SCHOOL / Reading a (complete) work in class, the beauty of rediscovering the world

In the last month, they have been performing on Subsidiary two similar experiences regarding reading complete texts in class. Corrado Bagnoli talte to read in class Secret garden by FH Burnett in a school in Brianza e Giulia Sponza described the work, which was born after the reading of Buzzati and Lewis at a school in Bucharest. Both experiences tell of lively and responsive students.

Both experiences are reminiscent of the work we did in the Bottega del Libro Foundation, which within Diesse continues the proposal to read special books in the class, which we call basic, which reveal the nature of man: the man consisting of soul and body and the man who together with its greatness perceives its own limitation and its own fragility.

Reading these texts helps children understand who they are and the value of their lives, not through speeches, but through identification in literary works, whether they are by Homer or Andersen or Tolkien or Cormac McCarthy.

Our work, born out of the compelling proposal of Paolo Molinari, has evolved over a few years within primary school and then opened up to first and second grade high school.

We have met teachers who have come in various ways to suggest a literary experience at the school. Some of them have implemented the original intuition in the primer (exhibited in Basic book for meeting man, by P. Molinari, F. Farina, M. De Nigris, Sestante 2013), others have come to it by personal intuition. All have achieved significant results from both a cognitive-disciplinary and existential point of view. Some have said yes to conveying this work through the series The Notebooks of the founding book (Bonomo ed.). Through this series, the experiences lived at the different school levels are offered to teachers who are interested in a lively school that intends to develop the knowledge energy.

What happened in the classes involved shows that a literary experience performed in the classroom, carving out a space within the normal school schedule for reading a work, even a card, by the teacher, may be an answer to that. emergency, which Davide Rondoni spoke about at the 2017 Rimini meeting.

Reading an entire text, with certain characteristics, in school with the students means creating a place where existential questions that need to be asked for the definition of the person can be cultivated. Cultivate and develop in the school’s typical ‘learning situation’. This is what Luisa Leoni Bassani masterfully described when he spoke about “the home” in the 2019 conference “Who are the young people we meet today in school?”.

In the cited articles and in Quaderni nos. 1, 2, 3 we actually find interventions from children / young people who are able to judge their lives and ask themselves countless questions that they know they can answer in the company of their teachers.

Actually condition sine qua non of this work is that there is an adult who is willing to communicate. It is a simple way to live the pedagogical relationship. As Dario Nicoli writes in the precious preface to Quaderno n. 3 on Pinocchio, “… the basic book has the ability to interest and motivate that many teachers seek in different ways, in fact it has the power to transform the class, which make it sure of teachers’ suggestions and thus become a living place “.

Bumping into the word, into the artistic gesture, is like diving into water, one cannot do it without getting wet. To read means to remain marked. An encounter that has to do with real life takes place in front of a page of a literary work. And it is well documented by the words of many young people. As reported by Valerio Capasa in Quaderno n. 2 about Homer, whom he healed with Carmen Rota, a student writes, “My pain is my pain, and I will not send it away because it makes me alive” (in the light of my grandfather’s death).

When reading books “with” the children, a human encounter takes place that increases the awareness of oneself, of the other, of the world. There the road is passable.

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