Educational ecosystem to the analysis and promotion of human development during childhood. the challenge for cities to create creative lives.

Cerana, Juan Pablo (2018). 'Educational ecosystem to the analysis and promotion of Human Development during childhood. The challenge for cities to create creative lives.' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018.


Educational ecosystems allow to regroup on a dynamical and acentric way a group of human, non-human actors and environmental conditions which exert a strong influence on the educational equity of a child. By educational equity I mean a means to generate opportunities so that the child gets the necessary capabilities to give sense to reality, to experiment and to propose. All these will enable the subject to construct new standards of identity and to exercise his agency, something that has been called "Creative Lives", a concept already used in texts on Human Development.

This paper takes as a starting point a multidimensional and interdisciplinary approach focussed on a social analysis and on public policies linked to the challenge cities have to face when childhood is being considered. It is also based on the traditional concept of Capability Approach to Human Development, on the notion of social theory by Edgar Morin, and on ANT (Action Network Theory) by Bruno Latour. At the same time, the concept of Educational Ecosystem is developed in close relationship with the multidimensional characterization, and on this matter, the "global subject" offers an interdisciplinary comprehension about many factors that influence it. Among the conceptual tools, it is worth mentioning the notions of "external capabilities", related to an informal relationship to other people; and "conversion factors", own or environmental factors in childhood which help transform resources into action.

The subject is conceived as "global" because he is immersed in an interactive and collaborative construction process that exert pressure on new forms of schooling and instruction. But not only on those, also on working conditions and identity. Such a construction process promotes new concepts of frontier and exchange, thus it demands new capabilities that run from the working world to ethic virtues and character. Each of these notions press on policies design: health, family support, labour laws; and on the development of infrastructural elements with a strong symbolic power: use of colours or bathroom designs. Thus, the Educational ecosystem is updated since social and political movements like gender, environment, poverty and inequality, freedom, and human rights among others, promote, impact on and press to refresh the Agency.

Through the Educational Ecosystem it is possible to rethink the development of public policies integrating them into different urban frameworks, and to generate improved conditions that will increase the possibilities of the poorest sectors if the job is done in its territory, being the cities centres of management. The challenge of cities is to assume an active and direct role on educational and curricular policies. In Argentina, such a role is played by the provinces and/or the central government. If we consider the issues just mentioned, it will be possible to understand education, knowledge and innovative processes as a distinctive element of local policies. This way, goals number 4 and 11 of Sustainable Development which propose an education of quality and by 2020 an increase of cities that put into practice policies and plans to promote inclusion, is going to be achieved.

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