Today the public and homogeneous educational system is challenged by currents and trends that consider it obsolete and incapable of being renewed. The criticisms come from the most diverse fronts and feed on a feeling of “crisis”.
It is possible to identify at least three spaces of evolution in education systems that, although different, are carriers of similar views on education. These are not futuristic hypotheses, as they are very present in the daily reality of our days.
The first scenario points towards the return of forms of family education. Based on arguments that range from the primary educational responsibility of parents to the need to preserve the values of a specific local community, proposals are made that challenge the public dimension of education.
The idea that each family or community should have its own school, reserved for its own and protected from others, is at the opposite end of a public school project that guarantees the presence of all and the construction of a shared identity. One of the most obvious forms of this scenario is the expansion of homeschooling, which is developed through family, cultural and religious networks, supported by access to new technologies.
Equity in Access to Education
The second scenario is also based on a definition of education as a “private good”, insisting above all on the advantages of market laws in education and on the promotion of a competitive dynamic between schools. From the extreme of this perspective, the State should refrain from intervening in the educational services market, limiting itself only: on the one hand, to creating and disseminating school quality indicators that allow each family to choose the best center for them. their children; and, on the other, to additionally finance the less favored, for example through the school voucher5, in order to ensure a certain equity in access to education.
The third scenario is based on the importance of new technologies, which result in totally different forms of teaching that make traditional school models unnecessary and promote individualized teaching. Education can take place anywhere and at any time, using real or virtual teachers as a reference. New technologies and fast learning methodologies help better understand the learning. Diverse authors point to technology as the key to the education of the future: “Schools, as we know them today, will cease to exist. In its place there will be learning centers that will operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Students will have access to teachers, but at a distance. The classes will be inside their computers”. Phrases of this type are heard every day.
These three scenarios are viable and there are clear signs of their emergence in recent years. They try to combat excessive State intervention in education and overcome the limitations of the school model and of a homogenized organization of education systems. They will further accentuate school and social inequalities, promoting forms of “tribalization” of the school and of society.