Categoría: Essays and Articles

Socrates at School.

Versión en Castellano: Sócrates en la Escuela.

I only know that I know nothing, and knowing that I know nothing, I know something; because I know I don’t know anything.

Socrates 470-399 a. C.

A. INTRODUCTION: Why apply Mayeutics in our Education?

According to Plato’s translation of Tredennick (1968), mayeutics consists of a relationship between teacher and disciple based on dialogue, which aims to achieve the true essence of things. This dialogue, for its part, can be established from an erratic or ignored idea, called Socratic irony.

Through reiterated dialogue, knowledge of things is reached, either by rejecting the proposed irony, or by achieving knowledge of what was ignored. Although, this technique can be considered around the dialogue and debate of some idea or concept, isolated from irony. Then, the maieutic aims to give birth to the knowledge of things from the knowledge that the disciple already possesses.

According to Sánchez et al. (2012), the Socratic method is very different from the «master class», it constitutes an active learning methodology, based on metacognition, which focuses the student as the protagonist of their own learning, fostering in the student the creation of a critical attitude.

Then, it becomes important to define the term metacognition in order to understand the association of this qualifier with mayeutics. Flavell, in his work, defines it as:

knowledge or awareness that one has about their own cognitive processes and products […] refers, among other things, to active supervision and the consequent regulation and orchestration of these processes in relation to the cognitive objectives or data on which they act ”( Flavell, 1976, p. 232)

Having understood this concept, and following this line, Shoenfeld (1992) highlights the importance of using teaching methodologies based on metacognition to improve students’ learning of mathematics. For his part, Rigo (2011) defends the implementation of metacognitive techniques in classrooms, underlining Socratic maieutics as a teaching-learning technique that fosters student learning based on self-recognition of their ignorance in three phases: time of construction , moment of de-construction and moment of re-construction. Likewise, this author points out that the use of this technique has numerous benefits in the field of research and mathematics, which makes it necessary to transfer it to other educational spheres, thus causing the metacognitive practices that represent the quintessence of Socratic mayeutics, have an unquestionable presence in the educational agendas of different countries.

However, we can appreciate that mayeutics is presented as a relationship between teacher and disciple, which through dialogue allows to connect with previous knowledge and that, through de-construction and re-construction, the student will acquire a learning, at the same time that you will be aware of your own cognitive processes and products. The necessary elements that must coincide to produce meaningful learning are observable in this technique, as previously discussed considering the postulates of Ausubel, Novak, Gowin and Vigotsky.

All in all, we can broaden the connection of mayeutics with Piaget’s cognitive processes and Bruner’s exploration and remembrance discovery, since together they comprise, for example, the methodological basis of the Harvard Intelligence Program.


The Harvard Intelligence Project (from now on PIH), developed in the late 1970s, was conceived, according to Mejía et al. (1992), to improve thinking skills and abilities in adolescents from socially depressed families. To do this, through systematic intervention, the increase in skills considered typically constitutive of intelligence was facilitated.

Thus, the contents of these interventions focused on the following skills: classifying patterns, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, developing and using conceptual models, understanding and modifying adaptive behavior.

The methodological bases of this program are found in the mayeutics, Piaget’s cognitive processes and Bruner’s exploration and remembrance discovery, with the objective of: developing useful cognitive skills in themselves that facilitate the acquisition of other knowledge that can be extended to situations and contexts of the personal, family and work life.

On the other hand, with respect to the report emanating from the institution that carried out the project, Harvard University (1983) reveals that both the experimental and control students presented an improvement in test scores throughout the year of experiment. On the other hand, the progress of the experimental group was greater than that of the control group in most of the proposed cases. Showing statistically significant differences, which makes the project a promising program.

The success of this program has found a place in its implementation in many countries on a global scale. Among one of his essays, Ramos (2014) studied through his methodology how the PIH influences the IC, as well as the implications in the organizational and professional development of teachers. The study occupied him four years, concluding that:

«The incidence of PIH in IQ is very positive, producing cognitive improvements in students, measured through the Cattell intelligence test» g «. With respect to professional organization and development, it positively influences the autonomy of teaching activity, the commitment to its pedagogical practice, as well as the self-criticism necessary to constantly evaluate it, generating flexible pedagogical proposals, through self-reflection. The communication of this experience positively influences both the school community and the local community, encouraging them to participate in educational projects aimed at improving the quality of teaching-learning and education processes ”(Ramos, 2014, pp. 1-2)

On the other hand, Ramos (2014) proposes that active learning implies a greater degree of involvement in learning as it entails a continuous search for answers and formulation of hypotheses. Considering active learning as an interpretive process that allows us to understand reality, giving it the character of constructive activity.


Christopher Langdell, developed in 1870 the oldest known case method. According to Donham (1922), in that year Langdell was the new dean of the Harvard Law School (HLS) and he proceeded to approach his class from the Socratic method, debating a case that his students should later produce and solve. Its success was such that in 1920 the business school, Harvard Business School (HBS) introduced the case method in the subject of marketing in 1920. Later, other of its schools followed.

