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The school, in training, must reject the business model.

 <<Do kids have to know what they’re going to do when they grow up? >> asks us Dr. Valeria Verna in the beautiful article “COMMUNICATIVE INTENTIONALITY” published last week on this blog, naturally calling into question the world of school. The answer that emerges immediately is: <<absolutely no!>>.

It is a firm, decisive “no”, of which I am deeply convinced because for some time I have felt a kind of silent discomfort, the subtle perception of too many discordant notes in the system of formation, of which I am also a part, and more generally in the reality that I observe around me. We propose to young adolescents a model of abstract and violent perfection: they must be beautiful, know-how, competent, aware, projected from a very young age to the construction of their working future. We fill his life with things to do (English, sports, school, homework, musical instrument… if the catechism is bad for him!) and in everything they must excel or at least not arouse any concern in the adult world of reference. Failure is not expected and when inevitably (or fortunately I would say …) they encounter it becomes a destabilizing element that, sometimes, sends the whole family into crisis. It often happens to me during parents’ receptions, to see adults visibly distressed because the children take a four or “trudge” during the school year, as if their failure (sometimes absolutely occasional) became a judgment of parental inadequacy (too often endorsed by the teachers themselves) that completely tilts the image of the “perfect frame” family. Certainly the dominant culture does not help with its obsessive proposition of the ideal of Homo economicus whose existence must be realized in productivity, in gain, in personal and work success. Nor does it help the cloying and anachronistic cage of the bourgeois family (… white mill advertising style!) which imprisons individual existences in rigid and repetitive roles. But the school in all this? That school that should be a beacon, a space of freedom, the director of new horizons, that school that during adolescence should give unforgettable spaces of relationship, of openings, of freedom, where is it?

The school has unfortunately introjected the business model, it has been filled with empty words (for example “knowing how to be“….but what does it mean?! It makes me shiver!), of Alternanza scuola/lavoro (which has behind the idea of a practical preparation, immediately expendable on the work market) of an endless series of tests (evaluation test, Invalsi test, test for coming to university already during the last year of high school …. a madness! A path is not yet finished and one already has to think or know what to choose and if the test fails, he cannot realize aspirations or curiosity!). But why all this haste? Hurry to do what?

I think then that perhaps we have the problem, the “adults”, it is we who have missed something, who perhaps we have “forgotten” that the creative and affective dimension, in relationships, in work, even in the relationship with the world of nature is the most beautiful aspect of existence. Perhaps we have lost the sense of our being in the world, the sense of time and by “caging” the lives of young people, who have so much time, we try to hide our anxieties. But in this way we risk stealing time from young people… and instead they must fly free, have the opportunity to do even seemingly “useless” things, take the luxury like Charlot of walking hand in hand with a love, an idea, a desire …. Young people must be able to choose their time….

Sara Lazzaro


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