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UIE, a University with a purpose

Professor Miguel Ángel Escotet debates at the University of Valencia about the future of education

Participate in the IX National Conference on Teaching and Research in Comparative Education, organized by the Spanish Society of Comparative Education

The rector of the UIE and professor emeritus of the University of Texas, proposed the integration of all structures of the educational system within the concept of permanent education and lifelong learning

11.11.2022. This Friday, the University of Valencia hosted a debate on the UNESCO Report, “The Futures of Education: Reimagining our futures together”, in which the rector of UIE, Miguel Ángel Escotet, the Harvard professor and co-author of the Unesco report, Fernando Reimers, the professor of the University of Valencia, Luis Miguel Lázaro and the directors of the SM Foundation, Augusto Ibáñez and Mayte Ortiz participated. These international conferences, organized by the Spanish Society of Comparative Education, also had the participation of Professor Carlos Alberto Torres, director of the Paulo Freire Institute of UCLA, United States, and the director of the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC), Francesc Pedró.

Miguel Ángel Escotet, UIE rector

During the debate, Professor Miguel Ángel Escotet proposed breaking with the current compartments of regulated education, in what he calls “the educational continuum” and creating a single, fully articulated learning system. In the opinion of the rector of UIE and professor emeritus of the University of Texas, this concept of educational continuum “does not aim to divide education into structural compartments, into aristocratic compartments, into dysfunctional compartments. “Lifelong learning requires understanding that human beings are not educated for life, they learn within life itself: from minus nine months to the death certificate”.

The rector of UIE also expressed that “reliable proof is the current divorce between secondary or middle and higher education. There is no real continuum, only an artificial one. There is no continuity in teachers, students, methods, curriculum or study plans, equity and remuneration systems, or infrastructure… Even government systems divide education into two or more ministries, a fact which fortunately does not happen in health departments in the world. I think that here, Escotet elaborates, the UNESCO report needs to take a leap or return to Edgar Faure’s concept of Learning to Be as genuine permanent education.

Professor Escotet stressed the high quality and enormous effort that has gone into the creation of the “UNESCO Report”, which he considers mandatory reading and, even better, immediately applicable, although he does miss that an in-depth analysis had been included, in form of chapter or section, dedicated to the intergenerational area: «On the one hand, to intergenerational education, to two-way education of the relationships of boys and girls, and adults, and on the other, the relationships between parents, fathers, mothers, tutors, mentors and students, especially at their early ages.

«Schools for and of mothers/fathers, starting with the fact that in the formal education systems of young people themselves they do not learn the biological, psychological, economic, social and ethical responsibilities of what constitutes bringing into this world a new life. That is, it is absolutely necessary to delve into reflections and actions for responsible fatherhood and motherhood – Escotet pointed out – and for cooperation between teachers, students and parents. Just as we know in Psychology about the difficulty of treating a person in a vacuum, without the consequent understanding of the interrelationships that are inherent to them, so we have to approach educational processes as a consequence of personal, family, social and cultural interrelationships.

In the field of university education, rector Miguel Angel Escotet predicted that in the near future, “university education will be a continuous and never terminal stage, where cognitive and meta-cognitive competencies will be linked to affective and emotional competencies. Neither at the expense of the other. Academic socialization will be necessary to promote permanent education where knowledge, attitudes and decisions are shared, as well as to practice ethical and aesthetic values. Sharing knowledge in real time will be an academic learning strategy, both in teaching and research. “Students and teachers will learn from each other, given the variable of instantaneous systems that make scientific information available to everyone”.

The UNESCO report is available through SM, its publisher in Spain, or on the UNESCO platform.

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