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To be or not be fully aware of who we are, this is the question

Maria Rosa Buxarrais i Marta Burguet are convinced that a pedagogy of interiority is necessary.

Maria Rosa Buxarrais i Marta Burguet are convinced that a pedagogy of interiority is necessary.

Seven authors explain the pedagogy of interiority from interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks: philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and pedagogy.

Seven authors explain the pedagogy of interiority from interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks: philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and pedagogy.

As a result of a request by Editorial Graó, both lecturers have worked on an excellent book entitled <i>Aprender a ser</i>.

As a result of a request by Editorial Graó, both lecturers have worked on an excellent book entitled Aprender a ser.

23/02/2017

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Maria Rosa Buxarrais and Marta Burguet –professors at the Faculty of Education and researchers in the Research Group of Moral Education (GREM)- are convinced that a pedagogy of interiority is necessary. “The stressful world we live in makes it necessary for us to be aware of who we are, of what we are. It is necessary to stop and try a mindfulness exercise”, says Buxarrais. “Actually, the “being” is something genuine. We all “are” from the moment we are born. But, “learning to be” needs tools and resources that enable us unfolding all potentials of what we already are and help us understand why we are the way we are” says Burguet.

As a result of a request by Editorial Graó, both lecturers have worked on an excellent book entitled Aprender a ser. Por una pedagogía de la interioridad. The book combines theoretical ideas with practical examples and it highlights the extreme importance of the basic learning of the “learning of how to be”. In the first part, seven authors explain this learning from interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks: philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and pedagogy. The second part shows examples that are being carried out successfully, with very diverse educational contexts, promoting the development of emotional and mental dimensions of the being.
 

 

The pedagogy of interiority from different theoretical perspectives

“What we live, what we think or feel and what happens inside us is important at school and should be subject of pedagogy. Lots of us believe a pedagogy of interiority can influence both the quality and the view with what we treat others as well as the depth with what we live”, says Lluís Ylla, assistant director of the Jesuïtes Educació Foundation, in the prologue.

The philosophical side of this subject is covered by Margarita Mauri, professor of Ethics of the Faculty of Philosophy of the UB. Mauri notes that “the way towards the ideal moral should start with what Greek wisdom said, ‘know yourself’ and should continue with the discovery of the reality”, and analyzes the concepts of existence and essence, inviting readers to consider a vision of the being which is essentially universal and existentially unique.

David Bueno, researcher at the Department of Genetics of the University of Barcelona, and expert on developmental biology and neurosciences, and the relation between human behavior and education, focuses on what knowledge brings to the study of self-awareness and self-assessment of the self. “Education, widely understood (familiar, social, cultural, regulated, ec.) contributes to determine specific neuronal paths in the brain, strengthening or removing them. This is why education is so powerful. In the case of interiority analysis, this happens when the process of reflection and conscience is stimulated to reach self-conscience”.


To bring the “learning to be” in class, one has to start with oneself

The book is encouraging lots of professionals from the education fields to try some changes out. Buxarrais says that “first, lecturers have to work on their interiority and have to study to do so. The existential questions have to start within oneself. If people don’t do this they will not achieve anything even if they read the book”. Burguet warns that “it is necessary to make this personal exercise and invest some time and place in it. This means you have to leave other things to spend time on this. When you detect some need in yourself, it gets easier. And it is important to know this is a subject for all your life. You will never stop learning. This work needs a slow education, and that goes against society’s hurried rhythm” she adds. “First, you need time to think –says Buxarrais- and this time has to be conscious. Consciousness is the key”.

Bruguet had a teacher in high school who spent fifteen minutes a day on relaxation and consciousness and body perception. She believes that “if children start learning to pause to think and be aware of their bodies and feelings, they will have this habit in their adult lives and will need this pause, this moment of relax and calm to be aware of what they are, of their bodies”. Buxarrais think that “schools find it difficult to step into this change because it goes against the current flow, the daily habits and what schools are assessing nowadays is, for instance, whether the academic performance has a good position in PISA”, but she is still positive: “we were in a moment when we had forgot that we are people and have a conscience. This is like everything. Everything comes back, there is a pendulum effect”.


A model that can be used in families, companies and institutions

Burguet and Buxarrais are part of a recent association, created two months ago, called La casa de l’ésser which takes care of the wellbeing of people in all its dimensions as an engine for transformation and construction of a more equal and creative society. “All parts of society have to be aware that we need to raise awareness, and work on the self. We want to bring the learning to be in companies, institutions and homes. Changes are always hard but there is a growing demand worldwide”, says Buxarrais.

“There are already many schools applying this and spending some time on relaxation and internalization. In some way, its legacy will come thanks to this, because all these children who have worked on internalization will need these relaxing and mindfulness moments when they are older” says Bruguet. The researcher warns that “sometimes these moments of pause create ideas that go against the flow and may not be of common social interest. Depending on the situation, sometimes it is better to keep mass movements that don’t think a lot. Free people are always more dangerous than people who are easily manipulated”.

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