The importance of literature in education – Pablo Boullosa

The importance of literature in education – Pablo Boullosa


Curiosity is like a spring that pushes you to learn more things, to see beyond, further, not to settle. Curiosity was also persecuted as a vice. That’s why curiosity desperate parents. But it is very natural. It is a natural desire to know. And that natural desire is something we can not lose. We should never lose it. No matter how much a teacher or a specialist know of a subject, there are always new things to learn. Everything is thriving, everything is changing. There is always more depth to which one can go look. Those limits are very attractive, very attractive. My teacher Kieran Egan, canadian, has a program that has been implemented in many parts of the world. Canada, in the United States, in Europe and Japan, in Chile. And that has just started to be used in a school in Mexico City. Is an in-depth educational program What is behind the idea of Kieran Egan’s program is the idea that curiosity is very important and is a value that we should take advantage of and promote in education A society can only find stability when somehow controls its most disruptive forces, like curiosity or love that are potentially tremendous. I’ll give you an example, even in the most liberal democracies, high-level political negotiations are usually done without anyone knowing. We are curious to know what this meeting of the British Prime Minister is about with her Minister of Commerce. But if they are done, they are done without anyone seeing because it is a way of controlling too, to give stability to a process. And there are parts where curiosity may be OK, but where you have to limit its scope. It is a way to give control to a society. Love is another hugely disruptive force, love and sexuality. What we have invented? Marriage. Institutionalized marriage that gives us stability. Then a society to be alive needs of those disruptive impulses But it also needs stability because otherwise we would end up in chaos. What stories are told about, for example, philosophy or poetry? Socially, what is what is understood in Mexican homes, and many other parts? Well that philosophy is useless. No one is a successful philosopher in Mexico. Poetry if not accompanied by music. What is that? It does not exist or is useless. Poets are starving, they are drug addicts, they are pot heads. These are the stories we tell about these things. And it is not surprising that the feelings we have towards these things are feelings of indifference or negative feelings. So what we have to retell. To reconcile how this uselessness of poetry is valuable, which effectively does not serve to raise houses or to make money, but it has an important human function. You have to see it, you have to tell it well, otherwise it will continue to be neglected. It has to do with the meaning we give to these matters and the meaning always has to do with a narrative. How can we judge how someone else thinks? Only by his expression. We can not get into the heads of others to see if they are smart or dumb. We can only judge by how their thought is expressed. And when it is not expressed in a clear way. Or when expressed in a dark, fuzzy confusing way, then we assume that these people do not have clear thoughts. It’s the most natural thing, I do that too. Moreover, when I do not quite understand something I start being confusing, we all do that. When you do not understand very well something you try to understand it while you are talking and you are chasing the meaning By correct expression, let’s be clear, I don’t mean using bombastic words, or have good spelling The wording is far more important, the syntax is far more important than spelling. Why? Orally because if you express yourself clearly it means you understood it clearly. I will not judge whether what you told me whats written with V or B. I listen and I realize if I understand your idea. I realize that it is clear and I can understand. And it’s a courtesy you have with others. And this is absolutely important for teaching. In the process of learning if a teacher does not explain well How are you going to pretend that you understand well, how to understand what they meant? We can only understand what a teacher really says. So that’s super important. Clarity in reading and writing. That issue always leads me to something I’ve read because it is published in many sources Which is how Amazon works, At board meetings in Amazon, even though Amazon sells electronic readers like the Kindle, Meetings are always the same: before the meeting an executive has to have a proposal The meeting is for something, there is a proposal. An executive is asked to write his proposal. He has to write it clearly. He will not present it in a PowerPoint presentation, he will write it. The first ten or 15 minutes of a meeting the executive reads the proposal. The executive writes his proposal, it is read on paper. No, he does not read it on an iPad, he reads on paper. Because Jeff Bezos knows perfectly well that comprehension happens more when you have a paper and a pen You can cross out and point right there on the paper. It is written on paper. An executive has to put his proposal on paper. That’s when Jeff Bezos realizes if his executive thinks right or wrong, in his expression. If the guy does not write well, does not express well, it means he does not think well. Sorry, but that’s the way it is and that’s the way it is in the big technology companies. It is the same at Intel. If it is well expressed then it is discussed. An essential task of a good executive is to write well. To express his ideas clearly and that everyone understands what he means. To know that time is short, that time should not be wasted trying to know what this guy is telling us. Ortega y Gasset said that he aspired to clarity in conveying his thoughts and that’s very important. The only way in which a Council can function In which an executive can transmit instructions to his subordinates In which a boss can share those instructions or raise petitions or raise problems. For us teachers who speak Spanish I think every teacher is required to read not one book but several books of José Antonio Marina. José Antonio Marina is the most important philosopher of education in the Hispanic world, by far. You have to read books like: “La inteligencia fracasada,” “La teoría de la inteligencia creativa” And especially his seven volume collection: “Biblioteca de padres.” Teachers must read “La magia de leer,” “La magia de escribir,” “El misterio de la voluntad perdida.” Then I think I will not answer just one book. But I answered an author who all Spanish language teachers have to read. Marina is not only an original thinker, but he also makes a grand synthesis of contemporary educational thought. So, nobody has read, I think, more books on education, nobody has transmitted them to us in such a complete synthesis like him. Well I think every college student should read many books. I don’t dare to pick just one book. They must read many books and must also be bound to read different genres. There are students who like the historical novel, so they dig into historical novel. There are students who like Bukowski,so they get stuck with Bukowski. I think it’s important to read books from different genres, different eras, different authors. Books that writers write in Spanish, books that have been translated into Spanish. Because they all enrich the life of a student. Because we all remain to be students in a sense throughout our lives. A student is at the time of her life in which she must feed her spirit with many things. That is what will serve her later to stand out. The Greeks said that memory is the mother of the muses. And I believe that a student is at the time of feeding that memory enormously and should do so with all possible muses. They must have rich experiences. Literature is always a vicarious experience, what books offer us is the vicarious experience. I was not there, but the author either imagined it, was there, transmitted it to me, lived it. O and author has experienced it in some way. I can acquire that experience even though my life is constricted to a house, a school or a city. I can acquire amazing experiences of any other country. I can get in touch with the best minds of all time, of all languages. It’s the ideal age to feed on a lot of things. ou do not know what an important book can serve you at age 18 that has nothing to do with your profession That has nothing to do with anything useful or practical at that time. It turns out that 20 or 30 years later that book is very meaningful to you. This book opens a window, this book helps you to explain something, to see something deeper. It helps you better understand what is happening you 30 or 40 years later. That happens. It is a time, like all education, to invest in your future and books are part of that investment for your future.

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