Esperanza Education aims to provide and foster “progressive” language education. It’s something we pride ourselves on. But what does that mean, you might ask.
In my mind, it means that the education is not an end in itself. For example, if I am tutoring someone in English, the learning of English is not the only goal. The goals, rather, might be:
- That we establish a safe and interesting space to interact respectfully.
- That the student and I have interactions and discussions that lead us to reevaluate our beliefs and thoughts.
- That we introduce each other to new resources, new people, or new concepts.
- That as a result of our discussions, we change our thought patterns or our habits.
- That as a result of our collaboration, the student is able to access more of the written world, more of the social world, more education, or more work opportunities.
- That we are led to be involved in projects, either independently or together, that foster greater awareness, equality, understanding, or justice in our world.
Why do we care about being “progressive”? Answering for myself: Because I have one life and would like to spend it as meaningfully as possible, that is, acting in accordance with my values. Transferring grammatical knowledge or adding a word to someone’s vocabulary—as an end in itself—is not a meaningful, value-driven action. When these actions are put toward personal, community, or global change, however, they take on great significance.
This of course is an ongoing discussion, personally and with others.
How do you interpret “progressive”? Do you think being progressive is important in language education?