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Community Educational Resilience

Eduardo Pelaez | Karen Mata

The two Mexico earthquakes of 2017 hit over the most precious social and physical institutions for Society to develop: schools and children. Both disasters revealed the fragility of public school institutions and infrastructures, the weak urban role of schools for communities, the lack of the state capacity to promote more and better-equipped schools across Mexico, the low level of education in southern Mexico, and the absent of a real educational reform. Given this context of emergency, the Mexican government has promoted a plan to reconstruct more than sixteen thousand schools and rebuilt other new four hundred schools across the affected zone. However, the intentions behind the process of reconstruction has not included any substantial change, meaning that the reconstruction of schools have the same logic of its predecessors. Within this scenario, the disaster could be taken as an opportunity to rethink reconstruction plans for schools as something beyond a static and isolated recovery. Thinking in schools as centers for civic life and resiliency brings an opportunity to invest in an avant-garde concept of open resilient school linked to innovative pedagogy and community needs. In this way, a new concept of “community educational resilience” could emerge as additional pedagogical approach for seismic areas. This new concept of open school might promote creative learning spaces based on project-based learning (PBL), resilience as an academic purpose, and shelter as physical safe environment for communities, and a new social contract for collective, equitable, and safe learning facilities. Which translates into improvements in educational performance and outcomes, and social and economic development for Mexico by becoming incentives for teachers, parents, students and communities.