Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Helena Sant'ana


Higher Institute of Social Sciences (ISCSP) /
Technical University of Lisbon ( UTL )
Pólo Universitário Alto da Ajuda - Rua Almerindo Lessa
1300-663 Lisboa

The education of shallowness and the hard path of wisdom

The profound transformations in Western society, the rise of the network society, the social recomposition and growth of new ideologies characterized by consumerism and by the rupture of references, by uprooting and moral ambiguity, reflected throughout the educational system.

The Informal education, made by the family unit and the formal education institutions consider, generally, the education for spirituality a marginal issue. In Portugal the notion of spirituality is interpreted as a form of religion, sect or even spiritism practices.
The institutions responsible for formal education transmit compartmented information erected under the legitimated dogmas of positivist science concept. The formal educations is characterized by the transmission of a superficial knowledge that bet on quantitative/statistical paradigm and the informal education rooted in the development of the consciousness of the “to have” rather than “ to be”, foster a consciousness of competition, that disperse the individuals by multiple social tasks but leave their inner sense empty.

This paper provides a brief reflection on the sort of result that informal and formal education has been exercising on young people and consequently on society as a whole, and presents some hypotheses to promote new forms of education. An education that promotes the ability to acquire wisdom. An education that focuses on the self knowledge , the development of a critical view based on ability to think morally and the development of a more ethical awareness, cooperation and sharing.


Professor of Sociology at The Higher Institute of Social Sciences (ISCSP), Technical University of Lisbon, and belongs to the research team of CAPP Centre of Administration and Public Policies.

She as been concerned in social stratification and in the influence of the neoliberal ideologies upon the social policy and in education, specially, the influence of this ideology in educational and work conditions and the emergence of mental health diseases.