Education and human knowledge
Author: P. Fernando Pascual, L.C | Source: Catholic.net
Various theories have been developed over the centuries to explain human knowledge. From them arise different educational proposals.
The list of theories about knowledge could be long. In general it moves between more or less radical alternatives. Here we focus on two large groups of alternatives.
On the one hand, there are theories that give almost absolute priority to sensitive knowledge (empirical, experimental), while others consider that rational (intellectual) knowledge would be the most important.
On the other hand, some theories believe that the human being is able to reach truths and to offer them to others, while other theories assume that the truth is unattainable and that we only move with fragile opinions and always subject to change.
These alternatives (and others that have been the subject of attention in the past or are in the present) reflect the difficulties that exist in describing the way in which human beings achieve (or believe to achieve) true knowledge.
According to one adopt one or another theory, the educational proposals will be very different. For example, those who assume that there are no absolute truths and that only the sensible experience is for the concrete life, will adopt pedagogical methods oriented to a good use of the senses and with little attention to more abstract and "idealistic" dimensions.
The existence of a pluralism on the human knowledge impels to the mind to analyze with appropriate modes the different theories, to leave to one side what is erroneous in each one, and to accept what serves to explain well our way of thinking.
Only from a serious analysis of these theories will it be possible, then, to develop well-oriented educational proposals that allow children and not so children to orient themselves in life so that they not only distinguish between the false and the true, but about that they can move towards what Correct in matters of such importance as those relating to good and justice in the human world.