Gregorio Luri: «Finland Also Has Troublemakers, But They Graduate!»

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On Wednesday, 12 February 2014, the well-known philosopher and educator Gregorio Luri gave the lecture "International Teaching Debates" at the UIC Faculty of Education. The talk was part of the lecture series "Edu_aldia", which the faculty organizes mainly for UIC alumni.

Gregorio Luri: «Finland Also Has Troublemakers, But They Graduate!»

The author of La Escuela Contra el Mundo (The School Against the World) discussed what he considers to be the essential keys to education today. He highlighted a series of points full of common sense that are often still lacking in our classrooms. “We teachers need to make learning contagious. But we can only do this if we have strong convictions”.

In this regard, the speaker emphasized the need to avoid micro-emergencies. “They end up distorting school life. We need to control the situation and strike a balance. This can only be done with one unfashionable word: discipline”, he said.

Using different examples and specific cases from schools around the world, Prof. Luri spoke at length about getting back to basic habits “that avoid daily tensions, such as punctuality”. He insisted on the value of the “fortunate fall” as outlined in The Official Plan for Jesuit Education: “Students are fortunate to make mistakes, so that their teacher may help them”.

In this regard, Gregorio Luri advocated for the recovery of what he calls “non-cognitive skills, that is, the intellectual virtues of Aristotle”. Thus, in reference to the highly debated PISA report, he said, “Perhaps success or failure in education lies in the moral value that we give it”. He used Finland as an example. “Finland has troublemakers too. But the difference is that in Finland they graduate”, he said. Luri concluded, “We need to turn failure into success. That’s why it’s so important for students to understand the value of what they are learning”.