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Complete or partial reproduction, copying, modification translation, dubbing and/or redistribution
and public viewing of this documentary for non-profit purposes is permitted and encouraged.
This film is the summary of a continuous learning process and under no circumstances should it be considered conclusive.
The persons featured in this film have varying ideas and opinions,
their participation does not necessarily signify their agreement with all its contents.
To all children and young people who want to grow up in freedom
I always remember a philosophy lesson in which the teacher told us this story...
A group of men were in a cave, prisoners since birth,
chained in such a manner that they could only see the back of the cave.
A bonfire and figures manipulated by other men projected all kinds of shadows on that wall.
These shadows were the only connection the prisoners had with the outside world...
Those shadows were their world, their reality...
One of the prisoners was released and allowed to see the whole of reality outside the cave.
How long would it take him to get used to the outside world after a lifetime of confinement?
His reaction might possibly be a deep fear of reality...
Would he understand what a tree, the sea, the sun were?
Let us assume this man does see reality as it is
and that he understands what a great fraud the cave was...
The teacher briefly explained the interpretations of this myth
with respect to knowledge... delusion, ... reality, and that perhaps we might be
inside a huge cave, which is itself inside another one...
But there is no doubt that this freed man felt
a great need to return and share what he had seen with the others ...
"The Forbidden Education"
- Well, this is how - in his eleventh thesis he reaches the conclusion that
a philosopher must not only understand reality, but must also come to transform it.
The media, thousands of books, all political speeches,
international organizations, experts, philosophers, websites.
They all agree on the importance of education.
Investments are made in training, building improvements, research,
books, netbooks, electronic whiteboards are bought.
Courses are taught, wages raised, wages lowered, foreign models are imitated.
All this for improving education.
This doesn't prevent there being as many schools as there are social realities.
Marginalized schools, for the poor, warehouse schools,
schools for workers, professionals, the middle class
public and private schools,
schools for the rich, schools for the elite.
The majority aim to include and contain the maximum number of students,
many others focus on creating different hierarchies of workers,
and only a few dedicate themselves to so-called standards of excellence.
Beyond their differences, all of them work and aspire towards a common school ideal.
To what degree does this ideal school help us to develop individually and collectively?
Does this educational paradigm really aim to help people gain a good standard of living
and to work towards bettering their communities?
Is there any other kind of school that achieves this? Is there an education conceived according to these ideals?
This has led us to open the door onto a world which is unknown to many of us.
This film is part of a possibly endless process,
a question which probably has no answers,
a search for the true nature of learning and education,
what mistakes we made,
and foremost, which ideas will help us to keep searching,
to keep learning.
- Well, I guess what Alicia wants, what the director wants, is
simply to agree, to reach an agreement about what you are going to say,
it's a school performance, the school must know what is going to be said.
- Of course, of course.
- Well, Javier, what was decided?
- Well, I suggested that, as an exercise, the students write an essay
telling us what the outcome of all these years at school is. And that's it.
- "Very little of what happens in our school is truly important."
- "They teach us to stay away from each other and to be competitive."
- "Parents and teachers do not listen to us."
- "That's why we say 'enough is enough."
"Education is forbidden."
-"If you seek different results, don't keep repeating the same thing over and over."
Students don't learn to read comprehensively after 12 years,
they don't learn mathematical operations, they don't... well, they learn very little...
What is it that makes a student fail at school?
Rest assured that there is convincing proof that it is not the student who fails,
but that the system is poorly designed.
The fact is that current educational reforms widely used today use the wrong approach.
They are a quick fix for what we think must be improved in schools,
The problem lies in our paradigmatic conception of education,
it's a problem of basic definition.
Elementary and high schools in Latin America are nothing but places of tedium and boredom.
I often ask people to come and visit a school
in order to see "the mold that needs to be broken".
And it's the teacher at the blackboard, giving a lesson
in the middle of the 21st Century! It simply doesn't make sense.
It's a static subject, a subject with no movement to it,
a subject that only uses words.
I am the adult. I am the one who is going to give you this information.
This is the way you have to learn it.
Because that's the way it is.
You are the children. Now be quiet and do as you're told.
Be quiet! You never know anything!
They are not seeking, so to speak, any development other than the curricular one.
They're too focused on the subject-matter itself.
Those who don't learn how to read, write and calculate are not educated.
Because the work focuses only on some abilities, in certain areas.
Nowadays knowledge is biased because our views are biased.
We say that in today's conventional schools learning is preventive.
"Miss, what is this for?" and the teacher responds, "Ah! Perhaps you might need it one day!"
But we have realized that this kind of knowledge doesn't endure nor prevail for very long.
Nowadays, paradigms are changing very rapidly.
Knowledge is constantly changing.
So, what has happened is that the educational systems have not changed
as rapidly as the rest of society has.
This is where the root of the problem lies.
Teacher Training schools and universities have always told us that
an objective is that which can be measured, quantified and observed.
So we began searching for a method with which to measure these objectives.
And that's what we called 'grades'. Whether they were an "A", a happy face or a sad face.
But the logic behind it will always be the same, to compare.
To compare the individual, his learning process.
Against a standardized scale that measures ... what?
Every individual is unique and no two people are alike.
It searches for a number which will determine... it even defines the sort of person you are.
Thus, for example, I create conflicts at the cognitive level. "Let's see who does this first ..."
Consequently some are winners and others losers.
And every time there is a loser, someone feels bad. Obviously.
Children are actively encouraged to compete with each other.
The best students obtain recognition, receive rewards.
Those who don't do well in exams are scolded,
and in many cases they are ignored.
Everyone talks about peace, but nobody seems to teach about it.
People educate for competition, and competition is the first step towards war.
Theoretically, all educational laws talk about profound human development objectives,
human values, cooperation, community, solidarity, equality,
freedom, peace, happiness, using many fine words.
But the fact is that the system's basic structure encourages exactly the opposite ...
competition, individualism, discrimination, conditioning, emotional violence, materialism.
Any idea suggested by this line of thought is incoherent with what the framework sustains.
Although education theorizes and discusses moral principles and values,
it discusses them as subject-matters.
If I come from a fragmented model, in which my particular interest is to teach History
I'm going to check how much this individual knows about History
after I have told him about History and have made him read a History book.
And then I've finished with him. I've nothing else to do with him,
whether or not he suffers, or if he comes from a good family, whether or not he is wealthy.
The easiest thing for a traditional teacher is to keep repeating what he has done for many years.
Do you want to be mediocre for the rest of your life?
Or what he has picked up through usage.
You are no longer a second grade child.
Thus, teaching simply becomes a process of symbolic repetition.
I don't want to hear peep out of you!
Nowadays, in Argentina, the great majority of children say:
How awful! Today's Monday, and I have to go back to that school again!
And that's not the worst of it. Most teachers in Argentina are saying the same thing.
I believe that teachers nowadays are the result of a system.
A teacher isn't born or wants to be a teacher simply to be good or bad.
He is what the state allows him to be.
That's enough! No break for you!
Oh no! don't you start with "home problem" excuses!
How can I educate these childrens' emotions if at Teacher's College
nobody ever spoke a single word about emotions?
If you keep talking you'll be separated!
I don´t want my child to go to school to waste time, I don't want him to have any problems.
Nowadays, an 8 year old spends more time at school, than a College student at College,
It makes no sense, there isn´t that much to learn at school.
"Then school isn't even a space for learning."
It 's a big Day Care Center, or as I call it, a big Children's Parking Lot.
I think they are prisons. I think it´s dreadful. To think that you have to lock children up,
that you need to have guards to avoid them escaping.
Thus they become more enclosed. We build higher walls.
The walls can be made of brick, or of trees. But still, they are walls that isolate, that separate.
I want the school to be a place for his personal growth
and not a place where he is trained to get into some future high school,
and then for University and later on for a job,
and then, for what?
But it's much easier to say: "Now ... you keep quiet,
now ... open your exercise books,
now ... take a red pencil..."
This is dog training,
- Yes, well, actually the pupils told me that they had thought of reading this essay during the show.
It's a draft.
- Haha, it´s not a draft. That's the way we are going to read it.
- No, no, no. Martín, there are some aggressive words here.
- You can't attack us so wantonly in this manner.
- If you feel attacked, there must be a reason. - Now, wait!
- Alicia, all we did was to carry out an assignment the teacher gave us.
- That's why I'm saying this is only a draft. They'll soften the text.
- We're not softening it, we're going to read it as it is... - Martin!
- We are not going to soften it. - No!
- Martin, this is total disrespect, as it is.
- Sorry! I forgot that saying what you think is a lack of respect.
"Our problem in understanding forced schooling stems from an inconvenient fact:
that the wrong it does, from a human perspective,
is right from a systems perspective."
This is barely known, but education that is public,
free and compulsory
was invented at some point in history.
Formerly, it didn´t exist.
In ancient times education was very different to what we all believe education to be today.
In ancient Athens, for instance, there were no schools. Plato's first academies
were places for thought, conversation and free experimentation.
Compulsory education was for slaves.
On the other hand, education in Sparta was more like a military drill.
The state got rid of those who didn't reach the expected levels.
There were compulsory classes, severe punishments and behavior modeling through pain and suffering.
In the past education was in the hands of the Catholic Church at least in the Western Christian world.
And it was only in the 18th century, at a moment in History we call Enlightened Despotism,
(you may have heard this at school), where the concept of education was created...
... public, free and compulsory.
Schools as we know them today were born in the late 18th and early 19th Century, in Prussia.
In order to prevent revolutions like those occurring in France,
monarchs introduced some "enlightenment" so as to satisfy the people,
but maintaining Absolutism.
The Prussian school was based on a strong division of classes and casts.
It's structure, heir to the Spartan model, promoted discipline, obedience and an authoritarian regime.
What were these learned despots looking for?
