BBVA Foundation President Francisco González presented the Francisco Giner de los Ríos Awards for the Improvement of Educational Quality. This year, these awards claim education as the most decisive domain for collective well-being, pluralism and democracy.
Traditional subjects taught in a school garden, using Leonardo Da Vinci to evoke new geniuses, playing pieces by Händell and Mozart, and creating a society from scratch are some of the projects recognized in this thirty-third edition of the awards presented by the BBVA Foundation and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.
The President of the BBVA Foundation underscored “the role teaching plays in the first and main substrate of knowledge”. He also emphasized the role of teachers as a figure that inspires and shows the way: “We need an education system that recognizes teachers as the key element, offering them opportunities for training and professional development.”
In his presentation, González described the role teaching plays as “the most decisive domain in the medium and long term for collective well-being, pluralism and democracy.” “Education transmits to new generations the best legacy of those who preceded them, the knowledge acquired over millenniums, and it’s also the vector that spreads the virus of wanting to know more and continue adding chapters to the story,” he concluded.
“Education transmits to new generations the best legacy of those who preceded them, the knowledge acquired over millenniums”
The Minister of Education and Vocational Training Isabel Celaá Diéguez called attention to the value of “innovative schools” and “their ability to teach students life skills using real and motivating learning experiences.” The Minister noted that “Now, more than ever, innovation and creativity are essential elements in education and therefore, for the development of knowledge.”
Eight innovative projects
Over the past three decades, the Giner Awards have recognized nearly 300 projects with great educational value, making them the leading awards for innovation in education. In this year’s awards, eight prizes were presented worth a total of €129,000 (€24,000 for the special prize and €15,000 for the winners of the other categories).
The special award for the best project went to “Get connected: curricular enrichment program for the gifted”, run by the teachers Francisco Javier Caballero Tovar (coordinator) and María del Pilar Serna Berná for gifted students between the age of eight and ten at the pre-school and primary school, El Fabraquer (El Campello, Alicante). They consider the belief that being gifted is a pathway to success is false. Instead, they maintain that these students require special attention. Therefore, for two hours per week they conduct activities that enhance the abilities and especially, the creativity, of students identified as gifted by a test given at the beginning of the year.
The winners of the other awards were Marqués de Santillana pre-school and primary school (Palencia); the Valle del Riaza Milagros rural school (Burgos); the Vicente Ruso, Santa Pola pre-school and primary school (Alicante); the Real Instituto de Jovellanos secondary school (Gijón (Asturias); the La Granja secondary school (Heras, Cantabria); the Antonio José Cavanilles secondary school (Alicante); and the Universidad Laboral secondary school (Toledo).