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Learning in the Present and for the Future*
Recent times have been marked by momentous change and an evolution of new ways of living in and thinking about the world around us. This implies that each of us creates our own repertoire of responses and interests that then become part of our knowledge. This is our current way of learning, both formally and informally, because change also needs to be learned -- both out of necessity for existential explanation and for survival.
If each generation conforms itself to the changes of the times, then it is possible to believe that each generation has its own historic mission to fulfill. This belief forces us, as educators, parents and committed citizens, to ask ourselves:
What will our historical mission be, and how can we predict those of the future?
How can we best make use of today’s knowledge to predict the challenges of the future?
One possible answer is to prepare a list of behaviors, skills and procedures that must be present in teaching. This, however, does not take into account that there are generations that forget, omit or desert their calling, thereby leaving their mission unfulfilled. It would appear that this has been the case of our generation in its efforts to understand the course of recent world events. Is this due to a defeated attitude of apathy, unwillingness, a lack of clarity with ones own self, the feeling of global failure or the superficiality that currently affect our actions?
Before we can think about the content needed for learning, we must clarify our beliefs and principles about thinking and feeling in order to assume responsibility for the times in which we live. Because it is our deeply held convictions that will help to anticipate and predict the future.
Today, more than ever, we can reaffirm that the best way to gain perspective into the future is to look backwards. The future depends on us, our actions and our ideas. We must discover the framework of our own learning, since it will form the foundation for learning in the future.
ideas, thoughts, and opinions expressed are not necessarily of the OAS nor
of its member states. The opinions expressed are the responsibility of the