“We must all think ourselves as part of a constant educative process for the entire span of our lives... aware that education represents the true treasure of humanity”.
The second semester of 2014 has begun with the much awaited start of the course in “Pedagogy of the person and of the community”, as new fields of research are opening up at the IUS. The finality for this teaching post, which has been officially inserted in Sophia’s academic offer, is, essentially, that of giving to a greater number of students and interested professionals a chance to get close to a discipline that is usually reserved to restricted circles and which, contrarily, is urgently in need of contributions to further present its wide and deep formative value.
This course intends to bring attention towards ‘a discipline for all.’ These are the first words used by Michele De Beni, one of the course’s two main teachers: “We ought to all think of ourselves in a constant process of learning, during the entire span of our lives. A starting point of our work is to bring the awareness that education represents the true treasure of humanity’ and this means “also that fundamental search for meaning that involves everyone, both the young and the less young, and becomes a continuous act of rediscovery of our identity, of our being educators one of the other”.
Entrusted with this course are teachers Michele De Beni, a specialist in psychotherapy who teaches at the Intercultural Study Centre of the University of Verona, and Araceli Del Pozo Armentia, a researcher who teaches at the Faculty of Education at the Complutense University of Madrid. Both also collaborate on the project EdU-EducationUnity, international laboratory of experts in science of education, and educators, committed to deepening those pedagogical lines that emerge from the thought and spiritual experience of Chiara Lubich and of the Focolare Movement, in dialogue with the rich and passionate debate on education.
Starting from a synthetic approach to the fundamentals of general pedagogy and educational relationship, the course introduces us to two particular areas of applied pedagogy: one regards the processes of learning and of evaluation as refers also to the area of work, the other to education in adulthood, or lifelong learning, so as to offer some orientation guidelines for the development of a Pedagogy of Unity. According to the methodology indicated by the Process of Bologna, among the didactic objectives there should be a central importance given to the value of reflection and the participation of the students in their own process of leaning. For this reason also, continues Araceli Del Pozo, “many aspects regarding the diverse group dynamics are underlined in the lessons in the constant interaction between students and teachers; aspects which, among other things, have much to do with the characteristic traits of teaching at the IUS.”
The first event for this course opened with 35 students coming from 20 different countries, of different academic background, carriers of many expectations, motivations and interests for this area of study which, as, or more than others, concurs to signal the strong need for interdisciplinarity held within the IUS’s offer of formation. A discipline that is offered as a place of dialogue along with other areas of specialization and with the different scientific and cultural experiences which brings life to the academic space of Sophia.