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Submitted by Wanda Gruenwald on 18/03/14 – 20:39

Mario, Honorary President of the Movement of Educational Cooperation, a member of the Honorary Committee of the XXX the RIDEF, 2014, the generous founder of the House of Arts and Games of Drizzona, and for all the author of ' Cipì ', the ' Soldier of Pim pa pum ', the ' wrong country ', is no longer with us. He leaves us and the Italian school a challenging and valuable legacy.

The beginnings
'A colleague informed me that in San Marino slightly 'crazy' teachers gathered together... From there came the discovery of the child, and it was all learning ... if we Ignore the culture of the child, which is global, non-disciplinary, we risk destroying it in the same way that the colonialist does.’
Staying with the children (what can you learn from them)
• my professional life began as a young ignorant teacher who had been sent thrown in at the deep end to teach without ever having seen a schoolboy. I noticed that the children were not really there. It was false. '
• "It seemed extraordinary to me that (as in the experience of Tolstoy), children went to school carrying their own world."
• I tried to make them write stories instead of essays
• Science showed us how the child expresses his own knowledge and understanding , a man’s knowledge and understanding begins from birth rather than when he starts school. '
• ' starting from the child '
(from the acts of the 1991 Fano conference: 40 years of educational research 40 years of educational movement ', in the Bulletin ' Information MCE ' n. 1/1992:

From Mario we learned:
• In order to allow children to develop you have to come down to their level.
• To transform the powerful ideas into fruitful practice.

• In order to support our ethical principles we need to be humble and calm.
• The idea of the common benefit (in the film directed by Cesare De Seta in the class of Mario, the teacher, after a session of the cooperative class, says 'It is vital to be accountable to others nowadays .... ‘)
• the firm belief of the existence of children's knowledge and understanding.
• To be generous
• To research and develop all forms of knowledge; artistic, scientific, literary, technical,... )
• To promote and protect the rights of boys and girls regardless of their age.
What kind of school for what kind of citizens
' At present school is created for men (servants of the system rather than freemen… freedom , democracy , Christianity cannot be learned right away in the school if you have not experienced them before '
(In 'Begin with the child ', Einaudi, Turin , 1977, p . 20)
' If the school does not protect the children freedom from any inhibition or fear, if children are not educated to democracy, cooperation and freedom, how can you build a new society, of different men, that priorities the social benefit over the individual ? So, how can we break this chain of authority? How to get out of this vicious circle? How to break free from the traditional system of education?
(From 'Mario Lodi master of the Constitution' Anna and Masala. Junior Bergamo 2007, p. 45)
'The freeman does not belong by anyone. Many freemen together can become an invincible force capable of changing the small world where they live and their society. To release this force we must begin from the child who belongs to everyone and is defenseless'
('Begin with the child ', p . 68)
The school, as thought by Mario, would be a community where all children feel equal, brothers, non hierarchical and classified according to the criteria of 'merit ': making the school ' a democratic community , educational and educated: ethically "anti-authoritarian " because it is founded on understanding, dialogue , cooperation , " socially open" because it was built on a vast network of relationships with the environment. '
(MT Ciscato Gasparella, ' From the ethical dimension to the socio-political dimension of the work of education Mario Lodi ' in ' Educational research and social conflict ' by R. Sartor Finazzi, and Morelli., Verona, 1983, p. 50)
Thank you, Mario. We will continue your footsteps and example. We will also dedicate all our energy and daily commitment to our practice, reflection and cooperation.

Giancarlo Cavinato
Secretary of the Movement of Educational Cooperation

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