All debates go through school

2 min

BarcelonaSometimes we make school the solution and hope for everything. We attach too much hope, we put all our eggs in the same basket. We want to be fixed by a society that doesn't work, unequal, fractured, incompetent. In times of crisis like the present one, this becomes even more visible, more peremptory. On the one hand, it is true, as it is said and repeated, that education lays the foundations for the future. On the other hand, it is unfair and excessive to think that the school will solve all our shortcomings, from ethics to work. Because the educational game also involves families in the private sphere and the media in the public sphere. Education is everything, it is everywhere and it is for life: continuous training is this, it is the practical awareness that we never stop learning, training. In fact, this constant learning is part of the human condition.

But school is important, of course. And more so in times of uncertainty. It is especially important for the boys and girls, for whom it is like a family, a space of security and comfort, of discovery, of friendship. A good teacher discovers vocations and can mark a life. A good school environment forms and sets people on the right path. For many, the most important things are the excursions, the food, the friends, the playtime, in other words, all the informal learning. That they do not prioritise the acquisition of concrete knowledge and learning is normal: it is the part that demands effort, that they associate with obligation. That, even so, this does not appear as a heavy imposition or a trauma, is also positive. In any case, listening to the protagonists of the educational process always helps to think and rethink school and education, a living reality.

Pedagogical debates are part of any modern, and not so modern, society: they were already held in classical Greece. Sometimes, however, we get too lost in methodological issues and forget the essence: to give opportunities, tools and knowledge to all children from an early age, and to accompany them in their growth. Fortunately, systems based only on memory and repetition have expired, and we have recovered and developed the innovative and competent pedagogy of the pioneers of the early 20th century. A reality, however, that coexists, not always harmoniously, with the most traditional organisation in subjects, and with classic evaluation systems; with the not negligible ideas of requirements, effort and goals; and with the demands of the labour market. It is not easy to fit all the pieces of this puzzle together, nor is it easy to do so with the problems of management, with the public-private school duality and with an administration which always has scarce resources and tends towards bureaucratisation and centralisation.

The school, then, will continue to concentrate many debates, some of them lazily instrumentalised, such as the language debate, as was once again seen with the approval of the new education law in Congress this Thursday in a climate of polarisation. In any case, the fact that we have the school at the centre of our concerns is positive. And so would it be if the debates were held without taboos, with freedom. Because, at the end of the day, it is each teacher, each team of teachers, who, in their own way, with their creativity and skill, depending on the circumstances and surroundings of the students, exercises every day the seduction of education with the boys and girls.