Monday, October 24, 2016

Schools : Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in sciences curriculum

Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek
Portrait: Jan Verkolje/ Rijks Museum, NL
Today, 24 October marks the 384th birthday of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, credited with being the first microbiologist.
"... my work, which I've done for a long time, was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more than in most other men. And therewithal, whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof."
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Letter of June 12, 1716*

Google Doodle is celebrating the life and work of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who was born today in 1632. 
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek saw a whole world in a drop of water. In a letter to the Royal Society of London, van Leeuwenhoek marveled at what he had seen in a sample of water from a nearby lake: 'little animals' that we know now as bacteria and other microbes.

Google Doodle 384th birthday Antony van Leeuwenhoek
The animated Doodle shows the 'little animals' he discovered when looking at a drop of water from a lake through a microscope. Here's to celebrating a true visionary!
In the Doodle, a droplet of water falls onto a lens being held by van Leeuwenhoek. As he peers through it at the Google logo, the logo letters come to life to mimic the microbodies he would have seen during that first experiment.
Doodler Gerben Steenks noted, "I chose to make it an animated Doodle to show the 'before and after' experience that Antoni van Leeuwenhoek had - looking through a microscope and seeing a surprising new world." 

Leeuwenhoek with His Microscope

Ernest Board (1877–1934)

Wellcome Library

Considered the first microbiologist, van Leeuwenhoek designed single-lens microscopes to unlock the mysteries of everything from bits of cheese to complex insect eyes.
While he might not be a household name today, the Dutch textile salesman ground and polished his own lenses, and was the first human to discover the existence of bacteria, single celled creatures, and spermatozoa.
Working from his dwellings above a marketplace in the Dutch city of Delft, his home-made lenses were so finely constructed that some of the organisms he discovered were not seen again for another century.

Some information: Biography

Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft on October 24, 1632. His father was a basket-maker, while his mother's family were brewers. 

Antony was educated as a child in a school in the town of Warmond, then lived with his uncle at Benthuizen. In 1648 he was apprenticed in a linen-draper's shop. 

Around 1654 he returned to Delft, where he spent the rest of his life. He set himself up in business as a draper (a fabric merchant). 

The Geographer by Johannes Vermeer

In 1676 he served as the trustee of the estate of the deceased and bankrupt Jan Vermeer, the famous painter, who had had been born in the same year as Leeuwenhoek and is thought to have been a friend of his.

A replica of a microscope by Leeuwenhoek

And at some time before 1668, Antony van Leeuwenhoek learned to grind lenses, made simple microscopes, and began observing with them. He seems to have been inspired to take up microscopy by having seen a copy of Robert Hooke's illustrated book Micrographia, which depicted Hooke's own observations with the microscope and was very popular. 

A letter dated December 25, 1702, gives descriptions of many protists, including this ciliateVorticella: "In structure these little animals were fashioned like a bell, and at the round opening they made such a stir, that the particles in the water thereabout were set in motion thereby. And though I must have seen quite 20 of these little animals on their long tails alongside one another very gently moving, with outstretched bodies and straightened-out tails; yet in an instant, as it were, they pulled their bodies and their tails together, and no sooner had they contracted their bodies and tails, than they began to stick their tails out again very leisurely, and stayed thus some time continuing their gentle motion: which sight I found mightily diverting." Read more here

A 1677 letter from Leeuwenhoek to Oldenburg, with the latter's English translation behind
The full correspondence remains in the Royal Society Library
By the end of his life, van Leeuwenhoek had written approximately 560 letters to the Royal Society and other scientific institutions concerning his observations and discoveries. 
Even during the last weeks of his life, van Leeuwenhoek kept sending letters full of observations to London.
The last few contained a precise description of his own illness. He suffered from a rare disease, an uncontrolled movement of the midriff, which is now named Van Leeuwenhoek's disease. 
He died at the age of 90, on August 26, 1723, and was buried four days later in the Oude Kerk (Delft).

As my usual readers are used to read on my blog, I include very often Doodles of the day into the school curricula. It's a wonderful motivation and they surprise students. 

Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that we can introduce in our lessons to teach about famous scientists, writers, painters.

Everyday we must include into our lessons, something captivating in our lessons, even we are teaching important skills in serious curriculum. 

Passion is what will make our students enter in the classroom waiting for something special in high school lessons, everyday. 

Schools are very important environments of teaching and learning. Schools have an important role aiming to renew and reinvigorate global knowledge as they have the mission to educate children and adolescents as future citizens and good observers.

These resources are educational challenges to promote some good values near the new generations. Young students will be vigilant and will help to find new paths towards precious solutions to society and the planet. 

Teenagers using microscope in science lesson

credits: Getty Images

Some Activities:

  • Organize an open day (today or/and nex week) at the school with your students to highlight the importance of science to the evolution of the world;

  • Open a discussion in the classroom to enphazise  the many different ways science & technologies touch our daily lives;

  • Contact national and local media (radio, newspapers) to highilight the importance of celebrating Science at shool;

  • Ask your students to write articles, cartoons, comics in the classroom about the importance of science for sustainable societies and include them in the school newspaper;

  • Build classroom-to-classroom connections between schools via social networks: schools websites, schools accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and share projects of sicence that will interest students;

  • Create a video with Animoto (students and teachers);

  • Arrange a visit to a Science Museum near you. Museums are awesome places to have a live lesson.

Lens on Leeuwenhoek
Overview The Curious Observer

"... Antony van Leeuwenhoek considered that what is true in natural philosophy can be most fruitfully investigated by the experimental method, supported by the evidence of the senses; for which reason, by diligence and tireless labour he made with his own hand certain most excellent lenses, with the aid of which he discovered many secrets of Nature, now famous throughout the whole philosophical World."*


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Creative Commons License
Schools : Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in sciences curriculum bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. 
Quotes: University of California, Museum of Paleontology,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ensino : Muda de curso : violência no namoro não é para ti !

Foi lançada no dia 4 de Outubro, a Campanha Muda de curso : violência no namoro não é para ti ! A campanha decorre nas universidades portuguesas contra a violência no namoro. 

O projecto vai durar até ao final do ano lectivo 2016.2017. A médio prazo, será estendida a outras faixas etárias e de ensino.

A Comissão para a Cidadania e a Igualdade de Género em parceria com as federações académicas quer orientar os jovens "a definir barreiras e percepcionar actos de violência no namoro". 

Nas universidades portuguesas este é um problema “muito grave”, mas nas escolas secundárias já se ressente há algum tempo.

Aos estudantes universitários estão a ser distribuídos cartazes, um vídeo e crachás com o slogan “Violência no namoro não é para ti”.

A campanha “Muda de curso: violência no namoro não é para ti” surgiu de uma vontade das próprias associações académicas e de um estudo feito pela União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta (UMAR) junto dos jovens. O estudo, divulgado há um ano, mostrava resultados preocupantes:

“Cerca de 30% dos jovens não tinham percepção de que alguns actos, como bater, insultar ou controlar o telemóvel ou forçar relações sexuais, eram actos violentos”. 

A campanha sobre a violência no namoro tem como destinatário todos os estratos sociais. 

“Quem agride ou é vítima no namoro provavelmente será vítima ao longo da vida. É aqui que temos que actuar”, 

Catarina Marcelino, da Secretaria para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género revelou que está a ser trabalhado com o Ministério da Educação o alargamento da iniciativa a outros graus de ensino, desde o pré-escolar ao 12.º ano.

A violência no namoro é identificada através de maus tratos físicos e psicológicos, abusos e violências sexuais, intimidações e humilhações. É causada normalmente por ciúmes e sentimentos de posse, perturbações psicológicas, uso de álcool e/ou drogas.

Maioritariamente, o perfil do agressor é do sexo masculino, o que não significa a ausência de casos de rapazes agredidos. 

Assim, é uma campanha dirigida a todas alunas a todos os alunos.

A Apav também se junta a esta causa há algum tempo. E no seu site, disponibiliza duas secções como Violência no Namoro ou Relações Saudáveis Não Saudáveis com indicações fundamentais para os adolescentes, mas também para educadores. 