A docile, obedient people
that could be trained for the wars that were occurring at the time between
Catherine the Great of Russia, for instance
called in French encyclopaedists to put this together.
Diderot, one of the most famous, was there to prepare this
package. Yes, a shaper of ... not of citizens, but of
obedient subjects to those States.
News about this successful educational model travelled fast, and
within a few years American and European educators visited Prussia to become qualified.
As time went by this model became international.
Many countries imported this modern system, of education, publicizing education for everyone,
raising the flag for equality, whilst the essence of the system itself
came from Despotism, looking to perpetuate elitist models and division of the classes .
That was the birth of Public Education.
Notice that Napoleon
a little later, and
a sworn enemy of all these despots, did the same.
He said so, mincing not a word:
"I want to create.
an educational body
that will steer the way French people think"
Get it? He certainly did! And this persists today, whether we are aware of it or not.
Schools were born in a positivist world governed by an industrial economy,
thus it tries to gain the maximum amount of visible results with the least possible effort and cost,
using scientific formulas and general laws.
School was the perfect answer to a need of the workers,
and it was the same industrial entrepreneurs of the 19th Century
who financed obligatory education with the help of their foundations.
What do I do with the children of these people so that they can work?
How do we teach them to read, how do we create intelligent workers?
Education continues to be the same today, a means of creating useful workers
and a useful tool for assuring that culture will always be repetitive and uniform.
Which means preserving the current structure of society.
Schools were supplemented with research in behavior control,
social utopia proposals,and even racial superiority theories.
It's not surprising that the first countries to implement the Prussian system, or something similar,
eventually became, in time, sources of extreme xenophobia and nationalism.
The assembly line in industrial production was a perfect example for education.
A child's education became comparable to manufacturing produce,
therefore it required certain specific steps, in a specific order,
grouping children by age into school grades.
And in each of these stages they would work on specific concepts,
the contents of which ensured success, carefully thought-out by an expert.
In other words, the teacher is the one in charge of teaching a series of required subject-matters
to a determined age-group, because someone determined it so.
But education is not designed by biologists,
... funnily enough, it isn't designed by educators either,
rather, by administrative clerks,
people who never teach.
Within this chain, a single person is in charge of a small part of the process,
which is insufficient so as to know the whole mechanism or the persons involved in it..
One teacher per year, per subject, every 30 or 40 students
getting to the point in which the whole process ends up being purely mechanical.
Education, as it is today, is an administrative issue.
Students arrive at school, teachers give their class,
students go home, teachers go home, and the following day the cycle is repeated.
A state teacher is a clerk.
Whose boss says: "You have to teach this, this and this, and in this way."
Because it has to be repeated to too many children by a teacher who is overworked
and with very few hours of private attention to each student.
So he will always talk to a group.
Because obviously, if I have 30 children
I can't expect all 30 of them to want to do the same thing at the same time.
This assembly line system, which appeared with Taylorism was applied in industry,
schools and the armed forces of a variety of Occidental countries and cultures.
Until a few decades ago, schools were a bit like a barracks or an asylum,
even breaktime ends with an anonymous bell, not a human sound,
that instructs children to train themselves, little by little, to stand on a particular floor tile,
behind a certain head, to line up generally in order of height.
During the past centuries we have built our schools
as if they were prisons or factories
prioritizing obedience to rules and to social controls.
Schools have been conceived as producers of obedient, consumerist and efficient citizens,
where people gradually become numbers, scores and statistics.
The demands and pressures of the system end up dehumanizing everyone
because it goes beyond teachers, principals or school inspectors.
They are regarded as homogeneous groups,
with homogeneous concepts which must attain similar results.
We all have to know the same things.
Despite the fact we adults don't all know the same things,
despite the fact we don't all do the same things.
At school everyone has to want to do the same thing, and to do it just as well.
Thus schools don't have the capacity to fulfill individual needs,
because schools train, they are training centers, that is what they do.
He who doesn't learn, stays behind. That's it.
This implies that the education system is a social exclusion system:
it selects the type of people that will get to University
so that they will then become part of an elite
which dominates companies and production, economic and communication systems, etc.
And another type of people
for whom school is not appropriate enough
and who are destined to less certain jobs because they won't have the qualifications to do this.
The system, the states,
are not worried about all this,
they honestly don't care about human beings as people, as individuals.
And under these terms, all education searching for something else, has to be forbidden.
The truth is that the essence of the Prussian school is immersed within our school structure.
Standardized tests, division by age, compulsory classes,
curricula disconnected from reality, the qualification system,
pressure on the teachers and children, the reward and punishment system,
strict time-tables, enclosure and separation from the community, verticalist structure.
All these still form part of 21st Century schools.
Schools are shut away from the external world.
I was explaining the title of my book "From school maps to the territory of education "
in reference to the fable narrated by Borges about the cartographer
who begins drawing a map of a certain territory
and becomes determined to do it perfectly.
The map ends up replacing the territory.
So today, schools are boxed in, enclosed inside the map.
What do they teach? Concepts that are on the map, not in the territory.
School in not a synonym of education. School could be an old map of knowledge.
But education is the territory where all learning takes place.
What makes a good education ? Getting the most children to achieve quality standards?
Giving them tools and concepts they are not interested in
so that they can overcome obstacles imposed by others?
Wasn't the goal of education to attain a good standard of living?
For a moment let's forget everything we know about education,
the way we understand education,
everything we've been told we have to learn in life and to teach our children.
To begin to observe everything,
inspecting it as if we've never seen it before.
In other words every action, attitude, habit.
If we weren't doing everything as we do so, just because that's how we've always done it,
how would we do them today?
Right? It's like shaking your head and saying: OK,
let's start again.
Let's start again.
- Let's see. You must understand that the speech you wrote could upset a lot of people.
- OK, but if that's how we feel and we wrote it like that, why can't we read it like that?
- These are our words, what we think, What's the problem? - Take responsibility for what we wrote!
- No, no, no wait, wait wait. -(Argument)
Wait, wait a minute Martin because I know you.
Everything upsets you in this school, I upset you, the teachers upset you. I know you well.
- No, you don't know me.
- I do know you. - No, you don't.
"Don't follow me, follow the child"
We don't want instructors, we want educators.
That's easy. What's difficult is
helping to bring about the normal development of a person.
If I want to achieve that, I have to know the intrinsic human being.
What potentials does he bring along?
At what ages does he produce what potentials?
But, but, he isn't keeping up with the child, not observing him.
He doesn't really know the child, not each one in particular. Instead, he knows a lot of theory.
So, it's like an adult who knows what the child has to do, but who's a little blinded - concerning reality.
In other words, the core of education is the child.
So, if education is thought of from the requirements of the child
not from our own needs as adults.
Children are born with this ability to create, they are creative and observant and curious.
And at school two things can happen:
either to accompany this process and stimulate activities which will develop this ability, or to thwart it.
In fact, we could say that the human being has a tendency towards learning.
We can even say more, that learning is not a human virtue.
Even more, that he cannot not learn.
See for yourself. He is constantly asking you "why this? why that?"
It´s not that you have to make him want to ask questions, they are in his essence.
It's enough that he has sensorial organs and can discern, right?
That he has a brain and can think, reason, imagine, create, fantasize.
But school does exactly the opposite, it silences him.
Thus, if you pay attention, as children gradually grow older,
they begin to loose their curiosity and keenness to learn.
A 12 year old child
will rarely read a book after class,
only a minority does so.
Why? Because he is totally fed up with being told what he should or shouldn't do,
and because he's lost all interest in learning.
A child's mind has learning qualities which are qualitatively superior to those of an adult
because it is naturally made to discern anything it comes across
and this is how the mind creates and builds itself.
In very few years he learns to control his body,
is able to communicate in various languages, understands the rules of nature and the characteristics of his culture.
All this complex and wonderful process takes place unconsciously.
He learns it all alone and with minimal effort.
Of all the things we learned at school, even when we did learn a lot at school,
very few of them are actually necessary in daily life.
It's possible that school is convenient, but I don't think school is necessary.
I believe it can be very, or even too, convenient for society, but we can live without it.
Because we can live without knowing about logarithms, but we can't live without knowing how to relate to other people,
or knowing how to walk, or how to use a tool.
Children learn all these things through play.
Since birth they have the ability to build and shape themselves,
learning from everything that surrounds them,
through play and exploration of the world.
They absorb culture, they take on their parents' culture,
you can see this inclusively in language.
A human being's cultural make-up includes numbers and letters and words, so he learns them.
Just as he learns to walk, because adults walk.
Therefore, when a human being is born,
his biology doesn't force him to be human.
He needs to be born into a human environment.
Everything that surrounds us plays a leading role in our learning process.
Moments spent together, our family's outlook.
Emotions, preferences, beliefs.
Everything is part of that environment in which we construct ourselves.
The question, then, is this
What kind of environment do we offer our children for adults to develop in this way?
Because a child enters a dogmatic environment
"Sit here", "Remain seated in this row for 6 or 7 hours" How awful!
If we have a family in which the web of affection is extremely weak, and violence levels are very high,
that child will probably be a very aggressive one,
It won't be violent for sure, I'm not saying that, but we are saying that
in a violent environment, violence can easily reproduce itself.
The child will give what it gets.
That's why we must attain much more loving, sound relationships in the classroom.
Studies indicate that nowadays at the age of 5, 98% of children could be regarded as geniuses.
They are curious, creative, and are able to think in a variety of ways, to solve problems,
that's to say, they have an open mind.
The problem is that fifteen years on only 10% of those children maintain those abilities.
I mean, what I'm saying is that beyond the mind itself,
from the conscious world, we are all geniuses.
And actually, what the teacher has to learn is that his students,
should be able to open up their minds allowing all that knowledge, creativity and geniality
we all have inside to appear.
If we look at humankind's great men and women,
they have all been big dreamers, ergo have had a huge imagination.
