Schooling in Prison
The concept of schooling is a dynamic of recurring polarizations, continuous tension between teachers’ and students' expectations, at times limited to utilitarian testing and evaluation ; at others fruitful and mainly addressed to the aim of the personal development of students and teachers, going beyond the simple-minded and working-class utilitarianism connected to scholastic achievement, today unfortunately internalized even by students. The educational experience in prison offers various and interesting food for thought concerning these dynamics, which the author of this essay attempts to analyze starting from his own experience as a school principal and at the same time, philosopher. The common trait of these students is the various ways of interpreting the mimesis of teachers and adults, combining attitudes of openness and closure and opposition. What this experiential and philosophical attempt seeks are strategies in order to build dialogue and new forms of teaching based on the methodology that is being experimented with teachers, conceived and organized according to the philosophical principles deriving from exemplarism as pedagogy, which focuses on educating to appreciate beauty, and teaching philosophy on multilevels.
Keywords: exemplarism, prison, development, school, virtue
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