When one thinks of adult education, the main discourse focuses on vocational training in the form of improving work qualifications or retraining. Occasionally, the adult is seen as an object in development, thinking that the countless number of stimuli and situations which an adult is confronted with can cause emotions, feelings and behaviours to freeze.

It is rarely assumed that it is precisely change – and not “the new generations without values” – that contributes to the strengthening of a society that is increasingly moving away from solidarity, respect, equality, and justice.

This is why the School of Peace is also aimed at adults and offers courses that can help in work contexts, because they are directly linked to the specific training of the profession and because they are designed to help the emotional elasticity and liveliness of the reflections.

As far as schools are concerned, the best laboratories are those that result from interaction between our skills and their needs and goals. For this reason, we ask you to get in touch with us in order to put together the most suitable workshop for you.

Professionals

Teachers, Educators

Workshops intended for these professions are mainly aimed at further training. Not only theoretical, deepening units but also real learning experiences, which aim to offer new suggestions and new possibilities of reflection for the everyday work with students, as well as new instruments or new ways to put the old instruments to use.

The themes of study concern education on history and memories, the (Italian) constitution, citizenship, human rights, the emotional and social growth of young people.

In particular for teachers, we organize training periods that include some preparation lessons at their school and at least one laboratory day in Monte Sole. The training is all the more effective if there is more than just one teacher participating: we encourage you to propose it to our teaching colleges, in coordination with the subjects so that the experience can be spread and fully unfold its potential.

Usually, the best time to contact us is in the first half of September, but we are always available.

Other Professions

There are some professions for which the questions Monte Sole raises are fundamental. Reflecting on propaganda, the violent use of language, the pressure of authority or a group, the influence of orders and hierarchy can be crucial for journalists, public officials and leaders, local administrators and law enforcement agencies.

In the same way, if it is true that some of the specific contents and themes raised by the history of Monte Sole may not directly concern the performance of daily work, it is also true that situations in which work is not carried out in groups are becoming increasingly rare.

The School of Peace, therefore, organizes residential seminars of those who want to raise awareness of the role of their work in the community as well as improve the working climate in their own reality. Activities and workshops are proposed on the awareness and deconstruction of stereotypes and prejudices, on the group and social dynamics, on the relationships, as well as on the themes more intimately linked to the historical events of Monte Sole and the Second World War in general.

Adult Groups

"Living" on Monte Sole

The workshop begins with the physical presence of the group in some of the sites of the massacre. The attendants, through the facilitation of the educator, reconstruct the historical context of the massacre: in this way they draw on all the previous knowledge on the subject (even unconsciously: family and nonfamily stories, films, documentaries, novels, etc.) reassembling them in a shared but not monolithic framework.

In the same way, listening to the stories of some survivors, in addition to stimulating empathy towards the victims of violence, triggers, through the meditation of the educator, the debate on the complex concept of “executioner”, “perpetrator” and “viewer”. Who could have done this? Were they humans? How could a human be capable of doing this? Could you disobey? What is the boundary between personal responsibility and the influence of the context and the group? Do these things only apply in times of war? Can you just “stand and watch”?

The educator, through interaction with the participants, raises doubts and questions about the dynamics of human actions, encouraging examples directly taken from the everyday life of the students.

From being on the spot to completing the laboratory activities of elaboration and deepening, the main objective of the courses is to develop a capacity for critical thinking, to have and make available space and a time to think and discuss fundamental issues that deeply question the conscience.

The aim is not to leave Monte Sole with the comforting idea that violence is a thing of the past or only happening in places far away but to ask uncomfortable questions to the individual conscience: what is the sense of remembering the tragedies of the past? Are the mechanisms of propaganda and enemy building that led to the disasters of World War II confined there? Or do they reoccur in other spaces and times? To what extent can we self-solve if we obey an order, conform to the will of the group or “watch”?

Citizenship education: starting from self-awareness as a human being with light and shadow as a basis for an authentic relationship with others and a democratic and non-violent coexistence.

The history of Monte Sole is not an easy one and we do not believe it is ethically correct to sweeten it. At the same time, however, we deeply believe that education should not involve shock but the listening to and taking care of each individual participant in the process. For this reason, we would like to stress that it is not possible to do this route with groups of more than 15 participants per educator and that we do not recommend the “classic route” for people under the age 12.

However, the Peace School relies on professionals who are experienced guides, mediators, facilitators, and educators at the same time, in this sense, they are able to adapt the work even for the youngest, after having talked with the teacher or the head of the group to work out the most suitable proposal together.

