Education and Values for Development: The System of Tutorial Learning (SAT) in Colombia and Honduras

Submitted by admin on 30. May 2011 - 22:48
Richards, Michael

Education and Values for Development:
The System of Tutorial Learning (SAT)
in Colombia and Honduras

Michael Richards
Advisor to BASED on SAT
United Kingdom

Paper presented at the Seminar on Education and Values for Sustainable Development
Global Civil Society Forum, 1 September 2002
6th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum
A series of parallel events at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 August-3 September 2002)

These papers are as presented at the conference and have not been subject to editorial review by the IEF

(Outline from powerpoint presentation)
(see also paper on SAT)

Download full powerpoint presentation (590 K)

Importance of values in education
- UN statements on values in development
- WSSD: call to identify constraints to Agenda 21 implementation
- How to change values? Education
- Importance of values in education: UNESCO, Poverty Reduction Strategies

World Declaration on Higher Education for 21st Century, 2000
Calls for radical reform of higher education "so that our society, which is currently undergoing a profound crisis of values, can transcend more economic considerations, and incorporate deeper dimensions of morality and spirituality."

What is SAT?
- System of non-formal secondary education for rural life and sustainable development
- Aim: to develop attitudes, knowledge and skills for more self-reliant development
- Origins in Colombia: FUNDAEC
- More recent replication/adaptation in Honduras & other Latin American countries

Origins of SAT in Colombia
- Early 1970s: group of university professors formed FUNDAEC - Cauca Valley
- Diagnosis: failure of development projects, caused dependency and inequity; negative 'social' attitudes of teachers & students contributed to social/moral disintegration in rural areas; weak 'participation'
- Knowledge and organisation as 2 main elements - failure of learning process and institutions

Concept of participation in SAT:
"it could be claimed that people were in charge of their own development only if they were learning systematically about the changes that occurred in their society, and were consciously incorporating in their continuous learning process appropriate elements from the universe of knowledge" (Arbab, 1984)

Learning process
- Formal education system: urban bias, migration, rote learning, drop out problem
- Fragmentation of knowledge
- Difficulties of linking theory and practice
- Local populations must take central role in knowledge generation, verification, diffusion
- Need to integrate knowledge & understanding
- Link to community development processes
- Omission of values and moral development

Appropriate structures
- Appropriate institutions vital for participation in knowledge generation and learning process (a) universe of knowledge (b) regional learning process
- Role of universities?
- Rural university: purpose to set in motion learning processes and develop human resources
- SAT groups: village level learning institution
- Solidarity credit groups

Characteristics of SAT
- Non-formal: evenings/weekends
- 3 main levels - 6-7 years of study
- Tutors from communities: continuous training
- Practical, process and development-oriented: focus on community development processes
- Action or research - reflection - learning
- Conceptual development, problem solving (contrast to rote learning, fact memorisation)

SAT curriculum
- Based on 'capabilities' not disciplines
- Capability: a developed capacity to think and act in well-defined sphere of activity and purpose
- 5 main areas of capabilities
- Example: language capabilities
- Individual and social capabilities
- Integration of disciplines: examples
- Agricultural technology
- Credit and micro-enterprise development

Progress of SAT in Colombia
- 45-50,000 students (65% female), 50 institutions (35 NGOs), 2,300 villages, 500 municipalities in 19 Departments
- Works mainly through civil society but Ministry of Education programme/costs
- Rural University: 5 year degree, MSc level
- European EXPO 2000 Jury verdict
- Club of Budapest 2002 Terra Award

SAT in Honduras
- Bayan Association for Indigenous SED
- 1996: Mosquitia - indigenous groups, 80% girls or women, remote & difficult area
- 1997-2002: grant from DFID; also supported by CIDA, BWC, Kellogg Foundation
- Hurricane Mitch 1998; desertion/problems
- New Director appointed 1999

Increasing government interest
- Constant communication with central, Departmental, District education authorities
- Regional demand led to Agreements with 3 Departments in 2000: 950 students, 48 groups
- Salaries paid by Departments
- Ministry evaluations showed quality of SAT
- Full recognition in March 2002
- National expansion plan requested by Ministry

The moral or spiritual element
- Consequences of formal education: , apathy, negative social attitudes, etc.
- Role of education to reveal and develop human potential and qualities for service to humanity
- 'Moral development' integrated into all materials
- Service to the community: health, literacy, community organisation, education (e.g., helping primary school children), environmental projects

Purpose of education and development
- Human being is "a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures." Bahá'u'lláh
- "Education should be recognised as a process by which human beings and societies can reach their fullest potential." Agenda 21: Chapter 36.3
- "the real purpose of development... is the cultivation of the limitless potentialities latent in human consciousness." BIC, 1998

Role of values (cont.)
- Two levels of human development: (a) individual moral/spiritual development (b) contribute to societal welfare/transformation
- Belief that service releases creative powers latent in human nature - key to motivation
- Need to combine with intellectual development
- Reinforcing community values and identity
- Role of consultation
- Wider context of SAT

Conclusion: importance of SAT for ESD:
- Importance of participatory learning process and supporting institutions
- Education must focus on developing full potential of human beings
- Service to the community: motivation
- Moral education needs to be integrated into curriculum, and result in practical actions
- Development solutions ignoring moral or spiritual values likely to fail

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