The essential elements of education: a humanistic view of neuroeducation


  • Antoni Santandreu Mayol Facultat d'Educació, Universitat de Barcelona
  • José Ramón Gamo Socio fundador y director pedagógico del Centro de Atención a la Diversidad Educativa (CADE)



Educational Neuroscience, Neurophobia, Humanistic perspective, Intelligence, Culture, Values Education, Language and Literacy, Human and social capital


This article discusses the role of neuroeducation in teaching-learning processes from a humanistic perspective. Despite having garnered the attention of the scientific and educational community, the increasing complexity in educational design and methodology can lead some educators to experience a sort of "neurophobia". However, it is recognized that due to various axial changes throughout history, education is constantly evolving. These changes have been driven by convergences in science, technology, among others. Nevertheless, given this complexity, there is a call for the need to balance innovation with the consideration of the "essential elements of education". These essential elements, also persistent throughout history, are intrinsically linked to human intelligence and, consequently, to the creation of cultures. We, as humans, advance by solving problems using our intelligence. These solutions crystallize in our culture and, in turn, influence our intelligence. Our desires trigger intelligence, generating emotions that mobilize the neurocognitive machinery to make decisions and act. However, it is essential that we humanize our intelligence, educating it in values to avoid cognitive biases and foster decisions that are beneficial to all. Likewise, it is necessary to adopt an attitude of "courage to act" to turn decisions into actions, but being critical before brave, and in search of collective happiness. We must not forget to stimulate the development of the three major cognitive revolutions: mental representation, language, and literacy. Equally, it is important to support education as an investment in human and social capital, to help overcome significant obstacles to human progress, such as fear, hate, prejudice, ignorance, and poverty. In conclusion, education must transcend from the mere exposure of instrumental and sophisticated knowledge, and instead emphasize the essentiality of forming individuals capable of understanding and enriching their culture, to not only access information but also manage knowledge and progress in any context. Because educating is more than staying up-to-date, it's about sowing progress.


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