sábado, 10 de maio de 2014

Sistemas de Educação Públicos


Os actuais sistemas de educação pública promovem ou reduzem?
(Se calhar promovem ... a redução)



Com maior ou menor profundidade, todos nós já olhamos com sentido crítico para o sistema de ensino que vigora no actual regime. Afinal, duma forma ou doutra, com maior ou menor extensão, todos passamos por ele.

E olhamos não no sentido da contemplação de mais uma criação humana mas sim numa avaliação do seu contributo para a melhor realização pessoal, assim como do proveito que aporta a cada um - comparando o imenso tempo e esforço que das nossas vidas foi a ele dedicado - com as alternativas de que poderíamos ter beneficiado em seu lugar.



Para quem já percorreu alguma distância na vida e já consegue ter uma perspectiva dos vários subsistemas por onde passou; quem já tem filhos e vê a continuada metamorfose do sistema anterior, sempre operada no mesmo sentido (subtraindo ainda mais tempo livre às crianças e jovens, ocupando-o com curriculum de relevância discutível), nota, sem grande margem para duvida, que há algo de muito errado, ou ilusório, neste sistema.

O prolongamento do limite da escolaridade obrigatória teve propósitos louváveis mas, passado todo este tempo, foram-se mostrando mais como exercícios de retórica do que outra coisa qualquer; mais uma mascara do que a cara. Não se aprendeu mais mas demorou-se mais a aprender o mesmo; não se acrescentou matéria útil aos curriculum’s mas subtraiu-se tempo livre para viver a adolescência e procurar talentos próprios; não se libertou os jovens para a vida e para a realização pessoal mas reteve-se-os o mais possível num pântano de "irrelevâncias" até terminar a melhor e mais brilhante fase das suas vidas; não se prepararam jovens criativos e activos mas contribui-se, atrasando o fim da escolaridade,  para mascarar as estatísticas e imagem do desemprego.

  



Ninguém tem grandes duvidas acerca do imenso valor dos instrumentos de comunicação desenvolvidos pela humanidade (fala e escrita), do imenso valor das conquistas tecnológicas e cientificas facilitadoras da vida humana, do grande valor que foi a expansão cultural e o desenvolvimento dum sentido de realização e de propósito transcendente da espécie humana.
E todos sabemos que ninguém nasce aprendido e que há necessidade de passar o testemunho, às gerações que se seguem, daquilo que já foi conquistado. Mas por regra esquecem-se os antecessores (ou aqueles que conduzem o processo institucionalizado de passagem do testemunho – pedagogos e/ou mestres) que a passagem dessa herança não convêm ser feita a seres incapazes de se adaptarem às suas próprias circunstâncias, de  ajuizarem, inventarem, decidirem ou executarem o que lhes convêm e o que necessitam para se ajustar às eternas mudanças da vida.



Naturalmente que os sistemas de ensino (publico) tem o seu quê de ideológico e que essa ideologia habitualmente tem por objectivo a manutenção do vigente equilíbrio social e politico. Num sistema estável, onde a pirâmide hierárquica de poderes e privilégios se encontra definida e auto-reprodutível, não é habitual as lideranças favoreçam soluções que gerem alternativas fora do seu quadro de interesses. Os sistemas devem servir, bem, quem dirige e qualquer alternativa a eles pode por em risco o valioso “status-quo”. Daí que os sistemas de ensino aplicados às “massas” não são, nem de perto nem de longe, aqueles que lhes serviriam melhor mas sim aqueles que servem quem dirige e, naturalmente, quem tem o poder para os desenhar e impor.


Assumindo que é assim porque "manda quem pode",  esse "conforto" tem o seu tempo de vida; não dura sempre. Quando explorado até ao limite corre sérios risco de encontrar o dia em que não tem soluções nem alternativas. Um adulto moderno, capaz e responsável demora quase duas décadas a preparar ... e se se chegar a um tempo em que eles já não existam com suficiência, a humanidade será conduzida com aquilo que houver ... correndo os prováveis riscos que a história claramente mostra.


Assim enchem-se as escolas e universidades de crianças e jovens, acenando-se-lhes com o “engodo” de ser condição necessária (sacrifício prévio) para uma futura vida afluente, fácil e socialmente relevante - sem notório propósito de incluir algo que potencie a capacidade pessoal criadora, inovadora e realizadora.



E vemos o segundo ciclo do ensino publico impor um horário de 33 tempos semanais (quase 7 tempos diários) a crianças de até 12 anos de idade, com algumas disciplinas tão irrelevantes como “Cidadania” e “Viver em Sociedade” (só assistindo a essas aulas e á proverbial preparação/motivação de alguns professores, se compreende a sua irrelevância), com disciplinas de Educação Artística e Tecnológica que, frequentemente, promovem mais o retrocesso do que progresso e avanço; com quilos de bibliografia e cadernos na mochila - e com um horário que, de tão denso, pouco ou nada deixa à livre iniciativa, à diversão, à experimentação e socialização de cada individuo.

