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Players of Meaning: A different philosophical approach to pedagogies

On Sunday, we had an impressive presentation from Dr. Shimon Azulay from the Hebrew University called “Meaningful Pedagogies”. He presented to us different philosophical views about pedagogies and the challenges of education where we, educators, can overcome the challenges on education by being what he called “players of meaning”, a concept that have four characteristics: 

1. Moving from passivity to activity
   The school should be changed from a passive approach (just giving lectures) to an active one (other systems    like youth organizations), that means prepare students for the struggles of life
2. The ability to create an unique content or product 
   Educators should learn how to be creative because the world is changing faster than ever, so we have to be    up-to-dated on the advance of technology
3. Literacy 
   The role of schools is to encourage children to be able to move from concrete knowledge to abstract    knowledge
4. Resilience 
   The ability to handle or overcome criticism, suffering, and boredom. That means that students must get out of    the comfort zone because learning involves suffering and challenge: happiness is the main enemy of meaning    so if you want children to be happy you just don’t want them to learn. 

We also learned the three principles of learning: 
1) Principle of performance
2) Principle of feedback 
3) Principle of public learning 

The first principle establishes that schools should become communities of learning, which means that children must have the opportunity to learn by themselves. The second principle focus on visibility in the process of learning, which means that no student must be left behind –we have to pay attention to all of them, not just the clever ones. And, finally, the third principle emphasizes that what you do as an educator matters more than what you say in public. 

We learned that community is very important to the learning process, so we as teachers have to work together with parents and children to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. Also, we have to change our way of thinking about education, helping to build creative environments in schools that aloud students to feel motivated. So, we take home a new philosophical approach in pedagogy to overcome the challenges we face every day in our schools. 

Through the guidance of this session, we understood that the teaching pedagogies need a shift in its traditional paradigm in order to meet new challenges and make new innovations within the 21st century learners, the new generation.
Prepared by
Ngoc Pham Thi Kim (Vietnam)
Sholpan Baitikova (Kyrgystan)
Liesl Cohn (Guatemala) 
Alfred Ladu Modi Tombe (South Sudan) 
Ambagahawatte Gendara Chandana (Sri Lanka)