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World Education Day Education: transforming the vision and intention of educators


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The Conversation

Aurora Bernal Martínez de Soria

Professor of Theory and History of the Education, School de Education and Psychology, University of Navarra

On 24 January, all those countries that belong to the United Nations Organisation celebrate the International Day of the Education. The theme this year is "changing course, transforming Education". UNESCO, the body that ensures that the right to Education is guaranteed in all regions of the world, proclaims:

"In these exceptional times, we cannot go on doing business as usual. If we want to transform the future, if we want to change course, we must rethink Education. It is about forging a new social contract for Education. (...) We need to redress the injustices of the past and steer the digital transformation towards inclusion and equity. And we need the Education to contribute fully to sustainable development , for example by integrating environmental Education into all curricula at programs of study and by training teachers in this area." (Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO).

Financing and development sustainable

The requested social contract is about funding, a agreement whereby states commit to invest more capital in the Education.

In order to realise the social contract on Education, a pact has to be established on how to contribute to the global or worldwide sustainable development which we know depends on the right International Office of partnership.

Only this cooperation will allow the human development of all countries to be sustainable, achieved and maintained from generation to generation. This mutual financial aid is only possible if each country maintains the sustainability of the development of its society as challenge .

Making these commitments implies that the people who influence the dynamics of each society have the ambition to change the living conditions of all the world's inhabitants and work not only for their own benefit.

A realistic plan?

The ideal of changing course by transforming the Education seems like a utopia, an imaginative project of a future society, which is very difficult to realise. How to start this plan to make it realistic?

We could add to the motto of the International Day of the Education in 2022 a small fragment: "change the course, transform the Education, promote a transformative Education ". A transformative Education is a Education that is committed to the holistic training of people.

The so-called report Delors (1996), which has been so often quoted throughout these decades of life in the second millennium, could be inspiring for transforming the Education.

The UNESCO report proposed four principles of the Education:

  1. Learning to know.

  2. Learning to do.

  3. Learning to live together.

  4. Learning to live with others.

The outcomes of this learning are to acquire skills, knowledge, values, competences, attitudes or motivations.

Integral and transformative

A transformative Education gives rise to this learning. development A comprehensive and transformative Education encompasses all learning that contributes to the intellectual, affective, moral, civic, physical and spiritual development of people, relating to each other, and harmonising the different social spaces in which education can be intentionally carried out.

If, for example, we promote critical reason, we do so in science subjects, in literature subjects, in social science subjects, in classrooms, in playgrounds, in sports centres, in homes, in cultural and enriching leisure spaces.

It is about educationally presenting what makes sustainable development possible, so that people orient their lives towards achieving it, are interested and satisfied to engage and participate in building it.

Aiming for sustainable goals

The digital divide has highlighted the inequality of educational opportunities for some sectors of society, and we have discovered that new technologies can be a good tool to include a diversity of people in Education . However, digital tools do not have the core topic to turn the tide and make Education deliver on goal to contribute to development.

The Education for the sustainable development does not mean that the Study program should be inflated with new subjects, although it would not be a bad thing to give more depth to the humanistic subjects. These subjects include values that are not strictly useful and yet help to acquire a sense of humanity, a humanitarian sense of life itself.

We need to engage educators in a transformative Education , and help citizens to aspire to goals that prioritise sustainable development .

What makes the educational difference is knowing how to live and know how to live together, the interest in learning and achieving it. The core topic is not material resources but relationships with others: educators (teachers, parents, parents) and classmates. The lifestyles, the values that are promoted in coexistence, the speech, give rise to contexts that are essential for an integral and transforming Education .

Care educational is the main motivation source for learners, children, young people and adults. On this point, people with and without material resources agree. Resources are certainly necessary, but they are not enough.

Broadening vision and intention

To change course, transforming Education, educators would have to broaden their vision and educational intentionality, and perhaps change themselves to be reference letter of life.

At final, our first goal should be to fund a comprehensive training for educators: fostering their autonomy, freedom, creativity and effort, and networking between educational fields or social agents that influence Education.

The recently released film Don't look uprecently released, sample shows us how technological development alone does not lead to sustainable development , because without a sense of humanity, we destroy ourselves.