As human beings we are the result of thousands of years of natural adaptation and evolution.
We carry all those characteristics which have allowed us to survive, convert ourselves and grow.
From the desire to eat when we are hungry, to the child's internal curiosity to explore the world.
This potential is waiting for us to allow it to manifest itself.
We see this in childrens' spontaneous play,
in today's adolescents through their rebelliousness and their need of changing reality.
Why do we insist on killing their spontaneity and punishing their rebelliousness,
when these are simply characteristics that show us that they are trying to develop their natural, human inner needs?
The child has an inner teacher, specially in the early stages,
that drives him to learn, to discover, to move,
that encourages him to participate, to work, to repeat behaviors,
that moves him to decide when he wants to stop repeating something because he has conquered it.
Observing how children perform, we discovered that they use all the criteria of a notorious researcher,
exactly the same ones. Naturally, with different levels of complexity, right?
But no child exists that isn't a systematic observer,
there is no observant little girl that doesn't end up experimenting.
What can we do to make them more creative? They already are!
All we have to do is offer them the possibility to articulate their creativeness
in different ways.
If they keep doing this, tomorrow they can become scientists,
they will be artists.
Let them be.
- Stop it! Come on Martin, there's no need, what will you gain with this?
- They're questioning the marking system, for example. They say that we only care about final marks.
That we don't care if they study or not, if they learn or not.
- Come on, Martin.
- Ok, so what do I gain with this? It just feels good! - Why are you so stubborn?
- And, what's more, we are making them compete amongst themselves, in a way.
- Do you think so too?
- Look, I don't think that their proposal is so mistaken, all that far off.
Clearly something about the school structure is harming them.
- Look, Javier, I think that what harms children today is society itself.
And with today's society, the best thing that could happen to them is to go to school. Don't you think?
- Ok, but this is pretty strong. - Yes, I know, but...
- Sorry! - Yes.
- This is everything I learned in five years at school.
D'you know what's going to happen to all this?
I'll forget it all.
I've already forgotten it.
"Studying doesn't consist of devouring ideas, but of creating and recreating them."
So this is how education comes about, plugging more information because we believe that information is necessary.
The question I ask myself is:
How much do we remember from what they taught us in primary school, for example?
How much do we remember from middle school?
But with this manner of presenting it, nobody feels motivated.
And the student thinks that all he has to do is repeat, repeat, repeat ... until it sticks.
So repeat, please:
"Actinium ac 3 metal,
"Actinium ac 3 metal"
When I repeat, when I repeat
something they tell me I have to repeat,
I simply become a repeater.
Whether I understand or not isn't important, because what matters is that I say it in the same manner.
If I demand more from a child than what he can give, I start to generate stress in him.
Learning becomes a tiresome process,
a difficult process,
and I stop learning.
Everything that you could learn at school from day to day,
fades into the background if it's not your own decision, if it's not your own choice.
It's only cold facts, simply words that will disappear over time.
Information or knowledge can be stored in our brain, a book or a computer.
But understanding is a tool that grows constantly,
with unique characteristics that vary depending on the individual.
It involves creating and establishing relationships between criteria,
so as to solve problems and to construct new knowledge.
The children were not robots who simply copied or repeated things just because; there really was more
awareness on their behalf, of what they were doing.
That concept will get to him, he will absorb it somehow, through his own experience.
If the learning process is not enjoyable, then there is no true learning.
And above all, the genius that every child bears inside cannot reveal itself,
and cannot enrich the rest of the class, nor the teacher himself.
Real learning can only be born out of interest, will, curiosity,
and it's origin lies beyond the boundaries of reason.
It's so much more than analyzing or relating concepts.
Learning implies a deep process, where relationships between a person and the environment are created.
Because there is a neuroscience principle which says:
"What the human brain likes best is to know,
but to know with enjoyment and pleasure, which is a semblance of play."
We began at the emotional brain, to then reach the logical brain,
and that logic is valid, good, more complete.
It's wonderful to observe ... the moment of discovery,
which is the precise instant of learning. That child will never forget that moment
in which he came to understand : why.
Formerly, knowledge could only be found in libraries or universities,
access to them was vital for learning.
Today, free access to information, virtual libraries, collective structuring of knowledge,
not only allows for the possibility for everyone to
obtain that knowledge openly and plurally, but it is also updated constantly.
What we could learn at school today might
- perhaps in four years' time when the child leaves school -
be totally out of date.
Education, through scholarization, fell within the confines of the school
and we lost touch with nature.
Nowadays, we read the criteria published in books,
and the problem is that since many of them are true,
why would I argue with them?
But by doing so, we distort the educational process, which is of discovery,
not merely the learning of truths.
Things are not going to be presented as certainties, they're going to be introduced,
and at the same time will be there for questioning, for discussing them together, right?
"What we have to learn, we learn by doing."
At all levels, human beings always learn what they do.
They have to make an effort to learn what they do not do.
First comes action, and then cognition.
And yet sometimes we consider movement as something negative, whereas
it turns out that mobility is very much linked to cognition.
Play is a challenge into the unknown.
A challenge as to what may happen, because when a child plays or faces this,
he sets out on the principle that he is setting something in motion,
In education we are always setting something in motion.
I mean, we go to school to learn,
obviously we don't go there just to play,
but playing ... playing you learn a lot.
We study by venturing out into nature,
searching, exploring, finding, experimenting.
When working in connection with nature a child can do anything.
Going to that school is a pleasure, because every day we have so many things
to experiment, to investigate to be thankful we are alive.
The educator's job then will at all times consist of, revealing mysteries, evincing situations
in nature that, although already described by science, are not explained for the pupil.
In such a way, that the pupil will be amazed by them and will try to find explanations to them.
For decades there has been a movement called "active school",
where the child performs and produces, away from his desk.
But this is nothing new, it was written by Piaget in the 50's, it simply
isn't put into practice because of sheer laziness.
In the beginning of the 20th Century, various new pedagogical methods appeared,
exponents from various areas of the developed world produced experiences centered in action,
freedom, and the construction of autonomous learning processes,
rethinking the whole structure of traditional schooling .
But by mid-century, all these transforming ideas began to fall into oblivion
because of fear of totalitarian states.
Well, the method is focused on the child being the learner, totally.
Naturally there have to be physical objects,
tangible objects for the child to manipulate, to experiment with.
Everything in the elementary school is operative, everything, everything is tangible material.
As he goes along, the child himself realizes if he makes a mistake, because the material itself is self-correcting.
Normally the adult should not be the one to correct the child.
It's the child himself who has to correct himself.
Nowadays we also see a lot of correction by the other children.
I believe that from an educational point of view errors and mistakes are welcome.
In fact, science has had more errors and mistakes than correct answers.
It does move forward, we know that it advances when we meet success,
but it's the mistakes that allow scientists to move forward.
Seeing children say: "It doesn't matter if I make mistakes because I'm learning,
because no one has to win here, we are all here to improve."
The inventor of the light bulb experienced more than one thousand failures before getting it to work.
When a journalist asked him what failing a thousand times felt like, he replied:
"I didn't fail a thousand times, the electric bulb is a thousand-step-invention".
Just as with scientific discoveries, informal education is the result of a deeply chaotic process,
in which man seeks a causal, logical order, alternating between chaos and order.
But this learning method is born from a question within the chaos, not from an answer in the orderliness.
When we are born, society
makes us more ignorant because it provides us with all the answers.
It gives us prefabricated answers, prefabricated in philosophy, in politics and even in religions.
Therefore they destroy questioning and the ability to learn.
I believe that very briefly we could say that schools are answer-oriented.
Instead, educational processes that take place outside the school environment, and also within it,
are oriented towards questioning, inquiring,
where the answer does appear, but is not central to the process.
What must an educator do, then? He must aid in the unveiling, not impose an answer.
The importance of questioning has existed since the birth of philosophy in Ancient Greece,
where learning emerged from rethinking and cross-examination.
But if such is the nature of learning,
why do we insist on structuring, limiting, conditioning, classifying it?
This is how all living creatures learn, through interaction with others and with the environment,
not through a previous curriculum designed by someone.
School time, then, is a misleading time, in that it forces us to believe in a fixed plan,
the idea that the pupil will make progress according to the way the program has been planned.
In this manner, schooling is linear,
step one, step two, step three,
and the tenth step is going to be after the ninth.
But a learning process is different, a person might make
progressive, linear advances, one, two, three and then jump to the tenth.
The curriculum is a neat guide for constructing knowledge based on previous experience.
But if learning is characterized by such diverse and individual proceedings,
why force it to reach for goals?
Usually educational goals in the world today are set from beyond the student, the child:
"He/she is expected to be a good citizen" "He/she is expected to be able to participate in this competitive society", etc.,
Therefore, the child begins to understand that human beings' actions are not born from an inner force,
or from a connection with nature, from perception, from a sensitivity for life,
but, that they are motivated by something from the outside. I study to pass an exam,
I don't read to learn, I don't care for animals because I like them,
No, no, it's just that right now animals aren't the subject, something else is.
If I don't stir their interest, if I don't develop their creative areas, I'm generating robots with goals
and therefore some 60 or 70 per cent of the children with a wonderful potential will remain behind.
- Repeat again:
"Actinium ac 3 metal""
"Actinium ac 3 metal",
Actinium ac 3 metal,
Actinium ac 3 metal,
Actinium ac 3 metal"
I do this because this is how I'll get a prize, I'll have a car like this and like that.
And if this means I have to speculate or that I have to step over anyone,
that I have to lie and trample over whoever is beside me, I don't care.
What kind of educational relationship does this lead to? One that lays emphasis on obtaining results.
As we grow up, school and society drive us to take on external motivations to achieve our goals,
and we can barely comprehend that someone would do anything without expecting something in return,
rather than their own pleasure.
