We are educators from different countries in Latin America that adhere to the Universalist Humanist Pedagogical Current (Copehu) with the need to deepen our reflections, understand the moment humanity is going through – and therefore education -, clarify aspirations, within the framework of one of the deepest crises in the system, accelerated by a coronavirus pandemic that suddenly “stopped” the world. We cannot imagine the consequences of the current crisis, but we can imagine and begin to build the world in which we want to live, leaving behind the one that was imposed and given to us, today hatching out of its very contradiction.
In order to build a new society, new paradigms are indispensable in all dimensions of human endeavor, because the current ones no longer provide answers to the needs of today’s human being. It is a moment – despite the pain and suffering generated by the pandemic disease – in which a “stop” along the way can be interesting, inviting us to rethink in depth the creation of this system and of life itself. We are empowered to generate new attitudes and habits in the direction of human evolution, to rethink values, priorities, beliefs, to find new answers. Because we will not return to “normality” when the social, preventive and compulsory isolation ends. What would be “normal” in these times when everything is moving fast and constantly changing?
As educators we can rethink today more than ever the meaning of our vocation, of our practices and of the ties that unite us as a society, wondering in depth about the why and how we educate, about the contribution of each one to help others to be happy and free. We note that for this, we need to connect with sincere and deep questions and answers, with collective aspirations where we are all concerned, where common action is for the well-being and development of all humanity.
We have been observing the shortcomings of the educational system in Latin America where there is fragmentation of the Being, it is not educated for integral development, because the human being is not the central value; therefore neither the necessary resources are destined neither to education nor to public health. In general terms, in different parts of our region to face the pandemic, education is being maintained virtually as a quick response -which is very valuable- but nevertheless we observe that it is an opportunity to generate a query with the educational community and reflect on the future of education. We are going through a crisis that challenges us and confronts us with an urgency to move towards a new global model, focused on the needs and rights of people.Although the crisis destabilizes, we are optimistic about the possibility of creating a new educational paradigm where the human being is the central value and concern, promoting the creation of new areas of learning where the network of the social fabric is built from the moral rule that says “treat others as you want to be treated”, already raised by Silo. If these two fundamentals were considered in each educational policy, curriculum, learning processes, we would be facing a new sunrice.
To build these new educational models from the register of “the human”, and no longer from the values of commercial, competitive, uniform education; but from a deep internal sense of “the human” in terms of its diversity, possibility, freedom, intentionality, the deployment of its active consciousness where there is unity between thinking, feeling and acting, it will be the task to found the new pedagogy. The construction of educational environments of intentional, shared and joint learning, where the contact with one’s own spirituality and the affective connection with other human beings are enabled, is evidenced as really important for the future in the stage that the current crisis will begin to overcome.
The public spheres of education, not only in institutions of formal education, but of popular education and non-formal education, should be in the new models to be built that enable the integral, artistic, physical and scientific development of human beings. We need to enable more and better educational fields of intentional learning for the new generations founded on a Humanizing Education.
We know that isolation is essential today to prevent the spread of the virus, but we aspire, in the future, to prioritize contact, registration and the feeling of the human, the shared, the all-together, the communitary. It is our desire that this Humanizing Education gain strength. And meanwhile, we will continue from the place to which we have access, wherever we have influence, showing that a new way of being, another way of interpersonal treatment, of sharing knowledge and experiences is possible.