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Paweł Kaźmierczak
A Report of the 3rd International Congress „The Word in Education. Good Practice in Times
of Crisis.” Barcelona 27-28.11.2015
Published: Studia Paedagogica Ignatiana vol. 18 (2015)
The International Congress „The Word in Education” (or „La Palabra en la Educacion”), directed by
Marcin Kazmierczak, the Vice-Rector of Abat Oliba CEU University in Barcelona, was held for the
third time on the host's premises on 27-28 November 2015.
This time, the Jesuit University Ignatianum acted as co-organizer with the Dean of the Faculty of
Education, Krzysztof Biel SJ, as a member of the Scientific Committee, and Barbara Surma and
Paweł Kaźmierczak on the Organizing Committee.
The Congress had a truly international aura around it, with 41 participants from Spain and Portugal,
France and Belgium, Poland and Slovakia. This international character was reflected in the number
of languages in which the papers were presented (English, Spanish, French, Catalan and Italian).
The Congress focused on education from the interdisciplinary perspective. Its main thematic fields
were: Literature in Education, Philosophy and Theory of Education, Psychology in Education,
Narrative and Biographical Method in Education.
The Congress was opened by the Rector of the Universitat Abat Oliba CEU, Carlos Carlos Pérez del
Valle together with Director of the Congress, Marcin Kazmierczak, Vice Chancellor for Research
and International Affairs, Universitat Abat Oliba CEU.
The first keynote adress, entitled The Narrative Identity in the Perspective of Postmodernity. The
Implications for Educational Practice was presented by the Dean of the Faculty of Education of the
Jesuit University Ignatianum Krzysztof Biel. The paper demonstrated how the concept of narrative
identity as worked out by Taylor, Giddens and Ricoeur can be applied to the practical field of the
rehabilitation of offenders by enabling them to retell their life story.
The first session was devoted to literature in education. Miguel Aranguren presented his large-scale
project Excelencia literaria aimed at junior-high and high school students, geared towards selecting
and fostering young literary talents. Maria Turu's paper Reconstruir los puentes de la literatura...
(Rebuilding bridges of literature…) took the example of Roman Brandstaetter's play Dies irae
(recently translated from Polish into Spanish) to illustrate the methodology of literary analysis
reconstructing the communicative process which links the author to the reader by means of the
literary text. Mariano Bártoli explored the subject of his paper El amor oblativo en los cuentos de
hadas (The sacrificial love in fairy tales) illustrating it by the example of the two main protagonists
of Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince, namely the Happy Prince and the swallow. In the paper entitled
The Resilience in 'Hansel and Gretel'. A Neo-Aristotelian Proposal of how to Educate through
Fairy Tales Marcin Kazmierczak sought to adopt the classical Grimms' tale as an educational tool
for cultivating resilience (the psychological equivalent of the virtue of fortitude). The concluding
paper by Maria Teresa Signes Signes La literatura infantil como herramienta para la educación de
una actitud resiliente (Children's Literature as a Tool for Educating a Resilient Attitude) was
a further elaboration of Marcin Kazmierczak's proposal putting it in a more universal perspective.
At 12 noon two concurrent sessions followed. Section A was entitled 'Philosophy and Theory of
Education'. Paweł Kaźmierczak's Teacher's Professional Ethics dealt with various approaches to the
field, including axiological, aretaic, and deontological perspectives, striving to attain an integrated
personalistic position. Two papers discussed philosophical aspects of Don Quixote. In the paper La
Insula Barataria y la instrucción política del buen gobierno, espejo de príncipes y compendio de
sabiduría sapiencial (The Insula Barataria and the Political Instruction in Good Governance,
Mirror of Princes and Compendium of Wisdom) Lola Esteva reconstructed Don Quixote's political
philosophy tracing numerous paralels between the Spanish classic and the Bible. Jaime Villarroig,
who also chaired this session, presented the paper Valores fugaces y eternos de Don Quijote. Una
propuesta para el grado de Magisterio desde la Antropología filosófica (Fleeting and Eternal
Values of Don Quixote. A Proposal for the Course in Philosophical Anthropology for the Students
of Education) in which he drew on his own experience of teaching philosophical anthropology to
Education students through the prism of Don Quixote. José María Forment in his text A 'Los
Increíbles' se les propone un brindis (A Toast to 'The Incredibles') found a parallel theme in the
2004 Pixar cartoon and in C. S. Lewis's 1959 essay Screwtape Proposes a Toast, namely the
imposition of mediocrity and denigration of excellence, and discussed its relevance for our current
educational system.
Meanwhile, Section B dealt with the domain of Literacy in Education. Five papers were presented
in this Section: Mercè Sánchez, Factores, condicionantes y materiales a tener en cuenta en el
proceso de aprendizaje de una lengua extranjera (Factors, Conditions and Materials to be
Considered in the Process of Learning a Foreign language), Belisanda Tafoi, Apprendre le
portugais dans la classe d'accueil (Learning Portuguese by Immigrant Students), Abel Company,
El ajedrez como juego educativo (Chess as an Educational Game), Ricardo Coronas, Análisis
valorativo del planteamiento didáctico del estudio de la coordinación sintáctica en diez libros de
texto de tercero de ESO (Evaluative Analysis of the Didactic Approach to the Study of Syntactic
Coordination in Ten Textbooks of Third Year of Secondary School), and, finally, Agustina Lacarte,
Didáctica del inglés a través de la literatura (Teaching English through Literature).
