Academic journal article International Education Studies

Human Formation of Young People and Adults in Brazil: Proposal for and Evaluation of a Curriculum Component

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Human Formation of Young People and Adults in Brazil: Proposal for and Evaluation of a Curriculum Component

Article excerpt

Abstract

The article is based on the idea of human formation in its broadest sense, which includes the formation of the senses, corporeality, habits and practices, emotional life, the cultivation of relationships and of reflection on the existential meaning of the singular human life. It is assumed that the postulate is accepted that education is a specific and intentional process of human formation, with the same wide-ranging formative objectives of such formation. The article situates this understanding of education in the Brazilian educational field and presents a curriculum component designed to promote the human formation of young people and adults in technological training establishments in Brazil, over 18 weekly meetings of three hours each. This curriculum component was implemented and evaluated with 206 students from different technological courses by means of pre-and post-testing with a questionnaire, using a Likert technique, drawn up especially for this research study. It is designed to gauge (a) the understanding of relationships and emotions, (b) the understanding and cultivation of the virtues, and (c) the predisposition to take responsible decisions and actions. The results showed a statistically significant difference in the three subscales between pre and post-testing, with the higher scores being achieved in the latter.

Keywords: human formation, emotional education, young people, adults, individuation

1. Introduction

This article is one of the partial results of research conducted between 2008 and 2012, which set out to develop, implement and evaluate a proposed curriculum component to promote the human formation of young people enrolled in higher technological courses in Brazil. Such courses are classified as being Higher Education ones as they are mounted for students who have completed high school, but its main goal is to form professionals to meet market demands in less time (two and a half years to three years) than the content provided in a traditional university course that lasts for at least four years.

We intend to develop this curriculum component to ally to professional formation a personal formation of the students which might cover gaps that we have noted in our contact with them over several years. Among these gaps, we have noted that the technical and vocational content did not prepare them for relationship challenges of an intrapersonal and interpersonal order bearing in mind that the skills that involve cooperative teamwork have been recognized as key to success at work and in life. Among such skills we draw special attention to: emotional control to handle relationship tensions and stress; self-knowledge in order to monitor impulsive actions and anxieties as well as to cultivate an inner life based on values and also to hone listening so as to steer communication towards healthy and constructive ends.

Given such findings, we considered it would be important to provide students with a type of personal formation that would help them: to become familiar with the dynamics of their inner life, thereby becoming able to link it to their relationships, their behaviors and practices; to strengthen themselves individually vis-à-vis the social demands and manipulative forms of advertising; in short, to be able to establish for and in themselves a congruence between what they consider valuable, what they aim at, what they think, what they feel, what they practice and how they relate with their fellows.

The curriculum component mentioned, which will be described in detail in Section 3 of this article, was designed to be taught as the subject content of "Interpersonal Relations" which previously appeared on the curriculum of vocational technology courses of a federal institute in which one of these authors has been working for several years. Therefore, the inclusion of this component did not imply a formal change in the curriculum of the courses to which we are referring but only a change of content of that discipline. …

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