The concept of “educational poverty” and the strategy proposed by many to combat it risk undermining the national school system even more.
This is what National President of Proteo Fare Sapere, Dario Missaglia, intervening in these hours with one comprehensive leader published on his association’s website.
The term “educational poverty” is used primarily to describe the context in which a significant number of Italian girls and boys live, a context characterized by inadequacy or even a lack of educational and cultural structures (libraries, playrooms, meeting centers,. .) and of lack of “stimuli” even within the family itself.
And then – Missaglia explains – the idea of that “Intervening as much as possible in the most critical factors in the context in which the unfortunate victims of educational poverty live will certainly yield the expected result of reducing the phenomenon.”
The president of Proteo immediately adds: “If I think of Don Milani, Bruno Ciari, Célestin Freinet, Mario Lodi, Loris Malaguzzi, Albino Bernardini, Andrea Canevaro, I have never found anything in their words that could lead to educational poverty for the children and young people they dedicated. By reaffirming the strength of a constitutional right conquered with great difficulty in our country, educational poverty was for them elsewhere: in school, they select, in the content of a teaching that spoke to a few, in the evaluative practices that punished the weakest, in school reduced to rules and bureaucracy, in the policies that forgot the schools and those who work there.This is the true educational poverty that they threw themselves over and were proud of the rebellious, uncultivated, undisciplined , sometimes even shy and isolated children, but ready to understand who came into their world to take care of them and accompany them in the discovery of knowledge that sets free. “
According to Missaglia, the drawing is ready: “If the school can not cope, and that is the premise of the analysis, ‘you have to help’. And each fragment of the third sector can contribute its own project to be carried out in schools with the humanitarian goal of reducing educational poverty.“.
But according to Missaglia, this strategy is completely wrong: It is not enough, it is not necessary, and it distorts the idea of ’adding’ to the school, as it is some courses, activities, external experts, extension of hours, in itself can constitute an effective strategy against proliferation. The school does not change with additions from the outside, it must be changed ‘from within’ and to achieve this goal we also need a social participation that asks for and asserts this change, supports it, enriches it, builds alliance with the forces that parts within the schools and they are fighting for that change ”.
To truly combat educational poverty and school dropout, it is necessary – says Missaglia – “To build bridges and virtuous alliances with those who are genuinely interested in changing the school, by radically changing the structure, function, organization and content of teaching”.
“AND – writes again there is a need for a new impetus to practice autonomy, which is always overridden by fleeing the temptation to close down companies, to surrender to the reassuring bureaucratic leadership of the ministry, by delegating to others “.
To conclude with a consideration that calls the school itself (and the most attentive and sensitive teachers) but also the social forces and the unions themselves for responsible choices also from an ethical point of view. In fact, it is not lacking “Those who do not want to change the school because they have understood that they can thrive precisely at the boundaries of the school itself. Leaving it intact in its class mechanisms, it is suggested to replace it in its more delicate social functions. We also leave homework, questions, grades, lessons and the key to the program to the existing school ”.