By Manuela Montoya Sefair, Communications’ intern
One of the main challenges we face when we enter the educational world is the attractiveness component. Here we find a couple of questions like: what do we mean when we say that? or how does education has to be attractive? and how to achieve it?
But, before beginning to answer those questions, it is pertinent to land a more important doubt that is: why are we talking in Coschool about this? Well, yesterday (Wednesday, July 17) we had the opportunity to meet in the same space with our friends from Fundación Corona, Kuepa, EduEmplea,Margarita Sáenz(Executive Director of Enseña por Colombia) and Peter Tabichi, the best teacher in the world, who was visiting Colombia from Kenya. In this meeting, we were able to talk about the projects of each organization and start a discussion about the challenges and the educational landscape of our country.
Now, entering the context of the conversation we had, Ricardo Pineda(director of EduEmplea) raised the point that today brings us to this blog: how do we make education attractive, to draw attention to work in education? An issue that joins those we discussed at the beginning.
What do we mean when we talk about attractiveness?
Although we know that this adjective is not contemplated by the Real Academia de la Lengua Española(Royal Academy of the Spanish Language), we consider it necessary and unique to describe the level of attraction of a thing. Therefore, for this context, we refer to attractiveness when we say that something is attractive. This means that it attracts our attention, which arouses our interest. Thus, when we direct that adjective towards education, the panorama becomes more diffuse, because joining these two concepts is a challenge for many.
In our social environment, we find many things that attract us, some very particular, such as films of a certain genre, and others more collectively, such as football. But those hobbies, so to speak do not normally need a boost for people to be interested or consider them sexy. But, other areas do not have that path to attractiveness so easy, as it is the case with education.
Now, how so that education has to be attractive?
Education has many actors and ways of experiencing it, whether from the student’s perspective, through the teacher’s view or the outlook of any educator (coordinators, rectors, psychologists, among others.). The attractiveness for each of these is different and, therefore, the task of generating attraction is also different.
For the student, it is about finding interest in the subjects and the content they are learning; on the other hand, the teacher must focus his efforts in looking for innovative dynamics to facilitate the student’s challenge; and for others, it consists in finding that factor that sets us apart and, in some way, contribute to making education sexy for those who are not in this world.
Understanding this, it is necessary to say that the greatest challenge of education in terms of its attractiveness is to make people who are not within this educational world consider it something sexy, get them to be interested in entering it, working in and for it.
How to make education sexy?
Over time we have managed to identify several aspects that do not allow us to achieve a greater interest in and for education such as, for example, curricula not adapted to the needs of students, not very innovative methodologies, low salaries, administrative and academic procedures and a lack of meaning versus the usefulness of it.
Now, taking this into account, what can be done to improve this situation? Andreas Schleicher argues that, to begin, “the key agents of change must be better identified, defended and found more effective approaches to expand and disseminate innovations.” This means providing value to the role of the educator and finding differentiated and innovative methodologies and approaches that print the classrooms of creative learning strategies.
That is a possible way to embark on our path to convert our educational environment into a sexier one. But we must understand that it is not only about permeating the economic and administrative aspects of it, but that we must ensure that there is an intellectual appeal that seduce students, teachers and other educators, even the rest of the people who are not yet in this world.