1998 National Pedagogy


The ballot box needs the school. Not only because so many school buildings become electoral stations on the festive day of voting, but especially because the values an adult expresses on the ballot box come from those a child acquires in school. The acceptance of diversity and tolerant coexistence are not spontaneous civic virtues, but arbitrary and fragile social concoctions that wither if not tenaciously and deliberately nurtured in the family environment, in educational institutions and in communications media. Unfortunately, the cultivation of the democratic spirit is hardly parallel to the cultivation of the national spirit of the old regime, nor to the cultivation of the nationalistic spirit of some current political movements, and the school ends up being a scene of conflict between the illuminist rationalism of mixed race democracy and the identity-oriented romanticism of ethnic nationalism. This caesura between reason and roots also fractures the architecture of the school, perfectly reflecting the ambiguity and ambition of a period’s aspirations...[+]

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