Existem diferentes formas de violência no namoro:

  • Violência Física: 

Por exemplo, quando o/a teu/tua namorado/a:
  • te empurra;
  • te agarra ou prende;
  • te atira objetos;
  • te dá bofetadas, pontapés e/ou murros;
  • ameaça usar a força física ou a agressão.

Cartaz 2008

Violência Verbal:

Por exemplo, quando o/a teu/tua namorado/a:
  • te chama nomes e/ou grita;
  • te humilha, através de críticas e comentários negativos (ex.: “Não vales nada.”);
  • te intimida e ameaça.
A ler sobre as outras formas de violência aqui.

Todas as formas de violência no namoro têm um objectivo comum: magoar, humilhar, controlar e assustar. 

Cartaz 2011

Algumas considerações:

A violência no namoro não é um fenómeno recente. Contudo, o seu estudo científico só ganhou interesse a partir dos anos 90, com estudos sobre a prevalência da violência nas relações amorosas em indivíduos adultos. 

Só recentemente é que esta problemática começou a ser investigada junto dos jovens e adolescentes. 

Os resultados mostraram a necessidade de prevenir e intervir sobre este assunto logo no início da adolescência, quando se estabelecem as primeiras relações afetivas e amorosas com pares.

Daí, eu ter considerado no início deste post que esta campanha deveria ter sido já alargada ao ensino secundário.

É certo que uma campanha como esta, deve ser bem pensada e organizada de modo a actuar com o impacto necessário.

Nas universidades portuguesas este é um problema 'muito grave', mas também já o é nas escolas secundárias e algumas vezes nas escolas básicas (3º ciclo).


A Prevenção da Violência no Namoro é um tema de e para os jovens, daí a importância de conversarmos com eles/elas e ouvirmos as suas opiniões sobre este assunto.

E quando escrevo conversar, dirijo-me a todos os educadores, pais, professores e a todos os adolescentes, raparigas e rapazes.

Muitos casos de maus tratos no namoro começam com violência psicológica. As jovens e os jovens que são vítimas deste tipo de violência aceitam o contrôlo em nome de uma suposta confiança ou até de uma esperança que o companheiro ou companheira mude o seu comportamento.

Gostaria de deixar claro que o diálogo é fundamental, para que os jovens tenham a consciência que ninguém tem o direito de tomar decisões por eles, o respeito vai-se obtendo, e não é a partir da violência que conquistarão esse respeito ou o afecto que pretendem.

Para uma relação de namoro funcionar os jovens devem falar entre si sobre os seus problemas e o que acham que está mal na relação, de modo a tentarem que o outro entenda e possa respeitar a opinião.

A violência nas relações amorosas não tem fronteiras, não escolhe estratos sociais, faixas etárias, religiões, etnias, pode e ocorre entre todos os namorados. Por esse motivo, devemos estar alerta em todas as situações e é muitas vezes nas escolas, universidades que são detectados os casos de violência no namoro.

  • Outros Recursos para introdução do tema, escolas secundárias e 3º ciclo:

credits: Alexsandro Palombo

credits: Alexsandro Palombo

Alexasandro Palombo é um cartoonista que se considera um artista contemporâneo e um activista. Empenha-se assim contra a violência nas mulheres e homens. Já escrevi sobre os seus cartoons no post Education: Intl Women's Day (2014). Nesse post, reflectia sobre a sua visão quase 'agressiva' ao olhar, e apresentei como um recurso pedagógico para falar de violência contra as mulheres nas escolas.

Palombo parte das heroínas dos desenhos animados Disney que todos conhecemos, e mostra-as sob um outro prisma. 

Pode se chocante, quando olhamos, mas é uma excelente recurso digital para introduzir a violência no namoro no Ensino Secundário e no Ensino Básico (3º ciclo). Os alunos aderiram muitíssimo bem e os objectivos que propus pela sensibilização do amor e do seu contrário, a violência no namoro, foram plenamente atingidos. A mensagem passou.

Amar não é um conto de fadas, como ilustra Palombo. Mas é um sentimento que se constrói a dois, com respeito.

"Num momento, num olhar, o coração apanha-se para sempre. Ama-se alguém. Por muito longe, por muito difícil, por muito desesperadamente."

