A Person-based Model of the Relationships between Education, Training and the Economy
At the centre of this model there is the individual and not the economic system, companies or employability. In this case it is the person that becomes the end to which growth and the education/training processes are subordinated. Hence, development would be meaningless if it were to damage even only one individual. Education and training do not have any meaning in and of themselves; their meaning comes from their being considered by each individual as tools that enable the person to specialize and become better. Moreover their existence is not justified because they are the expression of a need at a given point in time, but because people recognize an experience in them that enables them to grow. Even very high levels of economic growth and a far-reaching diffusion of education and training are not sufficient unless at the same time they do not make each person more of a person. Identifying man’s personal fulfilment with his work is unacceptable; the avenue we need to follow is the very opposite: work, employability and the economy must become instruments that enable the full development of each person and of the person as a whole.
Ideas for further exploration
How can the cultural project of the Church in Europe efficiently oppose, at the educational level, the hegemonic influence that the culture of the homo oeconomicus has on young people?
Up to what point can the bursting of complexity onto the scene of science and culture enable us to go beyond economicism (that is to say the idea that the economic category is an interpretational category and a decisive reference criterion in social problems), and instead when could it fuel relativism, which is the enemy of truth?
How can the training agencies recover the ability to educate young people to learning about values and in particular about Christian values?
How can we enhance the educational projects of the families, especially of Christian families, of schools and in particular of Catholic schools, and of the Church so that they can form young people to know how to relate?
How can we give access to everyone to “lifelong learning”, which is not merely an adaptation to technological development or to the rationale of profit-making, but that instead helps build a strategy of personal awareness, that helps to constantly question unjust social structures, and to learn about change and social mobility?
The challenges in education. Recovering the past, promises, commitments
Italian Episcopal Conference, European Symposium, Roma 1-4 July 2004