EDUCATION WITH DON BOSCO AS GUIDE AND COMPANION
The approach of upbringing that Don Bosco created with his co-workers, has some specific characteristics and accents. They add a specific vibe to our way of wrking with children and youngsters today.
Pedagogy of solidarity
We believe in the power of the 'family life'. This is way we educate in connection with the parents and the larger educational community. Parents are and remain the primary care-takers. We have faith in dynamics that comme from the "peer group". We focus on the environment of the children / youngsters. Worldwide solidarity with an eye for the most vulnerable people is visible in the choices we make.
Pedagogy of trust
Giving turs was a powerful pedagogical principle of Don Bosco. We want to be present as support as much as possible. This way of education, was the core of Don Bosco's preventive system. We appreciate the children the way they are en we search for their own strenghts. By letting them experience succes, we want to make them grow in resistance and self-trust.
We have two important aspects in our assisting approach, just like Don Bosco had: open-heartedness and reasonableness. We approach the children and youngsters with warm-heartedness, we are tuned in to their living environment and we listen to the way they view things. This results in a basis of faith in which we have something to say and to do in the lives of the kids. At the same time, we also draw lines. We are reasonable in what we expect from the youngsters.
Pedagogy of faith
Solidarity with other people grows from a connection with God, according to Don Bosco. He wanted to be someone that guarded and guided the children in their personal growth. This dimension of faith is no longer self-evident , but defiant. Education in a religious way is not delivering a package with ready-made answers. It are the quesions that put them in mortion and make growth possible. Together with the youngers - and specifically our animators - we choose for moments of narrowing. An 'Evening word' at the end of each playground day ensures the solidarity between each other and with God. It enables an experience of a close God, who goes with the people and stays with them in good and bad times.
Pedagogy of growth
Grass does not grow by pulling it, but by watering its roots, give it warmth and protection ... A safe environment to grow in asks for structure and boundaries, but also leaves room for challenges and personal interpretations. We teachs our children and youngesters to cope with many influences. We keep in mind their total maturation and we offer them the chance to explore and develop themselves in a personal way. We are aware of the vulnerability, but also of the many possibilities of our youngers and we anticipate on this. We offer the children chances to develop themselves, to enter into an agreement and to assume responsability.
Pedagogy of joy
Room for playing and a joyful approach obviously take in a priviliged place on our playground. We have powerful growing and learning opportunities. Playing does noet only happen at home in specific playing moments, but also on the playground. Our role as animator, head animator or playground management is not only to observe the children and make sure that they are safe. We want to be actively engaged with them and we take part in the activities as much as possible. We try to include playful elements in our approachs and to handle situations with humour. This stimulates the atmosphere and works in a releasing way. Playing expresses our joy of life. This was very imortant in Don Bosco's pedagogical cimate. Joy is more than liking something of having fun, it has a deeper ground: Don bBosco saw it as a gift of God and as a sign of Gods presence.
Pedagogy of hope
Our youngsters become adults, step by step and with ups and downs. Sometimes the youngers can only take some small steps or we have to watch them wander off. Education is remainng close and with patience with the youngers and walk the road of graduality. We want to give them this perspective of hope to build up their own life. Youngsters have the right of a healty basis of faith in their life and the feeling to be 'carried' over all boundaries.