Miguel Esteves Cardoso, Último Volume, 1955


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Monday, October 17, 2016

Education : Let's Suport Goal 1 #EndPoverty

"Poverty is not simply measured by inadequate income. It is manifested in restricted access to health, education and other essential services and, too often, by the denial or abuse of other fundamental human rights [...] Let us listen to and heed the voices of people living in poverty. Let us commit to respect and defend the human rights of all people and end the humiliation and social exclusion that people living in poverty face every day by promoting their involvement in global efforts to end extreme poverty once and for all." 
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

As part of UN Millenium Development goals, on the 17th of October we celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Fighting poverty remains at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the development of the post-2015 development agenda.
Theme 2016: "Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms."
The theme this year – selected in consultation with activists, civil society and non-governmental organizations – highlights how important it is to recognize and address the humiliation and exclusion endured by many people living in poverty.


Goal 1 No Poverty
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” explicitly recognizes that poverty results not from the lack of just one thing but from many different interrelated factors that affect the lives of people living in poverty.

This means we must go beyond seeing poverty merely as the lack of income or what is necessary for material well-being — such as food, housing, land, and other assets – in order to fully understand poverty in its multiple dimensions.

Sustainable Development Goals
credits: Elyx Yak/ UN
Present at the heart of this World Day for Overcoming Poverty are all the people who are facing the violence of extreme poverty. Marked by deprivation and contempt, many flee from place to place driven by armed conflict, drought, floods, and hunger. What support do they find?
"Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030 is an ambitious but achievable goal - the key to success rests on political determination, driven by solid knowledge about the causes, mechanisms and consequences of poverty. The possibility of achieving fast and sustained poverty eradication depends on our ability to work collaboratively.

World Social Science Report 2016

As measured by the 2016 Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index, 1.6 billion persons are identified today as poor. 
That staggering figure reveals levels of human deprivation far beyond what arbitrary income lines can capture. Poverty is about money, but never just about money, as underlined by UNESCO’s 2016 World Social Science Report. Better understanding of the relationships between income and other dimensions of poverty can help to empower people living in poverty as agents of change." (...)

International Day for the Erradication of Poverty

"Breaking the vicious circle of poverty by 2030 is part of a larger cultural transformation based on solidarity, collaboration and peace to which UNESCO is deeply committed. Through powerful tools for social transformation -- education, culture, science, communication and information -- UNESCO contributes to embedding social justice within societies. Justice is a right, and justice and good governance are foundations for more lasting and sustainable peace.
Ending poverty is not just helping the poor – it is giving every woman and man the chance to live with dignity. By eradicating poverty, all humanity will be transformed."

UNESCO’s message for Intl Day for Erradication of Poverty 2016


Millions of children around the world miss out on their childhood as a result of poverty. Poverty deprives them of the capabilities needed to survive, develop and thrive. It prevents them from enjoying equal opportunities. It makes children more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, violence, discrimination and stigmatization says Unicef.

Around the world, millions of children are denied fundamental rights and are deprived of what they need to grow up healthy and strong – because of their place of birth; because of their race, ethnicity or gender; or because they have a disability or live in poverty.

The statistical evidence on children living in poverty confronts us with a stark reality: millions of children are poor; they lack access to safe drinking water, essential vaccines, education and nutrition; they are at risk of being exploited and abused. 

Every year, we write and display photos about poverty in underdeveloped countries. But some years ago, a new reality appeared. There is poverty among children in 'developed' countries'.

Reading this report on this day, as an educator, I must write about the new poverty among our students in our schools, in our countries.

What’s it like to live in poverty in a wealthy or 'developed' country? 

Students want to raise awareness of child poverty in their countries and among their colleagues and friends. Many children in the Europe, United Sates, Latin America live in poverty, but what does it actually mean day to day? 

To #EndPoverty, we all have a role to play. Let’s show support. 

  • Ask your students to change their profile pic to the end poverty logo to commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17.
  • Write one or more messages on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. They must feel free to personalize their messages to reflect their passion or viewpoint.
  • Sign or use the #EndPoverty hashtags in their messages.

"Poverty is the worst form of violence."

Mahatma Gandhi


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Education : Let's support Goal 1 #EndPoverty bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.