Mutual Education. Towards a model of educational co-creation around the archaeological heritage of Mexico

Jaime Delgado Rubio

Abstract


Today, the area surrounding the archaeological city of Teotihuacan is suffering a gradual process of destruction due to factors such as: the uncontrolled urban sprawl of neighbouring communities, the conurbation of Mexico City, and the conflictive relationship between the State Institution which is legally responsible for preserving these remains and these centres of population. This represents a multifactorial and convergent problem requiring coordinated action and participation on the part of the Mexican state, the local authorities, and the local population.

This article deals with these problems from a generational perspective, based on the fact that, at the present time, thousands of school children and young people from these urban areas are forming criteria or opinions about the problem and learning from the positions taken by different players in the conflict. It is in this context, and via a post-doctoral study period supported by the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) (CONACYT) and the Institute of Heritage Sciences (INCIPIT-CSIC) in Spain, that we have built a strategy for scientific dissemination, named ‘Arqueólogos en Apuros’ (Archaeologists in Trouble), which consists of a multimedia children’s news bulletin presented by puppet reporters, with the aim of promoting processes of reflection among school children regarding the destruction of the pre-Columbian city and the problems implied by this fact. However, we wish to go beyond the act of simply providing information and hope to generate co-creation processes, in which these children can make decisions regarding the topics, formats, and representation of the news bulletin and can become capable of researching the news for themselves. In this paper, the theoretical and methodological evolution of this project is analysed, along with its successes, failures, and future challenges, which may enable us to establish the ways in which these young people relate to their heritage, reaching beyond the authorized discourse, and to help them to demand their right to preserve, defend, and enjoy this heritage within the framework of the expression of their creativity and spontaneity.


Keywords


Teotihuacan; preservation; defence; young people; co-creation;

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/ap.v8i1.177

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/ap.v8i1.177.g174

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