Sonia Brito Rodríguez | Table 2 - Educational Session, CUMIPAZ 2017

Sonia Brito Rodríguez | Table 2 - Educational Session, CUMIPAZ 2017

Coordinator of the Integral Training Plan

Silva Henriquez Catholic University


Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen from evocative routes. I wanted to say hello because I believe it is the first step, to… as the previous speaker said, when we take off our glasses, the hoops, I do not know!, the person remains, the person remains intact with courage and dignity.

To also say that today we share a determined space, which is this space in specific, where we are trying to find some significant clues and some clues to improve some issues referring to life in general and to education in particular. Therefore, my presentation will refer to that.

I want to share with you today the presentation: The competency-based model as a pedagogical bridge for a formation in values.

Saying firsthand that historically the educational models situate the pedagogic educational fact outside the person, relieving theories, methodologies, strategies, evaluations, exclusively from the technical aspect, leaving relegated the person from the student and the academic.

These educational ways many times are made with pre established schemes and imported, foreigners, that do not respond to the identity and to our culture; at the same time, one can be in danger to opt for unknown and sophisticated schemes, that are impractical and that do not identify us.

I also mention that a model is a theoretical cut, an idea, a design that can remain in an intention. The important thing is to think the education and act consistent; to look ---as some of us say--- in a polyhedral way understanding that in the formation of people to transform societies multiple actors, theories, practices are required from the transdisciplinary (and there I also share with what the previous speaker was saying: Crossing the barrier from the discipline), with the challenge of not parcelling out the learning that impacts a person with multiple complexities.

The usual is that they teach us to understand the world in a parcelled way from disciplines that are not rubbed, that do not dialogue; understanding that reality is not static, that it is a construction that can be created and recreated with nuances, mixtures, interpretations, and multiple ways to carry them out.

I add other components, such as (which in are in disuse in the Academy, some issues that in my judgment are fundamental): Saying and taking action -for example- around love, happiness, fraternity, tenderness, compassion, comprehension… As if -like I said- people will fragment or leave a piece of themselves to enter the educational field.

I believe we have dehumanized education and have instructed. I believe that if we do not incorporate the ethical component the results are catastrophic; and we know I am not exaggerating, because we have prefixed the satisfiers before the common benefit, technique over the person. The university has been understood as a market where credentialism is offered and not a formation according to the necessities of society, this one responding to other rationalities.

We have formed functional technocrats to a capitalist system that, in my opinion, is insatiable. For that reason, I repeat and I strongly say this: it is urgent to incorporate the ethical act.

In this regard, it is necessary to make an anthropological, ethical, pedagogical turn, in order to resituate and place the person at the center of the teaching and learning process, strengthening their talents, strengthening (worth the redundancy, but strengthening) more strongly those potentialities and strengths to achieve self-transformation through a formation that has a giant pretense, which is to educate the human being completely.

Therefore, it is necessary to project a broad training to the cognitive, procedural and attitudinal; driving ⎯as  some of us say⎯, the semantic fields; pushing the semantic fields beyond the border of the hegemonic, to join the wisdom of intersubjectivity; and in that way learn to live together, to live together, to know how to act, both from the center and from the peripheries of our societies.

The challenge is magnanimous, urgent and substantial. In my presentation, I contextualize it through a competency-based curricular model that seeks to educate in values and face these challenges.

The speech will be divided into 3 points:

  • Generic competences as a pedagogical bridge for education in values.

  • The profile of educational subjects in a curriculum based on competence.

  • Education for Peace

  • And the case of the comprehensive training plan of SH.

Generic competences as a pedagogical bridge for education in values.

The generic competences refer to the abilities, skills and attributes that students develop on a personal, transcendent and ethical level independent of the profession; the competences, to be effective, require a context, a pedagogical fact, didactic and evaluative strategies, that allow the deployment of the people in situation.

Learning in this way requires the mobilization of knowledge and thinking differently; that is, make a qualitative leap: move from content to the deployment of learning. These have the purpose of achieving the student's integral development, since the competences are not reduced only to knowledge, skills and abilities, but also include the values and attitude. The university, in that sense, constitutes a good space for ethical learning.

There are certain challenges that in my opinion are fundamental when it comes to comprehensive training; and one of them is to live a society; but not just any society, but in a democratic society, in a society where we all fit, where we are all important.

Now the challenge is: How to move from this speech, which is apparently easy to say, to an action? No? And it seems that we all agree on that challenge here.

Moving on to the second point, which in my opinion is relevant, which has to do with:

The profile of educational subjects in a curriculum based on competence.

One of the great debates of university education is the question of the educational subject, located, epochal, which forces us to move towards epistemologies that push ⎯as I said⎯ knowledge towards other semantic fields. This demands the use of a curricular and teaching design that allows for the construction of environments to foster meaningful learning, considering the context, the students, the academics and the institutional imprint.

Each institution that we represent has an imprint; certain institutional documents that are our guide: a mission, a vision, in short..., that somehow ⎯and that we can question, right?⎯ distinguishes us from others.

