Success and Failure in Education

Article Polish OPEN
de Tchorzewski, Andrzej Michał (2016)
  • Publisher: Edukacja Elementarna w Teorii i Praktyce
  • Journal: Elementary Education in Theory and Practice (issn: 2353-7787, eissn: 1896-2327)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.14632/eetp_34.1
  • Subject: pedagogika | educational success; educational failure; pedagogical values; educational goals; an educational error; educational awareness; educational culture | pedagogika | sukces wychowawczy; porażka wychowawcza; wartości pedagogiczne; cele wychowawcze; błąd wychowawczy; świadomość wychowawcza; kultura pedagogiczna

Pedagogical (i.e. educational) success and failure should be perceived and analyzed within the context of a broader range of educational definitions and phenomena affecting the development of human beings generally. Without doubt, grasping the proper definition of education must itself figure here, due to the fact that this definition is frequently invested with quite varied content and scope-related meanings, lacking as it does any logically precise criteria. The term educational goal is an important category in deliberations about educational success and failure. Achieving it spells educational success, while not doing so can often be equated with educational failure. Educational success depends on choosing the correct strategy when formulating both progressive and operational educational goals; yet failure tends to issue from a deficient understanding of their meaning and role. Without knowledge and a clear awareness of the nature of the educational goal, it is impossible to judge either educational success or failure, even from the standpoint of having reached the end of the process that is supposed to be directed towards it. When aiming to achieve some definite educational goal, one should be fully aware of the fact that such goals are meant to arise from values understood as vectors that serve to direct children and young people in the course of their lives. We do define our values, of course, but these never appear autonomously: instead, they always give rise to determinate systems in the form of valuable entities considered worthy of being desired and constituting a goal for human aspirations. The process of achieving educational success requires a constant questioning of values, as well as an understanding of their role in the formation process of young people. Therefore, the road to pedagogical success requires the overcoming and surmounting of numerous obstacles – of a sort not easily anticipated – by all those who are fully aware of the significance and the role of upbringing where adolescents are concerned. On this road, temporary and sometimes lasting breakdowns occur, along with a feeling of disappointment or even defeat as one is in the process of arriving at or implementing one’s preferred set of pedagogical goals. Consequently, one has afterthoughts, and a situation arises in which questions appear, along such lines as “Where has the mistake been made?”, “What does it mean?”, “How should it be solved?”, and “How can one avoid subsequent ones?” Identifying the nature of an educational fault is an extremely complex matter. It might be possible to detect it even while the educational activities in question are taking place. Educational mistakes occur as a consequence of the unsatisfactory level of one’s educational consciousness and pedagogical conduct. Those actions and activities undertaken in the course of the educational process by parents and educators that can be referred to as facilitating actions and activities in the context of the development of children and young people express an optimum level of educational consciousness and pedagogical conduct. On the one hand, such actions and activities optimize the process of achieving successes and, on the other, they contribute to minimizing any educational failures. The process of facilitating the development of a person being educated must be preceded by a proper orientation as regards the matter of educational success and failure. That process is primarily supposed to enhance the effectiveness of education. Hence it is pedagogical competence, conscientiousness in relation to educational goals, the skilfulness of the latter’s implementation and the methods used to measure this that, taken together, decide the effectiveness of any education.
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