Self improvement

   When thinking about education, teachers and parents can ask themselves the following questions: What is education? How can we know that we are teaching effectively?

   Many thinkers have tried to answer these questions. Pedagogue Rufino Blanco compiled 184 definitions of “education” in his Pedagogic Encyclopedia. Many of these definitions assert that education is a process of self improvement and of the development of human capacities. However, this process is infinite; education never stops. M.F. Sciacca would assert that human life consists of perennial development and the exercise of capacities, and is a perennial takeoff of strengthens and continuous improvement; this is precisely what education is (El problema de la educación, Ed Miracle, Barcelona, 1952).

   However, the improvement of what? What is being improved is the person, and all types of education are anchored on the condition that the human being is a person (García Hoz). Aside from this general vision, education aims at perfecting human capacities, such as comprehension and will power. Comprehension searches for truth, and will power is inclined towards the good. From this point of view, education is thus a means to achieve good and truth. This is the goal to achieve, but inserted within society it can become difficult to do so. Instead of truth, it seems that in society appearance, relativism, subjectivism, demagogy, and other cases of blatant lies are more abundant; and, instead of good, consumerism, the search for pleasure at whatever cost, and hedonism are the realities that prevail. All of these vices do not yield self improvement nor develop human capacities.

   Both comprehension and will power are related to freedom and love, which are two essential gifts of human nature. For a human being that is conscientious of his or her supernatural dimension, freedom and love are intimately connected with faith. From this point of view, education consists in growing in freedom, love, and for believers, in faith (Translated by Gianna Sanchez Moretti).

   Arturo Ramo

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