Donham (1922), in his work, explains that the main objective is for students to learn for themselves, through independent thought processes, developing the ability to use their knowledge and skills, constructing new meanings from previous learning. Since, according to this author, knowledge without the ability to put it into practice is not useful, and the ability not continually encouraged by new knowledge makes any activity routine. Something that, according to Ausubel (1976) is defined as mechanical learning, the other end of a continuum with respect to meaningful learning. And it is that, for this author, Ausubel, significant learning must be observed not only as a process, but as a product. In this sense, the attribution of meanings that is constructed with the new information is the result of the interaction between clear subdimisors, already present in the cognitive structure and the new information.

On the other hand, Donham (1922) stresses that to encourage activity, the teacher acts as a guide and catalyst, promoting dialogue and debate, allowing students to discover meaningful ideas for themselves, always within a logical framework. In this sense, the Johnson-Laird theory of mental models complements that proposed by Ausubel. According to Johnson-Laird (1983), mental models are those representations that provide individuals with predictive and explanatory power, given that they are characterized by their functionality. If the mental models do not possess these qualities, it is very difficult to attribute meaning to the content. Reason why, a learning will be more significant the greater the ability of individuals to generate mental models related to the subject under study. Therefore, the information or content offered must be considered substantial in a way that favors the construction of these mental models, something that requires logical significance.

In summary, we can conclude that mayeutics, in addition to helping to build functional mental models endowed with predictive and explanatory power that help build meaningful learning; As an active methodology, it involves an interpretive process that allows us to understand reality, giving it the character of constructive activity. Likewise, it favors the interpersonal relationship between teacher and disciple, as well as with the group, which allows for greater socialization, in addition to conferring the catalytic effect of emotion in learning. Without forgetting that this metacognitive methodology helps to develop reflection, deductive and inductive thinking, problem solving, hypothesis planning, among others, which results in greater brain activity, which, as has been proven, seeks its further development. and favors intelligence.


This article is a fragment of the Theoretical Framework of my Final Master’s Thesis, completed in June 2018 by the Isabel I University. Its essence is mayeutics, with which, likewise, it winks at Plato. Specifically, the first introduction and reflection is the sugar phrase in the photo below. A sugar bowl that I kept from a café in one of those times I went up to see my father at the San Cecilio Hospital when his second leg was amputated (hospital where I was also born). He always encouraged me to go further, to unleash my ability, to polish myself. And, finally, also making the journey is something very emotional. My father said goodbye without being able to walk, and I have walked trying to go further thanks to his inspiration and the song he dedicated to me on my 35th birthday, March 24, 2013.

Remembering it today, and feeling that it is always my inspiration to think, work and go further, I leave this little article on the «mayeutica» with the hope that it also inspires other people in education, especially those professionals who are committed to Inclusive Education. and really positive.

Verónica García-Melero


Ausubel, D. (1976). Psicología educativa. Un punto de vista cognoscitivo. México: Ed. Trillas.

Ausubel, D., Novak, J. y Hanesian, H. (1983). Psicología educativa: un punto de vista cognoscitivo. México: Trillas

Ausubel, D. (2002). Adquisición y retención del conocimiento. Una perspectiva cognitiva. Barcelona: Paidós.

Donham, W. (1922). Business Teaching by the Case System. The American Economic Review, 12, 53–65.

Flavell, J. (1976). Metacognitive aspects of problema solving. En L.B. Resnik (Ed.), The nature of intelligence (pp. 231-235). Hillsdade, N.J.: Lawrance Erlbaum Associates.

Gowin, D. (1981). Educating. New York: Cornell University Press

Harvard University (1983). Proyecto Inteligencia. Informe final. Ministerio para el desarrollo de la Inteligencia Humana, Venezuela.

Johnson-Laird, P. (1983). Mental Models. Toward a cognitive science of language, inference and consciousness, Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Kurfiss, J. (1988). Critical thinking:theory, research, practice and posibilities. Washington, Association for the studiy of higher education. Asheeric Higher Education, 2.

Megía M. et al. (1992). El proyecto de Inteligencia de Harvard. Madrid: CEPE

Pérez, M. (marzo, 2013). Comunicación y oratoria con programaión neurolingüística e inteligencia emocional. Conferencia llevada a cabo en la universidad de Navarra. Navarra.

Ramos, M. (2014). Influencia del Proyecto Inteligencia Harvard en el desarrollo cognitivo de los alumnos de educación primaria. Implicaciones en el desarrollo organizativo y profesional en el segundo y tercer ciclo de educación primaria. Avances en supervisión educativa,  22. Recuperado de:…/ase_22_25_ramos.pdf

Rigo, M. (2011). La Mayéutica y su aplicación a un cuestionario dirigido a docentes. En Educación Matemática XV (pp. 523-532), Ciudad Real, España:SEIEM, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.

Sánchez et al. (2012). Metodología de aprendizaje activo a través de la mayéutica platónica. Departamento de Metafísica y Corrientes Actuales de la Filosofía, ética y Filosofía Política. Universidad de Sevilla.

