Pedagogy of Don Bosco

The Pedagogy of Don Bosco, also known as the Salesian Preventive System, is a holistic approach to education developed by Saint John Bosco, an Italian Catholic priest and educator, in the 19th century. The system is based on three key principles: reason, faith, and loving kindness.

1. Reason: Don Bosco believed that education should be based on reason, not punishment. He encouraged teachers to build relationships with their students and understand their needs and interests. He believed that by using reason, teachers could help their students develop critical thinking skills and make good decisions. He also emphasized the importance of experiential learning and encouraged teachers to use hands-on activities and practical projects to engage students.

2. Faith: Don Bosco’s faith was a deeply integrated part of his identity, and he believed that education should not only focus on intellectual development but also on spiritual and moral development. He believed that students should be taught to love God and their fellow human beings, and that they should be encouraged to live a life of service and dedication to others.

3. Loving-kindness: Don Bosco believed in the importance of creating a warm and supportive learning environment, where students feel loved, respected, and valued. He believed in building positive relationships with students based on mutual trust and affection, and in fostering a sense of community and belonging.
Overall, Don Bosco's approach to teaching highlights the significance of fostering a constructive bond between educators and learners, utilizing reason to involve students in their own education, and establishing a nurturing and considerate atmosphere in the classroom.. His approach has been influential in the development of modern educational theory and practice.

Don Bosco’s Method of Education and the NEP

Don Bosco's legacy continues to be felt in the world of education today. His innovative approach to youth education and development has inspired countless organizations and individuals, and his teachings continue to be studied and applied in a variety of settings around the world.

The National Education Policy (NEP) in India, which was approved by the Indian government in 2020, is also focused on a holistic and inclusive approach to education, emphasizing 21st-century skills and the development of critical thinking, creativity, and a passion for lifelong learning. The NEP seeks to reform and improve the Indian education system to make it more accessible, equitable, and relevant to the needs of 21st-century learners.

While the NEP is a comprehensive policy that covers all aspects of education in India, it shares some similarities with Don Bosco's method of education. Both approaches prioritize a student-centred approach and aim to create an environment that is supportive, inclusive, and focused on the individual needs and abilities of each student. In this context, the Preventive System could offer some valuable lessons for the implementation of the NEP in India. Here are a few points that the NEP could learn from the Preventive System:

  • Holistic Development: The Preventive System recognizes that academic education is only one aspect of a young person's development. It places equal importance on the development of emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and social skills. The NEP could benefit from this approach by placing greater emphasis on the development of skills beyond academics.
  • Importance of Religion: The Preventive System recognizes the role of religion in the development of young people. The NEP could consider the importance of value education in the formation of young people and its impact on their overall development.
  • Focus on Empathy and Compassion: The Preventive System is based on the principles of reason, religion, and loving-kindness. This approach promotes the development of empathy and compassion in young people, which can help them lead more fulfilling lives and contribute to a more harmonious society. The NEP could benefit from this focus on empathy and compassion by incorporating these values into the education curriculum.
  • Hands-on Learning: The Preventive System is known for its focus on hands-on learning and practical experiences. The NEP could learn from this approach by encouraging students to apply their learning in real-world situations, which can lead to deeper understanding and a more fulfilling education experience.

Pedagogy of Don Bosco