Sapientia: Ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and perception, in particular in a mature and useful manner.
The concept of Sapientia (or Wisdom), in my opinion, is in an accelerated process of evolution. If we understand it as what we expect people to have to be able to think and act, additional skills – or competences – are called for by today’s society’s standards. Knowledge, as we have understood it in my generation, has been surpassed by Google and tools such as Wikipedia. When we want to know something, we directly head to the Internet. This happens for many reasons. The main one I think is that things change very quickly, and if we want to have up-to-date information on a certain topic, the best option is to look for it online. But that also means that what we have learned in our student years hardly serves us at all. More and more we say that knowledge has been trivialized because such net consultations can be done by anyone from anywhere, and thus specific information – which was traditionally associated with knowledge – has a relative value.
In an article written by Ramón Oliver (published in El País – 30th of March 2018), the author asked Francisco Ruiz Antón, the director of Public Policies of Google Spain, on the criteria in selection processes. His reply presented a very interesting scenario: “Issues such as emotional intelligence, empathy, communication, leadership, teamwork, adaptability, creativity or conflict management are now more important in the selection process than the knowledge of a subject or technology. If a candidate has these basic skills, the rest can always be learned. “
In the same article Oliver highlighted that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) dedicates around 25% of the teaching hours of its programmes to disciplines such as literature, languages, music or history, and points out the resurgence of humanitarian careers in the recent years.
Transferring these ideas to the world of training centres, the question we must ask ourselves is whether traditional formats are useful for the present time and how they should evolve to adapt to this new reality.
On the one hand, we welcome new generations who were brought up with the PlayStation, marking a tendency to gamify – or turn into a game – training. We need to look for techniques that can grasp and maintain attention by controlling time, space, rewards, chance and the development of certain skills.
From the combination of online knowledge and gamification, great advances have emerged in the design and development of simulators and virtual realities. We can now perform almost any practice – or experience as an element of wisdom – through simulators that are increasingly similar to reality.
One more step towards that experience is to move training into the real world. This is what we do at the Escola, and I believe that if possible, it should still the best teaching option; complementing the theoretical sessions with the use of simulators as preparation.
We are left with the big issues that Francisco Ruiz Antón pointed out: teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution … and virtue. These create people capable of doing good things for society.
At the inauguration of the Aula dels Estels (Classroom of the Stars) we invited four prestigious speakers to talk about these issues to other teachers of training centers that participate in our training programmes. At the end of our event, several heads of institutes approached the speakers to ask them to go to their centers to talk with the other teachers, as well as with the students.
The road ahead is clear. All we need to do is walk it together.
Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport