II Special Forum: Education for the XXI Century

II Special Forum: Education for the XXI Century


Status of the Forum

Topic: open.
Contest: completed.



The contest took place on September 27th and 28th 2012.


Awarded presentations


The changes in general, and in the working and training environments in particular, directly affect the educational context. The speed with which responses are occurring regarding the educational needs of today’s society, shows insufficient and slow reaction by the agencies and institutions responsible.

I believe that, in education, what remain obsolete are the time, space and clusters. All these structural aspects of education and educational institutions have an impact–positive or negatively- in the teaching and learning process. Society has changed , dramatically, since the educational system consolidated but the “school” itself did not implement the structural changes to adapt to these social demands. The organization of time, space and clusters are a clear example of this, as they remain almost the same as in the Sarmiento’s time.

When we talk about time and space we refer to the objective time and physical space, to the lack of tools and resources. Today we continue with the standardized 80 minute blocks or the blocks with fragmented subjects, we continue to use the bell that announces the beginning or end of a class… the time of the class, with students seating on rows perfectly aligned desks… Standardized spaces that limit to the walls of the classroom, we keep thinking that ALL students should do the same and at the same time. But, what is really happening with the teaching and learning times? What is happening with the time that our students need to the learning process their own? Do we respect their time? What is happening with the distribution of school time? Is school space really and educational space?

For this, I will quote Rosa Vázquez Recio who says: “The time in the school is not the organization of time itself; it is only a part of the time in the educational institution that responds to the planning, the schedules and the calendars. What completes and characterizes the time of the organization is, precisely, what has been omitted or ignored, the time of the consciousness, of the experience and the expertise; the time of the story, the dialogue and the conflict. School time is not the one expressed on grids that talk to us about a before and an after but the time of the life that is present in all the corners of the school regardless the norms and regulations. Of course, understanding this conception of time requires a different way comprehending and defining the school. We could say that the way we understand the school must be conceptualized to the daily school`s life. This perspective assumes the reality`s complexity of the school`s organization where not only structural factors will be take into account, other aspects like micropolitics and the institution`s culture or ideological standards of the educative administration.

In relation to space, I am sure that implies more than the building. The space implies interaction and communications between the participants in the educational process…”implies make myself the space where I am”, “implies learning”. Pupils learn in a space with specific characteristics that affects learning with different limits and possibilities to his development. The organization of the classroom related to equipments distribution has a big influence in the educational activity. The organization of the atmosphere affects the achievements of a specific learning. In this way, the educational atmosphere can be a laboratory that offers different experiences or, unlikely it can be a routine place where pupils do not participate actively.

It is important to turn the space into an educational resource where you could use all the available resources in order to improve the motivation for learning, exploring, researching and discovering. Increasing the experiences that we have been always considered new opportunities. Enriching the resources and educational material with elements that benefit the integration of cognitive, motor, social, emotional, communicational and interactive areas. It will be positive to think about how important is the space related to the relationships between pupils and teachers and if we take into account the context of learning and meaning.

Time and space make sense based on the act of the association between teaching and learning. The associations between teachers and pupils show how they are related between each other. Time and space are also linked to the achievement of the learning and the institutional atmosphere.

Our challenge as teachers is to think about how to configure the educational time and space based on the current pupil`s requests and not in an unique model. 



Long time ago I have thinking about the role that education can play in the construction of global organizational sustainable models. In other words, a socioeconomic model with a sustainable equality based on a balance between available present resources and future individual and collective expectations.

It is obvious that global organizations are proposing a new model of business that is sustainable according to the new environmental aspects in the last years.

There are no doubts about the importance of the environmental, sanitary and food sustainability, main aspects that are so important that could put at risk the human existence. In fact, these aspects are installed with a great visibility in the agenda of multilateral organizations and environmental independent groups. However, these concepts do not have a relevant role in the educational programs and there is not a global agreement about how to homogenize them in order to become a veritable driving force for change. Pin positive expectations on education for correcting global behaviors looks like a great deal. Education has a multiplier effect. The quality of education forces to maintain well formed and updated teachers. It must include parents to be up to the task sharing the learning process with their sons, taking part in the new educational system. It has a contagion effect between neighbors, friends or colleages, searching a balance in situations that set differences in social behaviors for not being excluded. If this multiplier effect of education is not considered and well distributed the real impact of the society educated under the values that they learned it is underestimate. I want to say that education related to environmental sustainability could have positive effects over a problem (at least in the multicultural debates) recognized by the governments. Furthermore, it is impossible to dissociate the sustainability concepts of the behavior ethics. Education makes difference during the first years of learning and ethics should be part of the educational formal process of the individuals. Most of sustainability aspects come from giving an ethic frame to individual and collective behavior. From the habits of using to the waste of resources and the environmental impact of our decisions could be influenced by behavior ethics. The person who chooses consuming or accumulating is putting at risk ethic values. These ethic values must be taught in an early educational process. Definitely, the XXI century education should add the knowledge about behaviors, mechanics and life styles orientated to sustainability in a global and homogeneous way. Ethics as a platform and base of these aspects is essential for the present and near future of the educational system. Education will give strength to the reasonable behavior of consuming against the individual and collective expectations of consuming without limits.       


The Argentinean Chapter of the Club of Rome wants to express thanks for the assistants and contributors to presentations.

The talks produce the following reflections: 



It is an interesting point the idea of giving alternatives to the educational system that consists of everyone learning the same at the same time. The improvement in the relationship between teaching dynamics and learning dynamics could mean a progress to a more efficient and more pleasant education system.

Indeed, every individual has his own time to apprehend what learnt from the teacher. Nevertheless, the basic functioning of educational systems is based on imparting knowledge to a group of individuals, which is considered homogeneous. It also pays less attention to aspects like the guidance and the “tête-a-tête” teacher-student, which are precisely, the moments when the teacher learns to adjust his teaching and when he discovers the time each pupil needs to learn.

If it is reasonable to orientate educational systems to the ideal of self-fulfillment, then it is necessary to update educational techniques, from initial education levels, to fit for the purpose. The stimulation could be also a good way of respecting each student’s special feature.

One of the central challenges will be to mix the transmission of knowledge with a devoted accompaniment of the individuals that may help them to develop fully.

In addition, the balance and interaction teacher-group could be optimize in a pleasant and calm environment, with no violence, boredom or discomfort. 



Indeed, education for sustainability is not yet relevant in every educational model. That’s why we could suppose that if this kind of education will be implemented, it may have really good effects. Moreover if we take into account the extremely critical situation of environment now a day.

It can be presumed that a person educated in sustainability will not only be able to develop an environmental respectful behavior, but it also will open an outlook to new ideas that could serve for human progress.

Today, it is not questioned the need of a sustainable behavior, because of the critical environmental condition. Moreover, the ethical behavior of the human being among his fellows is also urgent and necessary. Educate people for a sustainable and ethic life is, currently, an imperative.

Self-fulfillment, already mention above, and ethic discernment should be both stimulated to the same degree of intensity in the initial education levels, because self-fulfillment if dissociated from an ethical behavior, could provoke what it is mean to avoid.

The incorporation of these aspects into the new educational models would certainly influence society to implement a sustainable paradigm of life, ethic and with new possibilities to human progress, that now a day are difficult to imagine. 


Awarded Talk

Because of these considerations, the Jury has decided, in this occasion to reward both talks.

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