12 de Diciembre de 2018
Portal Educativo de las Américas
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La Educación
Número: (114) I
Año: 1993

13. Are you are saying that education plays a role as a mechanism for including people in the distribution of the benefits derived from the material progress that was promised them by civil society?

Yes, because the school is not only a means of material progress, it is material progress in itself. The school is not only a means of creating identity, it is also an identity of itself in the modern world.

In what way is a school material progress? Remember that when a group of people have only primary education, and their children succeed in completing secondary education, that means material progress. When parents have only secondary education, and their children receive a university education, they have made material progress. There are many ways that the various levels of education are related to earnings and to status. One of the very interesting things that has really troubled the Caribbean is that an individual may have a lot of money and still want to get some kind of educational credential because the money by itself does not legitimize the person in society. Earning some educational credential from a recognized institution somehow validates the person in a new way; people display their degrees and diplomas on the wall. I’m sure this is not only to announce their technical competence, but it is to say that I have been certified by some objective cultural authority.

I think that education not only plays an important social role in terms of giving people knowledge, but in its functional sense it is also a legitimizing agent in the society. This is especially true when your family no longer defines you as who you are. You then need other institutions to define people in terms of their very identity—who they are...