The Virtual Classroom: Art Education for Itinerant Students

Marta Ornelas


In Portugal, children deprived of a permanent residence (merchants and circus performers) grew accustomed to change school countless times, lived with discrimination from colleagues, with the impossibility of setting up roots and with a difficult progression in the access to knowledge. In 2005, an innovative project would change their school paths radically, throughout the creation of a custom-designed curriculum to help meet their individual needs: the Mobile School. In this inclusive school of b-learning, these children may now have teachers and colleagues who they can relate to and really feel like "their own" and who may follow them during at least one full school year. Without discrimination. With stability. With care.
In this context, Art Education is part of a set of subjects which comprehends Visual Arts and Music, with a perspective towards learning through the implementation of projects using the ICT as a way of artistic expression. Communication between teachers and students is achieved through a virtual platform, and the artistic creations of these students are achieved mainly through specific software for drawing and image editing.
Benefiting around 100 children, what will be the future of the Mobile School in a period not only of economic crisis but also claiming social inclusion as a way of developing integrated societies?


b-learning; distance learning; art education; itinerancy; social inclusion.

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