Educating Means Giving Options: Informing So They Can Choose
One of the most beautiful, necessary and undoubtedly important tasks for our society is educating. All of us, either directly or indirectly, are involved in the education of future generations. But have you ever wondered what the real purpose of education is?
The current educational system leaves much to be desired, at least in regards to values and personal development. It is instilled in us to follow rules that lead to competitiveness and conformity in a way which encroaches on creativity.
As for what teaching means and what it means to educate, it is clear that there is still much to learn. What is the meaning of education? Why do we simply prepare to pass exams? Are teachers prepared to teach students to learn how to learn or to make students memorize and repeat information without the student reflecting on it?
“The purpose of education is to show people how to learn for themselves. The other concept of education is indoctrination. “
Educate to learn how to live
Whether as parents or as teachers, we have a great responsibility to provide education that enhances the skills of our children, taking into consideration their individuality, learning rhythm, temperament, peculiarities and difficulties.
Educating for individual freedom is promoting a process toward self-knowledge. The mind transcends the impediments which it has created based on the need for security. This is done by helping them understand the causes of fear in this way so they do not become fearful as adults.
Education is valuable when it offers the opportunity to learn to live: to learn to choose between the possibilities and options before us, learning to question and filter the information we receive, and learning to let go of the desire for reward which generates fear and conformity.
“The function of education is to help each individual discover all these psychological impediments and not merely impose new patterns of behavior, new ways of thinking; such imposition in either case will not awaken creative intelligence or understanding, but rather condition the individual even more.”
Enhancing creativity, freedom and independence
To find the meaning of education it is necessary to get rid of the educational model that prevents the development of critical and independent thinking. Education makes sense when it motivates and encourages reasoning and doubt about preconceived ideas.
The role of educators is to strengthen autonomy for young people to gain confidence in themselves and learn to cope with responsibility. On the academic side, the ability to reason must be strengthened: helping them see problems in their entirety in order to be able to employ their own solutions and personal judgment.
All children enjoy diverse talents and potential, which could be related to intelligence in different areas. Taking into consideration the multiple intelligences explained by psychologist, Howard Gardner, this helps us understand that there are no people who are smarter than others, but rather simply different types of intelligence.
Unfortunately, the current educational system promotes and enhances specific intelligences, discarding and forgetting about the others. This not only penalizes children but also a society that is deprived of knowing about the incredible talents that are hidden because nobody has stopped for a moment to look for them.
In the aspect of education regarding creativity, Ken Robinson says that “educators squander it mercilessly” and escape from it because appreciating it and encouraging it in most cases involves an immediate extra cost. Thus, innovation is limited to repetition by promoting fear of being wrong or making mistakes.
“If we are not prepared to make mistakes we will never be able to create something original.”
The right education will set us free
Proper education is necessary to stay away from political expediency, economic interests and manipulation to domesticate people and turn them into robots; unmotivated and meaningless in their own evolution and anchored in conformity.
To educate with sense, we must help young people find their vocation, their motivations and interests. The aim is to accompany them, push them to a process of self-discovery and discovery that respects and identifies their differences, those that when empowered can make them unique. Moreover, it is not only about developing their potential. It is also to help them build a new social order by training them so they can create new ways of living.
Offering an education that contributes to freedom is a responsibility of both parents and teachers. It is in our hands. We are responsible for the creation of a new society that is more tolerant, respectful and committed. A society that takes into account not only reasoning, but also the affective and emotional aspects; a holistic and comprehensive vision of the individual.
“The education crisis is not like one of the many crises we have, but rather education is at the heart of the problem. The world is in a deep crisis because we have no education for awareness. We have an education that somehow robs people of their conscience, their time and their life. “
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