“Education has arrived at the end of a cycle. We have to create a new system that puts the child first.” With this statement author and professor Fernando Alberca began his participation in the Education Forum, Educate to Transform, which was organized and hosted by Universidad Europea. The education expert talked about the failure of Spain’s education system and addressed the reasons he blames for the failure as well as the steps needed to change it.
Alberca indicated that the education system has deteriorated, which has been reflected in low PISA scores among Spain’s primary and secondary students. “School, as we understand it today, is making parents, students and teachers unhappy,” which he cites are due to academic content that has no relevance as well as too much focus on memorization and excessive homework
He also drew attention to the culture of overprotection, which extends to teachers and parents, and over-penalizes failures that lead to students not taking risks. Alberca quoted the Japanese businessman Soichiro Honda, who said “99 percent of success is built on failure” to highlight the need for students to be able to fail in order to truly push themselves and learn from mistakes.”
Teaching to read and write better, providing study habits and techniques to adequately absorb knowledge and teaching in styles that reach students are some of the key elements highlighted by the education expert as necessary for the Spanish education system to be successful. “School needs to be changed and this can’t depend on politics. We need to convert schools into places where talent is recognized and where students can find the best versions of themselves. For this to happen, they need someone. They need a good teacher.”
Alberca participated in the second version of Universidad Europea’s Education Forum in 2014-15, which is focused on promoting debate in the area of education. This year the Education Forum welcomed a number of leaders in national and international education, including international education activist Victoria Subirana, former minister of education, Ángel Gabilondo; philosopher José Antonio Marina; and University of Oxford research Cristóbal Cobo; and Adrian Kearney, director of the International Baccalaureate Foundation® (IB) for Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.