Author: Melina ALLEGRO

Abstract: Often the philosophical aspect of the educational sciences comes into conflict with their scientific aspect because in the pedagogical field it is not possible to reproduce that exactness typical of the study of physical or natural phenomena. If pedagogy in fact cannot help but deal with the general aspect of each phenomenon and analyze it in its entirety, science, on the other hand, cannot help but deal with the particular aspect by isolating it in its particularities. However, this dichotomy can be overcome by pedagogy that has the ambition to overcome both the limits of a purely philosophical approach and those of a purely scientific approach.

Keywords: globalization, Europeanization, problem solving, hyper-complex, awareness

Pedagogical knowledge is a synthesis that brings together philosophy and science, revealing itself as human science. It should also be emphasized that the educational process is based on social relations as education is primarily a transfer of knowledge from the educator to the learner which is expressed in an intertwining of both training and self-training processes in which the educator cannot be the custodian of absolute knowledge. Yet according to the technocratic approach, education must be subject to the principles of scientific reason through which the educational process is transformed into a learning of the rules that scientific rationality ensures are true. On the other hand, however, the neo-nihilist approach believes that devaluation and fragmentation prevail in the modern world, according to which it is no longer possible to elaborate universal values. All this requires overcoming the epistemological and methodological separation between the exact sciences and the human sciences. As early as 1806 Johann Friedrich Herbart[1] theorized the organic link between psychology and pedagogy in order to develop a scientific pedagogy in his treatise General Pedagogy where he stated:

“[…] The first science of the educator, although it is far from being his complete knowledge, would be a psychology in which all the possibilities of the movements of the soul were indicated a priori. I believe I know the possibility and the difficulty of such a science; we will wait a long time before possessing it and even longer before being able to demand it from educators, but it could never replace the observation of the pupil; the individual can only be discovered, not deduced “.

In this context, pedagogical reflection poses the problem of setting up a model capable of responding to the multiple training needs of a complex society with the contribution offered by various types of knowledge. Thus knowledge is not predefined, but articulated in the various disciplines with the consequence of a reorganization of the pedagogical discourse. Pedagogical science has therefore intertwined a strong link with biology since the latter is the science that most deeply explores the phenomenon of knowledge understood as the relationship between the environment and the organism. The intertwining of brain mechanisms and genetic heritage has allowed us to understand the role of the human brain in learning. In fact, the human cerebral cortex, although less than five millimeters thick, contains about ten billion neurons and hundreds of billions of synapses. From the study of the neuronal circuit it is possible to trace the most significant human characteristics such as linguistic ability, personality, artistic talent and logical-mathematical abilities. Scientists also mapped some of the main brain circuits involved in memory, highlighting how, for example, skill memory generally involves motor activities that are learned through repeated attempts without consciously remembering specific information: once one has learned to cycling, for example, is almost impossible to forget how to do it. It is also known how the nervous system connects the reception of the stimulus with the response, since through contractions that occur with fractions of a second, impulses are transmitted that command appropriate actions. In this context, learning is understood as a behavioral modification, which is induced by an interaction with the environment and leads to a “new configuration” of response to external stimuli. However, there are some changes in behavior that are not attributable to learning processes while, according to cognitive theories, there are mental representations that mediate the relationship between stimulus and response. Then there is the problem raised by modern science which has led to a much deeper concept of physics or mathematics. The affirmation in physics of a representation that is no longer mechanistic, or that of non-Euclidean geometries in mathematics, led to the loss of that meaning of absolute value that was attributed to these disciplines considered exact. Einstein’s theory of relativity or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle demolished the Newtonian and Euclidean concepts and broadened the horizon, coming to reconsider the pedagogical value of these disciplines in a different way. In fact, the study of mathematics or physics, and its application through problem solving, also trains the mind in rigorous reasoning, in precise enunciation, in the habit of controlling a procedure; the mental habit that it forms is necessary for any form of scientific activity. In fact, working with mathematical symbolism by recognizing the syntactic rules for the transformation of formulas or applying the rules of logic or statistics in a purely mathematical field must have as its purpose the development of the critical spirit with the human and intellectual promotion of student. In developing equations, systems of equations or inequalities, it is preferable to avoid repetitive and boring exercises, favoring instead the aptitude to critically review the knowledge gradually acquired and researching the historical-philosophical moments of mathematical thought. With the same methodological slant, the study of Physics must be tackled for which not only laboratory activities are indispensable, but also the research activities carried out by students who organize themselves to collect data, publications or documents in order to improve their ability to analyze or interpret information. However, since some experiments to be carried out in the laboratory may require long times or complex and sophisticated instruments, it is possible, with appropriate choices, to reduce the number of experiences, emphasizing instead the operational character of the physical concepts and highlighting the idealization process inherent in a model. physical. But it is precisely the Italian philosopher Roberto Ardigò who, by adhering to the positivistic conceptions of the early twentieth century, promotes a transition from philosophical pedagogy to a scientific pedagogy in which man through a science of education can acquire knowledge and the habits that allow him to become a good citizen. Ardigò states that the training process is based on an objective method which is founded on the scientific knowledge of the learning process. The overcoming of today’s pedagogical panorama of the traditional term of “education” with the term “training” implies a conceptual change. We have gone from the intentional action of one subject on another to the development of a dynamic event in which the potential of each subject participating in the process plays an important role. Thus unexplored horizons open up for pedagogical science with the possibility of refining learning techniques in a context characterized, however, by growing complexity. A new challenge is therefore highlighted in human training in order to be able to manage the variability and complexity of knowledge.

