A good game of chess

Publish date 02-01-2023

by Valentina Turinetto

On one of the first days of school, I involved some kids in a discussion about their expectations for the new year. Reluctantly, not a few students expressed little interest in what will happen at the school. A boy, in a slightly provocative way, said that the main objective will be to reach the classroom, since it is on the third floor…

How to stimulate them to aim a little higher? How to make him hungry for school? For me it is inevitable to refer to some figure who testifies to how beautiful it can be to know.

A master in this area was Piero Angela, who left us a few months ago. Some of his messages can be a wish for many students.

MOVE 1 Education is the path to development: a saying says that if we each have an apple and we exchange them, we will continue to have an apple each; but if you have an idea, and I have another idea, and we swap them, then we'll both have two ideas. Knowledge is a trade good that leads to mutual enrichment and therefore to development. Development only works if there is a good level of education, if knowledge, culture, technological competence and values are brought into play.

MOVE 2 To prepare for the future, the comparison between teachers and young people is important: Piero Angela in an interview encourages young people to remain in dialogue with those who have the experience of a lifetime behind them. Not to copy from them, but to open a dialogue on the great themes of the modern world, above all thinking about the future. Today's young people are the young people who will shape the 21st century. In 2050 they will be young people in their fifties and will experience great changes, great problems that could become opportunities.

MOVE 3 We never stop learning: Angela reminds us that profound changes take place in the span of a single life that require sharp minds, capable of understanding and adapting quickly to new situations. It can only happen with life long learning, i.e. learning that lasts a lifetime, to be men and women of one's time: open-minded, curious, eager to learn from the experiences of others.

MOVE 4 Let's fall in love with science and his method: Piero Angela has always tried to answer the questions of science with clarity and simplicity, but also with great rigour, applying precisely Galileo Galilei's scientific method. He calls it rational and considers it the way to learn to reason. In science, when something is stated, it must always be demonstrated and allowed to be repeated by others. School should really teach reasoning.

The science popularizer compared society to a game of chess. «You have to predict the future, move the pieces to go towards victory. The inexperienced player immediately eats a piece because it is rewarding, but runs the risk of paying hard for a hasty choice. Chess gets used to understanding the importance of the medium and long term. Every time a piece moves, different situations arise, and it's important to have an overview. Our society is not trained to play chess and too often wants everything immediately and unfortunately invests little in the future».

Thanks Piero!


Valentina Turinetto

NP ottobre 2022

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