluding people from learning. The Portuguese school Escola da Ponte (https://www.facebook.com/escolabasicadaponte) was one among many public, decayed schools, with violent 14 and 15-year-old students who didn’t know how to read or write.

After asking himself repeatedly why wouldn’t the students learn, even though he delivered good, well structured lessons, he and two other teachers who shared the same concerns decided to apply their ideas in an innovative approach to teaching. They started by doing this on their spare time, while still teaching “regular lessons”, thus respecting the conservative attitude of those who didn’t want a change.

Gradually, they introduced a teamwork culture, opposed to the individual work practice present in the regular teaching methods. Through all these years, co-responsibility has been highly fomented in this learning place: students are grouped by their areas of interest and work together on research projects. They also work individually, sharing their findings with colleagues and educators afterwords. There are no classes, no exams, no school years. Teachers don’t teach just one subject, they are available to guide students as these may need. Students acquire, from an early age, a strong sense of citizenship, solidarity and, therefore, community.

As a team, and promoting an autonomous learning, José Pacheco and his fellow educators were able to tackle each student’s needs. In the beginning, the students didn’t respond well, simply because it was easier just to listen to the teacher than actually working on projects, doing research and develop critical thinking. Some teachers from other schools were also mistrustful and created quite a few obstacles to their vision.

In time, the student’s results started to show the high quality of their learning method. Recent assessment reports state that Escola da Ponte students obtain better grades than other schools’ students, and their level of social and moral development is even more significant.

Escola da Ponte teaching method places great importance on ethics and, as it’s known that aesthetics and cognitive developments are mutually influenced, knowledge is not fragmented. Escola da Ponte has proven that another education is, indeed, possible, associating academic excellence and social inclusion.

More recently, and after letting his cherished creation, Escola da Ponte, flourish by itself, José Pacheco was asked by the late Walter Steurer to help him “build a school” in Brazil, based on the LDBEN (Brazilian Guidelines and Basic Law for National Education) and that was how Projeto Âncora was born (http://www.projetoancora.org.br/) in São Paulo state.

Projeto Âncora school follows a sustainable education, effectively promoting social integration, going against the everlasting exclusion of the poorer children from the educational system. Brazilian schools lack reflective interaction spaces, and only when they discard the obsolete educational model most of them still rely on, as well as the bureaucratic management that places administration matters before educational ones, will they be transformed into places operating an integrative learning method, not dividing knowledge, not segregating students, but rather instigating values such as liberty, responsibility and solidarity (the three fundamental values sustaining Escola da Ponte too), and also autonomy, democracy and cooperation.

José Pacheco still visits his home country, Portugal, either to be with his beloved grandchildren or to follow up projects from his former students. He will be in Portugal, in 2018, for a teachers and educators gathering, providing mentorship and projects follow-up.

Today, the oldest students from Escola da Ponte are women and men in their fifties, that express on their day-to-day lives the values learnt at that school. They are fully fledged citizens, well accomplished and socially integrated.

Let’s hope for a wider political sensitivity and will to support the creation and maintenance of more learning and sharing places such as Escola da Ponte, in Portugal, or Projeto Âncora, in Brazil. We will all win from that!

. What have you done today to change the world? .

by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira

linkedin.com/in/claudiagomesoliveira 

What have you done today to change the world? Abolish all animal suffering

“We should always think how certain actions we do would make us feel, if they were to be done to us. That would give us the answer to everything and the world would be very different!”

Sandra Cóias, Portugal

 

Sandra Cóias is an actress, an entrepreneur, and a very conscious and caring human being. She became a vegetarian more than 20 years ago and, more recently, has become vegan (not consuming anything derived from animals). Her reason is to avoid, by all means, to contribute to any type of animal suffering, which, as we know, is tremendous in the meat industry.

Her attempts to invite others to adopt this conscious attitude have been somewhat successful, although many people tend not to think about the subject at all, maybe due to its screaming evidences of the unnecessary suffering caused by humans to other living beings and the absolute need for a mindset change.

