• Opinion
  • 30 de April de 2024
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  • 5 minutes read



Let’s be realistic: let’s seek evidence

Education and context go hand in hand

The pessimistic complaints about the wind; the optimistic expects it to change; the realistic adjusts the sails. (William George Ward). / Image: Renan Brun – Pixabay

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Eva Serra


We launch this media initiative at a crucial juncture for Europe and the world. The Middle East conflicts and the Ukrainian war are too relevant and close for our continent. There are those who, from optimism, view the current narrative as alarmist, designed to sway public opinion, though the underlying motives remain unclear. Others, more pessimistic, believe the escalating tensions we are experiencing are even more perilous than reported. In either of these possible scenarios, it’s disconcerting – and realistic – to note that our societies’ critical capacity is at an all-time low, when not driven by extreme political-ideological polarization. This situation doesn’t help to interpret the context and demand greater transparency and accountability from our public authorities.

In this complacent sphere of citizenship, education also finds its place. For decades, invoking the future as if gazing into a crystal ball, new educational systems have been designed. These have largely adapted to the trend of phasing out content (disciplines, knowledge) in favour of the so-called “competencies”. Some countries have had more success than others, but ultimately, according to the latest reports from the PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS and PIAAC studies – published in this medium on five European countries – there has been a decline in the knowledge of students (and adults) in almost all Western countries, compared to the sustained leadership in capacities of certain Asian countries. The data persistently highlights these disparities, report after report. And one consequence is the diminishing critical capacity and demand of European citizens.

The implementation of these pedagogical trends could not be possible in any other context. It is difficult to imagine a rationalist educational model in a society where the main interests revolve around mere distraction and pure entertainment, sweetened with custom-made emotions, virtual realities, self-help materials, the promotion of pseudosciences, fictional influencers, contrived debates, and a storm of overstimulation. Education and context go hand in hand. But we also know that nothing in this world is eternal, fashions fade, today’s hegemony may be tomorrow’s relic, and those determined to improve things and persist in their efforts pave the way, create cracks, alternatives, and provoke the unexpected. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than encountering, in recent times, a legion of teachers committed to their students’ learning, persisting in the fight against the social irresponsibility of what many dub as educational innovation, which is nothing more than a regression of knowledge. That’s why we’re here.

Educational Evidence is a platform written by emerging social elites who, from the bottom but with solid intellectual abilities, refuse to surrender. These are civil society professionals who dig their trenches against protocols and are often overlooked in the debate on educational, social, and cultural policies. We speak of teachers who swim against the tide, championing academic freedom, the importance of specialization, content, the commitment to transmit knowledge to future generations, the legitimate right to quality learning, and the social obligation to shape critical, educated citizens, capable of deciphering the world they inhabit.

Writers and researchers who defend rationality and the Enlightenment in its scientific and humanistic relevance, advocate the use of evidence as a vaccine against dogmatism, alienation, polarization, manipulation, and the vulnerability of a progressively deconstructed Europe. From the Episteme Foundation, the catalyst behind this initiative, we want to remember that we are the product of what we’ve been taught. In this journey, let’s not abandon those who tirelessly strive for excellence, our teachers.

Source: educational EVIDENCE

Rights: Creative Commons

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