Education for Progress
BY HERNÁN DONOSO - TRANSLATED BY PILAR SALGADO
For some lines of thought, such as the historic materialism practised by the Marxism, or the social Darwinism proper from the evolutionist theory, progress is something inner to the human being, and its supposed intrinsic tendency towards the improvement of his life condition.
However, these desk ideas do not resist analysis among the wide variety of the historic reality of the human groups and their different cultural manifestations. Rather, in many cases, as it is told in the story of the biblical Genesis, the thoughts of men tend to evil from his childhood; and this evil it is not just a moral one, but also one of injustice in social relationships, one of economic oppressive structures.
The human being possess two abilities that, although are part of progress, they do not involve it in themselves. These two abilities are the ability to believe and the ability to decide. Both realities operate simultaneously, as the two legs in the body that can produce both, the movement or the standstill. But besides acting as driving strengths, they are the responsible to establish the roadmap of a person or an entire community.
What we believe (what we consider to be real and true) and not only what we think, it has the reality in which we positions ourselves and from which we feel, think and decide.
The educational systems perpetuate belief systems. They exist as a device through which the community structure of belief is established and carried on.
The standard number system used all over the world, known as the decimal system or base ten, establishes the possibility of the existence of nothing, I mean the "zero"; and even in the case of the integer numbers, the possibility to have less than nothing. Such is the case of the negative integer numbers, for example "-1, -4 o -6". Therefore, it is possible that inside the belief system that occident holds in this age, to have nothing.
However, the truth is that as soon as someone is alive, there is no such a thing as having nothing. If this was the case, it would be enough for that person to develop any type of activity, such as offering services for cleaning backyards, or pack someone else’s bags at the supermarket or wash a car in return for money or food for his services. This is in agreement with the structure of thought expressed in the bible, which states that a person, his ideas and will initiated creation.
Going back to the previous idea, are we suggesting that positive and negative numbers do not exist, neither zero? In fact, they do exist, but just as tools to express reality, as instruments that allow us to understand what surrounds us, and work with that. However, think how a positive amount of kelvin degrees, for example 267.15, is equal to a negative amount of -5 Celsius degrees. These numbers, not so many of the logical relationship between them, are conventions regarding amount, but no truths.
Now think, what will happen if we expressed a $-235.000 debt of a checking account but not in terms that the debtor actually has "less than nothing"?
When a child participates of the school system, he is immersed in a system of thoughts that establishes and produces a type of reality in his mind, that will later materialize in decisions. At the same time, these decisions will be, to a large extent, the ones that will determine his life condition. Now, this doesn’t just happen to one child, but to a whole community.
Progress involves going from one state to another. But change means that the later state is better than the former. Once again, the reading of the beginning and the final state will depend of the belief system in which he has been trained. So, more important that the content of an educational curriculum, more relevant that what "it is said" is what "it is not said".
For example, the actual system of education says that to be a great guy in life you need to be really good in mathematics. However, the best chef of the world might not use in his life or job more than the maths learnt in the first three years of school. The squared equations are not responsible for the long waiting lists to taste one of his dishes.
The standard educational system works as a dark labyrinth full of abysses of frustration and dead ends. These paths take people nowhere but pits of nonsense that swallow complete societies that can not see neither walk through the path of a better tomorrow.
What if we set out an educational system that nurtures the next generations with the necessary love to wish a constant improvement of life conditions in their community, the power of the faith to see and believe in those improvements that will train them in self control and will empower them to decide in love and make progress in faith? This type of education is able to remove entire towns from the gloomy lands of orphanhood and make their communities in gardens of healthy and abundant creativity and hope, opening the roads of true progress established in justice and truth.