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Reflections for Canada's ridef

FREINET PEDAGOGY TODAY: WHAT PERSPECTIVES?

We can’t focus only on Freinet pedagogy, but we must widen the topic of the meeting considering other aspects of pedagogy.
First of all this is a way of respecting Freinet who was open minded and interested in new discoveries.
Freinet pedagogy belongs to the ‘Ecoles Nouvelles’ movements developed in some European countries in the 21st century.
We must keep in mind the cultural and scientific researches that influenced these movements.
Psychoanalysis has highlighted how personal and familiar experiences at a very early age can affect the stages of individual life to build up a balanced personality under the cognitive and affective aspects.

How does the Freinet movement perceive and accept the discoveries of psychoanalysis relating to deep dynamics among people?

They can evolve into the student’s creative and positive behavior or into addiction to teachers.
Since the beginning of the 20th century we have seen an important development of human and social sciences: cultural anthropology, sociology, linguistics, history. At the same time, there was a revolution in the fields of maths, physics, biology and in the study of the human mind.
Our knowledge of the world and reality has deeply changed in the 17th century, moving from a ‘Tolemaic’ vision to a ‘Galilean’ vision, so creating modern science.
However, in the 20th century, Einstein, Bohr and other scientists have changed our knowledge systems and our view of the world.
The objectivity of science has been upset by Eisenberg’s indetermination principle which highlights the observer’s role which is not considered neutral anymore, but which influences and modifies the observed system.
The above mentioned principle will have some consequences regarding the way of observing and assessing our students.

Freinet was willing to accept every kind of innovation and suggestions which widened knowledge as well as research and communication.
He was against a school which saw learning as a process based on notions such as the date of the battle of Agincourt.
Therefore, his pedagogy keeps into consideration the deep changes of disciplines structures occurred in the twentieth century.
With reference to his studies, we must bear in mind all the researches and new disciplines including the cross-disciplines which widen and modify the limits among the different traditional subjects (ecology, mind ecology, systems theory,..).
In particular we must work on building connections among different knowledge fields and mind flexibility.

Since Freinet’s times, the research in the educational field has studied in depth aspects not sufficiently considered before: curricular theories, Vygotsky's contribution to psychological pedagogy, socio-constructivism, research on mirror neurons, the ecology of the mind, the theories of complexity they require a comparison and a deepening - and an update - on the pedagogical and methodological aspects that Freinet had defined a century ago: the natural method, the experimental attempt, the 'sensitive psychology'.
We need to ask ourselves what we mean today by 'research' at school and in education.

The other aspect on which it is fundamental to ask ourselves at a RIDEF is the construction of the idea of the world and of the future, also on the wave of the stimuli proposed by Greta Thunberg and the strikes of the "Fridays for future".
We, educators, can’t be indifferent to the strikes and youth demonstrations, but transform at least one day, a month on the occasion of reflection, documentation, planning of events and concrete actions : participation, development of projects for a preferable and sustainable future.
We must build initiatives in our countries, seizing the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 8, 1989) and the thirty-year anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (November 20).
As Freinet educators we must work for peace, to build bridges and break down the many walls existing in the world: material walls, psychological walls.

Giancarlo Cavinato MCE Italia