Maybe the question: Why do we have to be distinguished so much if we are forming the subject himself to serve society?

We listen..., very common to hear, of the seal, each institution has a certain seal; and in some way we offer certain different, differentiated curricula, but in the long run they will carry the same society; and suddenly we find universities ⎯as I said in 2015⎯ first, second and third category: universities with research, teaching universities, university with high accreditation, university with average accreditation, in short..., as if the students they were of the first ⎯I mean⎯ and second category. That I think is a subject that we have to review.

That is to say, for me the challenge of universities is to diagnose, converse, dialogue, and see what we are offering to society, what kind of professional we are delivering to our society.

For a curriculum based on competence to be operational and have an impact, it requires, in addition to a curricular redesign, a redesign in teaching; and for this a highly competent and highly committed academic is required. And perhaps the first phrase that occurs to me is: how can we unlearn what we have learned? That is, if we are going to say the same in other ways, having similar results and impacts, something is not contributing. What do we have to do in that sense? I would say that to form us, which is not the same as training us. We can train ourselves and be technically impeccable; but if we do not do a training, the truth is that we will continue working the same.

For this it is also important to incorporate certain didactics in our classrooms; that is, problem-based learning, case studies, social projects, service-learning, the close approximation of students to social reality, action research; that is, how we are investigating in the classroom with the students to learn in a better way.

A third point that I wanted to discuss with you has to do with:

Education for Peace

I said to them, maybe a little strong, because I feel very strongly about this: How can we work for peace? Understanding that this is an imperative that must congregate the entire society. We have heard the previous days how… maybe we our hearts are collected when we hear that we are destroying our environment and that we are no longer leaving our future generations a lot of our planet. Our planet is rich, it is coarse, but every time it is impoverishing because maybe we have not spoken or because maybe we have… we have been functional to a system, right ?, that somehow also corrupts us.

I say then that, in these moments, where the world is threatened with nuclear tests, terrorisms and political radicalisms, peace emerges as a longing that awakens from the well-off silence of the society of well being. Pressures that seemed practically overcome after the Second World War, such as nationalism, racism and the arms race, are reinstated as ideological options that lead to the loss of the sense of dignity of each human being.

For its part, I want to refer to my country, Chile; this country also does not escape what is experienced on a global scale; during these months we are witnessing an electoral contest where the interests seem to be accentuated more in the political partisan struggle than in overcoming the inequality that destroys all national coexistence.

In addition, Chile faces other great challenges, since its cartography has certainly changed. People of other cultures, of other colors, of other traditions circulate in the social spaces of our country; this places us to review public policies. And there is very complex problem for us, because we still act with… we do not have a migration policy but it is a policy of alienation, which operates from distrust, operates as from looking abroad, to the stranger, also thinking that today many times migrations are forced, people who have had to leave violently from their place of residence.

In this global and national scenario where the fear of a warlike conflict is established on a universal scale, where the other is perceived as an enemy and where beliefs become fundamentalist ideologies, the university becomes a key actor in the formation of people, which teaches how to peacefully resolve conflict.

I’m going to move on to the fourth point. I will move to a fourth point that I am going to tell you very succinctly…

The curricular renewal (that our university made from 2014 to date)

The university chose a competency-based curriculum; and for this, the first thing it does is to renew the Common Plan, which today it is called the Integral Training Plan. The Integral Training Plan is a transversal formation that the university has, where all the students in their formative trajectory must attend six curricular activities, referred to the personal, citizen and transcendent formation of the students.

It is interesting because we have a curricular structure that has axes and lines; the axes are referred to the generic identity competences, which have to do with the solidarity commitment of life, the transforming social responsibility, the critical reflexivity; and another one referred to common generic competences, which are the most typical: collaborative work, effective communication, in short.

What interests us about this? Is that the student is not only trained in disciplinary issues ⎯which is obvious that the university has to commit to form a competent professional⎯ but to form a person exercising a profession: good people exercising a profession; and in that way we believe that we are going to be contributing to our society.

I conclude by saying this: what I am putting there are my two children when they were little, today they are a little bigger than that. My son finishes fourth grade now, I get a little excited because it is important to me. He finishes fourth grade now and we had to make him a letter; and I said in the letter… I will not give you the details, because I say “son…” and everything else, right? But I say:

One has to go through life, it is a path with multiple possibilities. Sometimes we want to reach the goals and we forget the process. You have to enjoy the road: live the trails, breathe the aromas, become accompanied, accompany, breathe deeply and move forward.

The happiness that you build is in each step: in the little things, in the gestures, in the smiles, in the hugs, in the supports. Be assured that when you walk there are many people who are watching your tracks.

That’s what I think education should be. That is, we always look at the goal, we are thinking about triumph, we are thinking about success...; we urge our students who are leaving high school because they are trying to be good people for the future. What we have to do is train good people for now, good children for now, good young people for now. The future will be added.

Thank you very much.