OPINION COLUMN: No presidential program raises paradigm shift in education
By, Marcelo Trivelli O
No presidential program proposes a paradigm shift in education
Less than two weeks before the presidential elections in Chile, it is striking that, despite the fact that there is agreement that education requires a profound change, no candidate is proposing a paradigm shift in his government program. His programs respond to marginal aspects of the educational system that may be interesting for those involved, but do not pose a hopeful future for current and future children and young people.
The education of excellence is no longer a process of the teacher who teaches / student who learns, because the level of knowledge accumulated in the world is of such magnitude that the important thing is to develop the curiosity to investigate and the skills to be able to achieve it.
Through the history of humanity, social, cultural, economic, technological, religious changes, etc. They occurred at such a speed that it was difficult for a generation to realize the impact such changes had on their lives, unless there was a war or a revolution. However, in the last 100 years and especially in the last 30, the change is perceptible in daily life.
The oldest of my grandchildren is 11 years old and all of them look at me with surprise when I tell them that in Chile there was no television when I was a child, that the personal computer was only available in the 1980s and that the massification of social networks and cell phone access occurred after they were born. It is difficult for them to understand that my grandfather and one of my uncles died young, because antibiotics did not exist before.
And when they ask me what education was like in those years, I am sad to tell them that little has changed, because we have continued in the same paradigm since the schools were created. I tell them that I studied at the same school they attend and that almost everything remains the same after 50 years. Perhaps they are right when they say that school is boring, when one asks them if they like going to class. The world changed, but the school, as we know it today, continues to resist change, as do many that do not put girls, boys and young people first.
The main paradigm that we must question is that the quality of education is the result of the application of standardized tests of mathematics and literacy. Relevant subjects for the integral development of the students are left out, such as art, an area of education that is absolutely undervalued. Art allows us to explore old and new worlds, crossing cultural, ideological and aesthetic boundaries. But, above all, art develops the capacity for observation and appreciation, and awakens and exercises curiosity, questioning and critical thinking.
There are other issues that occupy the political agenda and it is unfortunate that education is not a flag that mobilizes citizens as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, when primary education became compulsory in Chile in 1920, after two decades discussion, when the paradigm changed that there was no need for significant segments of society to leave illiteracy behind. Although it is essential for the future, the presidential programs do not propose paradigm shifts that lead to new public policies in education.
By Marcelo Triveli, Foundation Semila, Chile