How social educators can transform school life


We live in a world very different from that of our grandmothers, even that of our fathers and mothers. The school is an organization that tends to look more to the past than to the present or the future , and it takes time to be prepared to deal with some of the new characteristics and challenges of today’s society.

The educational centers need to review their projects and policies to adapt to the educational needs that are emerging. That is, social changes require a continuous change in the educational system.

To innovate in education it is necessary to analyze what and how to change , and also to evaluate the proposals that are already being carried out in educational centers; Review how they are done, if they work and why.

An association allied to the school

Our research group has thoroughly analyzed the work of the Kokuk association . Its co-curricular socio-educational intervention programs (that is, parallel to the educational curriculum, of a voluntary nature) aim to blur the boundaries between formal, non-formal and informal education.

They do so by incorporating the figure of the social educator or educator in schools. These are professionals who support boys and girls from a role other than that of the teacher, with a focus on integration, coexistence and personal development.

The social educators complement the work that is carried out from the school to prevent exclusion, help build a plural environment and promote the promotion of all students, regardless of their personal and social characteristics.

Exhaustive analysis

In the study we have combined different research techniques:

  1. Documentary analysis.
  2. Semi-structured interviews.
  3. The focus groups.
  4. Ad hoc surveys .
  5. The evaluation of the advisory board, which compares the results.

The people chosen to participate in the analysis of this research are agents of the educational community: directors and directors, teachers, educators or street educators (who, like co-curricular educators, work for monitoring and prevention, but outside the school), students and families. All the people interviewed know first-hand all the work that Kokuk has been carrying out for years.

Their responses agree that the work carried out through the association allows breaking stereotypes and prejudices related to the population of foreign origin, facilitating their integration and coexistence; and work more appropriately on problems related to the material and emotional deficiencies of children and adolescents.

Students attended, better coexistence

The benefits of the socio-educational intervention are personal, relational and community: better management of emotions reduces conflict; coexistence improves; and the reduction of conflicts is reflected in better school performance. Students feel cared for and listened to. This fosters their perception of belonging to the center, thus reducing absenteeism.

Teacher support

Integrating educators and social educators into the day-to-day life of schools makes it possible to manage situations that teachers alone cannot face. When they act together, life in the educational center takes place in a more comprehensive way, unites people and teaches them to work by and for everyone. Unites the educational community as a whole.

However, the project faces two general limitations according to the people interviewed, both professionals in formal education and non-formal education: on the one hand, the lack of economic resources that are allocated to socio-educational interventions in schools , since according to the teachers and social educators their work is underestimated and they are not invested in.

On the other hand, there is little awareness of the importance of this social and educational work, which makes it possible to achieve an educational improvement that puts the person and their integral development at the center.

Author Bios: Maitane Picaza Gorrotxategi has a PhD in Education, Department of Didactics and School Organization, Aitor Garagarza Cambra is a Professor of the Department of Education Sciences at the UPV-EHU, Amaia de la Fuente Gaztañaga is Professor in the Department of Evolutionary and Educational Psychology, Amaia Eiguren Munitisis a Teacher of the Department of Didactics and School Organization. Faculty of Education of Bilbao, Idoia Legorburu Fernandez is a Researcher,Irune Corres Medrano, Leire Etxezarraga, Marina Sagastizabal is a Professor, Look Nekane Beloki Arizti is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work and Nahia Idoiaga Mondragon is a Professor of the Department of Evolutionary and Educational Psychology of the Faculty of Education of Bilbao all at the University of the Basque Country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Maitane Picaza Gorrotxategi, Aitor Garagarza Cambra,Amaia de la Fuente Gaztañaga, Amaia Eiguren Munitisis, Idoia Legorburu Fernandez,Irune Corres Medrano, Leire Etxezarraga, Marina Sagastizabal, Look Nekane Beloki Arizti and Nahia Idoiaga Mondragon