Shoenfeld, A. (1992). Learning to think mathematecally: Problem solving, metacognition, and sense-making in mathematics. En D. A. Grows (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 334-370). New York: Mc Millan

Vigotsky, L.S. (1987). Pensamento e linguagem. São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

VV.AA. (2017a). Ud2: Procesos de aprendizaje. Universidad Isabel I. Apuntes de Aprendizaje y desarrollo de la personalidad.

The Death of Socrates

Stereotypes (II): heuristics as a mental shortcut from a psychological perspective.

Versión Castella del Artículo: Estereotipos (II): Heurística como atajo mental desde la perspectiva psicológica.

– We thought there was bacon and there were no bags to hang it on. What am I saying to you? –

My grandmother María Teresa and her «koen».

The intention of this entry is only to bring closer the psychological perspective of the Stereotype. In the article: «Why men do not listen and women do not understand the maps«, we focus on those explanations that neuroscience, biology, psychology, among others, offer us regarding «Curiosities» that attend to this stereotypical nature. Trying to go far, It is well appreciated that the knowledge regarding what a stereotype is can be very interesting to us.

Attending the psychological perspective, is nothing but appreciating why we let ourselves be carried away by a preconceived idea. In this sense, a stereotype is a mental shortcut to active mental processes; in such a way that it resorts to saving thought, that is why we «let ourselves go«.

This mental shortcut is nothing but a heuristic, as that term is conceived in psychology. However, following this assessment, it is necessary to pause to define in a general way the concept of «Heuristics» in order to achieve a better understanding of the pesicological perspective in this regard. Specifically, its definition addresses the terms «find» and «discover«. However, we can appreciate two assimilated meanings, although different, considering their gramatical function: a noun or an adjective.

In this way, heuristics as a noun refers to those sciences, arts or disciplines of discovery; consequently, aimed at the application of a scientific method.

After abstracting the intention of the noun for the term heuristics, it then allows us to differentiate its concept from that which makes it possible to accept it as an adjective. In this sense, «heuristics» is understood as those procedures, strategies, outlines, syllogisms, laws or conclusions about the knowledge that is intended to be found or discovered of anything.

Having reached the knowledge of what heuristics is, let us proceed to delimit it in the field of psychology. Thus, heuristics in psychology are related to creativity, specifically, it has been postulated to consider it as «that simple and efficient rule to guide decision-making and to explain on a practical level how people arrive at a trial or solve a problem» .

Why consider a heuristic as a mental shortcut? A usual human behavior is to save or reserve mental resources when we are presented with a complex problem or we assimilate links of missing information; we appreciate incomplete information. So, a heuristic can be thought of as a shortcut to active mental processes.

Frequently, a heuristic comes from a reasoning by analogy, in itself implies that the learning that it entails and that is opposed within an assimilated context has been significant, since it makes it possible to integrate it within related, although different contextualizations.

It rests, however, on a clear schematic mental representation. Trying to represent such schematization through maps and / or schematizations enables us to underline as significant the knowledge we have of something. This comes to be the postulate of Gowin, who has come to develop heuristic techniques for reasoning, such as that of «V», as well as has promoted the use of mind maps.

However, resorting to reasoning by analogy can lead to systematic errors in decision making or the development of judgments. Why? Because that anchored learning that we have about something and that we resort to to establish analogies or judgments is wrong. Then, we will repeat it forever as long as it is not corrected.

All in all, this observation is somewhat controversial for the discovery by discovery of things that claim very different disciplines, especially in an educational context. It should not be forgotten that each new knowledge that is transmitted focuses on the intention of seeking significant learning and, precisely, the use of heuristics (strategies, schematizations, laws, reasoning, processes) is what enables the development of lateral thinking, amen to promote the development of language skills and mathematical reasoning. That is to say, our creativity, our abstract thinking emerges, it helps us to establish analogies and to be able to reconstruct learning in a schematic way and for different contexts; which is based on meaningful learning.

In fact, according to the national and autonomous curricula of «ESO» and «Baccalaureate» in Spain, the use of heuristics is an «obligation» as this is how their literature approaches us.

Now, abstracting the knowledge that psychology provides us with respect to heuristics, we are going to contemplate it from the stereotype standard that it brings us closer.

In this sense, when we judge an individual based on a stereotypical description of a group to which he belongs, we attend to a pre-established judgment. It happens that the use of the stereotype can result in an error since the individual may be unrepresentative of the stereotype.

What could we say? If statistics are available regarding stereotypes, these stereotypes may be valid and correct, which does not mean that the heuristics are not perfect. Unfortunately, we hardly have statistics regarding stereotypes; All in all, the book that Allan and Barbara Pease bring us closer manages to clarify, from the «heuristic» method, statistical realities that give us different areas of knowledge about very different stereotypes. Another reason why it is considered very interesting to read.

However, going back to the stereotype and its statistics validated in a natural and social way, we consider the error. It is very likely that when generating stereotypes, from the appreciation of a specific phenomenon, we will have possible specific errors. The important thing, in this sense, is that we have managed to categorize a specific phenomenon as a stereotype as long as the errors in its observation are more than compensated for by the frequency of the hit, the latter being considerably higher.

