Pilar Benejam i Arguimbau
- Date of investiture:
- 29 November 2019
- Antoni Gavaldà
- Area of knowledge:
- Education sciences
In Catalonia and Spain as a whole, Pilar Benejam is a leading figure in social science teaching and teacher training. She was awarded an honorary degree by the URV on 29 November. As a teacher, she has spread new trends in geography, and as a researcher, she has focused on analysing teaching. In her opinion, however, the two activities cannot be separated. She made this clear in her speech, in which she reflected on what it means to be a good teacher and the role universities play in training.
For Benejam, all teachers should have some form of scientific training because "knowledge must be justified with reasons, of which there are several, although not all of equal plausibility". Also fundamental is the connection between theory and practice because "to construct professional knowledge you need to have experiences that give the theory meaning and put it to the test".
Her sponsor, Antoni Gavaldà, a lecturer in the URV's Department of History and the History of Art, delivered the encomium in which he pointed out the contributions Pilar Benejam had made at every moment in the history of the country in the second half of the 20th century. He made particular reference to her participation in the Movements for Pedagogical Renewal and her struggle for quality public education in Catalonia.
She was awarded her doctorate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona for a thesis that gave her a glimpse of educational reality in several European countries, and she is now a leading figure in Catalonia and Spain for her work on social science teaching. With the founding of the Escola Normal in Sant Cugat del Vallès, she dedicated herself to training teachers and she was on the board of the pioneering Escola de Mestres. In 1995 she became a university professor.
Her scientific output is wide-ranging because she has drawn up reports for universities, the Catalan Government and for the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. She is the co-founder of the journal Enseñanza de las Ciencias Sociales and she has written text books for several publishing houses. In total she has produced more than a hundred volumes as an author or co-author. She has also held managerial positions such as coordinator of the area of Education for the Barcelona Provincial Council and she has been deputy vice-rector for Teaching at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).