3.c.13 – What is the new challenge in education?

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April 14, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

What is the new challenge in education?

Knowledge obviously must not be only remembered, but also handed down; a value inseparable from it is therefore that of education meant as teaching, as training in the broadest sense. Previously we said that cultural interests are not rationally established, they have developed according to natural tendencies that, as such, cannot be eliminated, but at the same time can always be integrated by an adequate  and rational education.
The curricula and teaching techniques do not consider too much the natural tendencies and prefer to rely on tradition, sometimes antiquated, that therefore can and must be eliminated.
The cultural evolution never stops and in a world that quickly changes, the problem of a constant updating becomes increasingly important. Once parents were growing and living in a world very similar to that of their children and the teaching received by the grandparents could be totally passed on to grandchildren, without major changes. As we know, today the situation has changed: children are growing up in a world very different from the one where the parents are grown and profoundly different from that of their grandparents, so that grandparents today are seeking the advice of grandchildren, and not vice versa. The trend has become so rapid that the same individual lives his childhood in an era different from that in which he will grow old and already in adulthood he could see significant changes.
Fortunately for us, humans always survive thanks to a creative genius obtained from prolongation to adulthood of the lively intelligence of children, from an intellectual point of view, indeed we remain always considerably younger than our body; this allows us to continue to learn with some ease, an option that has always been helpful, but that today we are forced to use much more intensely.
The jobs that provide regular upgrading courses become more and more numerous and it is establishing the idea that in adult life is necessary a continual training to support the normal activities.
The challenge of the present and the immediate future seems to be an education for adults in a continuous upgrading, a work which has considerable difficulties: once adults taught to children who, once reached maturity, learned mainly from direct experience; the youth was the time dedicated to learning and maturity that dedicated to the work, applying what was learnt; today the period of apprenticeship continues until the old age and it is right to wonder who is going to teach to adults. Surely, children are unable to do so and the same goes for the elderly, because no one has prepared them for this, so the adults must do it by themselves, producing new knowledge. Such activities of self-training is in fact natural for humans, but to a limited individual extent; complex knowledge require much time to build up and spread, sometimes requires more than a generation, proceeding step by step through the contribution of many different individuals.
At present, the number of people engaged in technological innovation is much higher than in the past and, in order to exploit the collaboration of many individuals, new models of organization have also developed; all this has led to a significant technological acceleration and this success led to the extension of the same principles to business management, with particular reference to the training of employees.
A key component of adult education is an organization that allows to gather new ideas that arise in a large number of individuals, select and redistribute them to everyone. This is a new way to apply the old strategy of the group, to produce new knowledge that will enable us to address the new problems presented by our evolution.

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