Friday, February 7, 2020

Pope Francis tells Educators "One cannot educate without inducing beauty, without inducing the heart to beauty." Full Text


Hall of the Consistory
Friday, February 7, 2020

Dear friends,

I am happy to greet you on the occasion of the seminar promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on "Education: the Global Compact". I am delighted that you reflect on this issue, because today it is necessary to combine efforts to achieve a broad educational alliance in order to train mature people, capable of rebuilding, rebuilding the relational fabric and creating a more fraternal humanity (cf. Speech to the Body Diplomat, 9 January 2020).

Integral and quality education and educational levels continue to be a global challenge. Despite the objectives and goals formulated by the United Nations (UN) and other bodies (see Objective 4), and the important efforts made by some countries, education continues to be unequal among the world population. Poverty, discrimination, climate change, the globalization of indifference, the constification of the human being make the flowering of millions of creatures wither. In fact, they represent for many an almost insurmountable wall that prevents reaching the goals and goals of sustainable and guaranteed development that the people have proposed.

Primary education today is a normative ideal all over the world. The empirical data that you, academic gentlemen, share, indicate that progress has been made in the participation of boys and girls in education. The enrollment of young people in primary education is now almost universal and it can be observed that the gender gap has narrowed. This is a commendable result. However, each generation should reconsider how to transmit its knowledge and values ​​to the following one, because it is through education that the human being reaches his maximum potential and becomes a conscious, free and responsible being. Thinking about education is thinking about future generations and the future of humanity; it is therefore something deeply rooted in hope and requires generosity and courage.

Educating is not only transmitting concepts, this would be an inheritance of the Enlightenment that must be overcome, that is, not only transmitting concepts, but it is a task that requires all those responsible for it - family, school and social, cultural, religious institutions. .. - participate in solidarity. In this sense, in some countries it is said that the educational pact was broken because this social participation in education is lacking. To educate, one must try to integrate the language of the head with the language of the heart and the language of the hands. That a pupil thinks what he feels and what he does, feels what he thinks and what he does, does what he feels and what he thinks. Total integration. Promoting the learning of the head, heart and hands, intellectual and socio-emotional education, the transmission of individual and social values ​​and virtues, the teaching of a committed and supportive citizenship with justice, and imparting skills and the knowledge that educates young people in the world of work and in society, families, schools and institutions become essential vehicles for the empowerment of the next generation. So yes, there is no more talk of a broken educational pact. The pact is this.

Today it is in crisis, the so-called "educational pact" has broken; the educational pact that is created between the family, the school, the homeland and the world, culture and cultures. It really broke and broke; it cannot be glued or reassembled. We cannot mend, except through a renewed effort of generosity and universal agreement. Broken educational pact means that both society, the family, and the different institutions that are called to educate delegate the decisive educational task to others, and so the different basic institutions and the same states that have renounced the educational pact escape from this responsibility.
Today, we are called, in some way, to renew and reintegrate everyone's commitment - people and institutions - in education, to redo a new educational pact, because only in this way education can change. For this reason, knowledge, culture, sport, science, fun and entertainment must be integrated; for this reason it is necessary to build bridges of connection, to overcome, allow me to speak, to overcome the "small things" that enclose us in our small world, and to go to the global open sea, respecting all traditions. The new generations must clearly understand their own tradition and culture - this is not negotiated, it is negotiable - in relation to the others, in order to develop their self-understanding, facing and accepting diversity and cultural changes. This will promote a culture of dialogue, a culture of encounter and mutual understanding, in a peaceful, respectful and tolerant way. An education that enables us to identify and promote true human values ​​in an intercultural and interreligious perspective.

The family needs to be enhanced in the new educational pact, since its responsibility begins already in the womb, at the moment of birth. But mothers, fathers - grandparents - and the family as a whole, in its primary educational role, need help to understand, in the new global context, the importance of this initial stage of life, and be prepared to act Consequently. One of the fundamental ways to improve the quality of education at school level is to obtain greater participation of families and local communities in educational projects. And these are part of this integral, timely and universal education.

At this moment, I wish to pay tribute also to the teachers - always underpaid - because in the face of the challenge of education, they move forward with courage and commitment. They are the "craftsmen" of future generations. With their knowledge, patience and dedication they transmit a way of being that is transformed into wealth, not material, but immaterial, they create the man and woman of tomorrow. It is a great responsibility. Therefore, in the new educational pact, the function of teachers, as agents of education, must be recognized and supported by all possible means. If our goal is to offer each individual and each community the level of knowledge necessary to have their own autonomy and be able to cooperate with others, it is important to focus on the training of educators with the highest quality standards, at all academic levels. . To support and promote this process, it is necessary that they have adequate national, international and private resources at their disposal, so that, all over the world, they can carry out their task effectively.

In this Seminar on "Education: the Global Compact", you, academics of various universities among the most respected in the world, have identified new levers to make education more humane and fair, more satisfying, and more important for different needs of 21st century economies and societies. Among other things, you looked at the new science of the mind, the brain and education, the promise of technology to reach children who currently have no learning opportunities, and the very important topic of education for young refugees and immigrants in all the world. You have addressed the effects of growing inequality and climate change on education, as well as the tools to reverse the effects of both and strengthen the foundations for a more human, healthier, fairer and happier society.

I spoke of three languages: the mind, the heart, the hands. And speaking of roots, values, we can speak of truth, goodness, creativity. But I don't want to end this talk without talking about beauty. One cannot educate without inducing beauty, without inducing the heart to beauty. Forcing the discussion a little bit, I would venture to say that an education is not effective if it cannot create poets. The path of beauty is a challenge that must be faced.

I encourage you in this important and exciting task you have: to collaborate in the education of future generations. It is not something of tomorrow, but of today. Go ahead, may God bless you. I pray for you and you do it for me. Thank you.
Full Text + Image Source: - UnOfficial Translation - 

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