• Opinion
  • 3 de May de 2024
  • No Comment
  • 6 minutes read

Today’s education, the “bread” for tomorrow

Today’s education, the “bread” for tomorrow

Today’s education, the “bread” for tomorrow

The goal of education should not be containment but expansion

Imagen: Pixabay. Autor: cat6719

License Creative Commons

Myriam Gallego Rodríguez


How comfortable it is to be a minor! Immanuel Kant already warned us in the 18th century, while urging us to take a step forward and overcome this minority age in which many people remain installed throughout their lives. Living perpetually in a state of immaturity does nothing but diminish autonomy and therefore freedom, because as long as it is another one who makes or unmakes for us, the possibility of being free is reduced to the barest expression.

Kant said that the person responsible for remaining in this state of permanent immaturity is oneself. However, as teachers we wonder how we can reverse this situation so that Kantian proposal is carried out. That is to say, that our young people decide for themselves to leave their minority age and start to enjoy a much richer autonomous and independent life in which their conditions of possibility multiply.

We must educate for the future – he tells us -. For this reason, it is necessary to take a step back, give Kant another turn. Not only because we are invaded by nostalgia or romanticism, but also because the current-day reality, in which secondary school students exhibit childlike behavior, despite that biological stage of their lives is over, points to an even more dystopian reality in which comfort is not even the goal, because you already start from a given comfort in which effort has no place or reason to be. Moreover, it is something to avoid at all costs, hence it is not necessary to work hard to move on to the next year because, anyway, teachers may allow you to pass without meeting the minimum required knowledge, all in an effort to maintain your absolute comfort and avoid triggering any frustration.

If we relegate education to a mere welfare function, the popular Spanish saying “pan para hoy, hambre para mañana” (a short-term gain but with long-term consequences) will be fully fulfilled, because we will be depriving today’s student of their future, as he will not have acquired the essential tools to confront the challenges of adult life. The goal of education should not be containment but expansion of its practically boundless conditions of possibility.

However, it is disheartening to observe how our students are progressively becoming less and less capable and less skilled in caring for themselves, because even though the new educational laws continually talk about competences and place the student at the centre of the learning process, the truth is that paradoxically that student is not assigned a teacher but a guide companion, which is the closest thing to a shepherd, consequently turning the class group into a flock.

If we turn the teacher into a guide, we understand that the student must be guided. Consequently, we stop viewing him as a subject who, through his intellect, can guide himself using his own understanding. On the contrary, if the teacher imparts knowledge to the student, he will be able to act autonomously and rationally.

What he needs then is to enrich his knowledge and that is where the figure of the teacher makes sense. However, it seems that today, this knowledge must be administered in very modest amounts, as if an excess might lead to irreversible damage, perhaps that of thinking too much in an era where what matters most is to feel.

Reason is increasingly being left aside because feeling is far less tedious and intricate than thinking. And besides, one cannot be wrong when one feels, eliminating the possibility of mistake. Even a feeling that a priori seems wrong ends up being excused and sweetened. This results in a greater ease of manipulation and indoctrination, along with a reduced capacity for critical thinking and self-reflection.

We see this overvaluation of the emotional part in different areas of life. In the political sphere it is easy to manipulate emotions, hence the rise of reactionary speeches that continually appeal to feelings and end up resorting to disqualification, insult, and hooliganism. In the field of advertising, the allusions to the emotional part of the individual in order to convince us that this product is necessary in our lives is equally notable. The educational field does not escape this formula either, and the priority now lies in the misnamed emotional wellbeing, namely emotional comfort.

We are far from this being the new Age of Enlightenment, but at least let’s work in order not to live forever in the dark.

Source: educational EVIDENCE

Rights: Creative Commons

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