“And I am not saying anything new when I repeat that, apart from types, programs, buildings, which are still important and necessary, the crucial element for school is the teacher, who bears such a heavy responsibility. Great responsibilities and great duties towards them have the society and the State and for the spiritual and professional preparation and for the juridical and economic treatment: duties that have a limit in possibilities.”
This is the end of the letter, written on October 1955 by Antonio Segni for the first number of the Italian magazine L’Espresso. A long, intense article, a hopeful photography of the scenario of schools in a country that was trying to recover from the trauma of war.
However, if taken out of context, this article does not show the signs of age at all. Our country has changed a lot since then, but its attitude to teaching did not.
School, as the former President of the Republic wished, works if it is close to the needs of students, if it goes to the periphery, instead of being entrenched in the centre, if it alternates study and work effectively. What else is that, if not the prelude, or the start, of the recent reforms of school?
School, after all, is hinged on the teacher. A person of great responsibility, since he or she has the power of directing the path of life of a student, according to one’s attitude.
What this letter shows us is still valid today, and it is that, apart from studying for a whole life, “lifelong”, we should learn to be aware that it is necessary to study and make the most of every single experience. Learning happens in more than one, or two, or three dimensions, and involves every aspects of life. It is always important to make the most, everywhere, of everything we can learn and make this kind of learning inclusive, wide, very wide, large.
When talking to students, I often tell them to draw the biggest inspiration not just from the opportunities LUISS offers, but from everything they might find. From everything they are able to see and grab, but working together, because they are going to be asked to work together when they will be out of university.
Seek, identify, create synergies: this is a mantra that deals primarily with the human nature, and that represents our single best carrier for growth.
I’m going to tell you the story about the geese which fly 5,000 miles from Canada to France. They fly in V-formation but the second ones don’t fly. They’re the subs for the first ones. And then the second ones take over – so it’s teamwork. (Alex Ferguson)