E se é assim no primeiro ciclo, não é muito diferente nas universidades, nomeadamente nas técnicas. Nestas, onde a pretexto de agilizarem as tacanhas mentes mal trabalhadas pelos inferiores graus do ensino, carregam-se os curriculum dos primeiros anos com ciência pura, com cálculo integral e diferencial desmesurado, com séries de Fourier e teoremas de Lagrange, Laplace, Euler e Cauchy, com linguagens  informáticas obsoletas, enfim, com um comboio de matérias basicamente inúteis a 99% dos formandos. E tudo isto sempre organizado de forma a se ocupar o tempo do estudante e não lhe deixar grande margem para expandir e expressar as suas particulares potencialidades.

Enfim um sistema universitário que serve os seus interesses e egoísmos corporativos (dos seus profissionais), mascarando esse propósito dominante com o interesse publico e com o dos alunos.



E neste entretanto consome-se a melhor parte da vida de uma geração. Vinte e quatro anos voam na correria entre casa e a escola e chegam os formandos ao fim constatando que, do necessário, útil, interessante ou do prático, nada sabem. E começa ai a nova aprendizagem da vida real ... um quarto de século após o nascimento ... o melhor terço da vida já consumido.



Trata-se de uma caricatura ou exagero mas, com muita frequência, a citação abaixo aproxima-se da realidade.
"Education: the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent."
John Maynard Keynes



E valerá a pena, assim, investir muito na excelência da prestação académica quando se não tem qualquer garantia de que "dessa moita possa sair coelho"?


A enorme aceitação pública do álbum abaixo (Roger Waters - Pink Floyd) é uma prova incontornável da pertinência que o assunto já tinha nos idos anos 70!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhgE5bfcFTU



A propósito desta organização do ensino no mundo moderno ocidental retive três excertos de livro ou palestras que valem a pena aqui expor: Duas palestras de Sir. Ken Robinson (autoridade global na matéria), e o outro de Carroll Quigley, uma das mentes brilhantes mais abrangentes do ultimo século.
 

A primeira palestra, intitulada "Do schools kill creativity?", dirigida a lideres do sistema (e publicada no youtube), reza assim: 

  



""And my contention is, all kids have tremendous talents.
And we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.
So I want to talk about education and I want to talk about creativity. My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.


When my son was four in England ... He was in the Nativity play.
 ... But James got the part of Joseph ... He didn't have to speak, but you know the bit where the three kings come in. They come in bearing gifts, and they bring gold, frankincense and myrhh.
This really happened. We were sitting there and I think they just went out of sequence,
because we talked to the little boy afterward and we said, "You OK with that?" And he said, "Yeah, why? Was that wrong?"
They just switched, that was it.
Anyway, the three boys came in - four-year-olds with tea towels on their heads -
and they put these boxes down,
and the first boy said, "I bring you gold."
And the second boy said, "I bring you myrhh."
And the third boy said, "Frank sent this." (Laughter)
What these things have in common is that kids will take a chance.
If they don't know, they'll have a go.
Am I right? They're not frightened of being wrong."

"Now, I don't mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative.
What we do know is, if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.
And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity.
They have become frightened of being wrong.
And we run our companies like this, by the way.
We stigmatize mistakes. And we're now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make.
And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.
Picasso once said this - he said that all children are born artists.
The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it."

 



“ … we lived in a place called Snitterfield, just outside Stratford, which is where
Shakespeare's father was born. Are you struck by a new thought? I was.
You don't think of Shakespeare having a father, do you?
Do you? Because you don't think of Shakespeare being a child, do you?
Shakespeare being seven? I never thought of it. I mean, he was seven at some point. He was in somebody's English class, wasn't he? How annoying would that be?
 (Laughter) "Must try harder, William". Being sent to bed by his dad, "Go to bed, now" and "put the pencil down and stop speaking like that. It's confusing everybody” (Laughter)."



"But something strikes you when you move to America and when you travel around the world:
Every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects.
Every one. Doesn't matter where you go. You'd think it would be otherwise, but it isn't.
At the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and the bottom are the arts. Everywhere on Earth."

