Antonio López Piña, a native of Madrid, has taught political science at SYA Spain since 2007. He completed a double major in sociology and political science at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and went on to study art for two years in the Department of Philosophy and History. Antonio has taught language, art and history at secondary schools ever since he completed his graduate work at the School of Sculpture and Design in 2003. He also started his own independent theater company in Madrid, which hosted a variety of performances including original works as well as new renditions of theater classics. In addition to teaching political science, Antonio manages the bicultural seminar Joven Erasmus for students and has led our adult summer symposiums in Spain.
He was recognized as an Outstanding Teacher by The University of Chicago (2009) and took a sabbatical during the 2012-2013 academic year to teach Spanish language and culture at Deerfield Academy. His published works include his most recent book Circa Ignis, which was selected as mandatory reading for 10th and 11th grade students in Cadiz, Spain, by the Andalucia Department of Education.
Geopolitics The Influence of Location and Geography on Foreign Policy with Antonio Lopez Pina, SYA Spain's Political Science faculty.
February 18, 2021.
SYA Spain Political Science Faculty
B.A., Universidad Complutense de Madrid
How did you learn about SYA and what made you want to teach American high school students?
I learned about SYA when I was teaching a job integration program for adults in Madrid. I was hired to replace a teacher who was working on his doctoral thesis. I discovered a completely new educational universe. The attitude of the students, their intellectual restlessness, their desire to learn and be demanding with themselves… all this positively surprised me and forced me to maintain a high level of demand for myself as well.
What's your favorite material or lesson to teach students?
I've been teaching Political Science for many years. In this class we made a journey through the political ideas of the most relevant philosophers following a chronological plan. We also studied, during the last term, essential concepts of economics and read books and articles on political sociology. I think the students were very motivated to face this challenge.
What has been most rewarding about teaching at SYA?
The attitude of the students and my growth as a teacher and as a person. Thanks to SYA I have had the opportunity to meet many people from the Spanish and American educational field. It has allowed me to discover people who are very involved in education, with a firm belief in the value of teaching and doing everything possible to broaden the horizon of expectations of students.
What is your hope for this generation of students?
I trust that they will be able to overcome the comfort and acceptance of the first solution as the best possible one. I think it is important to maintain certain levels of academic demand and never lose critical and self-critical capacity. Students are in this aspect in the hands of educational institutions and, of course, in the hands of teachers. We have a great responsibility with them.
If you could ask any historical figure anything, who would it be and what would you ask?
I wish I could interview Margaret Thatcher. Ask her about the present; if she believes that she has achieved her political and social objective; if she feels satisfied with having blown up the foundations of the welfare state throughout the world; and if she likes the alternative she sees. I imagine she would say that “we still have a long way to go,” but she would smile with satisfaction.
I would also like to attend a class of Aristotle in the garden of the Academy. I would not ask much, I would listen.
Where's your favorite place you've traveled to? Why?
SYA has given me the opportunity to get to know many cities both inside and outside of Spain. What I like the most is the new look with which we face each of the trips. Well-known cities take on a new dimension thanks to the experience provided by other teachers and the interest in learning shown by the students.