SCHOOL / Prof students, not preconceptions but freedom to come out of the eternal present

Among the numerous obligations that mark the time of the state school leaders at the end of the school year, the sessions that end the education process must also be included. and evidence for newly hired teachers.

The course includes various activities which require a coordinating action on the part of the leader and which formally end with the decree confirming the role of the teacher.

Sometimes it happens to be surprised by the narrative of paths and experiences that help to reflect on some priorities and attentions that our schools should not neglect.

This is how it happened a few days ago, when a primary school support teacher began by saying that her work with a severely disabled child would above all be a help, also for the family, not to live in an eternal gift.

When asked to clarify this statement better, he explained that the adult facing the life of a severely disabled child, probably also because he is tired of the day-to-day management, risks not seeing any potential anymore, and therefore seems he that nothing can change anymore.

Any initiative, any proposal will not be able to make it grow, will never open up the prospect of change, for news.

The eternal present is the time when everything has already happened, it is the time of necessity and silence.

This is a termination that leaves no room for the possibility of change that the caring act can instead generate, as was documented in the continuation of the conversation with the teacher.

Often, our school experience risks being captivated by the eternity of today and not just in the relationship with the students who are having the most difficulty.

It happens when it prevails in the pedagogical relationship a preconceived idea about the studentin which one remains trapped, and when reason is not perceived as an opening to reality and therefore also to the unpredictable and the unexpected, which can break the replication mechanism.

Only a reason open to the possible, in fact contrary to any determinism, manages to be creative, flexible, able to match students’ different cognitive styles with the didactic suggestions.

The eternal present is in contrast to a doctrine that does not recognize the value of personalization, and which tends to replicate the same content and the same methods over time, which is about quoting a well-known statement, “of a well-full and not of a well-made head “.

Continuing the story of the experience with the students, the teacher specified that she has always offered the children different opportunities to continue the work, there have never been any mandatory instructions.

The path was therefore not predefined from the beginning, but designed in a flexible way, to be able to gradually accommodate the different options that the children suggest.

It is not an abstract discourse, but very concrete choices, such as the decision about the method of communication: drawing or written text, oral narration or recording a video and more.

In this way, the end product is perceived by the class as an expression of a common work that everyone feels like their own. Children become active protagonists in their learning.

The teacher emphasized that it is a matter of constantly seeking the students’ freedom, of recognizing their originality, their contribution to common achievement.

There is nothing more important in educational work than this constant appeal to freedom, because learning is always a desired action, not an operation that can be controlled and enforced by third parties. Learning remains over time and only contributes to the growth of a mature personality if it is generated by the student’s conscious decision, even the youngest.

Pedagogical wisdom and professional experience teaches that when a child is involved in work, when asked for reflection, when encouraged to choose between possible paths, it grows, makes a meaningful experience of itself and of reality, it is the characteristics of learning.

Education is actually wise work of two freedoms that meet and who consciously choose to trust each other.

Marguerite Lena’s words come to mind The Spirit of Education. “Pedagogical action appeared to us as the obligation of one freedom in the service of another freedom. The child or young person is incoative and fragile, the adult educator may be more or less hurt and burdened by life. But in this prosaic and always slightly defective relationship it contains the most important question that a man can ask another man – that of the meaning of giving his own growth: who am I, who should I be? – and the noblest answer a man can give to another man , that of his common humanity.

Pedagogical action so strongly denies the old liberal thesis that freedom ceases where others begin […]. In education, the exact opposite is the case. The responsibility of the educator it starts where another freedom begins; […] and he must accept, even if he feels he is not familiar with his task, to qualify for a lifetime a freedom different from his own. ”

The teacher concludes his report by referring to one of the training workshops dedicated to soft values and recounts that what she learned at that meeting helped her plan her teaching activity and to observe aspects of children’s behavior that she had not noticed before.

Contributed by character skillsas documented in other interventions on these pages, when liberated from the implicit and become the subject of teacher observation and self-evaluation of students, albeit in different ways with reference to age, they become essential to promote an integrated view of the person’s growth path.

A path that sees in the exercise of freedom, encouraged by the various possibilities that time and reality offer, the heart of education.

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