Publicador de contenidos

Back to 23_09_11_opiedu-maestros

professor or master?


Published in

El Diario Montañés

Gerardo Castillo Ceballos

School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra

Today's teachers are referred to as "professors" and not only in common parlance. This word refers to those who teach or instruct. On the other hand, educators and teachers are rarely referred to anymore. The change of terminology does not seem to me to be a trivial matter.

"professor" is the one who teaches or sample some contents, who transmits some knowledge, while "educator" is the one who, in addition, promotes competences and habits, both intellectual and moral. For example, the ability to think for oneself and the willingness to study voluntarily. The latter cannot be achieved at group, it requires attention staff .

Teaching" should be understood as "teaching to learn" and guiding the individual learning process. I am referring to an
activity more centered on the person who learns than on the one who teaches. 

The contrast between educating and instructing is sometimes presented in an exclusive manner. But instruction and Education are not necessarily mutually exclusive, which is why we must seek to reconcile the two elements. There is an "educational instruction" that implies something more than retaining or memorizing knowledge: it moves one to reflect on the knowledge acquired, thus being a form of intellectual Education that is integrated in the total Education : physical, intellectual, affective, moral and social.

It would be very positive to rescue and revalue the figure of the "teacher". The professor has students, the master makes disciples thanks to his mastery and to certain extraordinary abilities that make him different. Dante Alighieri used to say that "the master financial aid helps his disciples to access that light from which they are excluded". In the one who educates is the opportunity to make see the light or to leave in the darkness. 

The director of the high school of Education for the development staff (INED), Luis Tesolat, asks: "Do we educate the being or do we instruct the doing? Do we offer resources so that people can access the light of knowledge staff , the good and happiness, or do we just fill their heads with content?"

He responds that an authentic teacher has the ability to transform his disciples, to alter the logical and comfortable order that they have created and believed, to overcome their personal limits, to challenge themselves, to adapt by learning from everything that makes them uncomfortable or makes them suffer, to learn from the uncertain, to reach places in their being where they would not go alone to experience life in other ways, leading emotions to achieve inner peace. The contents do not generate virtuous students.

We need teachers who educate people to be good and happy and prepare them to know how to be in an uncertain, ever-changing world.
uncertain, constantly changing world. Who only teaches, fulfills a pre-established program, while who educates assumes a mission statement of service. The teacher devotes his or her life to the educational task. The teacher crosses the line of knowledge to open the line of being.

The teacher's own educational vocation is not always valued in a school system conceived for training for work. In this way, the priority function of the school would be to train students to fit into the structure of today's working life. In many cases, this thesis is supported by parents who are only interested in their children's
that their children acquire a preparation that will allow them to earn a living. This attitude is the consequence of a utilitarian social mentality, linked to a scientific-technical culture that permeates everything, including, of course, Education.

The "system" is primarily interested in train useful people: professionals to occupy socially relevant places, obtain material benefits and gain external recognition. The Humanities are minimized in the school programs
school programs are minimized as "useless" and to give more space to what is useful internship. At this moment, Education needs to go beyond the purely technological stage to enter the teleological stage. It is not enough to teach how to do; it is necessary to teach how to be, to be a person, having as goal the human fullness.

For Durkheim, the object of the Education is not to give student more and more knowledge, but to constitute in him an inner and profound state, a kind of polarity of the soul that orients him in a definite sense, not only during childhood but for his whole life.
not only during childhood but for the rest of his life.