But a small child doesn't aim for anything,
he simply enjoys growing up, he walks just for the pleasure of walking and exploring,
and this brings about his development,
his motivation is not in the final objective nor in the result, it's in the process.
It means that we don't have any specific goals regarding the childrens' lives,
that they should learn specific things, that they should behave a certain way, those are not our goals.
The curricula we manage here is a program that focuses on a process,
and it's the child who handles that process, so that he has it, he knows it.
Therefore the teacher is not the star of the show,
and the content is not the protagonist, the protagonist is the child who,
accompanied by an adult who acts as intermediary,
comes into contact with knowledge, and the knowledge itself entices and operates on it's own.
And this, as I was saying, is how the child's own timing is respected,
I mean, there´s no fundamental pressure obliging the child to reach a certain goal in a certain period of time.
If one of my goals is that they have to learn to write their name during this term
I am going to be worried, and instead of seeing the child, I will only see the goal,
and I will try to adjust the child to the goal.
If what I want is for the child to learn and to live,
let's say, spontaneously, he is going to pick it all up anyway
and I won't be worrying about it, and we will be able to flow and enjoy the process.
In the end, not only did the children enjoy it all - I mean, in 20 years' time
they will have fond memories of their schooldays, which is a lot -
but they will also perform better,
and with better long term results.
- Micaela, tell me, why are you so insistent about that speech?
- Because I wanted to express myself, write about what I think, what I feel.
- My dear, everyone likes doing what they feel like, and we often have to do things that we don't like.
- No, I'm sorry, but I don't agree.
- Ok, I understand you but... - Listen Micaela, don't you want to graduate,
get a degree, a profession, be somebody?
I already am somebody.
"In fact, there's only the act of loving, (...) It means to give life, to increase its vitality.
It's a process that develops and intensifies itself simultaneously."
So there are two basic pedagogical paths.
One is "I have to adapt the child to culture",
and the other one that says "I have to adapt culture to the child".
In other words pedagogical right and left, it's that simple.
Somewhere in the middle must lie the truth.
Schooling built its foundations on a fundamental idea that transcends all its framework:
the notion that children are empty,
and consequently, their individuality can be broken down and rebuilt,
intervened according to external needs.
The child has been regarded as a research object,
a rat, inside the biggest socialization laboratory in history,
whose main goal was to shape the human being.
This is so very human, isn't it, believing that the forest will be damaged if we don't take care of it?
Leaving it alone is enough, always.
All the forest we still have left is because humankind has not interfered.
But humankind thinks that by intervening, it will make more, it will do it better.
A seed contains all the information that a being needs to develop.
The environment that surrounds it has everything that the tree needs to grow,
but this development depends on the seed´s internal structure.
Every reaction to an external condition is planned inside every single being,
whether it be a tree or a human being.
The formation of vital organs, bone structure, tissues,
our basic characteristics
are the result of an internal, independent process
which doesn't require human intervention,
in which the mother merely provides basic resources but doesn't conduct.
Every cell has an inner structure which allows it to know, unconsciously,
what it's needs are at all times, what the surrounding environment should be like,
so as to satisfy it's inner needs, genetically set forth,
so that that cell should become what it potentially is.
In other words, the objective in life is to live and fulfill oneself,
and in order to do this, an organism needs to be in an environment that respects
and satisfies it's inner needs.
There was a gardener who loved plants so much,
and took such special care of them, that as soon as they, began to sprout, he would start stretching their stems.
So what happened? They were all either deformed or they died.
In other words, growing is innate, nothing needs stretching.
You don't have to make it do anything, you just need to make sure it is supplied with what it needs.
In order to survive this cell has certain basic needs:
food, safety, and perhaps the most important element of all,
that has made all biological evolution possible,
Once the cell has obtained all these resources it can begin to develop and fulfill itself.
Love is necessary at all times during the development of life.
During gestation it provides company and protection in the uterus
then comes physical contact, emotional support, expressions, gestures, sounds,
even understanding, acceptance, respect and trust in others.
If love is vital for development and learning,
why do we normally try to educate with threats, punishment, tension, forgetting all about love?
And what do we adults do?
We have to make them do what we want,
and that's where punishments and rewards begin:
"No. I will evaluate you and test you, and you will have to pass the exam, for if you don't
those bad results will be sent to your home, and your parents will scold you and ...
blah, blah, blah, there will be consequences."
We lack the ability to love,
so our love is usually cramped.
"I love you if you agree with me, if not I don't love you" This is normally the way we love.
When a person feels unloved or feels conflicted
he re-invents himself. He talks about himself unrealistically.
The stronger the pain, the further from reality does he become.
If I'm obliged to carry out a series of things
about which I am not at all interested
even if I am intrinsically motivated through prizes, punishments, marks or sweets,
my needs might be different.
But I cannot attend to my own needs because I am obliged to do something else,
whereby I gradually lose touch with my own resources, my own vital force.
Basic needs are manipulated by rewards and punishments.
When we lack love and protection we do our best to obtain them
generating behavior mechanisms which allow us to survive.
We condition ourselves.
That child doesn't study to learn, nor does he work for pleasure and fulfillment,
he does so because otherwise he loses security and love, he feels like dying.
All his behavior becomes conditioned by fear.
What takes place in schools nowadays, generally speaking, is the spreading of fear.
The person is limited, instead of the other way round, and these limits are fear itself.
In our structured minds, when we create within a belief,
our minds avoid us abandoning this belief through fear.
When we approach the far edge of a belief we feel scared.
This is a control mechanism, a mechanism of ethical manipulation.
If you behave well, I grade you well. It's a behavioral pattern,
the great behavioral model that has damaged our society so.
The 1913 behavioral manifesto promoted the idea
of behavioral prediction and conduct control.
Through experimentation with rats and with other animals and their conditioning,
a science of social control was developed,
used for planning the basis of modern schooling,
publicity, political propaganda, military training and torture practices.
Mass manipulation through fear.
Everything, absolutely everything we see in our world, is based on fear.
Fear of change, fear of progress, fear of being oneself,
fear of loving, fear of revealing our true selves to the world.
Thus we have created a society in which people work in jobs they don't like
merely to acquire money, to obtain status. In other words a society of self-deception.
"I've got such a diploma, I've got such a degree, I've got."
And having is what actually disconnects us from our true identity,
it's what takes us back to our fear. "I have to pretend that I am."
Children who have been in and out of these kinds of schools,
cheerfully tell us that they do not feel this pressure,
because throughout their childhood and adolescence they have discovered that they do things for their own
personal pleasure, as a personal treat, for a personal aim.
What's important is this will to live. Without it, life
just isn't worth it, is it?
And children show us this will to live which we adults have lost.
Therefore, the first questions would have to be
Am I taking care of this child's will to live or not?
I mean, when the child is well cared for,
and that means respecting his life processes accompanied by forthcoming adults,
with a series of limits that will help him grow strong, where the child is well taken care of,
the child wants to build things with others, through love.
If a child always does what an adult tells him to,
the moment comes when he becomes disconnected.
However, if they are accustomed to following their own impulses, they remain connected to their inner selves,
they know what they want, they know who they are.
Children also take you by the hand and actually show you, tell you what they need,
it's a matter of listening to them and collaborating in their search.
One description of living organisms is that they are autopoietic,
organisms with the ability to reproduce themselves continuously,
and their inter-relationships are never instructive, but deal with life, deployment and progress.
That's to say that nature obeys no external commands,
but consists merely of connected, conscious systems developing autonomously, within apparent chaos.
In other words, stimulus isn't necessary, we don't have to motivate children at all.
If they want to do something they do it; and if not, well, they don't. But they don't need motivation
to do something that they will do well,
because they know if they are going to do it well or not.
The fact that they can choose and position themselves instinctively in what they are really
interested in, stimulates them to discover their own, individual gifts.
It becomes your own responsibility, instead of the system's responsibility.
I mean, who I want to be is my own responsibility.
And the child becomes aware of this since very early childhood.
Cells have a membrane that separates them from the external environment.
This membrane is semipermeable, which means,
that it allows in what it requires from the exterior whenever needed.
The only requirement is to have these resources available on the outside,
but without forcing them in and violating the cell's safety and welfare.
Thus the organism is able to create itself, to fulfill itself.
This is how we learn from culture.
The debate between what is innate and what is acquired has no final answer,
because both operate in a complex interaction that requires love and respect.
Therefore it is through creativity that an organism expresses itself,
it sets forth something it has constructed whilst respecting its own needs.
With basic understanding, it tries to discern
what moment it is in, what it needs, what it wants, what will stir it the most.
Because in the end, it is the child who will take those steps, for nobody learns through force.
Learning isn't generated through force.
Childhood is so very beautiful, it's pure joy.
This is why I believe that any
education is good if it nurtures that joy, the child's will to live.
- Right, children, final exams next week.
Did you read the book? It was short, it was short.
- I didn't, Miss, the year's almost over. I've had it. What do I want this for? I want to be a ballerina.
None of this is of any use to me. - Of course not, not if ballerinas don't study.
- It will be useful to me, I'm studying marketing, so it'll help me.
- It's of no use to me either, Miss.
Why do we have to spend years studying stuff that isn't any use to anybody?
- That's right, no use at all. - Like the letter I wrote.
- That letter, again! Stop it children! - I'm interested in the letter.
- Let's see, shh, hey hey hey, let's see. -(Shouting, Discussion)
- You, and you, hey girlie, I'm talking to you!
You two are very ungrateful. Your teachers struggle to help you at least
retain something, but you just don't care.
- Now, now, stop it! Mariela enough, listen to me. Let's see, shh. Quiet!
- Now, Martin, please explain about the letter to me. You too, Micaela.
They spoke on behalf of all their classmates, about how awful it was.
- I agree too, Miss, but as you said -
- What do you want Juan?