 
 
 "And in pretty much every system too, there's a hierarchy within the arts.
Art and music are normally given a higher status in schools than drama and dance. There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance everyday to children
the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not?
I think this is rather important. I think math is very important, but so is dance.
Children dance all the time if they're allowed to; we all do.
We all have bodies, don't we? Did I miss a something? (Laughter)
Truthfully, what happens is, as children grow up, we start to educate them
progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads. And slightly to one side.
If you were to visit education, as an alien, and say "What's it for, public education?"
I think you'd have to conclude - if you look at the output, who really succeeds by this,
who does everything that they should, who gets all the brownie points, who are the winners - I think you'd have to conclude the whole purpose of public education
throughout the world is to produce university professors. Isn't it?
They're the people who come out the top.
And I used to be one, so there. (Laughter)
And I like university professors, but you know, we shouldn't hold them up as the high-water mark of all human achievement. They're just a form of life, another form of life. But they're rather curious, and I say this out of affection for them.
There's something curious about professors in my experience - not all of them, but typically -- they live in their heads.
They live up there, and slightly to one side.
They're disembodied, you know, in a kind of literal way.
They look upon their body as a form of transport for their heads, don't they?”(Laughter) It's a way of getting their head to meetings.”
 
"Now our education system is predicated on the idea of academic ability.
And there's a reason.
The whole system was invented - around the world, there were no public systems of education, really, before the 19th century.
They all came into being to meet the needs of industrialism."



"So the hierarchy is rooted on two ideas.
Number one, that the most useful subjects for work are at the top. So you were probably steered benignly away from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds that you would never get a job doing that. Is that right?
Don't do music, you're not going to be a musician; don't do art, you won't be an artist.
Benign advice - now, profoundly mistaken. The whole world is engulfed in a revolution.
And the second is academic ability, which has really come to dominate our view of intelligence, because the universities designed the system in their image.
If you think of it, the whole system of public education around the world is a protracted process of university entrance.
And the consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they're not, because the thing they were good at. at school wasn't valued, or was actually stigmatized."

And I think we can't afford to go on that way."


"In the next 30 years, according to UNESCO, more people worldwide will be graduating

through education than since the beginning of history.

More people, and it's the combination of all the things we've talked about -

technology and its transformation effect on work, and demography and the huge explosion in population.

Suddenly, degrees aren't worth anything. Isn't that true?

When I was a student, if you had a degree, you had a job.

If you didn't have a job it's because you didn't want one.

And I didn't want one, frankly. (Laughter)

But now kids with degrees are often heading home to carry on playing video games, because you need an MA where the previous job required a BA, and now you need a PhD for the other.

It's a process of academic inflation.

And it indicates the whole structure of education is shifting beneath our feet. We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence."

"We know three things about intelligence.
 One, it's diverse. We think about the world in all the ways that we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically.

We think in abstract terms, we think in movement.

Secondly, intelligence is dynamic.

If you look at the interactions of a human brain, as we heard yesterday from a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive.

The brain isn't divided into compartments.

In fact, creativity -- which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value - more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things.
The brain is intentionally - by the way, there's a shaft of nerves that joins the two halves of the brain called the corpus callosum. It's thicker in women."

A segunda palestra do mesmo autor, intitulada "Bring on the learning revolution?", dirigida a lideres do sistema (e publicada no youtube-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LelXa3U_I)
 

Transcrição completa em: FLAVIUS ATLANTIKUS: Sir Ken Robinson - Bring on the learning revolution
 E reza assim:
And high among them (explanations why people feel like that) is education, because education, in a way, dislocates very many people from their natural talents.
And human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep.
You have to go looking for them, they're not just lying around on the surface.
You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.
And you might imagine education would be the way that happens, but too often it's not.
Every education system in the world is being reformed at the moment and it's not enough.
Reform is no use anymore, because that's simply improving a broken model.
What we need - and the word's been used many times during the course of the past few days - is not evolution, but a revolution in education.
This has to be transformed into something else."

