Education: from human training to the construction of ethical subjcts

This text elaborates both a criticism and a proposal with regard to the educational issue. The critic denounces the consensual conception that ascribes the means and ends of Education, as a whole, to the current educational processes. It highlights that such a conception hangs together the pragmatic, utilitarian vision prevailing in both the political and social order of the world, and the role assigned to school education: preparing learners to exercise their citizenship. It also explores - and denies - the close relationship between the attribute of citizen and individuals who take hold of knowledge and skills considered necessary to their integration as an efficient force within the productive sectors. This paper does not recognize access to knowledge and skills but as part of the human training process. As for its propositional aspect, it stresses the concept of Education as the integral process of human training, since every newborn human being needs to receive a new condition in order to exist in the world of culture. This process includes the acquisition of products that are part of the civilizing heritage and have contributed to exceeding the limits of nature. Among them are rational knowledge, which promoted the scientific and cultural development of manhood, and the conscience that each human being is the very producer of the reproduction conditions of his own life and of the social forms of its organization. The latter must be oriented by the principles of solidarity, recognition of the value of individualities, respect to differences, and by the discipline of wills. The Human Being, once he does not receive any determination by nature, may construct his own way of life on the bases of Free will, autonomy to organize his manners of living and responsibility for the direction of his actions. This human feature constitutes the foundation of the ethical subject training, which has to be the essential objective of Education, and to which whatever educational practice, including those concerned with school, must be subjected. Finally, the text addresses what the author believes to be the future of School. Insofar as, in modern society, it is becoming the most legitimate space to carry out the education of children and teen-agers, it will have to change in order to embrace this function that will fall on it as a social injunction: being not only a place for schooling, but also, and above all, one of human and ethical subject training.

Education and human training; Education and ethical subjects; Autonomy and education; Education and liberty; Education versus schooling

Centro de Estudos Educação e Sociedade - Cedes Av. Berttrand Russel, 801 - Fac. de Educação - Anexo II - 1 andar - sala 2, CEP: 13083-865, +55 12 99162 5609, Fone / Fax: + 55 19 3521-6710 / 6708 - Campinas - SP - Brazil