None of the nine muses devoted themselves to painting, architecture, and sculpture because for many centuries they were not considered art, it was claimed that they did not have an intellectual dimension. During the Renaissance, they began to receive this recognition, which was later extended retrospectively to works produced before that time. Up to and including the 20th century, the creation of new human relationships so full of beauty, goodness and truth as Botticelli’s “Nascita di Venere” has not been recognized as art either.

It is no less difficult and no less important to decorate a home or school with these beautiful human relationships than with this beautiful painting. Neuroscience, among other fields of knowledge, is increasingly providing empirical evidence of the influence that the painting on the wall and the relationships within that space have on human lives. Even when we visit our former school as adults, walk down the street that connected it to our home and perhaps enter there, our memory is moved more by the relationships we had and experienced there than by the equally important physical décor of its walls.

Who does not remember the educator who made an important contribution to our lives? Until very recently, this educational work, this creation of new relationships and dimensions of our lives, has not been recognized as art, just as paintings such as the “Portrait of Sappho of Mithelene” were not recognized as art for centuries. The profound and accelerating transformations of today’s dialogic society are very quickly bringing about the recognition of this educative work as social art, and there is already evidence of how it improves the lives of humankind more than any of the previous arts.

This accelerated change is beginning to open society’s eyes to the importance of the beauty that teachers discover in their pupils’ relationships and promote it, while at the same time working to avoid the ugliness that is often present in them. We do this work not only as education professionals, but also as relatives of the children who are now being educated and who will always carry in their memory what we did with and for them.

Por Ramón Flecha

DAAD Gastprofessor Universität Wurzburg. Catedrático Emérito de la Universidad de Barcelona. Investigador número 1 del ranking científico internacional Google Scholar en las categorías de "gender violence" y "social impact" (violencia de género e impacto social, respectivamente).