Marta Mata i Garriga (Barcelona, 1926 - 2006) is a teacher. She has written books on reading education and exercises, children’s stories and numerous articles on education and educational policy. She completed her teacher training at the Pere Vila School and the Generalitat (Catalan Government) Institut-Escola (School Institute) and was a founder of the Rosa Sensat movement of educational renewal. Throughout her life she has remained true to the memory of the Second Republic with its secular and civic values.
In 1944 she began her work in the field of education as a teacher at Saifores (Baix Penedès), in the Mata family mansion where she presently lives. Over time, "Cal Mata" has become a centre for teachers working on education in regional studies.
After obtaining her degree in 1964, she visited the Dvir kibbutz in Israel and from this experience her political vocation was born. The following year, along with several other teachers, she would found the Escola de Mestres Rosa Sensat (Rosa Sensat Teacher's School), a pioneering institution in active teacher training, where she continued to work as a coordinator.
Towards the end of the Franco dictatorship, she joined the Moviment Socialista de Catalunya (Socialist Movement of Catalonia), after which she became a member of the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (Socialist Party of Catalonia, PSC-PSOE), and was a member of parliament in Madrid in 1977 and, from 1980 to 1984, a member of the Parliament of Catalonia. She subsequently worked as a councillor in the City Council of Barcelona (1990-1995), where she promoted the Ciutats Educadores (Educator Cities) movement. She has also worked as Director of Education in the Diputació (Provincial Council) of Barcelona (1987-1991), was a member of the School Council of Catalonia representing the Federation of Municipalities (1987-1995) and was also a senator for Barcelona (1993-1996). Meanwhile, she was appointed vice-president of the Spanish School Council on its creation in 1986, and has been its president since 2004.
Among the awards she has received are the Alphonse X ("The Wise") Medal (1990), the Gold Medal of Barcelona for Scientific Merit (1997), and the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George Cross) in 1997, and a doctorate honoris causa from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (1999). In 2000, as representative of the Rosa Sensat Teacher's School, she received the Twentieth Peace Prize of Catalonia. She was a member of the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers – AELC).
Web page: Guillem Molla for AELC.
Translation: Julie Wark.