Education is a complex and continuous process aimed to support the development of people and the growth of human relationships, which constitute the foundation of society. Education concerns the intellectual, emotional, affective, bodily, motor, social, aesthetic, moral and political development of people, starting from the culture and the rules of coexistence of the contexts to which they belong, and which are in continuous transformation. Education can allow everyone to participate actively in this transformation, which involves the lives of individuals and the future of humanity.
The contemporary world is traversed by rapid and profound changes of the material and psychic structures of communal life, which challenge the structural and cultural assumptions of education as it is traditionally understood in the Western educational system: in particular, the value attributed to intergenerational transmission and to civil coexistence, the role of beauty and wonder, the space of hope and of the project for a better future have changed.
The crisis of these foundations of education also fully affects the educational institution, which is crossed by radical contradictions and profound malaise, becoming increasingly isolated within a world that no longer recognizes the social value of the mission that was entrusted to them. However, there has been an increase all around the world of practices and educational methodologies that prove to be locally effective and innovative.
The time has come for an educational transformation with a broad scientific and narrative foundation, capable of imposing itself on the attention of individuals, communities, institutions and societies, which otherwise risk responding only to economic and technical logics: a transformation carried out in order to preserve, and not dissipate, the best of humanity. Teachers and educators must be given back a strong social mandate, on the basis of the awareness that education is the place where the social contract is constantly renewed, and in which one decides, as Hannah Arendt wrote, “whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it, and by the same token save it from that ruin which except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable”.
After three editions of the International Congress of Educational Transformation, held between America and Europe, in this first World Congress – aimed at psychologists, pedagogists, scholars and researchers of humanities, teachers, school principals, students, responsible adults – we intend to extend the dialogue and cooperation by encouraging the encounter between continents and disciplines, creating a space for the exchange of different experiences, researches and educational reflections.
Care, beauty and dreams appear to us as the first foundations for a possible change of education and school: the care of the Self and of human relationships, the research and the construction of beauty even in the most difficult contexts and situations, the capacity to dream together and aspire to a better world. Because, as Danilo Dolci wrote, education is carried out “dreaming others as they are not now: everybody grows only if dreamed about”.