Likewise, many stereotypes are obtained from saving mental resources in order to accelerate decision-making; not based, therefore, on reasoning or solid knowledge. What is the problem they present? Especially ethical and moral, it is critical to obey stereotypes when they can jeopardize the physical, mental or economic integrity of the individual at stake. Have you realized how unhealthy it can be to stereotype someone or something without knowledge, and just because yes, because deep down you are bothered by that «superiority» or «advantage» that you appreciate in another person, physical or legal, and what does not stand? Because let’s not forget, companies (legal personality) are also stereotyped. And things too.

Right now I am remembering Bogas Shop, a multi-service store and bazaar on Avenida del Paseo Marítimo in Adra, the city where I live. It is a spectacular store, beautiful, one of the few well decorated and organized that the municipality has. Also, it is huge, like the Pampa. It is easy to appreciate that posh touch in things that we all like, simply because it is assimilated perfectly: «The senses delight in those things that present the perfect proportions» (Saint Thomas Aquinas).

Still, it popped into my head the last time I went for tobacco, stocks were running low. Is it possible that some person with malice has made an effort to slow down or deny the authorization for the sale of tobacco in this place because «as it is so posh and so large it will not need it»? Or was it simply the result of By chance, suddenly, after years dispensing tobacco, it has now been considered your … disability for this purpose? The truth is that I do not know it, the manager did not know with certainty what was the cause of this new problem, but he had to face it. And that he did, deplete his stock.

In particular, it is a store that, thanks to the sale of tobacco that it has been doing since its inception, for example, can use some other thing that is needed. Possibly we are talking about impulse products, but who doesn’t like to have a cold beer and some fries, or some jelly beans, when he comes tired of the task and has gone, at first, for cigarettes? This land is very «country» and, also, «marine«, that this well-known impulse is among all of us. Or, at least, as a hoteliers’ daughter and granddaughter is something that I can assure from my knowledge. Of course, in this case the hotel business is the opposite: to come for the impulse to the beer, you also want the cigarette to accompany. Thus, this last stereotype, that of making the store look «so posh that it does not need to sell«, of presenting itself as a trigger (we are speaking from the hypothesis) … don’t you think that you are putting at stake the economic capacity of the store and its workers? Ask yourself: is there a store that you set up not to sell? Do you plant your seeds so that they don’t grow? Do you eat and then throw everything away?

Personally, I hope that the Adra City Council will review this situation with this store or lend you a hand and help you, if it is in your capacity and power; that there are many people to whom it comes divinely that Bogas Shop also dispenses tobacco, among other things.

In my specific case, I met her using her service to collect messaging packages on behalf of third parties. A service that many are unaware of and can be very useful, especially if you are concerned about not being able to leave the house if you expect a delivery or are simply working. However, going for tobacco is how I found out about this current problem. I hope that everything goes well for these neighbors and that this setback, that worries them so much, has disappeared.

Speaking of stereotypes, Spain has been categorized as «the country of envy«. Imagine that in our country, when something is very good, excellent, extraordinary … it is «enviable«. Is Bogas Shop enviable? According to this stereotype, YES! It is a store that, for all those people outside Adra, any non-resident, can leave in their minds the trail of development, technology, modernization, current events and organization. All an example. Sure, examples like this are also worth your money. It is likely that it will have more investment and, equally, indebtedness. Have you stopped to think what it can cost Bogas Shop to open the doors?

I am a staunch defender of Spanish and of the place where I am. I have lived in many different places in our geography and abroad as well, and I perceive in myself that feeling of union and cooperation with the people of their places. Something that I find deplorable is that the locals from many geographic areas of the planet, instead of supporting each other; do the unspeakable to undermine the entrepreneurial neighbor: bad-mouthing, slandering, overshadowing, inventing and, of course, not consuming or buying. Do you think that in this way the commerce of any municipality can be promoted? Do you not think that we can all live helping each other?

Simply, look for competitive prices you the merchants, the rest should be the social support of the place. It is easy. But it’s also easy to see small businesses fall because they don’t get support from their neighborhood. What’s more, if they miss some items in their municipality, the city council could well promote brainstorming to enjoy with the knowledge of what their people like and extrapolate it to their entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. Also, try to be competitive in your business, do not want to stay with the Saint and with alms – the stereotype of shops in small municipalities. You, the merchants, the merchants, position yourself in wanting to sell at fair prices and everything, if you walk in a «kind and beautiful» way, it is very likely that you will come to fruition.

There is no greater wealth for a place than that with the cooperation of its population. This creates an unprecedented expansive social and economic effect. It makes cities grow, not only in number, but in cultural and social diversity. Filling with wealth that is reflected in its shops, services and homes. And in good taste. Filling with abundance, filling with well-being. Because, remember, we all like to «pull it off«. But we are more fascinated by doing it comfortably and with a smile on our faces. Smile at your neighborhood, it’s free and a blessing for the soul. If you are a merchant, also remember this Eastern wisdom: «He who does not know how to smile, must not open a store«. For all this, always smile, this predisposes you to a positive attitude.

