The issue of education is more and more a matter of relational context. We must not think the boys, their families and their territory, we educators isolated, but we have to think about it together in the educational context. We educate and change ourselves together. We are called to educate and to form ourselves in a logic of alliances (including educators, family, school and church community …), feeling ourselves into the social and cultural context, accustoming us to position ourselves in relationships and in a climate of mutual trust. All this takes into account the fact that the affective (the heart) is always more the pin of education , without taking anything away the attention from the integrality of the person.

The expression “educational community” is generally used in the school context in reference to those who actively participate in a common educational project. Also, the context is not what finally brings us together, but what makes us similar. And if before we stepped on a podium to observe the socio-cultural context of our students, it is necessary that we move beyond poetry, assuming that we are part of the educational context in its wealth, as well as in its poverty. Only in a relational leveling we can generate spaces of mutual trust, where a community is built whose engine is the affectivity, the heart, where everything is illuminated from.
From this scenario, it is essential to recognize that education is clearly a relational issue, where all agents are major players on the active participation and building a better system. We cannot speak about changing or improving the system, if we do not understand that we must change or improve ourselves first. Only then can we look at the other in order to be helped and also to help. Today we are in a society that expects us to be trainers of people who can join a community that is not isolated, but is driven by the collaborative work and social interactions, social boundaries.
To include the relational perspective in the academic world, is certainly taking education beyond the curriculum guidelines, to understand that in the educational community interactions exist, therefore conflicts should be resolved every moment by the active participation of all. To create an environment rich in dialogue and agreement, but also to strongly encourage a critical and reflective spirit, in order to take the correct decisions.
But then we must ask ourselves, how can we really be participatory agents in an educational community, that involves everyone and calls for everyone l? Well, first of all a critical thinking is necessary, a reflection that allows for an introspective process in a real way, that is oriented to learning among the different members of the educational community. And it is that sharing the experiences of all, that an infinite number of new learning experiences, each more important than the other, is engendered.
Then to build an educational community involves building a democratic and participatory context, where we must be receptive, welcoming, empathetic and with a strong value-based component. The leadership in a learning community, does not belong to a few enlightened ones who bring salvation to the world, but from all the relationships that are generated from the participation of educators, family, school and as in our case, the Church community, the pillar holding the deepest values of our institution.

Questions to work on:

1. According to what you read, describe the relational context of your educational community, stating strengths and possibilities for improvement.
2. What actions are we conducting in promoting the active participation of the educational community?
3. How can we foster the development of a learning community, using the curriculum as a meeting tool?
Complementary activity:
Watch the following video: and make a reflection on existing relational problems in your school community.

Juan Luis Díaz
Carlos Barra

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