- May I go out for a minute, please? - No. Only ten minutes to go, sit down, let's continue. Please.
- See how we are all different? He doesn't care, he's an amoeba.
"¡Feel your soul, listen to your heart!"
Why is it so necessary to separate children by age?
Because there's an implication behind this, which is that
children of the same age have the same affinities,
the same capabilities, they have... they're all the same.
Of course, if you place a small child in an environment which makes him believe that he is the same as all the others,
and all your efforts go towards making him believe this,
the child will feel the same and will tend to behave the same, he will homogenize.
"This child talks too much, he should be quieter; this child talks too little,
he should be more talkative; this child plays too little, he should play more;
this child is too active, he should be quieter." Whatever he does, it always seems to be wrong,
it seems that he must end up being a standard child who does everything by halves.
We are all the same, as individuals, because biologically we are a species,
but socially and culturally we are different,
and this has been misunderstood by education.
They learn at different speeds, they have varying interests and incentives,
they relate to others in different ways.
Quite a few years ago, Gardner stated that a person doesn't only have linguistic,
verbal or logical-mathematical intelligence, but that he also has a variety of intelligences,
including everything related to emotions.
Diversity, in a way, specifically indicates to us that we are all unique.
We are unique as individuals and we are unique as a culture and a society.
To appreciate this fact oneself, and to help children understand that differences
between people are precisely what makes life more interesting.
How can we get to value this diversity, if we don't even understand it as adults?
That having equal rights doesn't necessarily imply that we all have to do the same thing?
Nowadays many children with interests and behaviors different to what is expected
are diagnosed with psychiatric conditions.
How can we be sure that we aren't mistaking children's diversity for disease?
It's an authentic epidemic, a fad,
in some areas about 10% of school children
are consuming psychotropics for their alleged hyperactivity.
Hyperactivity hasn't been neurologically proven to exist, it hasn't even been proven as a disease.
Simply because you fit certain diagnostic criteria, someone else decides you are hyperactive,
that you are gifted,
or within the accepted limits of normalcy so as to be considered intelligent.
Either children are much more hyperactive now than before, which I tend to doubt, because if so
we would have to ask ourselves the cause of the problem and what we have done
for children to be like that. Or, on the other hand, they are the same as before.
So ... what have we done that we can't stand them?
- Miss, can I go and get a chalk?
- I've said No.
- Miss, may I go to the bathroom?
- Wait until breaktime. No.
When a child is labeled hyperactive, his whole environment becomes involved,
trying to slow him down, trying to calm him, trying to reassure him,
but all this will simply make the child more tense.
Therefore, you must understand that when we become labeled, in actual fact we are typecast,
and our wings are clipped, so that we cannot reach our maximum potential.
Traditionally the IQ test is used for measuring intelligence in a linear manner.
Likewise, exams measure performance under certain conditions.
But these methods of evaluation do not contemplate dozens of variables that affect
development to higher or lower degrees and are vital for education.
The human being is a whole, and requires a global vision, a comprehensive, holistic education.
Holistic comprehension proposes that it's possible to develop a type of unifying intelligence,
because holism is simply the vision of the whole.
To us, maintaining a balance between what we call head, heart and hands,
means being able to develop a balanced human being, so to speak.
And in the end we keep repeating the same thing in education, fragmenting spaces.
Here we teach science, here we teach social skills, so then this is not a comprehensive education.
Let's imagine that María's parents want her to have a comprehensive education,
so they send her to a trilingual comprehensive school,
where she has all kinds of sports, over ten academic subjects,
computer room, lab.
They carry out monthly academic excursions.
Chess workshops, drama, art, music, dancing, skating, a farm, karate, yoga and meditation.
Inside as much as outside the school,
comprehensive education is not relevant to the amount of resources or subjects,
but to a global approach.
Because it functions with integrated areas,
not segmented ones as in traditional education where they only think in Spanish, or they only think of Maths.
But rather ... Maths are History, and they are Language, and Geography at the same time.
It's a cosmic education, as Montessori explains, in which everything relates to everything.
So then, if everything is inter-related, I can be doing something and learning from it,
and learning from that, and I'm learning all the time.
So then what we had to do, was to allow the children to become involved in different experiences.
The School should be an experimentation bench, a bench open to a host of possibilities,
scientific, artistic, humanistic, all kinds of experiences,
and see if this awakened something in them.
With this method there's no special path, no single road to follow, just as no two children are identical.
If we want children to be creative we have to, on the one hand, allow them to create,
allow them to carry out activities in which they can act spontaneously.
Art plays a fundamental role in this search for creativity and expression,
because it is the manner in which we manifest our creativity and personality.
It is essential that our concept of art be as open and unstructured as possible.
Thus the arts lie within the building logic of communities of purpose,
not in terms of what we now call the cultural industries, which derive from the fine arts.
So there we are, in the middle of popular culture.
We create with paint and music, but also with dance, theatre, design, construction,
story-telling, sculpture, literature, humor, games,
everything that emerges spontaneously from a child is creation.
Everyone manifests their inner self through art.
Art is not employed as a tool nor as a learning instrument. Art itself is
valid enough to be used as a learning tool.
In this manner, art is a right. If you can't access art, you can't access an integral education.
I think that emotions form the foundation for making life tick, emotions drive us,
before making a decision, I feel.
We don't need to design a specific school for "emotional education",
yet we have to bear in mind that an individual is an emotional being
and that our emotions are complex. When we deal with relationships, learning contexts,
we already know the emotion that will be generated, we are going to develop that emotion.
No human being can live in apathy or neglected,
we need love, affection, acceptance by other human beings.
An emotionally stable, healthy and balanced adult can only exist when,
as a child, he has been tended to with much love and treated with lots of patience and affection;
and that he feels he was given love and patience.
One of the main factors here is attention. Listening, paying attention.
But rather than a verbal form of attention, a physical one, that supports, sustains.
Not only where they feel loved, accepted,
but where they learn to express their feelings.
When they know their feelings are respected, they have no problem expressing them.
I talk a lot about this with my students. Maybe you don't have a job,
maybe your environment isn't top notch, but if you know
how to handle your emotions, surely you'll feel more comfortable, right?
As human beings, as beings,
it's essential that as children they should be able to connect with their inner selves,
with what they feel, that they should recognize what it is that they feel.
To know the virtues they possess. They have to know what they will be able to offer to mankind.
They should be able to develop self-knowledge, instead of
looking outward all the time, as if the outside
could provide the solution to all our problems. It's learning to look inside oneself.
Learning to recognize every tool we have available, so as to ...
basically to determine one's own destiny.
So that everyone can learn to be the architect of their own destiny, chosen by oneself.
- Martin, Martin. We don't want you to leave school like this.
- I don't want to leave school "like this" either, but we are going to read the speech anyway.
- My dear, shortly you'll be out there, you will have to choose a career
take decisions, be responsible.
You can't go on fooling around like a child!
- Ok, Ok... Fine. Perfect.
- And when did you people teach me how to choose?
" ...Education without freedom results in a life of unfulfillment."
Life is full of options, and we must learn to make choices.
That's why the organization of all the educational material enables children to learn how to choose.
An environment that respects their needs, that allows them to move about, that contains a series of materials,
that allows them to discover, to touch, to follow their own impulses, without anyone attempting to teach them.
Where students can choose the subjects they don't want to take,
the ones they do want to take, a space in which they can proffer their own self-generated activities.
An open school, a school where students wouldn't have to answer to anyone,
where each and everyone can be their own self.
Therefore, he who wishes can enter here, or here.
Thus, children of different ages would have access to everything according to their own interests.
Freedom to learn what they want to learn,
to learn at their own pace, and to not learn what they don't want to learn.
Selecting what they do helps them realize what else they need to choose.
In a way the projects themselves allow them, to try out many options,
and finally, at the end of their own process, they have a clearer idea of themselves.
The child gradually finds the path for his future life, certain that whatever he becomes,
whether a shoe salesman or a physician, he will do well
if he does it with as much love, skill and commitment as possible. Do you understand?
One cannot learn about freedom theoretically, and then, upon leaving school,
become free. Children must be free at school.
If we can't decide what we want to experience, what we want to do in life,
we are very limited when it comes to learning.
Only when you have autonomy, and you feel your autonomy is respected,
will you know what you want.
Basically children who fail to achieve these levels of independence,
who become dependent on other persons,
will never do what they want, but what other people want them to do.
First you need to know how to resolve situations on your own.
And during this process, responsibility appears.
I choose, I do , I obtain, and this becomes a cycle ...
"decision making, will power, freedom management"
And after responsibility, you can then aim towards true freedom.
Perhaps the biggest challenge we are facing is our tendency to manage the child's activity.
The only way we know how to educate is to tell others what to do and how to do it
and we have few chances in which to make decisions on our own.
I often find myself in class asking them what they feel like doing, and they have no idea.
They're very accustomed to directivity in class, "we're going to do this,we're going to do that"
Because on the whole, the teacher is accustomed to being the one who directs everything.
On the other hand in this manner we make the child participate actively.
A teacher who no longer gives a lesson, but that moves from group to group guiding, helping.
Who listens to them, and provides space for them to grow.
The teacher makes suggestions, he does not impose, he proposes.
It 's not that you have authority and he doesn't, it's about planting a seed in the student,
the belief that he has to be master of his own life.
- Romero, you got a 3 !
We believe that marking, is completely subjective and fallible,
firstly, because no two teachers evaluate in exactly the same manner.
It should be the child himself who evaluates how he feels about each task
if he is satisfied, or if he thinks he could have done better.
The child also controls his learning process, he monitors his own progress,
he knows where he is at, in what unit, in what handbook, in which part of the process.
He knows his own journey, he knows. And it is he himself who tallies his progress on that journey.
They decide, they choose when to pass, they decide when they are ready.