Sandra Cóias highlights the fact that human beings are not carnivores by nature, but rather omnivores. Back in the Paleolithic Age, men and women ate whatever they could find in nature, having a raw-food diet. The meat would be a part of it, but only sporadically.

It was only in the past few centuries that the meat industry, presently one of the most powerful in the world, started the actual massive production of animals for human consumption, being responsible for the constant and enormous availability of meat in supermarkets.

If only people were aware of how the meat they eat is produced, or of the amount of adrenaline and toxins present in it, released by the animal in distress just before it gets killed, they would probably rethink eating it so often (or at all). However, an informed and conscious consumer is not on the industry’s best interest.

Human population is growing at an alarming pace. Soon, there won’t be enough resources left to feed everyone, especially if the world keeps depending on meat and fish to do so. Although nowadays we live longer, we’re living worst than ever. Obesity, for instance, is a recent issue and is, undoubtedly, due to the poor feeding habits of modern societies.

Animal welfare is a great concern to Sandra Cóias, she’s an activepromoter of animal protection and believes that, unfortunately, many humans lack sensibility and humanity, not being able to fully understand the suffering of others. Nonetheless, she keeps raising awareness about wildlife crimes, the use of animals in circus, bullfighting, and other cruelties inflicted by humans to all other species.

Her latest project is WIMS – Walk In My Shoes, an animal free shoe brand. Sandra loves shoes and decided to create her own, not using a single product coming from animals.

https://instagram.com/walkinmyshoesbysandracoias/

Hopefully, WIMS will prosper and inspire other brands to go animal free too! It is sad to see that most people are too absorbed with non-essential things, living egoistically, rather than thinking about what is truly fundamental for their survival: air, water and land quality, and biodiversity.

There’s still time to change mentalities and attitudes. All it takes is commitment and coherence. Shall we try?

. What have you done today to change the world? .

by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira

linkedin.com/in/claudiagomesoliveira

Eugenio Loarce Interview

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Today I am delighted to be able to interview one of those designers that you should not lose sight of: Eugenio Loarce. With more than 10 years in the world of fashion, the manchego designer Eugenio Loarce bets on the design and production Made in Spain handmade, with extremely careful sewing creations, where the lace and trimmings have special prominence, drawing on the arts and Great Kitsch divas.

The barroc garments that persist in the past are her hallmark, being present in all his collections, which are oriented to a woman, with personality, humor and culture, someone who takes the reins of her own life. Eugenio Loarce is a man with a great talent, a great professional who puts passion in his work, with a natural sense of pursuing the beautiful.

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“When and how did your start in the design?”

Since I was a small child I frequently do figures, and people who know me from that age always remind me in this way. Also in my house my mother and part of my family are dressmakers.

– How would you define your style?

I try to make unique pieces, available and with a strong personal character. Garments that can be put all the world of any age, condition, etc ….

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– what inspires you to create your collections?

In almost everything that surrounds me: books, television, theater, art ..

I try to tell a story or someone through something that I see in any place and then it is a totally manual process: patronage, sewing, complements … If I did not want to tell anything the clothes themselves are already a sewing exercise itself, That we may be able to get to do in the brand and every season we try to improve our previous work or introduce something new.

“Do you have any muse?”

Specifically not, but I like people who are different for something and that accentuates their difference.

 

Foto Ugo Camera www.viewfashionbook.com

– How is the woman Eugenio Loarce?

With personality, humor and culture, someone who takes the reins of his own life. A woman who likes fashion and has no prejudices with her.

A woman who enjoys the clothes, not to use and throw and my clothes have a vintage air, that over time they can use it again with few arrangements the next generations

– The spring collection Summer 2017 “Rara Avis” presented at Alicante Fashion Week It was very shocking! Tell us a little more about it.

“RARA AVIS” is a Latin term that applies to a person or thing that is considered uncommon, or to have some characteristic that differentiates it from the others of the same species.

This was the name given to the great exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2005 (Iris Apfel: rare avis). There you could see more than 80 costumes from the peculiar fashion collection of Iris Apfel. In this exhibition there were pieces by Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Nina Ricci, Geoffrey Beene, Lanvin, etc.

