TEXTS ON PEDAGOGY

THE ETSAM’S PROJECT PRACTICE

 

The ETSAM’s Projects Department has such dimensions and is subject to a legal operating system that make hard to have the needed flexibility and operative capacity so that rational links with other faculty’s departments are made. First of all, and in and essential way, with those which have related pedagogical components of straight intervention over the human environment, through the projection action, such as Urbanism and Graphic Creation. The programs and work ambits should widely coincide, and why not, the teaching staff could be active collaborators. However, as known, the relationship not only between departments, but even between the same teaching units inside each department, doesn’t exist, there isn’t any communication between different or the same levels. Never has this school shown a more discouraging scenario, seen from the perspective of an integrated (not uniform) teaching, at least technically and operatively.

Unluckily the students don’t have a real perspective of what is happening and its evident deterioration. This is only noticed by us, the ones that have witnessed the dilated ETSAM’s history, and as teachers should evaluate the situation.

It’s true that the entitles’ quality of the last generations is very high (overall that which corresponds to the 64 and 75 Plans), but that is mostly because of the open offer of teaching staff in a good portion of the teaching areas, in such a way that the interested students have found a high quality pedagogic path (teachers and programs) thanks to the high professional, not pedagogic, level of most of the teaching staff. Staff which has in a well worthy mode and with great enthusiasm made up for the lacks and contradictions not only of the school itself, but of the political and institutional frames.

Never the less, the apathetic, low level, and discouraged students have also found a way to get round the difficulties inherent to this title. As this School has trained most of the best professionals in the country in the past thirty years, it also has entitled architects under the minimum standards upon which, by the way, most of the undesirable infra-architecture production has been concentrated.

Now days, with the 96 Plan, the past flaws haven’t been corrected and any ways, the quality of the few good curriculums has been spoiled. For those of us who have a relative point of view compared with previous terms, right now the lack of general quality of the students in their 4th course is glaring. Not only in their general disciplinary or simply cultural training, but also in their very own projection practice. Students that come from the same teaching staff they had with the 75 Plan, now access this school level with a status of absolute university scarcity and with a total processing and instrumental lack regarding the projection action. Concerning the use of design practices and techniques, an enormous effort is needed in order to introduce them to the level to which they belong. Setting pedagogic objectives for the student’s formation on the architectural project creative, complex and multi disciplinary work requires another almost unfeasible effort.

Students coming from a secondary school, in which they have been taught linear processes of high efficiency; problemàsolution methodàsolutionàevaluation, hardly develop methods as the unbalanced-balanced, trial and error, etc, etc suitable to methodologies that attend escentially to the students’ formation.

The architect’s training is settled on the fulfilment of his or her “Personal Construct” as creator ( in another context the range of the “creativity” term and what it involves, from its own threshold as far as the invention paradigm, speculation and so on, should be debated.). In the formation process, the students are the main characters, while the teacher (essentially on the projection practice) is a collaborator and advisor. The activity or esential action on the formation proccess belongs to the student, the teacher should hold a passive position that shouldn’t at all indoctrinate. It’s the students’ job to manage their performance freedom, the creation of their own resurces and criteria, and re-formulate if necessary, the parameters into which their actions will be inserted. A well formed student has built a behaviour-response model that that goes further beyond the plain emulation of the professors’ teachings, or the repetition practices and techniques for problem solving from the various teachers he or she had. 
This is the pedagogic frame in which us, the group that subscribes this document,  are commited, and believe it could be possible by adapting the legal frame of the Study Plan, refomulating the actual boundaries that limit the teachers permeability between the department’s units, and between different departments, or either going back to the 1975 Plan, as other Architecture faculties or scools have already been doing.

This document provides a framework of possible alternatives to the current situation.

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