Learning, as a way of capturing and modifying knowledge, involves resistance. Going from what you know – a comfort zone – to something new, and thus something unknown until now – a zone that is somewhat more insecure. Nevertheless, once the decision is made, students and professors alike work together towards a common objective: giving you the power. And how? By accompanying you in the process and getting the best out of each of you. But we’ll go step by step. I’ll speak to you about different concepts:
1- The concept of Lifelong Learning
In the first decade of the twentieth century, the concept of Lifelong Learning emerged in an educational context, with a view to offer an updated response to the requirements and challenges of the professional environment.
2- Educational choices
Everybody in this institution, from the general management, department coordinators, academic directors, lecturers, tutors, etc., has a common objective to help all of our participants empower themselves professionally, respecting the specific characteristics of each and every one.
It is evident that everyone here today has already completed a part of their educational path, the decision making – ‘What course do I choose?’, ‘Where should I do it?’… This solo process, probably with the help of like-minded people, during these first days, is coming to an end. And personally I think it’s coming to an end in the best way possible, because you’re all sat here today.
3- Education and training transform people positively
You already form part of an educational group, and your individual goal is now shared with everybody in the institution you have chosen.
A goal that just has one possible path: Improving your professional capacities, knowledge, abilities, techniques, resources, contacts, practical experience, etc. A transformation that is undoubtedly positive.
In order to transform yourself, to improve, you need to choose to do so, and you need to be in good company, which all of you have already done. From this moment – and this is an area of knowledge that we teach in our mediation master’s degree as conflict managers – transformation is based on your capacity to empower and revalue yourselves.
4- The empowerment of the participant
An essential component of empowerment is being fully aware of reality. Analyze the context well, along with its limitations, which involves listening closely to program directors, lecturers, tutors, and analyze your own time resources, personal background, abilities, etc., to put them to work.
The teaching-learning process has many aspects: Reading, observation, classification, discussion or debate, repetition, reproduction, experimentation, writing and explaining, putting into practice, elaboration, creation, etc. Many of these, if not all, you will be carrying out this year, but not without effort, not without resistance.
5- The teaching-learning process implies change, and change generates resistance
Learning, as a way of capturing and modifying knowledge, involves resistance. Going from what you know – a comfort zone – to something new, and thus something unknown until now – a zone that is somewhat more insecure. You will go through epistemological and epistemophilic obstacles, and we are all here to get over them.
6- Considering the future helps us to work in the present
Empowering yourself through education and training involves helping you to advance past these obstacles, and helps all students to first be able to identify and then re-identify their objectives, to be able to see what parts of themselves they need to use to reach this objective, and what they need from their education, accompanied, or not, by the BSM, to ensure that you meet your goals.
To finish, I’m going to as you a question, or a range of questions, which I always ask in the personal empowerment phase, as a conflict manager. Question: Imagine that you have already achieved the goal that you set out with your education and training, imagine that your wishes have been fulfilled in this respect, how could you tell? What would have changed? Where would you be? What would you work as? Now come back to reality and tell me, between 1 and 10, 1 being the least and 10 being the most, where does this wish lie on the scale? Where was it before you enrolled on this course? What do you have to do to move this goal 3 points up on the scale? Who do you need help from?
You have all thought about and continue to think about your future. Keep doing so, but at the same time, now that you are in the BSM, in an educational program, make the most of the moment, your here and now. It’s a great moment, a moment for you, we take care of you and you take care of each other, everybody has training resources at their disposal, and don’t hesitate to use what you need – this institution is your institution.