A big hug to all my readers and followers!

With affection,

Verónica García-Melero


Beuchot, Mauricio (1999). Heurística y hermenéutica. Ciudad de México: UNAM.

Moustakas, Clark (1990). Heuristic Research: Design, Methodology and Applications. Sage Publications.

McLeod, S. (2015). Stereotypes. Simply Psychology. Recuperado de:

Real Academia Española y Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (2014). «heurística». Diccionario de la lengua española (23.ª edición). Madrid: Espasa.

Stereotypes (I): Why men don’t listen and woman can’t read maps.

Versión en Castellano: Estereotipos (I). Porqué los hombres no escuchan y las mujeres no entienden los mapas.

Women are like mathematics, difficult to understand … although necessary for everything.


This small entry is intended to recommend a very curious book. It fell into my hands almost twenty years ago and yet it never ceases to amaze me. Especially, now that I am immersed in the world of reading and researching of social, psychological, neuroscience and biology dyes too.

Considering the content that brings us the book that I present below, it is very likely that we will find the knowledge that the human does not accuse himself of being wrong. When this happens, he avoids at all costs the cession of his position or, simply, to recognize that he was totally wrong. It generally leads people to an insufferable perfectionism or, if not, a serious immaturity. «Wrong is human, and rectify, wise». So, love your mistakes, have fun of them! The next time you leave your door open, don’t deny it, don’t blame «nobody», just … say: «I trust people». Well, humor may help…

And, if you continue with more examples, have you noticed that women generally have difficulties with maps? .. But, and men, have you realized how much it costs them to stand and ask for an address? Could it be that they are afraid of being wrong since in the question they give up their power, their control of the matter?  In any case, if you are a woman, you have probably dropped the window at the first red traffic light you find and asked the first person you meet. If not, you have even stopped the car for looking for some human being’s help.

These differences are curious, they are our day to day and, basically, they are small things that make us different. Then, it is good to seek equal opportunities, although always keeping our differences. Perhaps it is a social approach whose perspective has not been exploited intensely since feminism. Another day we can talk about my personal vision of equality and this term that does not completely convince me.


Why men don’t listen and woman can’t read maps: how we are different and what to do about it» it was first published in 2001. Written by Allan and Barbara Pease, a couple of experts in personal relationships. It quickly became a world best seller.

It is a book that offers a totally new and fresh vision of certain human behaviours. It is a material that approaches inquiries in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, sociology, psychologist analysis, although in an illuminating way.

It is a shocking and frequently hilarious exposition of stereotypical gender differences, answers and commom questions about why men are turned on by the thing that turn women off, the relationship between PMS and sex drive, why blondes have highter fertility rates, and more.

In addition, it is full of drawings that illustrate each case. Something that makes your reading much more fun and, at moments, extremely amusing.

So, if you have a curious mind, you will enjoy discovering the reasons for some stereotypes. It is a highly recommended book.

I remember its title: Why men don’t listen and woman can’t read maps: how we are different and what to do about it»

You’re going to love it!

We have crossed the border of 30,000 followers!
Thank you very much to all of you who read and follow!

A very big hug!

Verónica García-Melero

Dress to impress

Versión en Español
Dress to impress…your abstract thinking.

I would have used this headline for the blog post, it describes so much better its intention. However, I prefer to draw on three little words. They are like a good parfum in contrast to an eau de toilette. With few drops this writing can get a better starting, so it might leave a more emotional impression and a lasting trail in reader’s mind.

Why I call dress to impress this entry has its raison d’être in the workplace. In one of my experiences, while living in England, I was looking for a job in one of these newspapers with specialized sections in one day a week runs. In particular, it was on the Wednesday print – not usual in Spain, by the way -. While looking for offers I found one that captivated my attention: «Dress to impress». What can it be? I asked myself. Maybe something about the clothing industry, fashion, catwalk … and I said to myself, I have not come far in Spain, but maybe here I can do it, this is my place. I quickly get excited with a possible alternative if something catches my attention.

Then, after dreaming, I decided to read it at all. Luckily it was an offer for a management position, what I was looking for. Not as glamorous as fashion shows, but enough to go dressed as if you were on the catwalk. Dress to impress!

Why did a position like this call attention to something as superficial as clothing? Actually, is the clothing we choose to wear something completely vain and superficial or says a lot about us? After talking about this matter with my roommate, she told me that in England some people did not have the habit of going so well dressed to look for work as is customary in Spain. Something that has nothing to do with those people who like to dress elegantly. England is a country where smart people, it is not smart, it touches another level, it is stylish, posh as they say. And I love it, being honest. I love to have swag.

However, before speaking in more scientific terms of the cognitive and psychological reach of our clothing, I would like to invite you to a small experiment. From it, you can discern from your understanding why.


