16 Aug 2022-Don Bosco’s system of education

16th August 2022 was the day when we came to know a little more about the Don Bosco’s educational system. An input session on the topic was organized and Fr. Shilanand was the resource person and he presented the Preventive System of Don Bosco to the teaching staff. He told us about Don Bosco’s life, his struggle and his work for the unemployed youth. While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the ill-effects of industrialization and urbanization, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive System.

The Preventive System is a faith and value-based educational system which was developed by Don Bosco during the 19th century. It is the unifying educational basis for working with youth in the worldwide Don Bosco movement. This educational system has proven to be a successful model and inspiration for educators on different continents, in multicultural and multi-religious context over the centuries. As such, its implementation is the point of reference and measure of authenticity for being part of the Don Bosco movement. Don Bosco was a prolific author, but he wrote very little about his own educational style. He said that it was a matter of the heart, a way of loving. Respect for an inner freedom at the heart of each person is central to the preventive system. There are three key words for preventive system- Reason, Religion, and Loving Kindness. Reason refers to human activity and human relationships. Religion indicates that his approach emerges from and is oriented towards relationship with God. Loving kindness shows that love as a choice rather than feeling. Don Bosco is the principal of historical representative of this method of formation of the young, he was preceded in its development by such luminaries as Philip Neri and Francis de Sales.

Don Bosco insisted on the importance of the environment as a vehicle for values. He saw this environment as: a family spirit between educators and ones being educated, a place where happiness and interior calm reign, where the young can express themselves freely, demanding teamwork and an educative community.

It is our responsibility as teachers to change the atmosphere of the class in positive manner. There are many things that we do not think with respect of, reason, religion and loving-kindness. As a teacher what do we need to change the thing? First, it should start from ourselves and then we will be able to change the mindset of others.

Overall the session was beneficial indeed and I can say that I have come to know many things with regard to Don Bosco’s way of education. I shall try my best to implement the same in my teaching career.

Nitin Sagar, Instructor, Draughtsman


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