There is no leaving exam here, instead they themselves see if they've covered
everything according to the pedagogical dossier so that they can then say " I'm leaving".
Some experiences speak of shared pedagogical reports that are process centered,
others work from self-assessment and constant interchange between educators, students and family.
This perspective completely changes our way of understanding evaluation.
If we are really interested in learning by respecting our own timing and motivation,
it's imperative we question the need for exams and grades.
There are no ratings to see who is better or worse,
there is simply a follow up on the child's development.
You observe the child's emotional issues, maturity, socialization, his level of independence...
And that is what emerges when we discuss the children in our group meetings.
In what the team shares with the families during individual meetings with the families,
but there's no evaluation concerning their learning process, their behavior, or their conduct,
there isn't really an assessment in that respect. We simply accompany them.
School becomes an open space,
a school with it's doors open to experiences, practices, to the community.
Conflicts and situations in their community are a part of the school,
and it thus becomes an educative centre, where we can all learn from each other.
In this manner there are no age barriers or differences to separate us, only experiences that strengthen us.
Schools shouldn't even have walls, my dream is a whole city.
I mean a city for children, where the whole city becomes a playful learning environment.
Well, to begin with, when you enter you are aware of a fluent ambience, yes, sort of fluid and very calm.
Some ... are making things, others looking through a telescope, others are reading a book, and back there
others are carrying out an experiment. Groups, little groups,
working, but with a very clear goal, and knowing where they are going.
Rural schools, or comprehensive schools
are usually obliged to work with children of different ages all together.
Most people think that this is a disadvantage,
but on the contrary, learning is enhanced by experiences, relationships and human values,
for the children as well as for the teachers.
Usually these remote and marginal schools
possess an integrated education that's hard to find in urban schools
which insist on separating children by age.
And this temporality at school has also made us separate the students
into generations. So here we have the 6 year olds, the 7s, the 18s, etc. Right?
Throughout the history of humankind man has always lived in intergenerational relationships,
where the little ones shared things with the grandfather, the grandfather with the father, a total mixture.
That's how the child learned, and he learned very well...
They were not separated into age-groups. They were all together.
So they all climbed the hill together, worked together carried out different projects together.
Children of all ages, all together in the same unitary school, so to speak.
Mixed ages also bring about the possibility for ethics to develop,
simply through everyday experiences. It's a living thing.
There are schools with integrated classrooms grouping children every 3 years,
others have children with as much as 6 years' difference,
and in some we even see adolescents sharing with little ones who have just begun.
There are also many schools that preserve the graduate model,
but where the children can change groups according to their needs and processes.
Generally they are all the same age, but since, because of their maturity, there are children who work on other topics
at times they might be interacting with other younger groups, and
at others with older groups.
The child who cannot advance in a particular subject can do so in another one, with no interruptions,
it's like a stream of water, that finds a rock but doesn't stop to wait,
it searches for a way to flow by, and if it can't, it rises and flows over it.
And this allows the child who is strong in one area, to be able to show all the rest,
and to help them with that subject.
In the meantime he can benefit from those who are strong in other topics.
Anyone can be the next stimulus, but at the correct moment in time.
Therefore there are many children of different ages who could become the
next stimulus for another child's learning process,
and not necessarily a group or some specific person.
This connexion between them is so beautiful because the older ones take care of the little ones;
when they go out to play they help them to get changed, to put on their shoes or jacket.
This is simply about learning to live together, learning to ...
yes, to work as a team.
What is the objective of education? To learn? To learn what? Knowledge?
Or rather to develop human abilities that can only develop through relating to others,
from the perspective of time and the process itself, from doing, from communicating,
from looking within and knowing oneself,
(Voices engaging in conversation)
(Voices engaging in conversation)
- What are you doing? - Nothing Sebastian, go away.
- Nothing? You're writing something. - Stay out of this.
- Well, I want to know.
- What's going on here?
- Nothing. - What do you mean nothing?
- Cristina, please take them away. - Sebastian!!
- You stay here, and you too.
What do you think school is?
- Can I say something? - Not now Micaela. This is total chaos.
- What are you laughing at? - I'm laughing at these posters.
- What is this?
- These are some posters that we want to post on the walls, since we can't read the speech.
- Never. Not like this!
Do you think you can do whatever you want? That you can hang anything up?
No, boys and girls. There are rules at school.
The world is chaotic, our lives are chaotic.
That is why we have to give you some peace and quiet, some serenity.
School just wants to provide you with some order, do you understand?
"All living experience occurs through conversations and this is where the reality we live in originates"
There is always a fear that freedom and the lack of a sense of authority, rather than authority itself,
will generate indiscipline or disorder.
What really happens is that discipline ... schools have turned discipline into
"to behave the way I want them to behave",
but in fact discipline is the learning of behavior.
It means that a disciplined person, is a person who learns, who has learned to manage his behavior,
but not externally; instead, he learns to manage his behavior.
We can distinguish 3 types of discipline.
One, the authoritarian discipline, which normally consists of rules established by a controlling authority.
A functional discipline, in which rules derive from actual experiences,
and are modified and set up by the group itself.
This kind of discipline is naturally established by the community as it is the result of every member's decision.
And finally we have auto-discipline,
where each and every one consciously constructs their own behavior.
They gradually learn about respect, in a vivid and easy manner.
If they are all seated, just doing what an adult is telling them to do
there can be no learning about limits nor of respect for others, there is simply obedience.
Basically, if you teach the children that respect for others is a limit,
allowing for work, enabling work,
they understand perfectly well that behavior which impedes work must mean : "This, you cannot do"
In other words, coexistence needs no explanations.
You cannot work if the group next to you is making too much noise and vice versa.
And the thing is that the child begins to take responsibility for the consequences he himself produces.
He who can restrain himself, who can think, who can ponder,
doesn't really need an exterior limit to get what he wants.
We can't expect a young person to make conscientious decisions concerning his life, his environment or his country
if we always decide how he should dress in school,
what he should learn, or what he should do with his life ...
These young people will have to make choices in a society
where the rules keep changing according to the rise of new needs,
opinions and ways of understanding reality.
The same thing could occur at school
where the rules could be applied to the learning, to the needs and to the opinions of the children.
To achieve this, it is essential we re-think the power structures in schools.
There should be no power structure at all, there should be an active authority,
administrative, functional, organizational, yes, but not a power structure.
When you dare to question that inherent authority
you can become a better conductor of the whole process.
Occasionally we ask their opinion
but, to be honest, are we really going to take that opinion into consideration?
I'd say "doing it together". We have an issue so we say "Right, let's look at this together"
- What do you think?", "No. Let's look at it together, let's not approach it with my idea/your idea separately."
Everything in nature exists through cooperation.
Organisms that cooperate with others are the ones who survive the most.
Those that think they can exist on their own don't survive at all.
Therefore, what's very important is how we begin to create better citizens at school.
The concept of participation should be learned in the classroom, because afterwards is too late.
For it is they themselves who, through conversations or dialogues which are generated by the group itself,
get to realize what is the absolute minimum needed
to be able to coexist in that community.
The coordinator would be the one to make sure the curriculum is complied with
but all the small stuff inside that curriculum is chosen by all of us.
Children must learn to work in groups, to listen to others,
to accept different ideas even when they disagree. And not to be forceful,
to be able to resolve conflicts, to make group decisions, to agree...
I think that when children feel secure and respected by others, and are in a harmonious and balanced environment,
they generally don't try to go beyond limits.
especially when said limits have been originated by themselves as a community.
For instance, if there is a problem, we hold assembly. There they discuss the issue,
but the discussion is not whether the problem is against the rules, what is right and what is wrong.
They discuss the action itself, sustainability, interrelationship.
There are also moments during the day in which they hold meetings, assemblies,
whatever you choose to call them, in which they make a series of decisions collectively. In which
the children who are mature enough, and wish to take part, participate.
And in assembly the facilitators don't have a vote. The children have a voice and vote, we only have a voice.
So we do participate in the assembly, but it is they who decide.
Some experiences form student governments with very complex structures,
others hold weekly assemblies since primary school,
and even debating meetings to address the needs and conflicts that arise.
In all of them, the children make decisions about their reality, the rules, the way they dress,
the roles that they assign to each other, educational proposals, curriculum projects,
and in some cases they even decide who will make up the group of teachers ...
This is to lose fear, to dare to balance the scales a little more, and thus believe that
children and adolescents have a lot to say.
Everything takes place in a sort of chaos, and yet that chaos is a constructive one,
where people maintain a good connection, shall we say, amongst themselves.
We work in circles, sitting on cushions or carpets on the floor,
copying the singing and dancing circles of ancient times, which are spaces where everyone is equal,
equally distanced, and where we can all see each other.
Here the children discuss every learning objective,
debating them alone, in pairs or in groups.
They learn to help and take care of each other,
as a way of life.
When two children have a quarrel, it's: "Now let's see. This happened to him. What part did you play here?"
It's like admitting that one also has a part to play in a relationship.
Mediate so that they themselves can do the job and that each one be
responsible for their own part in the conflict.
To understand that he believes himself to be right, just as much as I do.
And then, well, how to understand each other.
He will be someone who will propitiate conversations, interchange, and
warmth towards others, one who will build a bond that will be useful to them both, for life.
A great portion of these experiences, either in or out of school,
are forced to take place outside the system, as they are denied and excluded by it.
In some cases, the children can turn in open exams to justify their learning,
but in others, they aren't allowed to obtain any validation of their knowledge.
Is it really necessary that a mere paper should state what we know?
Is a degree proof that we have completed our education successfully?
Does a complete or successful education exist?
It has nothing to do with learning that two plus two equals four,
it has to do with being able to discover your true vocation your mission in life.
Once you are sure of this, you can close your eyes, take a deep breath, and you simply know which way to go.
Education never ends because the essence of new education is self-education.
And the end-game is that the student becomes his own teacher.
