João Carlos Ramalheiro, Music Teacher and Music School Director, won the second runner-up price in the Educators Choice category for his project “Oratio Classroom“ at the last Partners in Learning European Forum in Lisbon. When he first started teaching music, he knew how critical it would be to reach his students on a creative level. He also knew he had to take a different approach, creating conditions for the best possible learning experience. “To use the complex symbolic language of music and the theories in the traditional way wouldn’t work, so I based my methods in pedagogical lines from Jos Wuytack to Zoltán Kodály and created stories, drawings and other materials using the suggestions of my students,” Ramalheiro says. “With the right speech, the right didactic songs and with the right activities, we could have fun while learning.”
Out of this work came Oratio Classroom, a visionary way of conducting classes that are dynamic, interactive and kinetic, but with a strong pedagogical foundation. The concept of Oratio is to use it as a tool to teach children almost all basic curriculum content as if teaching a native language. The idea is “learning while living it,” using an interactive smart board. Ramalheiro shares more on Oratio (which means “idiom” or “language”) with us, along with his views on what’s wrong with the way the world values arts education.