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Learning medicine, pharmacy, law or teaching through art

The MUN held a conference in which some twenty University professors and Museum professionals explained teaching projects developed through the Collection and the MUN's activities.

FotoManuelCastells/Faculty and researchers from the University of Navarra and MUN professionals who participated in the conference.

When we talk about teaching, we think of a classroom. In the case of art, we think of sculptures, paintings, performances. They are apparently separate worlds. However, art does connect with teaching and research, offering new possibilities for learning and discovery, in any discipline or area of knowledge.

This was attested to by some twenty professors and researchers from the University of Navarra at the conference "Museums at the service of teaching, education and research", which was held today on the occasion of International Museum Day. International Museum Day and in which nearly 300 attendees participated, either in person or connected by streaming. Also, the recording of the conference will be available in its entirety on the YouTube channel of Museo Universidad de Navarra in the coming days.

During their interventions, the speakers explained their experience of teaching or researching through the MUN's Collection or Artistic Programming. Some of the Museum's professionals who promote the research of the artists also intervened, explaining their particular process of study and creation.

Marta Frago coordinates the program in Performing Arts Production that the School of Communication offers together with the MUN. She emphasizes the value of the student not only dealing with theory, but also of being directly linked to artistic practice: through the relationship with artists and professionals in the sector, or with professors who direct stage works as well as teach.

"Tàpies' briefcase" brought together students from the School of Architecture, professionals and people with special needs. It consisted of the design and creation of mediation material of the work L'esperit català, by Tàpies (belonging to the MUN collection) to provide an artistic experience for people with visual difficulties. María Angélica Martínez, professor at the School, speaks of the "continuous collaboration" between the students of the Degree in Design involved and the MUN team, of their participation in a "real project", which allowed them to be trained in inclusion, as well as to use teaching methodologies and elements such as learning by doing, action-research and laboratories. The proposal, presented last February, was part of the SociARTE program, which puts the Museum at the service of social entities in Navarre, and had the collaboration of Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Fundación ONCE and Fundación "la Caixa".

He has also found the didactic sense of L'Esperit català Mercedes Galán, professor and dean of the Faculty of Law, "to illustrate to the students the different ways of expressing political feelings", by analyzing the historical trajectory of the Autonomous Communities. "The experience enriches them and they can see that law, history and art reflect, in different ways, the same feelings and reality," she says.

Apolinar Varela, from the Faculty of Education and Psychology, agrees on the value of interdisciplinary work. The subject Body expression and its didactics aims to bring students closer to museums and the performing arts in order to improve their artistic and expressive skills by attending workshops and shows at the MUN. "It's a first-rate educational resource," he says. And he points out the added value of being able to break with "the usual dynamics. It's motivating, it allows us to learn new approaches and ideas. It also generates new synergies and connections that perhaps were not explored before.

Teachers find in the MUN the opportunity for their students to delve into the more human side of their profession. "Art allows us to connect with our feelings and, at the same time, use our mind and connect with the patient. Initially, students might think only of the scientific aspect, but medicine is much bigger than that: it includes reaching out to the other person. In places like this, we can bring both fields together and they can realize that this is all part of being a doctor," explains Dr. José Pereira, from the School of Medicine . Dr. Carlos Centeno, who runs a workshop on compassion and empathy as part of the Faculty's Medical Identity program, agrees with him in the face of plays such as Incendi d'Amor (Tàpies), from the MUN collection. "It combines reflection on works of art with real testimonies, creating a transformative learning experience. I chose these resources because art facilitates introspection and emotional connection, essential elements in medical training," she explains.

MUN's contribution, beyond the campus

The Museum's contribution in the area of teaching and research transcends the University of Navarra. This is the case of the art therapy workshop for palliative care professionals explained by María Arantzamendi, a researcher at the Culture and Society Institute (ICS), carried out in collaboration with the Navarre Society of Palliative Care.

The rest of the projects that were presented at the conference belong to a wide range of areas and faculties: Medicine (science, literature and Artificial Intelligence), Sciences (from the Big Bang to the human brain, by way of beauty), Pharmacy and Nutrition (how colors are translated into musical notes), Architecture (the art of play; scenography and Service Design), Philosophy and Letters (dissemination in the MUN, performing arts in Literature and Creative Writing, experiences with literature classics in the Museum) and Spanish Language and Culture Institute (learning a language through art).





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