"I came across a great quote recently from Abraham Lincoln, who I thought you'd be pleased to have quoted at this point.
... e said this:
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion."
I love that.
Not rise to it; rise with it.
"As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.
We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."
I love that word, "disenthrall."
You know what it means?
That there are ideas that all of us are enthralled to, which we simply take for granted as the natural order of things, the way things are.
And many of our ideas have been formed, not to meet the circumstances of this century, but to cope with the circumstances of previous centuries.
....
How many of you here are over the age of 25?
Now, those over 25, could you put your hands up if you're wearing your wristwatch?
Now that's a great deal of us, isn't it?
Ask a room full of teenagers the same thing.
Teenagers do not wear wristwatches.
I don't mean they can't or they're not allowed to, they just often choose not to.
And the reason is, you see, that we were brought up in a pre-digital culture, those of us over 25.
And so for us, if you want to know the time you have to wear something to tell it.
Kids now live in a world which is digitized, and the time, for them, is everywhere.
They see no reason to do this.
And by the way, you don't need to do it either; it's just that you've always done it and you carry on doing it."
"One of them is the idea of linearity:
... that it starts here and you go through a track and if you do everything right, you will end up set for the rest of your life. (and as we have seen previously) ...life is not linear; it's organic.
We create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances they help to create for us.
But, you know, we have become obsessed with this linear narrative.
And probably the pinnacle for education is getting you to college.
I think we are obsessed with getting people to college.
Certain sorts of college.
I don't mean you shouldn't go to college, but not everybody needs to go and not everybody needs to go now.
Maybe they go later, not right away."
"You know, to me, human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability.
At the heart of the challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and of intelligence.
This linearity thing is a problem."
"The other big issue is conformity.
We have built our education systems on the model of fast food.
This is something Jamie Oliver talked about the other day.
You know there are two models of quality assurance in catering.
One is fast food, where everything is standardized.
The other are things like Zagat and Michelin restaurants, where everything is not standardized, they're customized to local circumstances.
And we have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education, and it's impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies"
"One is that human talent is tremendously diverse.
People have very different aptitudes.
I worked out recently that I was given a guitar as a kid at about the same time that Eric Clapton got his first guitar.
You know, it worked out for Eric, that's all I'm saying. (Laughter)
In a way, it did not for me.
I could not get this thing to work no matter how often or how hard I blew into it.
 (Laughter) It just wouldn't work.
But it's not only about that.
It's about passion.
Often, people are good at things they don't really care for.
It's about passion, and what excites our spirit and our energy.
And if you're doing the thing that you love to do, that you're good at, time takes a different course entirely.
You know this, if you're doing something you love, an hour feels like five minutes.
If you're doing something that doesn't resonate with your spirit, five minutes feels like an hour.
And the reason so many people are opting out of education is because it doesn't feed their spirit, it doesn't feed their energy or their passion."
 
"So I think we have to change metaphors.
We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people.
We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture.
We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process;
it's an organic process.
And you cannot predict the outcome of human development.
All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish."

There's been a lot of talk about dreams over the course of this few days.
I wanted to read you a quick, very short poem from W. B. Yeats, who some of you may know.
He wrote this to his love, Maud Gonne, and he was bewailing the fact that he couldn't really give her what he thought she wanted from him.
And he says, "I've got something else, but it may not be for you."
He says this:

"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with gold and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet.
And we should tread them softly."


O ultimo, extraído do livro “Tragedy and Hope” (1966), de Carrol Quigley, inserido no capitulo “The United States and the Middle-Class Crisis.(pag. 1274 e seguintes). Integrando o assunto num contexto mais vasto, reza assim:

Versão completa em:  FLAVIUS ATLANTIKUS: Education and the Middle-Class Crisis


"In his farewell report the Chairman of Harvard's Admissions Committee, Wilbur Bender, summed up the problem this way: 

     "The student who ranks first in his class may be genuinely brilliant or he may be a compulsive worker or the instrument of domineering parents ambitions or a conformist or a self-centered careerist who has shrewdly calculated his teachers prejudices and expectations and discovered how to regurgitate efficiently what they want. Or he may have focused narrowly on grade-getting as compensation for his inadequacies in other areas, because he lacks other interests or talents or lacks passion and warmth or normal healthy instincts or is afraid of life. The top high school student is often, frankly, a pretty dull and bloodless, or peculiar fellow. The adolescent with wide-ranging curiosity and stubborn independence, with a vivid imagination and desire to explore fascinating bypaths, to follow his own interests, to contemplate, to read the un-required books, the boy filled with sheer love of life and exuberance, may well seem to his teachers troublesome, undisciplined, a rebel, may not conform to their stereotype, and may not get the top grades and the highest rank in class. He may not even score at the highest level in the standard multiple choice admissions tests, which may well reward the glib, facile mind at the expense of the questioning, independent, or slower but more powerful, more subtle, and more interesting and original mind.

     These remarks bring us close to one of the major problems in American culture today. We need a culture that will produce people eager to do things, but we need even more a culture that will make it possible to decide what to do. This is the old division of means and goals. Decisions about goals require values, meaning, context, perspective. They can be set, even tentatively and approximately, only by people who have some inkling of the whole picture. The middle-class culture of our past ignored the whole picture and destroyed our ability to see it by its emphasis on specialization. Just as mass production came to be based on specialization, so human preparation for making decisions about goals also became based on specialization. The free elective system in higher education was associated with choice of a major field of specialization, and all the talk about liberal arts, outside electives, general education, or required distribution were largely futile. They were futile because no general view of the whole picture could be made simply by attaching together a number of specialist views of narrow fields, for the simple reason that each specialist field looks entirely different, presenting different problems and requiring different techniques, when it is placed in the general picture.
...

     Means are almost as difficult as ends. In fact, personal responsibility, self-discipline, some sense of time value and future preference, and, above all, an ability to distinguish what is important from what is merely necessary must be found. simply as valuable attributes of human beings as human beings. "




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