I never realised how much I would miss Madrid or how much I had until very late on Thursday night as I tried to fall asleep. Tossing and turning, my thoughts were bombarded with so many memories of this fascinating city that never sleeps….I certainly couldn´t that night.
When I was 20 I spent a whirlwind year discovering this incredible city, meteting all kinds of people from all kinds of places and studying at the department of political sciences (carefully “banished” by Franco to the outskirts of the city keeping any potential “subversive” students well away from the political centre of the city).It is wonderful to be back.
As I type, drills whirr in the background as another residence begins to grow beneath my hotel window. Madrid is growing and changing and the sound of drilling and building sites in the suburbs is not the only testimony to how much. Madrid is now home to people from 186 countries and as more and more people join this ever expanding city and make home in Spain, the question is how will this country and it´s education system respond to the coexisistence of so many different people and cultures and the challenges that this may bring?
This is just one of the questions I and delegates from Spanish and Latin American NGOs, academics, CSR representatives, teachers and education professionals shall be exploring at the inaugral FUNDESO Citizenship Education conference . FUNDESO is a Spanish based NGO who work with partners throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa on projects for sustainanble development . Their work throughout Spain focuses on raising awareness through development education and, recently, Citizenship projects for secondary schools. As Spain prepares itself to incorporate Citizenship as an individual subject in the Spanish national curriculum, I will join delegates to share experiences of citizenship education, best practice and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing teachers, schools and young people as they being to approach this new period of citizenship learning……I can´t wait!
My first session is about to begin..I´ll be back soon!