Education and Human Development (Ideas and views on)

sharing views on education, schooling, other types of education, and their relationship with the development of human potential. Created and developed by Vahid Masrour.

13.8.04

Schools: The “inside out” approach to education.

Education needs to be universal. There can be no question on the desirability, let alone the sheer need of universal education. This means that every single child (male or female) needs education to devellop their skills and become a better person, let alone one that can contribute to society.

If we can agree on the previous idea, the next question comes up immediately: OK, everyone gets some education. But what are the contents of that education?

This is a truly important question.

The means to deliver worldwide education are getting closer and closer every day: books are easy to print, radio is present everywhere, television right behind radio, computers are promising to be smaller and cheaper every year (and they are delivering on that promise), the computer networks are becoming more and more accessible worldwide, e-learning is developing tools that are more and more simple to use, and teacher training (with its varying shades of quality) is something that no government is questioning.

However, content is a great issue, because every culture, every human society, is dedicated to replicating itself through its education systems (formal and not so formal).

If each of these systems was really limited to just that, we could never really reach a universal education system. We'd keep on having the diversity we currently have, but we'd never get close to something that all human beings could say they share. Luckily, or something, national systems are bygones. The means that I have mentioned earlier have irremediably erupted and broke down the no-longer existing limitations of “borders”. Their effectiveness has been dulled to uselessness except maybe in countries/systems that have fiercely fought to keep their people ignorant in every sense of the word. Not that western culture is all that great either. But they’ll have to fold too.

My point is that the means have forced everyone to acknowledge the existence of other views, other ways to look at situations and, after a first passing of imposition of “big speakers”, everyone is now faced with a thousand voices from a thousand places that are trying to shout their opinions… and can’t be stopped.

This issue has to do with at least 2 layers of reality: the value systems that we work with, and the goals that our educational systems have.

I will be discussing the values' education at another opportunity, but i'd like to discuss today the goals of a universal educational system.

Not that a “universal education system” would need to have only one way to work and one frozen set of goals that everyone should abide by. We are living a time where systems can adopt a variety of means can be put to work together to achieve a wide common purpose.

The common purpose, though, have to be established. And the current UN model of purposes, with incredibly long and much too generic –possibly purposefully meaningless- doesn’t suit me. Therefore I would like to try a different idea.

<>I am a believer in a formal education system. I do think that as we are increasing our knowledge on the “book of nature”, reality as we experience it every day, and as we are ever increasing our knowledge on how to manipulate it to do what we see fit, we need to gie our children a space where they can find out about it. And a great part of that is the experience of learning with others and from others. Because possibly one the final goals of the human being is to be loving to his fellow human beings, schooling provides one the the most significant experiences in the human life.

And because in many countries it has become compulsory, human beings have more and more learned to associate more and more easily, even when their previous cultural ways did not provide openness to that experience.

<>But I need to come back to the essential proposal I want to make:
  • <>The “inside out” approach to education.

1 Comments:

At September 15, 2004 at 10:06 AM, Blogger Miguel A. Buitrago said...

Interesting post.

I am bolivian but away from my country. I would be interested to read your experiences in Bolivia.

my blog is www.mabb.blogspot.com

 

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