Educating for the XXII century

Historian, with a doctorate degree at USP, and professor at Unicamp, Leandro Karnal is recognized as one of the greatest opinion leaders in Brazil today. He is the author of several publications on ethics and education – some include the best-selling lists in the country – among them, Conversations with a Young Teacher, a book that talks about practical experience in the classroom beyond pedagogical theories.

On May 10th, Leandro spoke to educators and education managers during Bett Educar in São Paulo. In the lecture “Modern education: the role of schools in a world in constant movement,” he shared his own experiences and frustrations, analyzed the current education scenario in Brazil and the changing role of teachers in times of liquid modernity, borrowing Zygmunt Bauman’s term, causing the participants to the think about the new posture expected in the classroom and the challenges that technology brings to education.

We have gathered some of Karnal’s ideias on education:

  • Historically, young people had to learn from their elders. That doesn’t happen anymore. They have technology that empowers them. For the first time in history, students have more control of technology than we do.
  • In the past, schools aimed at teachers and the system. A good student was the one who was able to fit the system and those considered rebellious were those who did not tolerate the monotony of the classroom. Maybe these were the smart ones, in the end.
  • People born in the 21st century have a life expectancy of more than a hundred years. That means they will be 22nd century people. Our challenge is: what can we teach today, in 2018, that will be useful in 2080?
  • 21st century is being dominated by a new criterion: intelligence. To have intelligence is to know how to manage ideas. If you think about it, the world’s largest hosting chain, Air BnB, does not own a single hotel. The largest transportation network, Uber, does not have a single car. They are just good ideas.
  • We need to make it clear that we don’t need to have tablets or expensive electronic devices in the classroom. A class is revolutionary when the education project is revolutionary.
  • The teacher teaches through his posture, his conversation, his values. Students may learn more from these things than from content. We are always, and above all, ethics teachers.

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