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The author of “rEDUvolution” states during the interview that “there is no Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), just bored kids in class“, Knowing that he has entered the least thorny terrain.
María Acaso, also director of the School of Disruptive Education (EED) of the Telefónica Foundation, does not care about the controversy that the owner will generate, because she is absolutely convinced of it.
In his opinion, “medicating two-year-olds with suspected ADHD with amphetamines to get them to focus is simply outrageous“. “Wouldn't it be better to think about changing the education they receive?“, This teacher wonders aloud. “It is now commonplace to talk about the obsolescence of the current educational system and the urgent need to make a change in both content and methodology, to break the past but… how to do it?“.
—In rEDUvolution, his latest and provocative book published by Paidos publishing house, he proposes a paradigm shift. Is it wrong?
"It's not that it's bad, it's that it's not useful." The children go with their Mp3's, their 3G mobiles… and their recorder. Please! Everything has changed, and especially what has to do with knowledge management. Just as a doctor cannot operate without anesthesia, as in the nineteenth century, today it cannot be learned with a traditional lesson, where the only thing that is achieved is a bulimic education, where you get stuck with information that you vomit on the day of the exam and three seconds when you've walked out the door you've forgotten everything. That is the paradigm that a traditional education takes you to. We must go towards an experiential, motivating, active education ... While in other disciplines it is widely accepted that the unconscious does is modify the entire process of data absorption, in pedagogy it is not. Today it seems that all students have to understand the class in the same way, take the same notes and say the same during the exam. The first step to rEDUvolution is to admit that this is not the case. As teachers we will accept that we teach and that students learn other things. You give a class to twenty people and each one is going to elaborate according to their own biography, their creativity, their knowledge… a different speech. That is the educational fact.
"What does it mean to accept that?"
- It no longer makes much sense to program by objectives, because they are not going to be met. It may be better to develop big, open and flexible goals instead of small goals.
—Your rEDUvolution entails accepting invisible pedagogies. What do you mean?
—Accepting that you learn more than what is not explicit than what is explicit. What is explicit is what the teacher says, the textbook, the "Power point" ... but then there are lots of things from the lighting of the class, how the teacher is dressed, or how the classroom is organized that is giving us a lot more information than what this is telling us. Everything related to invisible pedagogies is obviated in traditional pedagogy and must be recovered.
—What should be the role of the teacher in this new pedagogy?
—Your role must be understood as a cultural producer, as an artist. He must know how to take concepts and "remix" them, understanding as "remixing" the contemporary production system. That is not copying. It is relating. And create your "playlist" of the class.
—You propose to start by changing the role of the teacher, whom you refer to as a “coach”.
—Yes, the teacher should prioritize the agenda of your students above all things, especially above the center, the educational system, your own agenda. In traditional education, the teacher imposes everything, the contents, the forms, the methodologies, and now I believe that it should be very important to take advantage of the students' knowledge and incorporate it the other way around. What interests the student above what interests the teacher. We refer to the eight intelligences of Howard Gardner.
"That is a utopia, whether you have five or ten students, but much more if you have thirty."
—In any case, what the teachers do is deny the interests of the students. It is not so much about doing thirty different classes, but about saying, I will try to see what the students are interested in and incorporate it into the classroom, in general. If you are interested in soccer, maybe I can incorporate this sport as a resource to explain mathematics. Teaching video to teenagers is very difficult, but if you teach them to video it from video clips it is very easy. I think that children, adolescents, have interests, so the creative teacher is able to find that link.
- Is that why you point to the creativity of teachers as an indispensable quality?
—We always talk about the creativity of the student, but I think the teacher's creativity is fundamental, but above his skills and knowledge, a creative teacher is going to get to everything and is going to do some wonderful teaching units. You are going to forget about the textbook and create some amazing experiences.
"You should change your training as well."
-Yeah sure. The problem that I see in pedagogy is that a process of reproduction takes place in the training of teachers. You spend half your life complaining about your teachers but when you become one, you do the same thing again. A super-fearful novice teacher walks into a Secondary classroom with forty teenagers and doesn't know what to do and plays tough, not realizing that what he has to do is the opposite.
- Where is the Law of Authority of the teacher, so necessary in some cases even of aggression to the teacher by the student?
—Pedagogy and power… In a control structure… You not only have to appear democratic but you have to be so. We are all lip service democrats. Then we come to the classroom and we are authoritarian. If we are talking about democracy, you cannot come and make a monologue. Or you can't talk about democracy and get on a stage.
- What strategies for change do you propose to successfully end these rigidities?
—The first of them is to create a «community» in class, instead of the antagonism "teacher and student", which also at this time when the student has a lot of knowledge about technology, what are you going to do? In the idea of the community, the teacher enters as a “coach” (coach), as a companion, but he is not even a companion, the teachers and students as “coachers” (trainers) of each other. If you treat the student more as an equal, and give him more power, his problems are reduced. Those problems increase the more authoritarian the system is. If you give a student responsibility, everything improves. If you force him and discipline him only, in the end fear arises. We have to recover affections in the classroom, they are very important.
Inhabit the classroom
- What is and what is the maxim of "edupunk", to which you refer?
-More than a methodology it is a name, an umbrella where all the methodologies that are not the traditional methodology are collected. The maxim is that you cannot change the content without changing the pedagogical architecture. You cannot advocate for a different education through a lecture. You cannot teach a class with industrial furniture if you want to do an organic class. You have to review the format and change it.
- You also speak of inhabiting the class.
–Of course, pedagogy is mind, but it is also body. How is the body understood in the pedagogical act? Sitting (hours), submissive ... It is not that there are children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), what there are is boring children. It is a super serious problem, how he is medicating in a wild way, with amphetamines, to children from the age of two. Less medicine and more rEDUvolution. It is a terrible problem that we see more and more, if the system were changed, I assure you there would be less ADHD. It is not necessary to medicate the children, who simply want to move, but to change the system.
- The closest thing we have to this system is the project methodology?
-Yes. Definitely yes, but in Spain there is very little offer in alternative education.
Are the teachers' strikes and demonstrations justified for you?
"What both acts indicate is that people are asking for a rEDUvolution." They are crying out for teachers to be better paid, well regarded, well trained… as in the Finnish model, where the key is in the teacher.
"The Finnish teachers have earned it too." Apparently they are the best of the promotion, and then they go through continuous evolutions.
"It is true, the Finnish professor is very well trained, he is the elite." But it is also super recognized socially. Instead, here the teacher's work is discredited, precarious ... The fundamental problem is teacher training.
"And how is that solved?"
"By changing the system." Cut note for pedagogy, as in an engineering.
Today we are witnessing situations day by day that just a few years ago would have seemed implausible to us and, while everything is transformed, the world of education remains the same, anchored in a paradigm closer to the 19th century and to industrial production than to the dynamics typical of the XXI century. We need to start the #rEDUvolution or, what has been known for some time as the educational revolution.
The term rEDUvolution, through the mixture of the terms revolution and education, points to the need to execute a real transformation in educational spaces through five key axes:
Accept that what we teach is not what students learn. Change the dynamics of power. Inhabiting the classroom. Go from simulation to experience Stop evaluating to investigate.
Written with a direct and non-academic language, in rEDUvolution you will find a text where visual language provides as much knowledge as written language. Likewise, a series of proposals are included that aim to provoke the always difficult passage from theory to practice through the participation of the reader in the book itself.
Ahead! It's time for you to start your own #rEDUvolution.