What is teaching?

   Education revolves around the binomial duo “information-formation”. Information provides us with the necessary knowledge that allows us to move about society and to gain the professional skills necessary for personal development at work. One of the aims of education is to train and educate administrators, chauffeurs, doctors, technicians, chemists, etc.

   Information does not only involve the professional aspect, but it also encompasses the acquisition of abilities and operational procedures that contribute to the improvement of certain human faculties. That is why we talk about sentimental, sexual, transit, and civic education, as well as education aimed at training will power. It is important for a student to develop study techniques and methods to improve the memory, as well as to dominate fast reading techniques while retaining comprehension.

   However, information is not enough; it must be accompanied by a clear orientation. This is where formation plays a role. For example, with respects to sexual education, it is not enough to know about anatomy, physiology of the reproductive system, and the endocrine mechanism of the organism. There is a need for behavioral guidelines that can explain in a clear manner the purpose of sexuality, its integration in human personality, its objective, etc.

   Education leads to the formation of a more mature, more complete, and more coherent individual. Individuals are more mature when they reach a certain level of personal balance between their intellectual and corporal faculties, as well as with their social relations. A person is more complete when capable of adequately integrating together diverse aspects, and is coherent when establishing a certain level of harmony between ideas and behavior, and theory and practice. An educated individual is more human, more spiritual, and more master of his or her self.

   In education, the role that educators play is of extreme importance (parents and teachers), as well as the homework that students have to carry out. The power of an educator depends more on example than on words.

   Students need a model of identity, an exemplary person to admire and to learn from. Words are powerful, but examples are even more so.

   However, the main actor of education is one’s self; it is the individual that formulates and develops his or her own personal life project. The means to reach one’s established goals are two: motivation and effort. Motivation moves us to act, and it is only through effort that we can conquer small yet concrete achievements, over and over again, until achieving total control of one’s own impulsive nature (Translated by Gianna Sanchez Moretti).
   Arturo Ramo

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