Education has great power for children who are the present and the future but throughout history, and around the world, the objectives regarding education have not been the same: from ancient Greece, where the first academies as a space for free reflection were created, to Sparta, where schools were spaces for military training with no place for weakness.
In the eighteenth century, with the enlightened despotism came the concept of educational institution as we understand it now: the goal was to create obedient people. In Prussia, education was elitist. Education was a tool to generate useful workers for the system, moldable for production. For this, they used military procedures such as punishments, ranks, schedules, hierarchies ... Does it sound familiar to you?
Kids perceive, imagine, fantasize, explore and absorb everything they are surrounded with; everything that surrounds them is a learning experience to create their personalities and understanding of the world. What is happening inside the schools, why are there high drop-out rates? Has the traditional education model become obsolete?
The current concept of most schools reduces children to a grade, instead of qualifying them to create differences and competencies. Initializing that from such a young age makes them enter into the competitive system and classes. Peaceful education cannot be achieved with competition and individualism. The school is similar to a factory, where a product is generated by specific processes. A factory of government-compliant, consumerist and effective citizens. Not taking into account that no two children are alike, each one has different motivations and abilities.
But there are schools that offer alternatives to this. For example, active schools, where you learn what can be done by letting children learn by doing, not in a competitive way. This system generates questions, desire to inquire, pleasure to learn from the process without the need of external forces to motivate them. Giving them maturity from an early age. This also helps them relate different concepts, which is very necessary in the world of constant movement and motion.
An education created from joy, curiosity and tenderness provides the tools not only to survive but to live on this planet with greater understanding of the world. It creates kids with the knowledge of the power of community and nature, with autonomy and authority over one's life, and internal discipline. We need empathetic human beings with sensitivity to different realities. People who regard the school as a window to discover the world and not as a consumer factory.
By Natalia Sepúlveda (Nana Ewig)