Maria Margarida Machado

Maria Margarida Machado
Senior lecturer
Federal University of Goiás




Adult Education and Development:
 Which skills and competencies do we need to survive in the future?

Maria Margarida Machado: When dealing with a future perspec tive, which considers humanity as protagonist of its own his tory, collectively constructing a better world, I believe that to think of survival demands from each one of us the skill and competence to perceive him or herself, firstly, as an active subject in this process. In order for this to happen it is neces sary to know the reality of which we are a part and to under stand the transforming role which each individual and the collectivity exercises in those moments of permanence and rupture which change history. In order to know that reality we need, amongst other necessities, to analyse what we did in the past and what we are doing in the present with our lives, as spaces of sociability and nature. In addition to self criticism, attitude, initiative and determination are fundamental in order to seek the changes necessary to confront the chal lenges which are posed based on that analysis. To identify the successes produced and the problems caused by the way in which we live, live together and take possession of the natural resources, is the intrinsic condition for survival in the future, as it was in different human experiences which preceded us.

How can we learn them?

I believe that learning takes place when there is access to know ledge and attitude. It takes place as individual or collective learning and in our relation with nature. It is obvious that learning is the result of individual effort, as without individual effort it will not be produced. However, it is not possible to reduce it to iso lated initiatives and attitudes, since in dealing with living and survival, the collective element is fundamental in order to con solidate access to knowledge already produced and for the production of new knowledge. The same can be said in relation to attitudes, since in a society in which the posture of individuals is the construction of its reality, this will not happen in an indi vidualis ed way because the changes which history produces require collective actions. Unfortunately, humanity has not always put into practice the ability to know and the competence to act coherently, given that frequently we perceive amongst us less subjects and more objects of history, given the total absence of the necessary knowledge to act in another way, or even, given the process of accommodation when faced with the challenges which learning raises.

Who should teach them?

The spaces in which learning takes place are multiple. Starting with the family unit with all its diverse configurations today, with regard to the basic necessities for survival and living of individuals from when they are born to when they die. Passing through the different groups which exercise, throughout our lives, a fundamental role in helping to access and produce knowledge, and likewise in our attitudes. Of these we can highlight the formal institutions of teaching which ought to be at the disposal of all subjects, from infancy and throughout adult life, since they retain a legacy of knowledge and of pro cesses of learning required for the production of material and immaterial existence: cultural and religious institutions which deal with that learning for beyond the immediate, challenging us to learn with imagination and sensibility; so cial organisations of class, trade unions, diverse associa tions and movements, in which knowledge and action, based on a defined agenda, contribute to the consolidation of his torical subjects. 

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