QUICK THOUGHTS: Teaching and Feminism
My Italian teacher used to repeat: <<To learn, you need carefree people, who apply their imagination in an educational relationship located in the time and place where you live>>. An impeccable concept, but in today's schools it is often demoralization and (political) disengagement that take over. Around teaching the debate is crushed on the meritocratic and entrepreneurial dimension, everything seems immutable and the future is made uncertain by the weakening of the ability to think and act together. Abandonment from politics seems more serious than abstaining from political votes and is producing disturbing effects. Some numbers on the Italian school: 8.5 million students; 800 thousand teachers of which 83% are women. Despite the massive presence of women in the teaching body, sentimental education, awareness against bullying and against violence, are supported by training events with few attentive teachers as protagonists. Again my teacher: <<School is a space determined by relationships>>. The school has the generative force to create another world around the person and his needs, beyond the family there is the school. All true, important, but feelings, sexuality, fragility have always been excluded from teaching, but emotion and learning are not separable youthful aspects. Statistics tell us that very frequently, it is not inability or lack of application that determines student results, but anxiety and depression disorders. One in four students suffer from these disorders. These are the causes that have brought the number of abandonments detected in Italy to 15% in recent years. To ensure that the school becomes the primary place against all violence, it must be saved from the attack of those who reproduce violence, or finance it, as in the striking examples of Sigonella (350 militarized students in the NATO base), and the involvement in formation of Leonardo Spa, a giant active in the defense and security sector. It is a significant fact that here in Italy the party with the most votes among teachers (therefore by women teachers) is a right-wing party. The state of abandonment of school structures is visible, as is the continuous hesitation of feminisms in regaining possession of that knowledge that has historically been taken away from them. Feminist practices are crucial for the construction of a community that puts desire, growth and individual fulfillment back at the centre. Only together, students, teachers, parents, and citizens can give new forms to a future perspective, which is none other than the society in which we want to live. The future of young people is in the generative and even conflictual experience inherent in school. For some decades we have witnessed the absence of conflict tension in the school environment with the result of a long depression of the environment, which has become sterile, negative, conditioned, rather than pacified as it seemed on the surface. But changing the school is possible, the change has begun, a feminist push is enough to bring it closer to good politics. Next month in Rome, a series of meetings will begin which we hope will continue to be many, in order to emerge from isolated examples of good schooling and create a new structured school system. They will meet: teachers, students, public administrators, writers, activists, to try to weave connections between those paths and those practices that accelerate relationships, bring new words to life in unprecedented networks. Let's finally face feminist politics, overcoming isolation and the idea that school is immutable. Doing school to "be school" stems from the belief that "rowing together" gives more strength, especially in times of great authoritarian drift.