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María del Coro Molinos Tejada, professor of Education. School de Education and Psychology

José Luis González-Simancas, a pioneer in pedagogy

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 08:49:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

Professor José Luis González-Simancas, a true pioneer of the Pedagogy programs of study at the University of Navarra, and promoter of many educational initiatives, passed away on Friday in Pamplona.

Don José Luis, as many affectionately called him, was born into a Madrid family of class average and ended up following in the footsteps of his father, who held various positions in educational institutions and was closely linked to the Scout movement.

Although he studied licentiate degree in History, after finishing his programs of study he obtained a scholarship to visit the Institute of Education London, then and now one of the most outstanding centers of pedagogical research in the world.

There he imbibed the formative spirit typical of English public schools, comparable to that of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Those who dealt with him recognized in him a certain gentlemanly demeanor, to which he added a plus of closeness at attention and a magnanimity in his intentions, not necessarily linked to that figure.
On his return to Spain, he embarked on an exciting challenge , to create a center professor in which the best of the British tutorial system would coexist with a profound Christian spirit. Thus was born in Bilbao the high school Gaztelueta, which still enjoys extraordinary vigor today. There, undoubtedly, he became even more passionate about the guidance of pupils, a matter in which he
staff of the pupils, a subject in which he worked in depth throughout his academic degree program .

When his dream was already a reality, with commendable humility and admirable entrepreneurial spirit, he left Gaztelueta in the hands of others and undertook a new task. He was then the driving force behind the University of Navarra's high school de Ciencias de la Education (ICE), which was dedicated to the improvement of teachers and would end up serving as model for many other institutes of Education from 1970 onwards.

For the third time, with the indefatigable enthusiasm that characterized him, he undertook a new adventure: to consolidate the incipient programs of study of Pedagogy at the University of Navarra until it became a licentiate degree. Thus, for several decades, he became the unforgettable teacher of several generations of professionals of the Education.

We will hardly forget his discreet but permanent smile, his closeness, his serenity, and in particular his affection for all his students. He had an innate gift for connecting with them and the sympathy was usually mutual and long-lasting. He could place many of them, without the slightest hesitation, in their respective promotions.

Like the old masters, whom we should always imitate, it can be said of him that he taught by example, as much or more than by word. He knew how to transmit to us that in Education the essential thing was to get close to people, trust them and guide them, until, as he used to say, "they could fly on their own". We thank him for this and pray for his soul.