The Common Bank of Knowledge (BCK) was developed using analogue technology such as coloured post-its, but inspired by the culture of digital P2P. The students spent a week proving to themselves and others that they not only want to learn a lot of things, but that they also have many things to teach others. What matters least is what is taught and what is learnt. What matters most is the communicating, sharing and interacting that takes place during teaching and learning. The BCK therefore became a ‘bank of values’ that connected all the different active agents so that they could boost and spread the activity as much as possible.
The project encompassed all the stages of the creative process: research (mapping of existing social networks in the area, such as associations and civic centres where people gather), production (posters, information panels, knowledge video clips, etc) and communication (it is essential that the most active participants capture everybody else’s attention). The rules of the game were simple: pink post-its to make requests for knowledge: What do I want to learn?; green post-its to offer knowledge: What can I teach?; and yellow post-its to suggest knowledge that could be offered by people who are related in some way but aren’t part of the group or the class (such as students from other classes or schools, relatives, neighbourhood friends, etc.) Later, the map of interests of each group was displayed on a board, where the post-its had been arranged according to themes or areas of interest: sport, technology, society, humanities, the body, etc.
Implemented in the high school Antonio Domínguez Ortiz, in an area stigmatised by the media as a hub for the sale of illegal drugs, the BCK was a small revolution, able to promote ‘good practices’ and to spread a positive image of the high school and the neighbourhood. It not only changed some of the school’s physical aspects for a week, it also affected the ‘hidden curriculum’. The signs included: the response from the school management, the media interest, the self-critical, thoughtful changes in the attitudes of some of the teachers (who were highly reticent at the start). The project ended with a ‘travelling knowledge-sharing market’ at the school, which used maths, physics, music, mechanics and physical education to fulfil the knowledge requests and offers that the “seekers” had identified inside and outside the school during the week.
Instituto Antonio Domíguez Ortiz