Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
García Hoz, Víctor. ""La libertad de educación y la educación para la libertad"". Persona y Derecho, 6 (1979) : 13-55.
Starting froro the idea that education is at the service of personal freedom, the
author of this article explains and justifies the thesis that in order to forro free persons,
freedom · ofeducation is . an indispensable condition.
After identifying the concepts of education, freedom, and person, as well as the
relationships that exist between the educactional proeess and the right to education,
the author warns that the meaning of freedom and the acceptance of responsability
are closely related to the concept which one holds of person and especially to the
.difference between considering the person as a beginning or as a resulto If the
human person is understood to be a starting principIe, then implicitly we say that
the person constitutes the free origin of all action, for which there is complete
responsability. If, on the other hand, we consider man to be the result of, say,
social, biological or technological factors, then neither freedom nor responsability
can be attributed to him.
The author then studies the 'Reductionist conceptions of education which are
in vogue today. These are the Pragmatistic, Political and Criticistic approaches. He
especially underlines the difficulties and obstacles tOOt lie in the face of freedom
of edueation, arising from the confusion bet\Veen educative action and social or
political aetion, a confusion that stems principally from Social Determinism.
The author then underllnes the points of friction that arise from different
opinions and attitudes with respect to the distinct contents of the educational
process and which are projeeted mainly in the field of the different interpretations given
of culture as well as· in the field of personal values, especially re1igious values. The
action of the State can be effective in the field of technical affairs but it does not
possess any legitima te capacity to impose a particular interpretation of culture or of
the religious fact. For this reason, in the field of education the action of the State
can on1y be a propelling and permitting force, or, in any event, á supplementary
The author also, taekles the problem of possible solutions which are open to the
plurality of educational conceptions. After pointing out the negaclve character of the
neutral ' school and of the so-caIled pluralistic school, he suggests the autonomous
school as the reasonable solution, both in function of educational authenticity and
of ethical requirements with regard to the freedom of the human individual in
educational matters. Educational institutions . require a framework of autonomy in
order to be able to respond to every concept of life and of education with an adequate
and peculiar type of school, and in order to provide an adequate atmosphere so that
the free initiative and responsability of youngsters can expand and grow, and thus
convert them into true adults who are eapable of using their freedom with a true
sense oE responsability.