0000000If you usually put on a casual fit when you go out for whatever, a dinner, a meal.., next time try to dress up well. Wear formal clothes, if you are a gentleman, put a well-fitting suit on; in the case of ladies, it would be perfect a nice dress, althoguh a well-fitting suit is a great choice, too. Depends on your style. Maybe, you can feel out of place at first, although pay attention to people reactions… Do they show you more respect?, are they more polite? Nevertheless, the more important appreciation is how you observe yourself. Because it is not only other people who judge as by our clothes, but we do  ourselves as well.

Anyway, where I want to go is not just the experience of your environment in such situation, but the cognitive consequences of formal clothing. According to this, scientific studies show that the fact of dressing up formal clothes is associated with the perception of a less accessibility, the feeling of power and a higher professionality. In fact, formal dress is related to psychological formality and social distance, in contrast to the casual one, which is approached to intimacy and familiarity.

Slepian, Ferber, Gold and Rutchick, from their scientific article «The cognitive consequences of formal clothing», show that formal dress causes the same effect as social distancing and formality of language. And, what is that effect? Increasing abstract thinking.

Well, and what abstract
It could be something assimilated to adolescence, while this, adolescence, is typical of human beings, something that differentiates us from animals. And, what is more, it is the stage of transition from childhood to adulthood.

Abstract thinking presents a certain analogy with adolescence as it is exclusively human, it is a human being capacity in this case. It refers to the willingness of people for creating original ideas or posing situations that help us putting ourselves before possible scenarios. As we see, it is a skill that is achieved from creativity or originality. Although it is not innate in everybody. Something that does not mean that it can be developed through training and perseverance.

magical thoughtTo develop this type of thinking requires a partial disconnection with the material world, in order to enable the discovery of relationships and links with what we do not see, that is, with ideas, notions and the immaterial world.

Possibly you are wondering about the advantages of this type of thinking – when can I appreciate that I am using it and for what? Is it a skill that I was born with or have I been developing it without being aware of it? -.

There will always be someone who tells us that there is nothing like being landed, with feet well planted like trees, and not dreaming and flying since our thoughts. If what we are looking for is the pragmatism of our daily decisions, of everyday life, it will be a great advice. However, if what we are looking for is a different, creative, original solution, one that is not seen, unusual, something that we unite with hammering as it has never been seen, this is not born but from a glance above. From a higher thought, abstract thinking. And yes, of course it is closely related to intelligence, to greater intelligence, greater capacity for abstract thinking. And of course it can be developed, just like intelligence does.

You may wonder about the use, application and advantages of this type of thinking. Special importance comes in the business world. To be a successful manager, you need this kind of thinking. It is the one that will train you to offer innovative alternatives in your business. And, we must not think of Wall Street or Silicon Valley, but of any business that we find on the street. The coffee in the corner, for example.

Abstract thinking allows us to look beyond pragmatism, from which numerous benefits are derived, such as the following:

critical sense and personal independence

It helps the formation of the critical sense and the personal independence that it entails. What does this mean? Instead of letting others think for us, this kind of thinking strengthens our criteria in different contexts and in certain situations. Something that derives in autonomy, in personal independence and leads us to the feeling of freedom. To feel more free people because we enjoy the feeling of this ability. The «I can«. It allows us to dive a little in ourselves and to empower us as well.

Increase creativity

Our creative capacity is sometimes castrated by the material resources available to us immediately. The fact of seeking connections with what we do not see at a glance, with the immaterial, leads us to enhance our creative capacity.

Alternative scenarios and Probability analysis.

What are alternative scenarios? It would be like reading a book, or watching a movie. With our thoughts we move to other worlds, to other scenarios, from which, rather than traveling, we extract from their observation and appreciation something useful for our present.

In business management, the usefulness of abstract thinking will end up endowing us with a proactive mind, a mind that anticipates events, instead of reacting to them. Something that, inevitably, will end up helping you to position yourself as a pioneer, innovator or, simply, someone who makes a difference and whom the crowd follows.

A clear examplo of a proactive mind and innovation can be seen in Madonna’s one. Personally, I am fascinated by her artistic and business talent. In fact, she is able to impose fashions and styles since her originality and creativity. She is a visionary. Also, overly disciplined and hardworking. Very moved by oriental philosophies, which point towards hardwork, respect, discipline, punctuality and a long list of positive aspects. Another day we will talk about Eastern philosophies (Far and Middle East) and their applications.

Remember that a director’s main task is to orchestrate different human and material resources in order to efficiently and effectively manage his business. Something that allows a competitive advantage, which is what it is about. To position hiself or, at least, to stay on time in his sector.

For this simple reason, consider that the management of a business is not based solely on the choice of information alternatives already put on the table. It is not only a pragmatic task, it is a task that arises from ideas, analysis and previous considerations.

Now think of unicorns, these companies, most of them from nothing, have achieved an impressive capital based on innovation, on the visionary mind. As you can see, it is that abstract thinking is the one that manages to unite «hammer» absurd ideas that end up being a black horse, if not.

Finally, use a formal, smart and appropriate clothing, not only for a particular occasion, but for your day to day.
If you run a business as simple as a clothing store or a coffee shop, dress elegantly. In addition to procure respect and professionalism, it will subconsciously suggest the feeling of power, capacity, autonomy and independence. Something that will end up appearing in grace for your thought, will drive you to a higher thought, to the abstract. What everyone does not see, his originality.

