Education: Learning to Be

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Now that so many new rules are imposed on our educational process. Now that we’ve suddenly seen that English is on the level with Spanish. Now that are being followed totally foreign recommendations to the Spanish educational system, which is in general very satisfactory thanks to the quality of our teachers. Now that they are concentrating more on mathematics more than on philosophy, and more on specific disciplines than those that foment creativity such as art and music. Now is the time to calmly discuss education.

And to affirm the essential importance of UNESCO’s founding text that, based on ethics and equal human dignity, proclaims that the goal of education is to create “free and responsible” people. These are the qualities that D. Francisco Giner de los Ríos proposed almost a century ago when he defined education as the capacity to “sensibly manage one’s own life”. And to act upon one’s own reflections and never upon the dictates of others or of anything.

And to re-read Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

And the text “Towards Lifelong Education for All” (UNESCO, 1990). And the “World Action Plan for Education in Human Rights and Democracy” (Montreal, 1993) and “Learning: The Treasure Within” (the report on “Education for the 21st Century” issued by the task force presided by Jacques Delors, UNESCO, 1995). This excellent report underscores the four major pillars of learning:
·        Learning to Know
·        Learning to Do
·        Learning to Be
·        Learning to Live Together

And I would add “Learning to Innovate” and “Learning to Dare”. And above all, not to learn to have, but rather to be. And to be oneself to the fullest extent possible.

In higher education, the annual GUNI (Global University Network for Innovation) reports are truly excellent…

There’s no place here for biased short-term self-interested maneuvers. Addressing this crucial subject with much caution, the true cornerstone on which to build the future of our wide-eyed dreams, is an ethical necessity. Take this into account. Just remember the “future generations” mentioned in the United Nations Charter.