Time and Education

Among the crucial functions of education for the future are those of resisting and questioning critically. Resisting the magical appeals of immediacy and criticizing education that privileges the technological apparatus as the only greatest way to acquire knowledge, must always be the goal of the true educator: “Education is the art of transforming society”, said the Spanish philosopher Ortega Y Gasset. “Transforming” is a very different action from “reproducing” or “confirming” social or market trends. And, what about time? We, humans, need it to accommodate new information within ourselves; we need more time to combine new knowledge with the previous we already have; we also require a longer time to rearrange information and place it in other internal spaces; finally, another period of time is needed to organize that achievement as ideas, words and phrases and give them back to society… After all, if learning was just about collecting and memorizing information, computers would do that task alone.

Becoming a citizen, for instance, also requires time… What’s the point of a school promoting citizenship projects if it only offers fifteen or twenty minutes of free time to its students to exercise that citizenship? “Coexistence” is a complicated subject, much more than English or Math. It takes a long time to learn and requires a lot of practice to be settled.

To make contact with oneself, through reflection; relate to others, through collective experience; say your own words, expressing your own ideas, will be essential instruments for building the human of the future. These tools can only be acquired through resistance and criticism of this society that never stops (because it doesn’t have time), that thinks little (because it doesn’t give itself time) and that feels almost nothing (because it doesn’t want to waste time). It is necessary to guarantee and maintain, above all, time for education…

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