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Innovación educativa (México, DF)

versión impresa ISSN 1665-2673

Innov. educ. (Méx. DF) vol.15 no.69 México sep./dic. 2015




Well into the second decade of the 21st century, the forces of global exchange present challenges for each social group confronted by the need to transcend its cultural reference points in order to build more just roads with new vital meanings. The migration of millions of people around the world is exacerbated by great economic inequality and an imbalance of access to opportunities, a reality that is spreading in haphazard tangles of prosperous and marginalized areas. We find ourselves before a world in which the "conflict of civilizations" brings about the confrontation of different cultural groups, not only at a national level, but also within regions and even cities. In addition to the cultural conflicts, there are the enormous problems caused by the unbounded exploitation of natural resources, which have engendered new difficulties due to global warming, and which enable us to envision, for the future, the great challenges that we will face in the years 2030 or 2050, such as the scarcity of resources as essential as water. This is an extremely complex context that allows us to delineate the importance of seeking an urgent dialogue in order to outline new meanings from the perspectives of education and philosophy. This situation recalls the great achievement of the Greeks and their philosophical, educational and cultural proposal of shaping citizens who based their dignity on the congruence of living not only the ethical commitment of their freedom, but also the political promise of the recognition of the freedom of their fellow citizens, and of the combined efforts to construct democracy. If we remember the great task described as Paideia, we can ask ourselves: is it possible to imagine strategies to promote human development based on the values of a global Paideia?

Heidegger (1996) points out that each era determines the essence of its truth, and in the modern era, this essence was defined as mechanistic efficiency. Is it possible that, from this perspective, economic reasons are considered exclusively as the driving forces that give meaning to our educational models, and can we therefore propose that their fundamental objective is to develop human capital? Are these economic reasons the only ones that promote migratory flows and the seemingly boundless exploitation of natural resources? Are there alternatives to our educational models? If the paradigm of the modern era has been exhausted, what foundations should we adopt in order to innovate and propose educational models that are relevant to the problems we are facing? In the search for this mechanistic efficiency, an effective way to develop disciplinary sciences was proposed, based on the Cartesian model of knowledge. This model divides the sciences and their labors in sections that are isolated and sometimes considered antagonistic. But if we question this modern paradigm of knowledge, and in order to confront the study of complex systems, we seek the collaboration of experts in diverse fields, it becomes necessary to ask ourselves: What interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary relations can be constructed in order to develop appropriate educational models that allow the sustainable progress of the human race, promoting strategies for a culture of peace and fostering the harmonious confluence of scientific, humanistic and technological tasks?

Furthermore, the recent terrorist attacks in Ankara in October and in Paris in November allow us to reconsider the relevance of contextualizing expressed ideas and the questions with which we hope to promote dialogue and the construction of meanings, repositioning the role of education in philosophical tasks and the role of philosophy in education. With this specific intention, Educational Innovation is consolidating its work in order to transform itself into an authentic forum for reflection of a plural and interdisciplinary nature, with a global scope and in accordance with the needs of the present historic crossroads. It is important once again to remember Gandhi's road of peace, which has previously been recommended in the pages of this journal as a possibility for developing educational actions. Today we want to call forth the widening of our horizons, considering the philosophical proposal of another great Indian thinker, Amartya Sen. Sen's ideas propose changing the "essence" of our time, in order to leave behind this "mechanistic efficiency" centered on the development of capital so that we may redefine this essence as human wealth, and specifically "the concept of development as a process of the expansion of freedoms" (Sen, 2000, p. 19). This is the wealth that can be attained by the development of human capacities, particularly through the full exercise of freedom. And of course if we consider the development of human capacities, we may then consider the necessity for access to the opportunities needed to fulfill this development. In other words, we require access to the conditions indispensable to the transformation of a possibility into a reality. For example, for one to reach the height already built into his or her genetic code, he or she indisputably requires the nutrition that will enable the fulfillment of this potential. In the same way, in the terrain of cognitive development, it is necessary to create the conditions that are conducive to the fulfillment of the full potential of human intelligence; and we need not even mention other capacities such as imagination or creativity that must also be promoted for full human development. Towards the end of his life, the Swiss epistemologist Jean Piaget reflected on the cognitive relations that allowed the coordination of concepts of need and possibility in relation to reality, which allows us to understand that our reality is just one of many possibilities. Dialogue and meaning, education and philosophy, are today a call to reconsider the coordination of what is real, what is possible and what is necessary, in order to propose didactic strategies that are directed towards the development of our human capacities to be freer. The development of these capacities can permit new forms of other possible futures, in which intelligence, creativity and passion flourish in order to construct and walk upon new paths of freedom.

Abel Rubén Hernández Ulloa
Universidad de Guanajuato



Heidegger, M. (1996). La época de la imagen del mundo. Caminos de Bosque, Madrid, ES: Alianza Editorial.         [ Links ]

Sen, A. (2000). Desarrollo y Libertad. Barcelona, ES: Editorial Planeta.         [ Links ]

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