9 May 2019

Today it is more common to find the concept of education linked to terms such as emancipation, autonomy, or freedom, than to norms, discipline, authority, submission or boundaries. This article sets out to show that limits, norms, rules, and even physical limitations are fundamental in education because they are an essential part of human reality and the human condition. Its main thesis is that rules not only regulate human activities from outside, but they also operate from the root of the activity itself as an expression of the peculiar rationality of human beings and their way of being in the world. The article firstly demonstrates this thesis by examining certain physical limitations that are approached educationally, and then in various other human areas, such as language, play, ecology, the Internet, and sexuality. It also shows how rules, by limiting the possibilities for how certain actions will develop, allow us to intuit or glimpse other types of limits and other possibilities —not always better ones— for human development and its standards. From an anthropological perspective, this has led us to suggest how an individual’s future possibilities expand, increase, and develop if her family, school and social settings for growth are spaces bounded by limits and norms. These allow her to feel safe enough to begin a process of critical assimilation of her received inheritance. The subject better understands reality, and the different possibilities for evaluating that reality, when the process of evaluation starts from a relatively enclosed perspective (with limits and norms) on the received tradition.

This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 273 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Reyero, D., & Gil Cantero, F. (2019). La educación que limita es la que libera | Education that limits is education that frees. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (273), 213-228. doi:

3 October 2007

In parallel with the reading of the philosophy of late Roman Stoics, the following issues are raised: the essentially pedagogical task of Philosophy; the connection of Stoicism with the philosophy of Camus, in as much both conforms an education to confront the suffering and the problematic one of human existence; and the critical element of social conventions which the Stoic Philosophy maintains, recovered by Rousseau and present in his pedagogy. Finally, we will conclude with some general reflections that relate the studied elements and extract consequences for education.


Key Words: Moral Education, Stoic Philosophy, pessimism, virtue, freedom, society

10 June 2007

This article shows how the human unfulfilled condition makes education possible. And it does it from three points of view: biological, psychological, and existential. Special relevance acquires the latter as it reflects that human beings needs the help of his fellows in order to carry out a really human life.

30 October 2006

Freedom is not a disposition available when we are born but a possibility that depends on our work on ourself and the virtues. The article, explores the internal structure that allows the election in the human beeing. From this anthropological analisis extract some pedagogical guidelines that justify the necessary intervention of the education as well as well as the limits and objects of that intervention that are essential to become a free human being.


Key words: Freedom, anthropology of education, critical pedagogy, behaviorism, character education.