After the success of «Piazzetta Digitale», the Pontifical Scholas Occurrentes Foundation returns to collaborate with the Ministry of Education to support the work of Italian teachers and to preserve and take care of the emotional health of students, among the most affected by the pandemic in progress
The numbers of participation speak for themselves and are a symptom of a clear request for help. On the one hand, hundreds of teachers and school managers have already discussed some meetings; on the other, hundreds of students looking for a sense of what is happening to their lives and to the world around them.
Through the potential of technology, a formidable tool for human connection, the «Digital Emotions» project, promoted as part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and Scholas Occurrentes and the National Plan for digital schools, thus nourishes a community of students and teachers who joins and strengthens around fundamental themes such as education, the concept of community in times of crisis, the importance of listening to each other and meeting people with different stories, experiences, ideas, transforming the screens in vehicles of dialogue and human understanding.
At the basis of the formative dialogue with the teachers – moderated by the international team of Scholas Occurrentes – the latest statements of Pope Francis according to which, especially for educators, it is not a moment of harvest but of sowing.
Led by Professor Italo Fiorin, the Pope’s education consultant, the teachers have become aware of how one can only sow through research. Research made of questions to the most vulnerable, of proposals for help, of meeting gazes that go beyond words, towards a true understanding that is first human and then professional. The professor reminds educators to «stir up» and thrill the students, instilling in them curiosity, amazement, direct relatives of the motivation that is triggered, however, only when one is able to touch a need. To reach the deepest needs of our children, it is probably sufficient to speak less and listen more. As Professor Fiorin explains: “What does it mean to listen then? We must listen to the questions of the children because they hide deep needs,like that of being considered as people before being students ”.
And just like that, on the other hand, a few hundred Italian high school students, in addition to expressing fears and insecurities – typical of the moment – have asked and are asking questions. This is Scholas’ proposal: that young people be able to ask questions through which to find a meaning that is not simply a wish fulfilled, but living life to the fullest so that everyone can find their place in the world at any latitude. and at any time because it is within them.
The teachers called to deal with what was discussed during the two days recognized the fundamental emotional aspect, today even more necessary than the educational one intended as purely informative. Says Professor Teresa Cirelli: “To be able to reach the kids you need to create relationships. It is easy to convey knowledge, it is much more difficult to reach the kids. It is necessary to transform the teacher’s ego into a us ”.
The training project for teachers and students will continue in the coming weeks.