Love and Education: roads to build the dream

Number 74 (26.2) August 2012
Coordinated by Miguel López Melero
University of Málaga (Spain)

Love and Education: roads to build the dream - Introduction (Miguel López Melero)

By presenting this monograph about Love and Education I first wish to enhance that all contributing authors agree to point out that education is a loving act which allows us to respect each other as legitimate in our coexistence. If we do not accept each other in our coexistence, there is no education. And there is no education if there is no acceptance of ourselves. The fundamental and basic condition for development of the human being as someone who learns to think, to communicate, to feel and to act is love. Love comes when we open a space for others, a space for relating with each other, because it means seeing and listening to each other without prejudice, without expectancies. But, for that to happen, we have to be willing to do this, we have to be ready to love. A life without love has no meaning. We human beings are children of love.

What makes us human beings are, according to this point of view, our daily lives as cooperative and loving beings, aware of ourselves and with a social conscience, with self-respect and respect for others. But, as MATURANA and NISIS, 1997, point out, we must abandon the patriarcal speech about fight and war and must devote ourselves to live matristically in the knowledge of nature, of respect and of collaboration when building a world which entitles to err and to correct mistakes. An education that takes us conserve nature, to understand it in order to live with it and in it without dominating it, an education that allows us to live in individual and social responsibility away from abuse and collaborating to create an harmonious project with nature and the human being. Only if we live in the biology of love will the individual develop self-respect and respect towards others, as well as a social conscience. 

According to this theory, it is the role of the teachers to create the necessary conditions so that students can live the biology of love, teaching each other, with love and knowledge being not alternatives but love the basis of human life and knowledge only an instrument of it (MATURANA, 1994). The most important thing is that education will be able to create the conditions that will enable everyone to become a cultured, autonomous, responsible and, above all, a happy citizen. This is why we need a public school that is passionate about knowledge and about life (truth), about loving each other as the legitimate other (kindness) and about knowing how to live with respect to diversity as a value (beauty).

We usually say that we live in a knowledge and uncertainty society and that we need some competent teachers who are morally commited to education. Professionals that have a clear vision of what kind of citizens we need and how we should educate them. We believe that this commitment with education will only be possible to achieve if our educational model allows not only intellectually competent citizens but citizens whose love to each other legitimates the other and where coexistence is the epicenter of his or her thoughts and actions. We not only need to train citizens as intellectually cultured persons but morally good persons. 

In this sense the proposals of the various authors point out towards a moral educational project that promotes a thinking, critical and cultured citizenship which will be capable of problematize the nearest reality. A free and responsible citizenship able to ethically guide their behaviours and to take decisions and assume responsabilities of their actions, even in complex situations.

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