He learns from and for himself.
And he also learns from the outside world. Education becomes a constant flow between outside and inside.
The pupil isn't simply someone who receives, he also becomes a source.
Therefore, that idea that was drummed into us at school,
"study so that you obtain something, so that you become someone in life",
"study so as to gain promotion",
"education is the only way to achieve social and economic growth" isn't all that correct.
A few decades ago, a stream of criticism against schooling emerged.
Educators, teachers, sociologists demanded education outside institutions,
within family and social environments.
These opinions gave rise to home schooling, schooling without a school,
and over time, different forms of self-education began to develop,
self-learning networks, and education between peers.
We try to teach them through everyday life, they travel with us, they accompany us to various activities.
Activities in places normally known as "work places", where boys and girls are often excluded.
Advantages that are pretty powerful in terms of self-discovery,
and for the recovery of autonomy and self-confidence.
I see him more confident about what he wants, he explores a lot more, he studies because he enjoys learning.
We believe that the kind of education without a school that we offer,
could be called collaborative self-learning,
or self-directed learning, or free learning.
Of course, there are as many forms of home schooling or schooling without school as families that practice them.
From experiences carried out by educators and scholars,
even with religious families, and inhabitants of marginal cultures.
These experiences enrich educational diversity and the manner in which we understand learning,
but to achieve this, all forms of education need to exist, they need to be free.
I believe you must not force it, freedom can't be forced,
but spaces for it can be opened up so that they are considered acceptable.
And if half a nation wants state education, well, they can have it,
but if the other half wants, I don't know, 30 different pedagogical methods, so be it.
A new educational paradigm should be scenarios where each and every individual
could detect and experiment with the things he/she likes, and then work on them.
Hence my proposal to "unschool" the school, in other words:
remove from it everything that is scholarly. This means that
we have to remove from the school everything that prevents students from learning.
This need not necessarily be done only in schools,
it could take place in clubs, neighborhood ones, neighborhood organizations, parks.
In other words, the amount of places where we could put this into motion is endless.
- Please! They're teenagers! Give credit where it's due!
When I was eighteen, I also wanted to change the world, but it can't be!
- No, no, no. I don't think it's like that.
I think that the childrens' criticism is correct.
They are criticizing the educational system, let's not take it personally, please.
- I have to make a decision.
Do we let them read the speech or not?
- Look, Alicia, I think that if you let them, you'll lose all authority.
They can't do what they want, they can't! - Over time children forget.
I'll speak to them later and explain why they can't read it.
-No, that's not it. The point isn't whether we let them read the text or not.
I believe that we have to consider if what they are saying is important or not.
What they are saying is serious, it's not just anything.
- I totally agree with you.
Because we have all read this assignment, and what they are asking for here
is a change in education, an evolution.
I think that if we change our daily attitudes
the children will take us more seriously.
And I believe this is an opportunity.
That dropped into our laps.
If we can't see it, maybe it's because we're underestimating them a little.
The question would be:
Are we willing to take advantage of this opportunity?
Are we truly prepared to face such a change?
"Little by little they shed the false garb they had acquired at Teacher Training College;
they softened their voice and their gaze, and they sat down with the children to talk to them and to listen to them."
The great teacher won't be giving the master class anymore.
The teacher is simply accompanying a learning process
with a group of people who know no more or less than he does.
The teacher must understand that he is simply a guide, that he is sowing seeds, he is leading,
he is offering opportunities and pretexts for the child to explore, to work, to be motivated and interested.
Therefore, as I see it, the term education is confusing, it stems from an arrogant point of view.
For example, education comes from educere, educere means to extract.
If I'm a teacher, I want the child to bring forth something, to draw out his best,
but that's arrogant also, because it's a bit violent for you "to draw out your best",
that I should draw your best out of you through my education.
My proposal is to care for instead of educating. And there is only one way to care for, you either take care of or you don't.
There are many ways to educate, but not to care for.
The ability to simply embrace the flow of life - because this is life, nothing else -
instead of trying to educate all the time.
A good beginning might be to give up the hint of omnipotence that teachers tend to possess
in believing that they are actually the bearers of something important to teach to their students.
Yes, the teacher will have to undergo a humble change,
and become an observer
so as to be able to sense each child's process, whilst taking care
to not become an obstacle in his way.
The key isn't only in the materials, resources, methods,
contents, curricula and schedules,
but in the form, in the relationship.
In persons and their outlook on education, their way of understanding life, childhood and learning.
We can qualify thousands of teachers, and invest millions in materials and new methods,
but the secret is in the way every human being sees others, what they do and what they are.
To open up your heart, that which we all have, and to speak clearly.
That's all that children need, and from then on it's simply communication...
Everything that they recognize in you to be true, they listen to.
A teacher that doesn't change his attitude, that doesn't believe in what he is going to do, will find it hard to obtain good results.
The basic principle of all change is questioning what we believe, and that scares us.
I mean, I can't change if I hang on to what I believe
and therefore, in a certain sense, or symbolically, I have to die,
my outlook on life has to die in order to improve.
Learning is a continuous transformation,
and we can hardly accompany or collaborate in others' learning,
if we don't learn ourselves, if we don't undergo an internal change,
in our own history, in what determines us.
And logosophical pedagogy is based on this, which is very simple,
You can't give what you don't have, ergo, everything we want to teach
must be backed by one's own experience, endorsed by one's own life.
Those who teach come from a repressive education.
Therefore, teachers don't know how to handle their own emotions,
hence, they cannot teach about those emotions.
The key to this is in the fact that every generation has a responsibility, a vital one, I think,
which is to lead an exemplary life, to lead as integral a life as possible.
It's as if educators, when they study, become convinced that education is like that,
thus they are less capable of questioning education,
but they aren't happy, they don't have fun the don't enjoy their work.
It's really important to begin to pay attention to what I feel when I'm educating.
Am I at peace, or do I feel conflicted?
The change that must occur in teachers, just as with parents, is to make contact with their own true selves, their own potential,
to discover their true selves, beyond their beliefs and the education they have received.
Therefore, it demands thorough, very thorough, inner searching.
But above all, it is a journey of self-knowledge.
To be a teacher a teacher must be in a constant process of self-development.
A very profound job
concerning sensibility, consciousness, harmony,
and joy, must be carried out to dare to be called a teacher.
Because if the teacher fears tomorrow, if the teacher keeps doubting his capabilities,
he can't guide the child.
If teaching brings you no joy, you're not educating.
The teacher must love everything he has lived through in the past
so as to be able to turn and transform it.
When you have established a true connection with the children, you leave the classroom feeling rejuvenated,
and rather than leaving school feeling tired, you do so with heaps of energy.
There are many people that want to become a teacher because they want to play,
because they want to cuddle,
that want to be a teacher because they want to learn from the children.
I think that being a teacher is a privilege, because
it's like entering a forge every day,and you leave transformed...
You have to be very, very blind to not take this opportunity for growth,
because this is to be in touch with life itself, it's like being in touch with nature in its purest state.
How can a teacher transmit happiness and personal realization if the system itself sees him as a number?
What the school does with children, it also does to the teachers,
through its rewards and punishments, ratings, limitations, bureaucracy.
When we say that children should develop in freedom,
the teachers must also be free.
The teacher has a role that must be recuperated.
Not because the state gives it to him, but because he takes it.
In fact, this means that, for example, this school has no director.
There's a collegiate direction, we teachers must all agree.
Nobody is to blame. If a meeting has been rather fruitless, it's everybody's responsibility,
because there's no boss, or director, nobody who determines.
In fact, we meet every day after work
and we spend one and a half to two hours, sharing and discussing the day's topics.
I don't think this experience could hold if it weren't supported by this work from below, right?
Not only meetings every morning, but we also meet every day at lunchtime
to talk about the children, to draw up a general review of the day and of each of the groups,
or to deal with any particular subject or situation that crops up.
The task of educating is so complex,
that no one person can do it alone, this is team work.
A truly democratic form of education trusts the children to decide about their learning,
and in the parents's freedom to choose and participate in their children's education
and in the teacher's choice as to what path they wish to take in every classroom, in every school.
Only then can we be sure that education responds directly
to the needs of every person, family and community.
So there is no magic recipe, no one method for everybody,
but as many proposals as there are free and autonomous experiences.
Many people, friends, ask me, as a professor, which is the best school.
Which is the best model.
And I simply answer "Look. Where there's love, there's respect,
and where there's respect we can create, because there's dialogue."
So an institution where one can really love others,
- and loving means accepting his differences - where there's love there's respect.
Many of these pedagogic proposals were initiated there, and from there they built
a very coherent discursivity.
But in my opinion they committed the mistake which is much too common in we human beings,
they believed they'd found the truth.
The important thing isn't to invent another pedagogy, and another, and another,
but to adequate pedagogy to the cultural moment, to that group of children,
to that group of teachers. Thus we're going to enjoy pedagogy.
He has to follow his instincts,
and not stick to what he has been doing, simply so as not to break the inertia.
Let him forget all he has learned, everything that was ever said to him and let him
make contact with his heart. So that every time he sees a child,
he should recall being a child himself, and that what he liked most was to play
and what he desired most was somebody's smile, and what he wanted most was somebody to tickle him,
and to really connect with that human being, heart to heart.
I honestly believe that education is a matter of people,
beyond all pedagogies... it's carried out by a person.
- Micaela, I had to leave work and come all the way here for such a stupid thing.
- It's not stupid to me.
- I don't know why they called me.
- I don't know mom, some guys wanted to read something and they didn't let them.
- You've passed everything, right?
- Yes mom. - Fine.
- You have to graduate! How do you think you're going to enter university?
- And who told you that I want to go to university?
- Well, Juan, that's it!
Your future is assured ....
So, now you can go on holiday, enjoy the beach ...
"Ideals don't belong in education, because they impede comprehension of the present.
