Mariela Guadagnoli

Escuela Técnica N° 456, Gálvez, Argentina

Mariela  Guadagnoli

Mariela’s great grandfather was the first teacher in her town, her grandmother was a teacher and her mother was also a teacher. She studied architecture, but now works in a school in Gálvez, Santa Fe, filled with family, economic and social problems.

There was where her first challenge arose: to awaken in her students the desire to learn, the confidence in themselves and the hope that life changes are possible.

As a trained architect, Mariela still applies that discipline to her work with students, as she focusses on improving their education, career prospects and social integration. Mariela uses Project-Based Learning (PBA) as a teaching method, investigating the needs of her students and getting them involved in different spaces of their community. She emphasizes the resolution of real and concrete problems and stimulates interest in asking questions, seeking answers, analysing technological products, valuing creativity, collaborative work, the exchange of ideas and reflective decision making.

In pursuit of this they designed and built a communal organic garden on the site of a nursing home bordering the school, at the same time forging a bridge between the young generation and the older residents. Collaborating with students at other schools and the municipality, Mariela’s students have been involved in revitalising a historic but neglected town square and designing green cobblestones from recycled materials. The mix of thoughtfully engineered projects has won Mariela and her students regional and national acclaim and a variety of awards.