The calendar of memory

“The calendar of memory and its forms.” The Scuola di Pace di Monte Sole, which for years has been asking itself questions about the educational potential of a tragic memory for the purpose of political education, has developed a reflection on the problem of commemorations in view of their effectiveness in a real construction of a culture of peace. What must happen to transform commemorative events, which the institutionalized commemoration days provide, from “duty of remembrance” to “work of remembrance”? What is to be done to initiate an individual and collective reflection on the reasons that have made extreme violence possible and to ask the same questions in the context of the here and now?

The interplay between personal and collective experiences can provide an interesting interpretation key to question the meaning of memory and the concept of historical memory: why does a community decide to remember? How does it decide what to remember? Who will make this decision? How can you remember, are some methods more “correct” than others? Do the ways of remembering have consequences for the presence of people who remember or are they neutral? Do the current ways of remembrance really manage to create the need to contribute to the “us” and build our collective identity? Why does it seem that one loses intensity and effectiveness in der proliferation of memory?

The School of Peace proposes a path on which, through methods of non-formal education, participants will be asked to:

  • Retrace the Italian civil calendar, proving what underlies it and the enormous potential values it contains to arrive at the elaboration of one or more ways of remembering that really respond to the desire and need to create, consolidate and promote the existence of a democratic community, solidarity, and promoter of peace and human rights;
  • To analyze some artistic experiences and, not related to the theme of memory, to discuss it and to reason about their meaning and their consequences;
  • To form their own personal approach to the issue of memory, based on their own role and sensitivity.

Remembering the forgotten ones

We are in an Italian town, after 1943. The authorities have decided to send those detained in a sorting centre to the extermination camps for deportation. The part of the population not at risk has been warned. Some families want to try to hide and help others, others think it’s too risky and that it’s not worth risking so much for people so different from them. Through a simple role-playing game, participants are asked to decide what to do. Once the decision is reached, after a brief discussion, it is revealed to the participants that the people to be deported were not Jews, but …

The reactions to this revelation can be very different: displacement, statements made in a playful tone on the fact that it was right to save Jews bit not “others”, annoyance for “teasing”… From here we move on to a complex reflection on the stereotyping, flattering and trivialization of the phenomenon of the Shoah and its symbols. At the same time, the reflection will deepen the mechanisms of functioning of stereotypes and prejudices, which today as in the past, act in each of us. The idea is to move from the often used “Never Again” to the incessant question “Why Again”? How was and is it possible?

The Grey Zone

An experiment in active memory, from The Drowned and Saved by Primo Levi – Einaudi 1986

The Grey Zone is an experiment in theatre and active memory education which can be held in any place that can hold up to 45 chairs in a circle. The method that META uses to raise doubts, questions, curiosities and help break stereotypes and clichés, derives from the union of two different but similar professional experiences: that of Archivio Zeta (in the context of the Teatro di Parola) and that of the Scuola di Pace (in the context of education to memory and individual responsibility). The danger that the rhetoric linked to each celebration will generate addiction; detachment or disinterest has been a reality for some years now. META, therefore, pursues an educational method based on responsibility and attention in the use of word and image. Starting from the last book that Primo Levi left us, I sommersi e I salvalti (The Drowned and the Saved), and in particular from the chapter La Zona Grigia (The Grey Zone), the heart of Levi’s discussion and thought, the human, political and moral story of Chaim Mordecai Rumkowski, president of the Łódź ghetto, an autocrat and accomplice of Nazism, a character that Levi takes as a symbol to make us reflect on the grey zone.

Participants will become active participants and will have to get involved in the discussion.

To organize a workshop, information, reservations, and costs please contact: Archivio Zeta 334 9553640 – email: info@archiviozeta.eu

Elena Monicelli – email: elenamonicelli@montesole.org

Competitive or Cooperative?

One of the great dilemmas of those in a group is how to relate to the other members of the group. Antagonism or collaboration? Rivalry or sharing? Not only is it not always easy to manage one or the other situation, but it is also not easy to make a choice that is not continuously conditioned by the cultural environment in which the group lives and acts, but simultaneously focuses on the well-being of all the people involved.

These workshops in this area focus first of all on the unmasking the so-called obligatory roads and on the promotion of creative thinking with regard to the solution of the group problems and the achievement of common goals.

Contact us to start planning your workshop

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