• it
  • en
Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana


5 agosto 2021

Alessandro Baricco, Learning to Become and the Avanguardie Educative’s Summer School

Our foray into the world of Alessandro Baricco started with an email to the Scuola Holden.

Before, there had been only the readings of his books – from “An Iliad”, “The barbarians. Essay on the mutation culture”, “A certain idea of ​​the world”, to “The Game”, just to mention a few – and his latest contributions for “Il Post” with the series “Never again”, where the attempt is made to outline that twentieth-century’s wit that would be very useful to the school world.

Then it continued with a series of winks, and tighter but light-hearted approaches, because obviously the interest had been captured. We both had things to tell each other, about school and the pandemic, about distance learning and what we were doing here at Indire. At that point, meeting in Turin, at the Scuola Holden, was inevitable. It was all very informal, simple, participatory, with both a great desire to tell and to listen.

In the middle of this, there was a project of those who have the ambition to change things, to divert the closed system of secondary school into an open sea to be explored and navigated with a series of tools, even very technical: the curriculum, for example; or the canon of knowledge, and above all the literary canon; the mechanics of learning; the school time and the “totem” class, as Baricco calls it.

Therefore, “Learning to Become. Curricular innovation through the Avanguardie Educative network” was a pretext to set up an event – the one that the Avanguardie Educative Summer School will open on 2 September from 10:30 to 12:30 – to try to draw a borderline between before and after the pandemic, in order to reimagine a new beginning with what Baricco called “Seven moves for the school”, but above all to offer a new and stimulating horizon, even provocative, if this serves to question the teaching profession and learning practices.

A perspective and a design for the school; a map to get around in the richness of knowledge and their inevitable contamination; a series of tools to be given to teachers to try to redesign the meaning of school, such as that phrase by Steward Brand that is in the Scuola Holden aquarium: “Lots of people try and change human nature but it’s a real waste of time. You can’t change human nature, but you can change tools, you can change techniques”.

Perhaps it is not possible to think of the ecological transition – of which the UNESCO Learning to Become with the World: Education for Future survival document speaks at length, and to which we referred to design our experimentation in Avanguardie Educative – if we really do not relocate this shift inside the change we are experiencing. If we do not reposition this change in the framework of another transition, the technological one, and the tools available today to understand the complex path that educational systems are redesigning for the 21st century.

Knowledge, organization, school design, responsibility and awareness, educational community, territories, people, knowledge and skills: this is the propriety list. More can still be added, as long as it is relevant.

Learning to become – as the UNESCO document tries to explain – could turn out to be an unrealistic formula if we do not even know what we want and what we can become, what we propose to the school and what we propose for it to become.

We will talk about all this, and more, with Alessandro Baricco, on 2 September in the lecture that opens the proceedings of the Avanguardie Educative’ s Summer School.


To know more: Avanguardie Educative’ s Summer School >>