Dina Buchbinder Auron

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico,
Fellow Since 2010

Citation

This profile was prepared when Dina Buchbinder was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
The Deport-es para Compartir (DpC) model’s emphasis on active education deems it inherently different from most forms of formal education in Mexico. On the most basic level, DpC is built upon learning through physical activity, particularly interactive games and simulations rather than traditional sports (i.e. which often bare negative associations of competition and athletic ability). The use of play and physical movement not only encourages a more active lifestyle for Mexican children, but it also makes learning more fun and increases student retention. Moreover, using games as an educational tool enables the students themselves to discover the value of intangible principles like teamwork, fair play, gender equality, tolerance, and respect. DpC is designed to promote collective action as a means to solving local problems. Rather than merely reading about social and environmental problems in their textbooks, students are encouraged to create pragmatic solutions and implement them in their schools and homes.

The content covered by DpC revolves around three main topics: The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), healthy lifestyles, and diversity. By structuring lessons around the MDGs, DpC allows children to discover how the problems that they see in their own communities, such as poverty, disease, and discrimination, are related to global problems that are similar in nature—a comparison that undoubtedly heightens their awareness of social and environmental actions. This interconnectivity applies equally to solutions as it does to problems; through DpC, students realize that the sum of local actions can have an impact that extends far beyond any individual community. Besides broadening student’s horizons through the MDGs, DpC also exposes students to external contexts through games, activities, and an exchange of homemade “treasure boxes” between different Mexican communities. This exposure allows Mexican children to experience and appreciate diversity without ever leaving their local communities.

While elite private schools often possess the sole access to Mexico’s innovative educational curricula, Dina is determined to cast a wider net and include all types of rural and urban school settings in DpC’s network, including public and private schools, as well as indigenous shelters in the most marginalized communities. DpC has a particular focus on these indigenous communities in Mexico’s poorest states, such as Oaxaca and Chiapas; Dina understands that if DpC achieves success there, it can achieve success anywhere. Not only is this the population most in need of educational resources, but it is also the most isolated from the outside world, and therefore, the most disenfranchised. By bringing DpC to these communities and linking them to other types of school settings where DpC operates, Dina and her team are empowering children, their families, and their teachers to understand that they are part of a larger ecosystem and to participate actively in solving local and global problems.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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