I have written in English for a simple reason. It’s a little wink I give to all my subscribers. Most of them are from abroad. Well, I know my writing is quite Spanish for now, so I hope to improve it over tim


Feliz Año Nuevo!

Verónica García Melero





The miseducation.

Versión en Castellano: La Mala Educación.

True discipline is not imposed, it is born of ourselves.

Oriental Proverb

Have you ever heard of Buridan’s Ass? It is the ass that, according to satire, does not know how to choose between two equidistant and identical heaps of hay, which ends up starving to death. It is a categorical proposition, an argument of reduction to the absurd against the ideological position of Jean Buridan, defender of the free will and reason as a capacitor to ponder all decisions.

As you can see, decision-making from reason is totally paradoxical. In the process of discernment for the election itself, the satirical imprint of the attack on this scholastic theologian becomes. Which, by the way, was a student of William of Ockham.

What teaching about, is observable from the behavior or conduct of the ass. Good because he doesn’t know how to eat, well because he can’t, he ends up not choosing any of his hay stacks, so he dies of hunger. If this argument is extreme, we can appreciate the paradox of our reasoning if other examples are approached. One very popular is that of the love. This one, courted by two suitors, is so dazzled that she ends up not deciding on any of them. With which in the end, she does not die of starvation, but she does end up being alone.

The reason why I approach the Buridian Ass argument today is to make an analogy of it with the Educational System. In this way, the proposals and political guidelines would come to configure a heap of hay and, the scientific proposals and recommendations, the other. The point is that it seems that in our classrooms it does not end up having a faithful reflection of what the legislation proposes or what the scientific community recommends.

From our regulatory framework, it is expected today to educate citizens in what they call key competences. These serve as an instrument to incardinate both the general objectives of the stage and the specific ones in the curricula. From which it is hoped to build an education of values ​​from which the students, the future workers of the system, grow in abilities and skills.

These key competences, defined by the LOMCE, and previously established by the previous Organic Law, LOE, under the label of basic, emanate directly from the Recommendation of the European Parliament. As we can see, they are the same for the entire European Union, then. And it is that, the educational purposes for world education, its aims, as well as its strategies, must obey the guidelines and recommendations of UNESCO.

Drawing based on Buridan’s Donkey. Own elaboration.

These guidelines are «treasured» in the Report of this Organism, the well-known Delors Report. I say «treasured» because they seem to be locked away, well hidden. A treasure! It seems to be, also, that although this Report is constantly referred to, if its citation is observed closely, closely, in very diverse scientific contributions, categorically what they come to express from it is: educate ourselves in learning to learn, in emotional intelligence and build an education on the four pillars Delors preaches. Ea, it’s over. This is why I wonder, has anyone read the Delors Report? Because if they take it in their hands, it is a good «billet». In any case, Delors and company already sensed that they would not be widely read, so they were cured in health with the «Clues» of each of their chapters.

Leaving acidity aside, to question whether the orientations of this Report are truly contemplated, is to question whether they are truly brought into practice from the classroom. After all, the teacher is an «Atlas» on which the weight of the Educational System falls. For this reason, if you are a teacher, you have to ask yourself what you do in class.

The weight of the Educational System could be seen as a set of stones. One stone is the general objectives of the stage, another stone is the specific objectives of his subject, another stone is the values ​​and philosophy of the center, another stone is the methodologies he uses in class and, finally, the fifth is the teaching style. from teacher. Its imprint, its quintessence. They are five great stones that contain the value of Education and provide balance. If only one falls, «Atlas» breaks down and crashes down.

Now, let’s stop at the fifth stone. In the essence of the teacher. If we consider two teachers who work in the same subject, with the same preparation, with the same intelligence and working in the same center, where the curriculum, programming, values ​​and philosophy are identical. Even the methodologies to be used are the same. It is very likely that very different results will be obtained in the learning of the students of one teacher compared to the other. Is the result due to the particular characteristics of the students in each class? Most likely, the deficit in the learning outcome of one group with respect to the other is argued by tilting the balance towards a bad attitude of the students. When in reality it is due to the attitude of the teacher. Because, ask yourself now, if the same thing always happens when observing the same subject and different teachers, is the problem always in the student, or is it in the teacher?

We have all been students and we have experienced that joy that some teachers transmit. These come to be the least, but surely we all have treasured in our hearts some teacher, whom we remember with special affection. Why? Because he likes his profession.

And it is very simple, when a person likes his work, his predisposition to learning and continuous improvement is a constant. She is always enthusiastic and motivated, with joy and with a desire to work and learn. All this gives him self-discipline and it is from self-discipline that self-regulation of behavior is born. As we see, just by imagining this person, we are already excited and happy. Even more so if he is the one who instructs us, he will inevitably transmit to us his spirit, his essence, his happiness. Now ask yourself, can a person who is not motivated transmit motivation? Also ask yourself, can a person who is not self-disciplined educate in self-discipline?

