A strong need to rebuild an Educating Community is felt both at local and global level: the school alone cannot take the responsibility of the education of children since nowadays they live in a complex and ever changing society. Social elements often act in a different and sometimes even in a contradictory way; this has a negative impact on children. Therefore, it is paramount to increase opportunities for dialogue and for the search for common educative ways.
We must re-launch the idea of an ‘educating community’ (which refers to the idea of ‘belonging’) as a school and out of school integrated educational context which can help to develop social competences: these are in fact the dynamics of ‘active citizenship’.
This implies that:
- Teachers and school staff should have and practice a positive relational interpersonal style, a style that arises from mutual recognition and from active appreciation of the ‘other’ (we teach ourselves);
- We should introduce methodological innovations in education in order to systematize this approach with students, families and the local community;
- We should promote a wider dialogue between school, families and the local community in order to boost social dynamics;
- We should design and activate pathways for personal grow through the recognition, the representation and the handling of our emotions;
- We should promote the culture of legality through operational situations in which students can experiment and discover the necessity of commonly accepted rules, rules conceived as ‘ordered freedoms’ and based on two essential principles: the principle of ‘right’ and the principle of ‘duty’;
- We should extend this process from local to global aiming at constructing the ‘cosmopolitan global community’ (A. Giddens, 1991) by promoting the values of universal brotherhood and meeting the needs for inclusion, which characterize our times.
Within an approach like this, it is evident that the school has to change radically: it should have a new central position in society to:
- Design and develop knowledge tools which can enable the students to understand the natural, social, cultural, anthropological contexts in which they will live and operate in the future;
- Pursue a double formative mission both in horizontal and in vertical continuity. The vertical dimension expresses the need for training that could continue for a lifetime; the horizontal dimension points at the need of a well-organized collaboration between the school and extra-school educating actors;
- Constantly pursue the aim of building positive relationships, based on the recognition of everyone’s roles and in harmony with community educational goals;
- Be and act as the consciousness and the driving force of the ‘Educating Community’ to train people able in handling their existential actions and therefore to invest in the education in order to be active citizens.
Therefore, the aim of Prosociality includes building an Educating community because:
- Education is not just about traditional educational problems, such as curriculum, assessment and tests.
- School only makes sense within the broader context of goals that the community seeks to reach through its trust in education
The aim is to connect more and more schools with their territories, in order to:
- Share a common value framework
- Activate educational processes fully and consciously shared
- Develop the concept of ‘common interest’ at school
- Raise awareness of the culture of legality, of ethics and solidarity.
- Promote training,
- Support projects,
- Spread partnership
Foreseeable long-term outcomes, as the main goal of the project’s educational process, refer to the areas beyond the school context:
School vs. Parents and families
The interaction between the school, the families and the wider community is meant for:
- Sharing of children’s educational courses
- Getting involved in Action Research activities
- Signing the Co-responsibility agreement signed by parents and school, based on shared values and strategies
- Meetings to discuss and clarify the subjects that students will face in class.