Educating young people the classics. A surprising journey to discover the educational value of stories

Educating young people the classics. A surprising journey to discover the educational value of stories

Education, love, friendship, storytelling: these words belong to the lexicon of our childhood dictionary.

But how much our favourite readings or the films that keep us glued to the screen influence our point of view?

Have you ever wondered about that?

I began to do so after reading Educating young people trough the classics - Love, Friendship and storytelling , a book that illustrates a research project that investigates and explores the educational potential that stories have in the development of young people's character.

In the Western world we are in the midst of an educational emergency and the publishing project starts from the conviction of its promoters that one of the ways to get out of this crisis is to use narrative intelligence, according to which reading helps to better understand oneself and others.

The initiative started with a few simple questions:

- which films and TV series do young people like the most?

- which books do they read the most?

- are there differences related to origin or culture?

- how much does this affect their social and emotional relationships?

In the first part of the book, these answers are given in detail and are extensively illustrated. The analysis of the research was carried out on a sample of 3,694 young people aged between 18 and 29 from nine countries: Argentina, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The young people had to complete questionnaires that contained different questions on the tastes and ways of using multimedia and literary content.

Among the most interesting data, it emerged for example that 72% of young people watch TV series many hours a week, or that cult series such as "Money Heist", films such as "Titanic" and sagas such as "The Lord of the Rings" are appreciated by the reference sample in the same way in different parts of the world.

Although differences have been found between men and women, Catholic and non-Catholic, they are marginal and the research has shown that young Westerners share similar preferences: about the stories they read, the films they love to watch, the way they access content and their idea of love and friendship.

The project, however, does not just investigate and describe, but makes proposals : six great classics adapted for the big screen that convey well what love and friendship are, and are presented to us in a new and profound way.

This is the part that most of all I preferred, for it surprises, fascinates and teaches.

The Painted Veil , Much Ado about Nothing , Odyssey , The Divine Comedy , Pride and Prejudice , Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment , The Lord of the Rings : these are the books that go beyond time and always speak directly to the heart.

And so in the last chapters we are immersed in a re-reading of these "timeless" stories through the observations and analyses of authors such as Alessandro D'Avenia, Natalia Sanmartín Fenollera, Armando Fumagalli, Travis Curtright, Antonio Malo and Andrea Monda, who open our eyes to aspects that we had not previously considered, making us rediscover a taste for great stories that are able to profoundly influence our perception of love and friendship.

Take for example The Lord of the Rings , the most read book in the world after the Bible, written over 60 years ago. Would you ever have said it has a strong Catholic connotation? Andrea Monda shows us that it does!

With Alessandro D'Avenia we discover how much The Odyssey , The Divine Comedy and The Brothers Karamazov have in common. These three great classics of literature do nothing but follow the same thread: tell us how every man finds his destiny.

Literature expands our horizons and our universe, stimulating images, stories and thoughts; and the classics, most of all, have a leading role in this construction of one’s self.

They are stories that survive time, that overcome it and open the way for newcomers : " they never fade away because they capture what is always human in man's life ".

Let yourself be carried away by these observations and you will understand, having reached the last page, that this is not a book to read but to discover. You can buy it for only 3.99 euros at this link.

Enjoy reading it!