There's no doubt that we can only pay attention to the present,
when we avoid looking to the future."
Family is everything, it's where we come from, it's the beginning of everything,
it's where we feel welcome. Family is really important.
Systemic pedagogy says that parents are the protagonists of education,
so a school that has little contact with the families is a school that tends to shut itself in,
and consequently produces relationships and learning mechanisms
that are bound to be detached from the reality of each student.
Without the involvement of parents and families in general, there can be no real project.
The family is not responsible for bad results at school, as the school rightly says,
the family is responsible for everything in the life of the person it is raising.
It is determinant in the formation of a human being
because one can elaborate all the necessary work in sensitization, respect, appreciation towards others,
but if that child goes home and the father barely sees him, he disavows him, and when he does recognize him
it's to tell him off, to yell at him, to order him about,
what will that child retain?
In the past children learnt at home, working with their parents,
at their daily chores.
They learnt everything from sharing with their parents and with the community.
Schools had to partner this process.
But many families have lost this self-confidence,
confidence in that their own instincts can show them how to raise and educate a child.
As we have always done for thousands of years.
It seems that parents believe that raising a child is a professional activity,
I mean, that to be capable of raising my own child I should study, I should exert myself,
and that since I probably won't do a good job of it anyway, regardless of how hard I try,
the best is to hand the child over to a professional,
to a pedagogue, a pediatrician, a psychologist, but it's not like that.
The only ones that can take proper care of their children are the parents.
I mean the children ... it's a great opportunity, it's a gift, honestly it's a gift!
And it's so sad to see that in the developed world what we do is to separate them from us.
We take them to school early. There are mothers and fathers who see their child for only one hour a day!
But how on earth can this be? I mean, how can we expect to produce something beautiful in this way?
Children need to be with their parents,
a child establishes a strong relationship with a person, who is usually his mother,
and he suffers badly when he is separated from that person.
The younger he is, the worse he feels, and even worse still depending on the length of time he is separated from that person.
He realizes that we have left him secluded away whilst we ourselves are doing interesting things,
or we are working and they're locked away there to prevent them from bothering.
That's how they feel much of the time, and they don't understand why they have to learn all that.
Even first rate nurseries have done nothing good.
It's one thing to separate a child from it's mother so soon ...
...what, who, what survey supports this? There's nothing to support this.
We should be with our families, schools don't belong there,
we should be playing with our friends,
with our gangs of friends, learning all about the world.
Social pressures, long working hours, the fear of being excluded,
oblige us to make daily decisions without stopping to ask if they're logical or coherent to us,
without reflecting on how we feel.
I think that children are the reflexion of the society we live in, and that if they are well taken care of,
it shows. But our society doesn't take care of it's children because it doesn't take care of itself.
They are our mirror.
When a child returns home from school, the parents' question is: What did you do?
How was everything? What did you learn?
But the question we never make is: How did you feel in school today?
The most revolutionary idea that exists is to try to make people happy.
When someone is happy, they want to share this with others,
they want to share love with others, and they want to help and cooperate with others.
But for this they need to feel good about themselves.
If I keep telling my son to be happy, to be happy, but I myself feel resentful
because my parents didn't teach me this,
my son will never really learn what happiness is
because I won't be exemplifying it.
When does one feel well with oneself?
A person is satisfied with who he is when he is able to look at his father and mother,
and say, "Yes, this is my father and this is my mother, and despite everything that has happened I'm at peace with my past.
I'm not against anything, I don't need to support nor to demonstrate anything to anybody,
I don't need to build any kind of false identity,
I'm a teacher, I'm a psychologist, I'm whatever. No. I simply am."
They need to try to remember the child they once were,
and to remember that what was most important for them was to see unconditional love in their parents' eyes,
and that they observe their own children with curiosity and with perception,
not only discovering the child himself, but also
the world through the child's eyes and hands.
I think that that is how we find authentic maternity and paternity.
So I'd tell them to really look at their offspring and if they don't have any, at other children,
to observe children from the heart for a while,
and that's enough... to decide...
Pay him as much attention as possible, play and romp with him,
share as much as you can with him, let him participate in your tasks,
let him learn about the household, but at his pace, and as a game.
No matter how many good methods we have, essentially the child needs love,
proximity, feeling cared for and protected, the younger he is, the more protected.
Thus he himself can protect and take care of others later on.
I mean, first of all he has to be attached so as to become detached.
I think that mothers and fathers,
are going back to being the educators that we were at some moment.
Rather than dumping your child in a place where it seems he will be educated,
we are saying : "Let's see. No, wait. I don't accept this."
Besides, I believe it should emerge from there, it won't come from the authorities,
this is something that, on a personal level, you simply have to work at so as to accomplish it.
Our social, cultural and personal history has brought us to this moment.
We embrace and create many objectives and expectations, which are probably not our own,
but of the world that surrounds us:
the best school, the best university, titles, prestige, money.
We have forgotten what we are really looking for.
What are they looking for? Do they want their child to hold a specific degree? What for?
Why am I searching for knowledge? What am I looking for? What kind of knowledge am I seeking?
Knowledge that will propel the child to success? From what point of view?
"My son has to be the way I want", or "he has to accomplish what I was never able to accomplish".
All this is too selfish.
Am I educating them so that they can adapt to the society they have to live in, which is going to be tough?
Or am I educating them so that they can discover what they like, what they don't like,
and that in their day to day, they should work on behalf of society?
Because a child has such a refreshing concept of the world, he will naturally question mine,
because everything is new for him. For him nothing is old.
Trust your children, they know much more than you think,
because sometimes those who limit our children the most
are we, the parents, and then we suffer the consequences.
What I'm trying say is that it's so lovely to be able to care for your child,
because of all the unexpected, and all the mysterious, and all of the worries he brings us,
it's lovely because it's an immense opportunity for us to grow.
Let us set free our expectations, and put aside what the world expects from children,
what culture expects from every one of us.
give them the opportunity to develop in their own manner,
not as we adults want or think it should be done,
but as they can do it.
The ideals and objectives we have created prevent us from seeing children as they really are,
and what it is they need... not tomorrow or in a few years' time, but today.
There's only one thing that is really important.
It's the love we can give children.
If we want a different society,
the only thing we really have to do,
is to love children, and to teach them to love others.
Knowledge will appear all by itself, worldly answers turn up on their own,
but a child who was never loved, will hardly learn how to love.
- This is something written by our classmates, to be read at the end of the year, but they weren't allowed to.
And I think this is important, so I'd like to read it.
"Nowadays education is forbidden.
Very little of what happens in our school is truly important.
and what really matters isn't written down anywhere.
How can we face life?
How do we deal with difficulties?
We don't know. We weren't taught that."
"They always talk about education, progress, democracy, liberty, a better world...
but none of that happens inside the classroom.
They teach us to remain separate from each other and to compete for worthless goals.
Neither parents nor teachers ever listen to us.
They never ask our opinions.
They haven't an inkling of what we feel, what we think, or what we want to do.
Wouldn't it be great if we were to choose to go to school every day?
Our own choice, not our parents'.
That the school be a beautiful place, to be enjoyed, to play in, to feel free in,
in which to choose what to learn and how to learn it."
There's a host of experiments that have dared to transform school structures.
Educators who have dared to think of schooling from a different perspective.
Many of them have become formal methods,
others are functioning within community and public spaces,
some have chosen to continue with the experiment privately
and many others do it within public school classrooms.
These examples are living proof that traditional school systems
can be reinterpreted and altered.
There are experiments in all classes and social groups
where there are educators intending to change.
Active Education, Popular, Libertarian, Cooperative, Free, Ecological, Democratic, Holistic
Ethnic, Education without School, Home Schooling ....
To a greater or lesser extent, all these experiments look to learning as a continuum,
as a living interchange between the individual, his peers, his environment and his community.
A living education...
"Teach us that things can be different.
That's the example you must give us.
Your expectations are your own, not ours.
And unless you change them, we'll continue failing."
This film sets forth only some of the ideas we came across.
We visited some of the many experiments taking place, and we only got to know a few of them in depth.
The one and only method doesn't exist, the best example doesn't exist,
but true diversity exists when we respect and experience that diversity in all its dimensions.
All these experiences are valuable because they're the result of what some people dedicated their lives to learning.
There are disagreements and coincidences, but there's no doubt that they all contribute to the improvement of education.
We need their ideas and practices to see the light,
we need to know their contributions, their stories, their strong points and their limitations.
To share resources, exchange points of view and build a new educational paradigm together.
"Because of all this, we say ENOUGH!
Stop deciding for us,
stop rating us, stop imposing on us.
Neither Science, nor exams, nor degrees can define us."
- That's why we are here, to discuss and to share our ideas.
- To learn that things can change.
"We are going to decide what we want to be, to do, to feel or to think.
Today, more than ever, resources exist so that these experiments can multiply and diversify.
Schools and education could reunite once again,
in a place built and managed by the entire community,
and that answers to the needs of the people and their environment.
"We believe that education is forbidden.
Not because of the families, not because of the children, not because of the teachers."
We all forbid Education.
Every time you choose to look the other way instead of choosing to listen.
Every time we select the final goal, instead of the path.
Every time we leave everything the same, instead of trying something new.
This movie is an invitation to meet with education beyond the school walls we know so well,
an invitation to think about other forms of learning,
to talk and debate about scholastic and educational practices.
- Whether you're a teacher.
- Whether you're a student.
- Whether you're a parent; whoever you are, help us.
- Education must move forward.
- It must grow.
- It must change.
To meet with others, to get to know and to probe their experiences,
to exchange ideas and make them come true.
This is our proposal and it begins today.
JOIN REEVO Red de Educación Viva
ENCOUNTER, INTERCHANGE, ACTION
English subtitle's credits: educacionprohibida.com/creditos#sub-en