Celebrating
a centenary
of Learning

  • 24
  • by Andres & Bernardita Munoz Chereau
  • graduated
  • studied Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)
  • from Chile

What are we going to do with all this knowledge?

B: Both of us are psychologists, so I was working at the university.

A: I used to work at the Ministry of Education in reading assessment, so designing tests.

B: Then I got a scholarship for the PhD and could have gone to many places but decided to come to this city.

A: Bristol is famed for music but I also knew that it wasn’t a university city. It is a proper city with different things, among them the University, because one option was Cambridge and it felt a bit like going to a cloister.

B: The best things are the people I met, I mean the colleagues, professors; it is a very inspiring community. I also got some funding to go to other places, like to other universities around Europe, so Bristol is very well linked with other institutions. That was very important in my field because I met all the PhD students that were working in my field at a specific moment because I was here.

A: I have a very interesting supervisor who has worked partially in the field I am trying to open, so I have had a lot of support from him and I have enjoyed the freedom of studying again.

B: I work on school effectiveness research. So basically, my question is: how effective are schools in Chile. So I used a methodology developed in Bristol and software developed in Bristol […] to study a Chilean problem. So I found a solution here for something that is not really implemented yet in Chile.

What are we going to do with all this knowledge? We have been thinking for a long time to start something new: starting a school. We want to move to the south of Chile, because Chile is very centralised so everything happens around the main city, so we would like to go to the south of Chile. It is very green, it is very similar to Bristol, it is a very rainy city called Valdivia which is like a rural area. We would like to start a school there, a public school because the educational system in Chile is very segregated and we would like to have a school that was integrated. Integrate children from the area no matter what their social background is.

Before anything, we were thinking much more about policies, working at the Ministry improving policy making or decisions at that level and I think Bristol has opened our approach. In the sense that, something that is very practical and very small can also be very inspiring for other people, if you can show your point in a small way. So I think now the scale of what we can do is much more applicable. So I think we are more realistic in a way.

A: Probably aiming more at the local thing than at the macro level of state.