5.b.11 – Who is to teach young people?

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July 11, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

Who is to teach young people?

So far, everything we have said about the management of culture is valid only for the adults. In fact we started from the premise that children are driven primarily by a desire to please their parents, while the adults by that of solving the practical problems to manage their lives, just as an adult should do. The problem of spreading the culture to the younger generations is therefore different than spreading it within the community.
Also in this case, however, this operation must be handled by adults as they are the ones that hold the assets to be transmitted, who know their value and usefulness, or at least should; the kids do not have the opportunity to do so unless on the advice of adults. However, the transition from child to adult is very slow and gradual, and this means that in fact in the youth there are some characteristics both typical of the child and of the adult. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the various forms of education should gradually change from those typical for small children to those for the adult. Young people then have to be driven by adults, who should also ensure that along the way young people become fully autonomous.
To educate the younger generations has become over time more and more challenging, due to the increasing amount of information to be transmitted; this from a biological point of view has led to a prolonged immaturity, allowing young people to have more time to learn; from a cultural point of view instead it is born a specialized category, i.e. the teachers, that unload parents of a considerable part of their work as tutors. This absolutely does not mean that parents have lost their role: indeed in the early years of life they are, with the help of grandparents, the only guide for children and later, once school age is reached, they remain the primary point of reference for education even if not from a sciolistic point of view.
Teachers should not replace parents just like the books should not replace teachers: the school books are born as a help and support for teachers, have a clear and subordinate role in teaching and the same way the professors are a help and support for parents who usually do not have the time nor the appropriate knowledge to give a complete education to their children. It is therefore obvious that unfortunately the frequent disagreements between parents and teachers are the best we can devise to confuse the ideas to the children and to culturally damage them. We must seek the full agreement and full cooperation between the two categories, since both have to work for the same purpose. In principle, schools are paid by parents in return for a service which is the preparation of children, but today many are unable to judge the service, nor their own children. For the historical reasons we know, often the adults are much more ignorant and backward of their children and even more of their teachers, who find themselves hindered in their work by their own employers.
Well-trained parents should be able to determine which is the type of school best suited to their children, and to collaborate with teachers in the education of children in the programs of study established by mutual agreement. To improve things is therefore necessary to train the parents first so that they can at least not obstruct the work of teachers and then get to work with them and finally become able to fully exploit their educational potential. Recalling also that parents are the customers, i.e. those who pay to get something in return, they must be able to judge the service they enjoy and have the possibility to intervene if dissatisfied.

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