When thinking about education we realize that its main protagonist is the learner, which comes to show the importance about “self education”. However, it is also a reality that depends on the stimuli from others, most of all with the help of parents and teachers.
Education is made up of two processes: that of individualization, and that of socialization. Through the process of individualization, a human being can become his or her authentic self, generating an act of cultural and moral assimilation. Through the process of socialization, a human being can learn to coexist with others, think about others, and serve society. Through these two processes an individual achieves in becoming a person: achieves to become one’s self, realizes the entire value of being a person (M. Sciacca) and learns how to be a person (G. Langford).
The concept of “person” does not involve any kind of pure imperfection; first of all, because it is the way of being of the most perfect intellectual nature. And second of all, because it expresses the most perfect way of being; in other words, with total independence from any other subject and with an absolute inability to communicate (S. Ramírez, Introducción a la cuestión XXX, as in Santo Tomás: Summa Teológica, BAC, Madrid 1958, p. 130).
Every human being is an imperfect realization – with the potential of improving – and at the same time, a person that is naturally inclined towards achieving full realization. Any individual can improve and needs to improve. Education consists of the process of self-improvement, which must be personal, holistic and complete. A holistic education is one that is able to unite all possible aspects that make up human life (V. García Hoz, Principios de pedagogía sistemática, Ed. Rialp, Madrid, 1973, pp. 16 & ss).
It is not that same, however, when the improvement of a person is realized only at a human level, or realized as well as at the supernatural dimension of human life. In this case, the integrating factor is faith. Holistic education must respect the three essential gifts of the human being: freedom, love, and faith (Translated by Gianna Sanchez Moretti).