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In the “New World” the human beings have renounced to transmitting tradition. Thus a unique moral point of reference disappears. Everybody is invited to invent his/her own values, avoiding giving lessons to others. At the end of the sixties imposing norms, habits of order, prudence, recognition etc. could even pass as a form of violence. Since then adults do no more exercise their authority for fear of abusing an arbitrary power. The gap between the adult and the child is becoming indistinct. The children oscillate between the baby tyrant and the premature adult. A lot of adults oscillate between authoritarian nervous twitching and demagogic laxity.  Thus it is important to come back to some fundamental elements concerning education:

We are all conscious that we live times of an extraordinary historic intensity: terrorists attacks almost everywhere in the world, rise of fanaticisms, questioning of certain fundamental liberties in democratic countries raise questions. If we decided to participate in this meeting of the workgroup, it is because we are conscious that better understanding history or the histories will give citizens of democratic societies the possibility to protect themselves against the Manicheanism and the manipulations as well as to deepen the fact to live together.

     I thank SIESC and UCIIM for having me invited to this Round Table and I take that opportunity to tell you some things from the point of view of AIDU, the Association of university teachers of Italy, which I have the honour to preside, and also of Luciano Corradini, who would have liked very much to be with us today. I’m going to divide the topic which was entrusted to me in three parts: 1. The uncertainty and the rights of young people in the globalized world; 2. The change which happened in the international distribution of work, which has opposed planetary regionalization to globalization; 3. The projects for facing the uncertainty and the fears of young people: a new humanism and the school for a new society.


I write this short statement at a moment, when there is a discussion in Italy on the ddl (decree of law) “The good school”, which has in view launching in a systematic way the alternative attendance in the school system, and when in a progressive way the realization of measures connected to the reform of work, the Jobs Act, is enacted, which has among its objectives finding a “dual” formation system in an Italian version.

Of course, the question is put if that ferment marks a change of consciousness concerning work seen in its educational dimension.

“Istruzione e formazione professionale”: that is a new course of formation, introduced in 2001 by a reform of Article 5 of the Constitution, which refers to the administration of the Regions. In Italy the state is in charge of the Institutes of Profession, lasting five years, while the regions are in charge of the Courses of Vocational Training lasting three years.

     The rising youth unemployment in Italy and Europe has brought the topic of training as a factor of the development of advanced human capital and of the reaction due to the crisis back into the centre of discussions. Both scientific literature and the main Italian public decision-makers are turning step by step towards the analysis and the introduction into the system of theories, practices and models which grant the students to get acquainted with work and enterprises already during their school career: the data show indeed that almost half of the Italian youth unemployment depends on the missing connection between school and work.

     The relationship between young people and the world of work can be explored starting from different perspectives, because that is a question of a very complex network which shows elements of economic, social, cultural, philosophical nature … and pedagogical one as well: and that is just the line of reflection chosen here. The discourse will be realized on two levels: the level of an analysis of the values of work, which nowadays seem to be proposed as objectives of formation, and the level of a reflection on some educational dynamics in order to appreciate the formative value of work, starting from the tender age.

Perhaps one ought to start from a rather bitter, but very realistic quotation.

“Our society likes youth, but it doesn’t like the young people. In the collective narration being or seeming to be young is becoming a condition required for success, but only for those who are no more young. The genuine young ones are of no importance, they will have their opportunities in their future, a future which incidentally will never arrive, for the youth of those no more young ones aims at prolonging itself more and more, blocking spaces for the others, the genuine young ones. The school losing value, unjust systems of social security, disfigured environment and landscape, all those are symptoms of a society not capable of thinking and projecting its own future, ill because of a “lack of intelligence” both myopic and dangerous.” (V. Pelligra, introduction to the topical assembly nr. 3, “Accompanying young people in the world of work”, 47th Social Week, Torino, Sept. 13th, 2013)

Let’s examine if the author is right by making a course of analysis of the elements which accompany the complex passage from young people to adults.