A better World with Education


How to build a better World with Education

Empathy, solidarity and collaborative work are fundamental tools for students to build a better world through problem solving using technology.


Amin Ghori: this is the name that an interdisciplinary team gave to an educational project to face some problems that arose in a school. The underlying idea, although well known, was very powerful: if we want to build great things or face great challenges, it will be better if we do so by joining forces with others. Just as a small ant could not build the entire colony by itself, so we cannot create a better world in isolation. Empathy, solidarity and joint work become a necessity.


Needless to say, 2020 has been a year in which the world changed. Today we have in front of us the effects of the pandemic on education, where we see the increase in the gap between those who have access to technology and those who do not have it, some being able to continue with the online learning process and others completely removed from that possibility.


And what about climate change? We are facing a challenge that cannot wait, it is urgent to find solutions today, but, how to address this problem from education without causing anguish, fear and pessimism to our students?

Working collaboratively, showing solidarity with others and learning to see the future with hope requires an educational process:

Technology, which although it was there for a long time, this year burst onto the educational scene with such force that it is impossible to ignore it, how can we incorporate it as an ally that is here to stay and not see it as an enemy that destroys jobs and advances by leaps and bounds impossible to reach?


Observing this panorama and trying to envision a future can be very intimidating for any of us, and more so if we do it thinking individually. This is where the “ant force” has relevance, since it allows us to visualize a better future if we work together without waiting for a superhero to come to rescue us.


But it turns out that working collaboratively, showing solidarity with others and learning to see the future with hope and from a realistic and positive place is not achieved spontaneously; it requires an educational process.


What characteristics should an educational proposal have to help us build a better world? Surely many, here I propose some essential ones:

1. 1. You can: The first step must be to believe that each and every one has something to contribute to make this world a better place. Therefore, we have to start from empowering the student, raising their expectations regardless of the conditions in which they find themselves; he, from his trench, can generate a change. The higher our expectations of our student, the more likely they are to go further.


2.  2. Empathy: The need to stop thinking about yourself, change individualism to turn your gaze to the other. Ask ourselves what do those around me need? How can I help them? What can I do for them? This world will be better when we change the expression “my world” to “our world.”


3.  3. Collaborative work: If we want to go far, we will have to do it together with others. Union and interdisciplinary as an important part of the learning process. In this complex world, with so many advances, you cannot be an expert in everything, so we require the skills and strengths of others to create solutions to the challenges that arise. 

4. Learning through error: See the error as a fundamental part of the learning process, not be afraid of making mistakes as long as we learn, analyze and advance so as not to make that mistake again … although we will surely make others. We must avoid wanting to train “perfect students” who are not allowed to make mistakes. That which causes, among many other things, is paralysis and the fear of acting and trying new things. 

5. Imagination and creativity: Promote and stimulate in students their imagination, creativity to solve problems in different ways; thinking differently, dreaming about “how yes” is possible … here art is the indispensable means to achieve it.

6. Excitement and fun: Learning is fun and entertaining. As human beings we get involved in what excites us and if we want students to learn to build a better world they must be passionate and have fun during the process. Why do young people sometimes learn more by playing a video game? Because generally the video game captures them and excites them emotionally. Let’s do the same in our classes.

7. Create technology: Train students as creators of technology, not consumers. The solution too many of the challenges that lie ahead will come through technology. Here the essential thing is not to wait for others to generate it; our students can be the ones to do it. In this way, technology becomes a tool to build a better world and also a means to achieve a comprehensive education since through it you can learn many other things such as science, mathematics, engineering and art.

All of the above may sound very good, however, now we have a challenge:
How to bring all these ideas to the classroom?
How to land the theory in daily practice? 

After several years of working with some of these ideas, at Pinion Education we decided two years ago to generate a more complete educational proposal which we call “The 2030 mission” in which we turn all these elements into a program to be implemented in the classroom.

The starting point for this proposal was to determine the purpose we want to achieve: “For students to build a better world through problem solving with technology.” To achieve this, we selected two methodologies that serve as the foundation and means to achieve it: Design Thinking or Design Thinking and Project-Based Learning; we also align ourselves with the Sustainable Development Goals and the STEAM model.

The process to work this in the classroom is as follows:

The first step is to propose to the student a real situation according to their needs and interests as well as their level of maturity. This situation is related to some SDG but from a positive perspective, that is, how can we propose a solution? What can we do? What is in my hands to solve? For example, for children in 1st grade of primary, present a situation related to a health ODS such as: “Grandparents sometimes have a hard time bending down to pick up things that fall to the ground, how we can create a solution that allows them to pick them up? Easily With this they generate a garbage collection stick in a maker classroom. Here empowerment is promoted “You can” solve this problem.
The second step is that, in a collaborative way, they investigate the problem to be solved and the needs of the user, which in this example is the grandfather. With this, empathy with the other is promoted.

Then it will be necessary for them to imagine and design their proposed solution. Here comes creativity, emotion, as well as the application of the results of your research. How long should the cane be? What will be the best material to make it? How far is the hand from the ground when an adult is standing? How much weight can the collecting cane support? As you can see, math, engineering, and science will be involved in this design.
Later it will be necessary for them to apply it, for their ideas to come true. For this they must build their technological solution. In this step, in addition to promoting collaboration and communication between colleagues, tolerance to frustration is fostered since they will surely make mistakes that they will have to solve until they achieve a prototype that works according to the user’s needs.

And. Finally, they will have to present and disseminate their technological solution proposal to the community. Here communication skills with an external audience are developed.
The teacher will become a guide who accompanies his students. Who encourages, inspires, excites and promotes mutual respect.

For this proposal to be carried out, a central element is required: the teacher. He is the one who materializes all these ideas and makes them come true. What characteristics must the educator have in order for his students to be able to build a better world? Without a doubt we have to rethink and rethink the teaching role since now it will become a guide that accompanies the learning process of its students; who does not know everything, since it is impossible to know, but who seeks together with them to solve the doubts that arise. He is the one who encourages, inspires and excites his students; believe in them, promote mutual respect, empathize with them, so that they learn to empathize with others; works collaboratively with other teachers to join forces and demonstrate by example that it is possible to solve any challenge with the help of others.

If we can ensure that our children and young people are sure that they can analyze current problems, approach them in a systematic way to find the best solutions, working together with others and for others, with creativity and emotion; using technology as an ally and a means to achieve an end; And in addition, with this we achieve that they see that their actions have an impact around them, looking to the future with hope, without a doubt we will have built a better world through education.


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