The book, “School going forth: educational meetings in the Peripheries ” is intended to incorporate to the school curriculum the richness that have the encounter with the people who have lived a reality of social exclusion and the way how the society gives an answer. To do this, the school has to change its way of organizing so that it will go out from its isolation and will be more permeable with its social environment.
The “school going forth” is the one that cares for the weakest students, which opens its doors to the community, which gives participation to all and builds Church. It is the one that awakens in students a critical awareness of the injustices and invites them to engage with the neediest. The “school going forth” is the space where everyone has the possibility of growing, the visible expression of the communion table of the Kingdom of God.
The book begins with a storied narration of the experience of encounter with the poor who Joseph Calasanz had in the district of the Trastevere of Rome and whose history is an educational version of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Then there are chapters to form educators in the social awareness.
In the second part of the book, there are ten encounters with people who have suffered a reality of social exclusion and are set in the city of Rome 400 years after Saint Joseph Calasanz had an encounter with the poor children that originated the birth of the first Popular School. Each meeting consists of an account that gathers the experience of meeting with people and institutions of exclusion; then a reflection on the narrated reality is made. The purpose of this part serves as a reference for developing more organized programs in the school.
The program “Meetings in the Periphery” is intended to teach students to look at the excluded with eyes of mercy, to learn from them, to help them in their process of healing and social integration and to create the conditions of justice so that there will be no more victims. To incorporate the excluded in the pedagogical practice means to recover the great humanist project that has inspired the great pedagogues throughout history. These meetings are intended to learn humanity from those who suffer vulnerability and exclusion.
The book can be a good contribution to promote education for social action in our schools; one of the options of the Piarist educational project.
On March 7th, the book will be presented publicly in Valencia.