Reflections on Education

Reflections on Education

Students-Automatons vs. Students-Learners

A long time ago, two wise men told the same story with different moral.
The first one told his audience: “Suppose one of you has a school and one of your students leaves the school without any explanation. Wouldn’t you go after the lost student to learn why they left? Wouldn’t you try to empathize with them? And wouldn’t you listen to them about their dreams and expectations, carefully?
He continued: The real leader cares of all their students, gives special attention to their emotional intelligence, teaches them to think for themselves in a critical and a creative way and not to feed them with a diet of just established knowledge. Even more, he or she doesn’t follow rigid and inflexible plans.”
The second wise man told his audience: “Suppose one of you has a school and one of your students leaves the school without any explanation. Wouldn’t you go after the lost student to convince them to come back to the school? Wouldn’t you try to convince them that the more you know, the more you know?
He continued: A good teacher assures their students to achieve the best grades in their academic work. Students must see immediate results. That’s their main goal in learning: to pass successfully the end of cycle examinations, he said. Needless to say, that the good teacher must enforce the rules.”
The first wise man bets on the educational and personal students’ growth, that is, on free people. And the second wise man bets on knowledge and results, that is, on intelligent automatons without initiative.
So, the actual success of schools doesn’t consist of focusing just on their students’ results; it consists of what their professional teamwork inspires students to do and to become.
Frederick Douglass said: “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” That’s right, knowledge makes students free if educators don’t use it as a “banking” data. Knowledge should be used to process information critically and independently if we want our students to become resonant professionals.
By focusing on the human side of learning, schools will get real success.
 “Changing Minds, Shaping Brains”

Schools in 21st Century

Being for Others: Managers, Teachers, and Students

Jean-Paul Sartre states that many relationships are created by people’s attraction no to another person, but rather how that person makes them feel about themselves by how they look at them.

Emmanuel Levinas speaks of a face-to-face encounter where the other’s face is not an object. For Levinas, the other’s face is a Living presence that anyone can’t reduce to images or ideas in their heads. Moreover, he adds that the face speaks to me and thereby invites me to a relation.

These thoughts are from two of the greatest philosophers of our age. These two stamens invite us to figure out and develop our roles in a new way in education. According to Sartre, we must manage with Emotional Intelligence and Levinas suggests us to look at the other as a Living presence, that is, as a human being who is always addressing me, calling to me.

Keeping those ideas in mind, roles in our schools are urgent to change from conventional rigid functions to compassionate leaderships: 
  • Managers must become Leaders, that is, individuals with vision and emotional intelligence skills who guide and influence, the direction of the teachers in the school, in a non-coercive modeling manner. 
  • Teachers must become Coaches, that is, individuals with empathy who can bring out the best in the learners in a compassionate way. 
  • Students must become Learners, that is, individuals with interests and dreams who are able to find out their own skills to achieve their goals and who are lead by their coaches.

These groups constitute real resonant relationships from which people (leaders, coaches, and learners) act compassionately to help to develop the strengths of each group while recognizing the other’s goals, their work.

Feeling inspired, motivating are emotions that enable each individual to become more creative, more positive, a critical thinker, a resonant leader who move themselves and the others to their objectives.

Living presence necessitates managing Emotional Intelligence. Schools of today are a business on people's growth, on human beings' dreams, not only on the money.

“Changing Minds, Shaping Brains.”

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