The third, afternoon session was also divided into two sections. The subject discussed in Section A
was Psychology in Education. Amparo Acereda delivered a paper Estrategias de aprendizaje y
metacognición: un análisis de su relación (Learning Strategies and Metacognition, an Analysis of
their Mutual Relationships). Laura Amado in her paper Déjame que te cuente: historias que ayudan
a crecer emocionalmente (Let Me Tell You a Story: Stories that Help Grow Emotionally) proposed
some texts particularly relevant as psychoeducational tools. The next paper, The Role of Dialogue
in Education and Family Communication prepared by Maria Potocarova and Zlatica Plasienkova,
adapted the insights from the philosophy of dialogue to the relationships within the family. Barbara
Surma discussed The Philosophical Aspects of the Narrative Constructing of the Identity of a Child
in Maria Montessori's Pedagogical Thought drawing on Martin Heidegger's definition of the
narrative and Charles Taylor's concept of self-formation. The last two papers in this section: Helena
Rebelo-Pinto's La educación del sueño en niños y adolecentes: modelo teórico e instrumentos
(Sleep Education for Children and Adolescents: Theoretical Model and Instruments) and Teresa
Rebelo's La educación del sueño en las escuelas portuguesas (Sleep Education in Portuguese
Schools) reported, respectively, theoretical assumptions and the practical implementation of a large
project of sleep education carried out in Portugal.
The concurrent session in Section B chaired by Enrique Martinez had as its theme 'The Way of St.
James: Educational Perspective.' It was inaugurated by the keynote address “Cammino di fede” di
San Giacomo Maggiore alla luce del Nuovo Testamento. ('The Way of Faith' of St. James the Great
in the Light of New Testament.) followed by a panel discussion. In the first talk ¿Peregrino
o turista? El Camino de Santiago y los desafíos de la postmodernidad (Pilgrim or tourist? The Way
of St. James and the challenges of Postmodernism) Piotr Roszak mentioned an interesting
portmanteau 'turigrino' or 'tourgrim' (tourist + pilgrim). Enrique Alarcón spoke about La pedagogía
de Santiago: notas epigráficas (The Pedagogy of St. James: epigraphic notes). Finally, Adam
Machowski discussed the subject El peregrino en Santo Tomás de Aquino (The Pilgrim in St.
Thomas), pointing out that it is the pilgrim's role to save the city and its inhabitants from forgetting
about what is the most important.
The last Friday session focused on Philosophy and Theory of Education. Michel Boyancé delivered
a paper En quoi l'éducation au bien commun est-elle nécessaire à l'éducation de la personne (Why
is Education for the Common Good Necessary in the Education of the Person), in which he
discussed Jacques Maritain's concept of the relationship between individual good and common
good and its implications for educational practice. Alberto Filipe Araújo and José Augusto Ribeiro
in their paper La Sociedad Posmoderna y el Fin de la Educación (Postmodern Society and the End
of Education) proposed personalistic philosophy as the remedy to the educational powerlessness of
postmodern societies. In the next paper Virtue Ethics y educación moral: nuevas posibilidades de
nuevas teorías éticas (Virtue Ethics and Moral Education: New Possibilities of New Ethical
theories) Laura Cortés argued for the potential of virtue ethics to contribute to the character
formation of the moral agent. Javier Barraycoa's paper La etimología como acceso la realidad
arquetípica: un ejemplo en el libro del Génesis (The Etymology as an Access to the Archetypal
reality: an Example in the Book of Genesis) demonstrated the immense symbolic, imaginative and
relational richness of etymological studies of the first book of the Bible. The last Friday paper was
delivered by the session's moderator Jorge Martínez Lucena Despertando al animal narrativo de la
mano de David Foster Wallace (Awakening the Narrative Animal under the Guidance of David
Foster Wallace).
Saturday morning session commenced with the keynote address by Conrad Vilanou Palabra,
formación y hermenéutica: La experiencia vivida como base para una teoría de la formación
humana (Word, Education and Hermeneutics: Life Experience as the Basis for a Theory of Human
Education). The fifth session was dedicated to Literature and Education and it featured five
speakers: Stefano Abbate El camino educativo de Dante con el maestro Virgilio en la Divina
Comedia (The Educational Path of Dante with Master Virgil in the Divine Comedy), Josep Maria
Giralt L’atenció a la diversitat. Reflexions arran del relat El nen jueu, d’Àngel Guimerà (The
Attention to Diversity. Reflections on the Story 'The Jewish Boy' by Angel Guimerà), Sergio Gómez,
La “brutalidad” en la educación. Comentario de la novela The Sentimentalists de Robert Hugh
Benson (The "brutality" in Education. Commentary on the Novel 'The Sentimentalists' by Robert
Hugh Benson), Cintia Carreira, Lectura de The Chronicles of Narnia en clave de mímesis figurada
de una realidad teologal Reading The Chronicles of Narnia in key mimesis figurative a theological
reality

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