Work on Tecnológico de Monterrey is being a vibrant experience. We are now developing a new pedagogical model which is called Tec21. The model is a challenge based model where the students have to face problems and real situations, most of them in contact with a professional stakeholder. In this sense, the lessons have to go further than just the contents. As a professor you always have to try to find the point where the theory touches the practice or, saying in other way, how the theory can be applied.
One of the problems we are finding has to do with the humanities. Of course, humanities are, at the beginning, a kind of knowledge that is not easy to connect with practice. Think about literature, art or philosophy; how all of these knowledges can be understood in a practical way? Are they actually related with our reality, daily worries and opportunity areas? Of course, we come from a modern society based on industrial development where is not very easy to locate the role of the humanities. If we think about the 19th and 20th century, of course, is going to be quite difficult to point out a very relevant role of the humanities along society and culture; however, it is being the same in the 21st century?
Many things have changed when entering in the 21st century. And probably, many of them have to do with a new value that humanities are gaining in the global context. The digital transformations have pushed us to an scenario where the value is not already the industrial force, but the information and the way in which we put it in relation. The mind and the subjectivity, as they are part of the core of any information process, are nowadays in the core of the culture and, even, in the social production. Of course, it is being a very strong transformation which, as is known, is being called the 4th or even the 5th industrial revolution. So, observing these important changes, humanities has to be relocated in the whole of the knowledge, taking in account how important are the subjective processes of cognition and sensibility.
Many people could think that it is not true, that our era has nothing to do with the humanities skills because the machines have taken the control. However, it is not accurate. Precisely, the challenge is to demonstrate how humanities skills can not be reduced to their replication on machines. Of course, machines can transform and even improve processes of though and sense; the question is that, doing it, what is more and more in the center are, in consequence, these skills.
In conclusion, as a Tec21 professor, the challenge we have is more and more clear, although it keeps difficult at the same time. We don’t have to show how the competences and subjects we treat at humanities are important, more and more it is becoming obvious; we have to understand better and deeper these competences because what is becoming darker is their essence, their originality. Tec21 is going to be an opportunity to do it and I hope I could share it soon.