1. Vallejo, José Ramón 4
  2. González, José Antonio 1
  3. Santos-Fita, Didac 3
  4. Lezama-Núñez, Paulina R. 2
  5. Muñoz-Bermejo, Laura 4
  6. Costillo, Emilio 4
  7. Postigo-Mota, Salvador 4
  1. 1 GRIRED-Universidad de Salamanca (SPAIN)
  2. 2 Red Conbiand México (MEXICO)
  3. 3 INEAF-Universidade Federal do Pará (BRAZIL)
  4. 4 Universidad de Extremadura (SPAIN)
INTED2019 Proceedings-13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference

Publisher: IATED

ISSN: 2340-1079

ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1

Year of publication: 2019

Pages: 8517

Type: Conference paper

DOI: 10.21125/INTED.2019.2127 GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor


Since the 1980s, society in Spain has gradually and increasingly been facing a new horizon of technological innovation along with labour instability. As a consequence, the younger generations are faced with difficulties such as low self-esteem, loss of traditional family values or detriment in personal intercommunication skills. This poses immense educational challenges for all age groups of society not only in Spain but globally, regardless of the geographic area or any socio-demographic criteria. Although it is known that technological innovations have a great influence in general, they appear to affect the older age group more, given that they find it harder to adapt to these advances and they are often excluded from their use. In this context, adult education and current population ageing dynamics are a subject of particular relevance. In view of this, students at the Teaching Training College of the University of Extremadura (Cáceres, Spain), have developed a seminar on the subject of “Knowledge of the Natural Environment in Primary Education” (Year 4, General specialisation), which focuses on intergenerational relationships, with Ethnobiology as a tool for facilitating dialogue, health and entrepreneurial initiatives stemming from the schools. Included in such seminars, these trainee teachers proposed projects and experiments involving elderly people’s knowledge of plants and animals. The proposed starting point of the initiative is the “Spanish Inventory of Traditional Knowledge” (IECT). The activities carried out so far under the project include interviews with elderly people and identification sessions of living things using dichotomous keys. We present and list a total of 16 activities, where we could highlight by way of example the record of wild artichokes (genus Cynara), what they were used for, what names they were given and their cultural importance in several rural communities. With the data obtained, the future teachers prepared different materials for working with children in schools prior to working with them in practice (Practicum). Our ultimate goal is to reflect upon the opportunities that the intangible heritage, in the form of the biodiversity knowledge among the elderly, can offer for improving both educational praxis and the curriculum design of interdisciplinary teaching units. In addition, we highlight the potential of this approach for incorporating active methodologies such as Project-based Learning, workshops or cultural weeks. Science education for younger generations is challenging because it requires pedagogical transformation based on collaborative methods and technological tools in the classrooms, but we believe that the participation of elderly people in such activities could eliminate gaps and help in achieving both objectives. Biodiversity-related traditional knowledge could be a good subject to reach a large number of transversal objectives in science education, and bring the humanities, social and natural sciences into the classroom.