Public school and (i) civil society, Lucivero, Petracca, De Pasquale

Public school and (i) civil society, Lucivero, Petracca, De Pasquale
Public School and (i) Civil Society, Lucivero, Petracca

The text The primary school and (i) civil society from Lucivero And Petracca is the result of a long, passionate and very personal observation of the changes that have taken place in the Italian school over a period of a few years, between 2020 and 2021, a historic period marked by the pandemic.

The authors, two high school teachers, elaborate on reflections on the innovations introduced in the school and on the school policies of recent years, moved by the belief that the school is “one of the few and indispensable bulwarks of freedom, rights and duties that shape the building of a civil society that has remained crucial in a world turned upside down by the pandemic“[1].

The issues raised are many and complex. Above all, I allow myself to dwell on the observations and analyzes concerning the experience of distance learning, activated in our country due to the tragic pandemic from kl. COVID-19because the questions it asked are of great relevance to the future of the school and the students.

In the emergency, due to objective difficulties in maintaining the functioning of the school itself, a forced experimentation with mass “distance learning” was activated in an entire country using new communication technologies. The work therefore refers to topics and problems of great interest and very current.

The authors, wise and thoughtful, assess the didactic forms that were implemented in the period of distress as a “forced” fulfillment of innovation projects that have already been partly secretly introduced in the school, and which only today seem to be characterized by superficiality.

According to the authors, in the state studies commissioned since 2009 in relation to the use of information technology for teaching in primary schools, there is a total absence of serious and documented evaluations, also due to the lack of a real experimental approach. In fact, there was no adequate prior impact assessment distance learning on students and pupils, about the pedagogical relationship based on the virtual dimension.

The peculiarity of the didactic situation would have required the definition of precise goals to be achieved, monitored and evaluated through some controlled experiments. However, according to the authors, the choices made were unfortunately only made on the basis of one needs or urgency tax from marketbefore and from pandemicafter.

There is no doubt about that in the environment online significant parts of young people’s lives have been transferred. Partly work, to a greater extent social relationships, transactions and entertainment are established online and attract subjects for a good part of the daily time. Do these spaces remain virtual places “elsewhere” compared to real life, or are they already a part of it?

The authors doubt that with the massive advent of computer technology and in remote form, “we can still speak of the school as a place of closeness, as a context in which real and meaningful intersubjective relationships are created, as a communication structure that conveys questions of meaning, as a thinking community that questions reality and poses problems.“[2].

The authors’ concern about activating valid didactic processes without the presence of bodies seems to me well-founded. The permanent participation in reticular communication of The Internet it does not always guarantee the substance of true communication, where it is possible to control the activated knowledge processes, nor the growth of the autonomy of thought. The relationship must take place between people even in the presence of their bodies and not only through images, abstract and decontextualized opinions, reported by subjects, distant in space and sometimes in time, empathetically perceptible.

ONE training school, including And intercultural, and not functional for the market, it assesses the time in the educational relationship from a qualitative point of view, which allows young people the existential search for their own identity, the meaning to be given to things and experiences, the slowness of reading and common reflection. about text, confrontation and dialogical discourse. It is the path that proves to be even longer or at times unproductive, but fruitful of human, cultural and social depth and creativity.[3].

The authors strongly emphasize the need to build knowledge in the school, in the community in the classroom and in the school space in order to achieve valid learning and civilian training. They believe that face-to-face teaching and school life are indispensable in terms of reconstruction of the possibility of democratic and conscious participation outside school in order to achieve such civil society more mature and innovative and plural life forms.

Young people can only return to participate in the construction of the future if they already in school learn to think and discuss, regain autonomy and time within regulated boundaries as a condition of comparison with others.

After all, how is it possible to participate in a public discussion if one is not able to converse and discuss among few, where one shows respect, tolerance and interest in what others have to say, is aware of their body language and their thoughts?

Listening to ideas you disagree with, take the floor (there Parrhesia) to take turns, to express one’s opinion, to criticize, to put oneself in the place of others, to put forward other ideas is fundamental not only for democracy but also for the authentic and participatory elaboration of decisions that concern everyone’s best interests.

[1] M. Lucivero, A. Petracca, The primary school and (i) civil societyAracne, Rom 2022, pp. 129-130.

[2] Ibid, p. 102.

[3] Allow me to refer to M. De Pasquale, Philosophy and the right city. Out of the shellStilo Editrice, Bari 2021, e-book format.

From Preface from Mario De Pasquale to the text M. Lucivero, A. Petracca, The primary school and (i) civil societyAracne, Rom 2022.

Mario De Pasquale
Mario De Pasquale

Mario De Pasquale, was a teacher of philosophy and history in high schools and then a school leader, didactic expert and advocate of ‘philosophy for all’. For many years coordinator of SFI’s National Didactic Commission. Co-editor of the magazine «Comunicazione Filosofica», online magazine for SFI, deputy editor of the online magazine «Logoi.Ph». Author of several essays published in Italian and foreign magazines and in collective volumes, among his most recent publications: Confilosophare in the city (Stilo 2014); Youth and philosophy. Goodbye to Narcissus (Stylus 2021).


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