Fundació Jaume Bofill Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

Thinking about future challenges of education in Catalonia

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Education of the future and values

About the speaker

Javier Elzo

01/06/04 07.30 pm

Professor of Sociology (Universidad de Deusto)

Audio (in Spanish)

The dominant value systems in western society over the last fifty years have conditioned current individual issues. Within an overall trend of delegation of responsibilities, we have created a society of rights, without the corresponding correlate of obligations. Young people today have grown up in an over-protective environment and have received a socialisation that has not prepared them to face the society in which they find themselves.

Within this context, the paper describes the values most prized today - family and well-being - and puts forward a number of values that should be conveyed through education. In first place, it defends rationality in decision-taking and the justification of opinions, and, in second place, the fostering of personal competence, in both the professional and formal spheres. Active tolerance of differences must be fostered, taking as the starting point the conviction that there are no absolute truths but one unalienable principle: absolute respect for human dignity.

School plays a crucial role in training, education and the conveying of values, although all too often these days it is merely seen as a conveyor of knowledge and judged on the return on what it teaches. In recent years, the importance of the social network of friends has undergone a very strong increase among young people. The new roles of women, and consequently of men, favour the emergence of new family models. If they can successfully adapt to modernity, the new generations will take their place in the society of the future with greater assurances.

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