“A full of legality”, the pedagogy of memory and historical epistemology: an AU for primary school

In recent years, historical discipline has been deliberately analyzed through the discourse of its knowledge. However, this “historical epistemology” is essential to its understanding, as it constitutes the means by which it is defined, programmed, and justified. Epistemology runs through the history of the discipline, it becomes clearer when its knowledge is questioned, as in the last thirty years in Italy since the Remembrance Revolution. Driven by a number of factors, this revolution challenges historians by valuing memory over history as an appendage to the past. Historical epistemology has been divided into two initiatives, which are a result of the dialecticization of the concepts of history and memory, made possible by the identification generated by the lesser revolution. Historians, on the one hand, have planned a new field of research by objectifying memory: the history of memory.

The pedagogy of memory and the duty to remember

The pedagogy of memory, based on places and testimonies – writes Ledoux – appeared in our salons and schools (as well as universities) after the First World War to respond to the cultural challenge that a war experienced as a breach of civilization for Europe. Their reach was expanded at the end of the 20th century with the introduction of a duty of remembrance, which saw the diversity and internationalization of the tools of remembrance, that is, the public narrative of the past for the present and for the future of a society.

Pedagogy of memory inside and outside the classroom

These pedagogies can be summed up, especially in these very hectic days, where the “exceptional” presence is sought, in two main practices:

  • the intervention of the witness
  • the visit to the memorial sites.

Testimony from veterans and children of mafia victims to students

Testimony from veterans to the students is attested in connection with the memorial service on April 25 or November 4 in front of the monuments of the fallen. These first pedagogies of remembrance – Ledoux writes – are placed in the context of a pacifist and pan-European movement aimed at young people, where the conflict that has destroyed Europe is seen as an “education war” aimed at bringing the people to the continent. together. Witness intervention, reinforced by the development of oral history, experienced a renaissance in the latter quarter of the twentieth century. These are mainly resistance fighters and Jewish deportees from World War II in the context of the Shoah’s history and the fight against Holocaust denial. But it also concerns the relatives of the victims of the mafia, who especially these days fill TV and newspapers as well as lecture halls at our schools.

Visits by school children to memorial sites, including Falcone’s steals on the A29 motorway

School children’s visits to memorial sites, historical sites with a cognitive and educational dimension, relate to the two world wars in which Europe was the theater. Since the 1990s, following the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, which became a symbol of World War II, Ledoux writes, has been the most visited place by schoolchildren coming every year for thousands of years: 571,300 (57 % of total visitors) in 2006 and 1,029 million (72% of total) in 2012. 29,603), English (24,222), Czech students (23,840), Italians (17,610), French (17,547)), Slovaks ( 17,034), Norwegians (16,958). In Germany, a didactic history trend developed in the 1970s and 1980s, which consisted of communicating the past through pedagogical means (films, field visits). But not just them, to be honest. These days, visits to the sites of the 1992 massacres are multiplied, with Capaci (stolen along the A29 motorway) in the first position along with via D’Amelio, where Falcone, his wife and escort were killed, and in the second place, Borsellino and his very young escorts.

Awakening emotions and the “Emotional and controversial story”.

It is a matter of arousing strong feelings in the students, promoting identification with the victims, of rejecting the Nazis, the mafia and avoiding any possibility of its rebirth among the young. Likewise, the increase in the number of students in Auschwitz is part of an educational stream called “Emotional and Controversial History”.

A reference order in democratic transitional policies

The practice of school visits to places of remembrance has also become a reference requirement in the democratic transition policies implemented in the countries of Europe.

A tool for national and European remembrance policies

Remembrance pedagogy has benefited from the support of international organizations, for example with the establishment in 1990 in Verdun of a “World Center for Peace, Freedoms and Human Rights” by the UN, or the holding of the Stockholm International Forum for Prevention .. of the genocide in 2001. Since the 1990s, a policy of Europeanizing memory has been pursued to include young Europeans in a community of historical experiences and destinies. The pedagogy of remembrance is one of the most prominent tools for the commemoration of the world wars and of European memory policies. The same thing happened with the “anti-mafia phenomenon”, from 1992 onwards.

The competition of memory

This investment has resulted in a phenomenon of “memory competition”. It has taken various forms on a European scale with a “memory iron blanket” between the West focused on Holocaust crime and the East focused on communist crimes. Today, Italy is focused on mafia crime. These pedagogies also fit into these memory competitions in two ways. On the one hand, they sometimes come to feed them by transmitting to students a national victim-heroic past that amplifies the narrative conflict with the country’s minorities or with the EU’s memory norms.

From pedagogy to competition in memory

On the other hand, this pedagogy is also mobilized as a pedagogy for competition in memory. These pedagogies are also mobilized as a manifestation of competition in memory. Since 1992, the pedagogy of memory has highlighted the moral, emotional, or normative dimension of practices that risk weakening history. The antimafia itself has become a memory with the risk that the memory of the story has really been lost.

The cross-cutting AU for the basic cycle: “A full of legality”

The Transversal UoA for the Basic Cycle “A Full of Legality” was conducted by Professors De Bernardo Maria Luisa, Iannone Rosanna, Guarnaccia Ida, Mancuso Maria, Maurelli Maddalena, Montesano Tiziana, Palermo Salvatore, Lombardo Lara, Tomasello Maria, Palermo Marisa, Matalone Maurizio (Project Coordinators Proff. De Bernardo Maria Luisa, Maurelli Maddalena and Palermo Salvatore) from the Poggiomarino Comprehensive Institute of Poggiomarino (NA) and by SS 1st degree “G. Mazzini ”by Adrano (CT). Uda reads: “The school is proposed as a center for cultural and social advancement in the area to allow students to discover the characteristics of an identity that governs the educational process in the name of self-training, knowledge, tolerance and interaction between different cultures… Education in legality , understood as the acquisition of a civil conscience and as the promotion of a culture with respect for the rules of social coexistence, is and must be the primary goal of the education. is convenient and that where there is participation, citizenship, rights, rules, common values, there can be no crime.In this sense, promoting the culture of legality in schools means educating students to respect the dignity of the human person through awareness of rights and duties, with the acquisition of knowledge and internalization of the values ​​that are the basis of coexistence stens civil. At the center of the pedagogical action must be placed the student as the main character in his own community and the positive value of the rules as a tool to help with the development of the individual’s potential, called to freedom and to self-fulfillment. The issue of legality is absolutely central to the social challenges we are called to fight, beginning with the struggle for a more just and democratic society, where all citizens are equal before the same system of rights and duties. It is right to remind ourselves that civil coexistence is the result of a tiring and fascinating cultural reflection, which allows us to look at the other as “another us”, as a person we can talk to, and which we can share an inevitable system of. rights and duties. The Comprehensive Institute of Poggiomarino and the ‘Mazzini’ Secondary School of Adrano place education on legality at the heart of the education offer plan and promote an educational path that invests the two schools and especially the teachers from all disciplinary areas, who for this purpose must research and improve the content, the methods and forms of relationships and evaluation of learning “.

UDA – legality project

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