Motivation and self-discipline are two fundamental ingredients for the good performance of student learning and, above all, so that their predisposition to learning is good. Motivation is a behavioral process and needs to be maintained so that this predisposition allows you to undertake any task or activity to its end. So, if you are a professional in education, ask yourself: do I motivate my students? Also ask yourself: How do I motivate them, what do I do to motivate them? Possibly in your answers is the solution to improve something in class.

With regard to self-discipline, an oriental proverb comes to say that «true discipline is not imposed, it is born of ourselves.» Consequently, a positive predisposition towards a task, in addition to motivation, requires a feeling of enthusiasm for it. We are excited about what we like. In this way, ask yourself: what can I do to make my subject like it? Also, ask yourself: What can I do to make my class like it?

This enthusiasm, which will determine the student’s self-discipline, is sustained by the fourth stone. The one of the methodology. Now, going back to the Buridian Ass argument, the methodology would come to represent the haystack of science. With the word methodology we could encompass technique, didactics, strategy, among others. We consider it a lot of hay because despite the evidence of science the possibilities offered by certain methodologies, strategies, techniques, for the achievement of significant learning and the development of virtues and values ​​in students, the attitude of the teacher towards its use is not positive, if it is not null. Nor does it contemplate the virtues and values ​​to be worked on in the classroom. With what, how a complete education in the student will be built if that integrity is not worked.

Well, the entire effort of science in pedagogical, didactic and educational matters, is aimed at seeking the way and means with which people learn significantly, learn better, get excited and know each other from their learning. Not all of us learn the same, so we must consider facilitating a variety of methods and strategies with which people become aware of their own learning. This is what guides them to learn how to learn. To be continuously recycling ourselves. It is something necessary, since the result of our training is nothing but training for the labor market. And, today, the job market is increasingly demanding in knowledge and skills. Many talented people are nonetheless fired for incompetence in social and emotional skills. That is why, from our early formation, comprehensive education must be considered.

Now ask yourself: Did I make some notes fifteen years ago and do I still photocopy them today for my class? What’s more, the exercises are the same so that I already know the results and that I save. Also, ask yourself: Do I make my students work on projects cooperatively, encourage dialogue in class, do I reflect, do I investigate, question what they learn, connect the learning from one day to the next, or… I plug in the projector to follow my explanation and then go down to buy the notes to the copy shop? Also ask yourself if, in order not to complicate your life, follow the book closely or, directly, request that the manual be opened on page X.

Of course, master explanations, content exposition and visual support are fundamental, but if this were a mathematical proposition, it would be a necessary reason, not a sufficient and necessary reason. For this reason, consider that your students need to be involved in their own learning and must further facilitate more methodologies and ways with which to create meaning in their science. Also, remember that your students are students of the 21st century, students of the digital age. They have been born surrounded and living the digital experience, which has ended up conditioning the way they learn. Their information digestion processes have varied, requiring more agility in their learning process. And since your students are these, not those of twenty years ago, adapt your teaching to your students.

My passion for education and everything I have been learning over the past few years is what has brought me to write this today. I never thought that I would publicly express my opinion, however, all my work from my last year, the step I have decided to take, I owe it to my son. He has motivated me to finish deciding what I am passionate about. And since I am so fascinated by people’s education and training, it is something so great, that it gives so much satisfaction, that I would like to make many educational professionals reflect today.

And I choose today, December 5, because it is my son’s birthday, wanting to celebrate with him the gift of love that being a mom means. I try hard for him, but it is thanks to him that everything I am doing is possible. My hours of staying up late to move forward have been made light by the love that makes me feel. And, of course, that has managed to unleash my ability and enthusiasm for what I do.

I would like him to grow in a school education that facilitates all those values ​​that help him grow as a person. In any case, as far as my responsibility as a mother is concerned, I hope to transmit many of those values ​​that I find so hard to see in education and in society. Above all love, humility, sincerity and mercy.

For all these reasons above, don’t get lost as a paradigm, the solution is very simple. The best teacher is not the one who knows the most, but the one who teaches the best. Be aware that today you must work as a guide, not as the «Oracle of infinite knowledge». And always keep in mind that a good teacher is an educator. Not only does it transmit knowledge or guide to achieve it, but it brings values ​​closer to the students and enables the way for them to develop them. In addition, from his joy and passion for what he does, he excites and motivates. I flagged myself to like what he does. Be a wise person, not a scholar.

Nor is it justified that you need training. Of course, training will be made by an increasingly competent and wise person, but surely if you look at your being, you know that you have enough skills, from now on, to bring educational purposes to your classroom. In this way, since the ass is from Buridian, be Buridian and take your master’s razor. With Ockahm’s razor you will be able to make the simplest decision, that of taking one pile of hay and the other. Later, you will be able to discern how much hay from each pile is the best option. But for now, he has both heaps to keep his class from dying of boredom. With not boring, you have already taken the first step. Start by making your class fun. This cheers, motivates and excites. Make a change. You know, deep down, that to start a change in the classroom, the change starts with you.

With love, my son.

Verónica García-Melero