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There is always the possibility of trying an alternative education

This article has been verified and approved by Gema Sánchez Cuevas on July 20, 2017

Roberto Muelas Lobato · July 20, 2017

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One of the great problems of today lies in education. This is a problem that not only affects parents and teachers, but also states. Education is the basis for the future . From small, children will assimilate concepts and create mental structures that will determine the rambling of their steps and decision making. Some parents, faced with the failure of education opt for an alternative education. Is this a bad option?

En el contexto europeo, el referente en educación viene siendo, desde hace años, Finlandia. Este país, consigue año tras año los mejores índices a nivel de educación pero, aun así, su gobierno ha cambiado el modelo educativo por completo, dando más libertad tanto a niños como a profesores a la hora de elegir qué estudiar y cuándo.

El resto de países, tomando como referente a Finlandia, van realizando cambios que intentan copiar su modelo. Esta práctica, en lugar de ser beneficiosa, da peores resultados debido a la falta de similitudes entre el contexto existente en Finlandia y el de los países en los que se intenta exportar su modelo.

La escuela de mi niñez

Recuerdo que, cuando realizaba la primaria en el colegio, en un aula donde no llegábamos a veinte niños juntando dos cursos, el profesor estaba en el estrado contándonos lo que debíamos de memorizar. Mis compañeros y yo, mientras tanto, sentados sillas milimétricamente ordenadas por filas, nos pasábamos papeles en los que escrito estaba el tremendo aburrimiento que sentíamos y una pregunta, qué forma de dolor sería más creíble con tal de salir cinco minutos antes al patio.

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Bored child in class

Pero esta diversión no duraba demasiado, cuando el profesor se percataba, el castigo era inmediato e igual nos quedábamos sin el ansiado recreo. Volviendo a hacer reflexión de esos tiempos, lo que realmente aprendíamos era que nosotros no somos nadie. Solo somos individuos que tenemos que obedecer y que la verdad la tienen los que nos daban clase. Todo lo que ellos dijeran era lo correcto y pocas aportaciones podíamos hacer nosotros.

“Es necesario desarrollar una pedagogía de la pregunta. Siempre estamos escuchando una pedagogía de la respuesta. Los profesores contestan a preguntas que los alumnos no han hecho”

-Paulo Freire-

Pocas materias se libraban de este análisis, incluso con el devenir de los años, aunque si he de salvar a alguna, filosofía y ética se llevan el premio. En estas clases siempre nos enseñaban a analizar nuestras emociones, a leer tranquilamente comprendiendo lo que leíamos, a ser críticos y no aceptar las verdades dadas. Ahora, quieren acabar con las clases de filosofía.

Educación emocional

Y es que ya lo decía Foucault, los orígenes de la educación actual se encuentran en la tradición judeo-cristiana. Esta tradición proclama valores como la obediencia y el sacrificio. Si las antiguas escuelas, al menos en España, se dedicaban a crear curas y militares, en la actualidad no varían mucho. En lugar de curas y militares, de las escuelas salen banqueros e ingenieros.

Es dicho que Albert Einstein no obtuvo grandes resultados académicos en matemáticas cuando era un niño. Desconozco la veracidad de esta afirmación pero, más allá de la inventiva del hecho, la verdad es que la educación falla a la hora de moldear personas libres e independientes. En las ocasiones en las que algo va mal y siento que el mundo se acaba siempre me acuerdo de las clases de ética, en ellas teníamos que escribir acontecimientos de nuestra vida e interpretar qué emociones y sentimientos sentíamos, por qué y cómo estos controlaban influían en cómo nos comportábamos.

Paulo Freire as an example of alternative education

Now they call it emotional intelligence and people tighten their belts to be taught what education was not able to give them. But not everything is pessimism. Although education worldwide is very similar, there are small redoubts where it is not, like that village of those intrepid Gauls. There are places in the world where education is different and focuses on educating people before or while generating good professionals.

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Alternative education

An example of alternative education is found in agrosophy. This way of life is in communion with the earth and the environment and children who are raised under these precepts do not go to school, at least, until they are ten years old. In this type of alternative education, these children do not learn to read or write until late. However, they learn to live and work in harmony with the earth. It may seem that a ten-year-old boy who does not know how to read is a failure, but at age fifteen nobody would notice the difference.

These children, before going to school, already have values ​​such as solidarity, they know how to be self-sufficient and have a critical vision of life. In the end, education is a scale of priorities , what does it matter more: that my son knows the capitals of all the countries of the world or that he can go to another country and respect different cultures knowing how to value what they offer? What is better, knowing how to regulate emotions or stuffing yourself with pills knowing all the components they contain?

Children in class

Thinking of current examples, the recent strike of the stevedores in Spain comes to mind . No other sector joined in their support, people criticized them because “they already charged too much” and, in the end, there is no end. When they got what they wanted, or at least a part, they stopped coming out on the news. It does not matter that you know that if you defend the rights that have been stolen, you can recover them.

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How would it have been if we had had another education, if we had grown up under the umbrella of an alternative education? If solidarity was among our values, we might have joined them. If we had a critical and curious thinking we might have understood their protest, maybe we would have known how everything ended, maybe they would have given us ideas on how to improve our situation, maybe they would have helped us with their experience, maybe … but no. They only taught us to listen, believe and obey without questioning.

“First they came looking for the communists, and I did not speak because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Socialists and the trade unionists, and I did not speak because it was neither one nor the other. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak because I was not Jewish. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left who could speak for me “

-Martin Niemöller-

Education in fiction

I found these reflections watching a film, that although it did not have many followers in its premiere, I do not think it leaves anyone indifferent. I speak of “Captain fantastic”, the story of a marriage that leaves civilization to raise their children in a forest, a form like any other alternative education. The result, children that any father would want. Children critical of life, with their own opinions (which do not come from television) and with an impressive survival instinct.

Of course children have deficiencies. The main and most pronounced is the lack of interaction with peers. The lack of contact with other people outside their utopia. Although it is only a Hollywood movie that seeks to make a box office, perhaps the debate about the benefits of another model of alternative education, centered on other priorities, should be on the agenda .

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