SourcesFrom the Latin verb educare, related to educere (<ex educere) ‘to lead out’. According to Pierre Bourdieu, education is a socialization process aimed at reproducing the social and cultural order. Ever since the crisis of educational systems at the end of the 1960s, when many countries experienced serious economic and political difficulties in trying to adapt their traditional (formal) educational institutions to new socioeconomic conditions, a threefold distinction was introduced- in the context of government policies- between formal education, informal education and non-formal education. Formal education is imparted in primary and secondary schools and other official institutions; it involves institutionalised systems of schooling, and learning through systematic instruction, of the kind imparted to children and teen-agers in order to ‘prepare’ them for their future working lives. (Adult education extends the same principles into “life-long learning” under Post-Fordist socioeconomic conditions.) In this framework, “education”, “school”, “university” and all similar concepts do not merely designate institutions of knowledge, but also a process of teaching and learning in relation to a closed curriculum. Non-formal education is connected with civil society and community life; and informal education covers almost everything else: daily interactions at home, at work, and shared relationships among members of society. In practice, owing to the nature of learning in itself, these distinctions are easily blurred, especially that between non-formal and informal education. A new concept was added to these three categories in the 1970s: permanent or life-long learning.
Genealogies of practice
- Las Misiones Pedagógicas (España)
The Pedagogical Missions were a project conceived in 1931 by the government of the Spanish Republic to bring literacy to remote villages in rural areas. Teachers, school inspectors, artists and intellectuals travelled to the most underprivileged areas of the country to build libraries, show movies, reproductions of artworks, bring phonograph records and gramophones, teach music, organise open-air theatre representations, etc. Literacy was understood in an expanded sense that incorporated visual culture, and the Missions included an Itinerant Museum, a People’s Theatre, and a Cinema Section. Filmmaker José Val del Omar took part in the project and shot about 40 documentaries. He later developed a “Kinaesthetic Pedagogy” project at Spain’s National Library, based on a Photo-Audio-Cine-Archive where audiovisual heritage might be preserved.
- Paideia, escuela libre. 15 años de educación antiautoritaria. (España) , 1993
A film in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of Paideia School, explaining how its teaching methods worked during the early years. Paideia Free School was established in Mérida (Spain) in 1978 by teachers Concha Castaño, María J. Checa and Josefa Martín although there had been earlier attempts to implement its Escuela-en-Libertad (‘school-in-freedom’) philosophy, which the authorities had aborted during the Franco regime.
- High School Frederick Wiseman, 1968
No educational system aspires to merely pass on a simple “knowledge of facts” to the next generation, but (ideally) aims rather at transmitting a set of values which reinforce social conditioning. This documentary shows us how the process works as it takes us through a typical day at Northeast High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we observe the values and the ideologies that transpire behind the interactions between teachers, parents, students and administrative staff.
- Two solutions for one problem / Dos soluciones para un problema (Iran) Abbas Kiarostami, 1975
Short film about two schoolboys trying to solve a conflict after one of them returns a book to the other that is torn. Kiarostami exemplifies the spiral of violence and counter violence in an easily graspable way, and strikes a balance which demonstrates that both kids bear equal losses. The alternative solution is a simple invocation to help each other out instead of starting a fight in order to preserve a friendship and not have to cut unnecessary losses. The film was produced by Iran’s state organization called the Centre for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults.