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Education character development to improve social coexistence and reduce risky behaviours in adolescents

25 experts participate in a workshop at the Universidad Panamericana (Campus Mexico), organized by the Universidad Panamericana.

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02/12/16 18:08 Isabel Solana

The II International Workshop of project 'Researching and promote the Education of character in secondary schools in Latin America' has come to an end. 25 academics, professionals from educational institutions and public policy makers from Mexico, Colombia and Argentina have debated at the Universidad Panamericana (Campus Mexico) on the Education of character in secondary schools in Latin America.

The activity has been organized by the project 'Investigar y promote la Education del carácter en escuelas de secundaria en Latinoamérica', from the School of Education and Psychology and the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Navarra (Spain) and funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

The second day of the workshop began with the presentation of the results of the first wave of Delphi questionnaires, to position by Ángel Sobrino and Apolinar Varela, members of project. A total of 89 experts, professionals and technicians from Education in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina were received at data , which helped the team to better understand the state of the art of Education character in these three Latin American countries.

The results reveal that the virtues highlighted by the project are not widely promoted at school, although specialists point out that the Education of character should be promote as a means to improve social coexistence and as financial aid to reduce risk behaviors in adolescents.

Likewise, the experts surveyed are in favor of intensifying family participation in the school in order to strengthen the Education of character. Regarding the school, they detect the following difficulties: the educational legislation, the curricular design (focused on contents and the development of competences) and the function professor (labor precariousness, overcrowded classrooms, shortage of specific training , lack of materials...).

Then, Juan Pablo Dabdoub, assistant of research of project, presented the fieldwork work to be developed: six in-depth case studies programs of study . The aim is to explore how the Education of character is promoted in different types of secondary schools, taking into account aspects such as differences in student outcomes, religious inspiration and funding.

This was followed by a roundtable on good practices around the Education of character, with the participation of Antonio Benítez Coello, from Liceo Monterrey; Rodrigo Limón, coordinator of area of Education, Science and Culture of the Organization of Ibero-American States (Mexico Office). It was moderated by Aurora Bernal, researcher at project.

Antonio Benítez mentioned four positive experiences: promote that students become good citizens by respecting their country, flag and customs (honoring the flag, commemorating important historical days, maintaining traditions...); promoting contact with nature to become aware of the value and respect for all forms of life (farm schools); developing social service programs (visiting the elderly, the sick, marginalized communities...); and creating parent associations and schools for parents to give them tools to help them do their role better.

For his part, Rodrigo Limón spoke about the award Ibero-American Human Rights Education OEI-SM Foundation 'Oscar Arnulfo Romero', which recognizes the work of educational institutions, NGOs and civil society that have acted in an exemplary manner in the defense and promotion of Human Rights through their Education.

After the colloquium, María Teresa Nicolás, Vice President academic of the Universidad Panamericana (Campus Mexico), was in charge of closing the workshop.