This challenge is becoming more and more a global and contemporary urgency. Today’s society is complex, or as Zygmunt Bauman writes “liquid”; the educational situation is influenced by this instability and by the increasingly frenetic flow without an ultimate goal, but linked to the here and now. The environment can be important (Bandura’s social learning theory [2]), but alone he is unable to educate. In order for the educational event to bear fruit and be completed, it is necessary that the environment be lived with a certain order, that the educational action is not occasional or casual, but oriented towards specific objectives and responsive to the reality that is being living.

Education must be seen as a safeguard of diversity and as a protection of the potential that each man holds and has within himself. The educational relationship finds its deep meaning in the eliminable and eternal need to know each other and work on oneself, but at the same time, it demonstrates that knowledge of the other is equally necessary and full of surprises.

Pedagogy is the accompaniment of the child towards adulthood, towards emancipation, but what role does pedagogy play at school? We can say that pedagogy at school revolves around the transmission of knowledge, and not of beliefs, as Phillippe Meirieu argues; knowledge that must be shared by everyone and not just a small part.

The transmission of knowledge, as expressed above, is essential to achieve the goal of pedagogy, that is, the emancipation from a situation of ignorance to full knowledge that leads man to make decisions with full knowledge of the facts.

Today’s pedagogy offers us the conceptual tools to interpret the evolutionary process as highly human, to live it as such and above all to be a protagonist by giving our personal contribution, by conscious people, who do not intend to be carried away by events, but want to be there at three hundred and sixty degrees. .

It can be said that the fundamental characteristic of pedagogical knowledge lies in the complexity of its definition which remains an open or hyper-complex question, as Bertin wanted.

There is no doubt that the epistemological reflection of pedagogical knowledge is strictly connected to three aspects: individual-formation-society. Without a reflection on the subjectivity of the individual that puts the common good at the center, going beyond the concept of homo homini lupus by Hobbes, pedagogy loses its unicum which lies in being at the service of the person in the problematic aspect, but also in the potential. of the emancipation of a freedom that considers both the rule and the limit as a moment of internalization and not as mere acceptance.

Contemporary pedagogy looks at the real needs of educational subjects: that of a cultural and humanistic training and that of a more specifically technical and specialized training. In today’s society “growing in knowledge” contributes to building a better quality of life, to reconsidering interpersonal relationships, relational and emotional aspects, collegial and participatory ones that facilitate understanding of the self and the other. The school interprets the social mission of passing on this knowledge, starting from an ethics of responsibility. The social environment in which we live, the family (s), school, work, the relationship with others are profoundly and rapidly changed today. The complexity of our time, closely related to the constant change of social, economic, political and cultural reality, increasingly raises the need to build a world made to measure for men and women, for young and old, for natives and immigrants, for integrated and of excluded. We are all increasingly aware that knowledge and development constitute an inseparable link for the future of humanity both from an existential and relational point of view as well as from a material and economic point of view. Pedagogy has developed and develops over time numerous educational models and in-depth critical reflections, aimed at the social transformations taking place above all with regard to children and young people and subjects in training (in behavior, relational styles, lifestyle habits) and how education should interpret them, providing ethical, social, cultural, political and economic indications aimed at outlining the profile, for future generations, of a new humanity, of a new way of being “citizens” of a country, who actively participate in the realization of the common good of their territory. Pedagogical reflection, which does not abstain, but “takes part and position”, always aiming to build new training paths, is a committed and critical reflection: it does not express flat models of self-referential well-being, but builds “participatory models”, indicating and providing to training operators on the one hand and to local communities as a whole, but above all to their socio-educational policies on the other, what may be the priority issues to be addressed and what research to conduct to ensure a better quality of daily life, both private and professional. Our tomorrow must be built not on the selfishness of everyone, but on a strong “ethics of responsibility”, favoring the development of a critical mind that looks at the general problems of one’s community, activating itself through greater participation, becoming aware of the consequences of actions human beings, for greater solidarity between humanity and nature. It becomes increasingly necessary and appropriate to make choices, even in our daily actions, which are characterized by a sense of responsibility, awareness of the human and natural environment that surrounds us, with the aim of measuring to what extent one’s actions they are compatible with the needs of others, of those who are different from themselves, as well as of the earth, of all the flora and fauna that inhabit it. Many still today are not able to recognize the systemic complexity of the relationships present in a human or natural event. To form this new awareness it is necessary to increase the efficiency of the education and training systems and the general levels of skills and competences, with the use of innovative pedagogical approaches and centered on the student as a future citizen, review and strengthen also the profile of the professions of the teaching (teachers, school principals and teacher trainers), in consultation with stakeholders, for example by ensuring effective initial teacher education and by providing coherent and well-resourced systems for recruitment, selection, initial training , early career support and lifelong professional development of teaching staff based on skills; finally, prioritize and, if possible, strengthen investment in education and training, while working to increase the efficiency of this expenditure.

[1] 1806, Allgemeine Pädagogik aus dem Zweck der Erziehung abgeleitet, SW II: 1–139.

[2] Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. New York: General Learning Press.