Iris Apfel’s fame came to 84 years after being the object of this great exhibition, but nevertheless her style broke molds long ago, when with her peculiar taste showed that the fashion was intuition and that to combine pieces of design with clothes Of the market was not only allowed, but was a way of triumphing ignoring stereotypes. She became an aesthetic reference.

This way of understanding fashion is reflected in this new collection. “RARA AVIS” walks with garments of different styles, eras and shapes that wander along with special accessories, giving a very special character to each look. All this makes the brand walk in a “seasonless” style, as more and more seasons are not so marked by weather, weather, countries …

One of the peculiarities of this collection is the multitude of prints used: tiger heads, squirrels, vichy paintings … As for the tonalities, sober colors like black, gold and beige are used in all their range, The colorful prints. There is a contrast of fabrics, we use both simple and very elaborate haute couture.

“RARA AVIS” is a collection for all those women and men who mix freely and who are not afraid, rather daring to wear.

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– If with a dress you had to define the present moment how would you do it?

Special, I can not say more ….

– Is there a future project or plan that you would like to share with us?

Redefine my website for sale online, make a fashion film and continue working, which in the end is what I’m passionate about!

 

Thanks to Eugenio Loarce for giving me this interview and showing me his collections 🙂 I leave your web page: http://www.eugenioloarce.com/

 

WATER & POWER // Exclusive Editorial

 

By Stacy Ellen
Photography Vince Tabora
Hair & Makeup by Krisi Vaughn
Model Anneka Tabone

Showing his collection for the first time in the United States is designer Juan Pablo Martinez at the Moda 360 international show in Los Angeles, California. His collection catches my eye right away with its classic lines, impeccable tailoring and edgy detailing of metal studs and zippers.

Juan Pablo Martinez appears to be a British gent as he introduces himself to me, as I mention this observation, he says, “My grandfather was from the UK.” He is dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, wearing sophisticated wire rim spectacles.

The AUTUMN WINTER 2016-17 COLLECTION is fittingly named MILITARY VS. HEAVY METAL which works perfectly with the location for this editorial shoot. “Water and Power” was shot on location at the pool that wraps around the LADWP building in downtown Los Angeles as well as the metal sculptured structure of the Disney Concert Hall. Martinez describes his love of the music genre of Heavy Metal as part of his inspiration for this collection. Interpretation of the words “heavy metal” can mean many things as displayed even in this article.

As I take a closer look at his womenswear collection, Martinez’s hang tags, display the dedication he has as a designer to not only use materials that are Eco friendly but also his collection is produced mainly from local artisans in his native land of Columbia.

For instance, the “TANK DRESS” was hand knitted by Yessenia Rodriguez, from end of the roll cotton fabric. Another example of this consciousness to the environment is Martinez’s use of “zero waste” 100% local wool fabric and satin short huipil sourced from the last rolls of Columbian factories before they closed due to unfair competition from Chinese suppliers.

This is a testament that not only the United States has participated in non-fair trade deals, which ultimately effects not only the country as a whole but the people that strive to making a living as well.

The “DOUBLE BREASTED VEST” was hand knitted by Erika Marin, a young artist from Zipaquira, Columbia. Showing again the strength and integrity it takes to be a conscious design that employees people which deserve to make a fair living. Yet again another example of this consciousness to Eco friendly design is in the “MILITARY INSPIRED WHITE SHIRT” made from recycled cotton + pet in Envigado, Columbia with Tagua buttons, sown individually with cotton thread by local homeworkers.

As stated in Martinez’s bio on his Not Just A Label profile, “It seems like a lot of ideas for a small collection, but it´s just the drive and the need to push forward that I have as a fashion designer.”

With all this said, the collection encompasses must have staple pieces with a modern edge to anyones wardrobe and it doesn’t hurt that the pieces are so lovingly made as well.

For more information on Juan Pablo Martinez, please visit the prestigious website showcasing independent designers Not Just A Label