Maria Rosa Sossai – An Education

A Science of Education for a Pluralistic but Common World

by Mara Rosa Sossai

Scientific discoveries and technological innovations have both contributed to making our habitat more comfortable and suitable for living. But, in spite of progress and modernity, the absence of reliable data and the presence of often univocal statements have undermined, in the public eye, the credibility of the experts and the scientists who seem unable to control the complexity of reality and to foresee its often imponderable collateral effects.

In the essay Un monde pluriel mais commun, the French sociologist of science and anthropologist Bruno Latour suggests ways of coping with the crisis of the dogma of modern science, emphasizing the need to build a common pluralistic world where individual cultures can converse with each other.

Latour’s analyses are a useful tool enabling us to interpret the profound changes taking place in the science of education where, in the last decade, a promising dialogue has begun with other value systems – especially with artistic creation -towards the formulation of flexible and innovative educational models. Learning is in fact closely connected to the creative process, starting with the question “what is it?” that we ask in front of a work of art; the same question we formulate when we learn something about the world. Contemporary art and the science of education are two areas of knowledge until a few decades ago distant from each other but that today find a common goal in looking to experience ‘beauty’ and in the quest for a positive contribution to life. In this historical moment the educational and the artistic experience seem to share ethical and aesthetic values, shaping themselves into two potential areas of freedom and cultural growth within a context of renewed human and intellectual empathy.

Taking its cue from Latour’s essay, the series of workshops and exhibitions An Education promoted by Villa Panza (the villa under the aegis of FAI, Fondo Ambiente Italiano) will offer a learning experience based on the dialogue between artists who are passionate about education and students, starting with the viewing of videos documenting workshops led by the artists themselves or dealing with issues and aspects relating to the transmission of knowledge in general.