New Article! 📝 

Cine-CommUnity at the University of Florence to train future educators in critical thinking, intercultural dialogue and prevention of radicalization

by | Apr 20, 2021 | All, Homepage, Publications | 0 comments

Cine-CommUnity at the University of Florence to train future educators in critical thinking, intercultural dialogue and prevention of radicalization
Within the framework of the European project CommUnity and the Cine-CommUnity campaign, the University of Florence has organized a series of 6 film-forums among the students of the Social Pedagogy course directed by Professor Raffaella Biagioli. The students, as future educators, will work with young people, initiating them to a reflection on fundamental themes of their training such as intercultural and interreligious dialogue, social influence, social and group conditioning, discrimination and gender stereotypes, communication dynamics in terrorist groups and the role of the media.
The films selected to spark reflection and dialogue on these issues were: Offside, In Between, Die Welle, Elephant, Made in France. Each session was introduced by a brief presentation of the films, also related to the themes addressed in the social pedagogy course, such as the importance of group dynamics, youth illnesses, bullying and cyberbullying, immigration and ethnic cultural differences, social integration and exclusion, and discrimination against women.
Student participation in these events was significant, with an average of approximately 100 students per event. After the film screenings, debates were held in which students were able to express their personal observations on the themes addressed in the films, as raised by the UNIFI research group.
At the end of each event, the students also filled in questionnaires from which it emerged that the malaise that generally affects young people is also widespread among the students, especially during adolescence: they have experienced in the past many episodes of “youth crisis”, social exclusion, bullying and antisocial behavior of varying degrees. From their testimonies it is clear how crucial is the early intervention of the family and the school to intercept the first warning signs and offer valid alternatives to think and act independently and authentically.
The use of film language can serve as a valuable strategy to connect with youth, establish a dialogue, and help them understand the risk as well as the consequences of extremist behavior. In this regard, youth can reflect upon and better understand the motivations behind today’s anti-social and extremist behaviors, as well as the political and social influence of the media on these behaviors.
In addition, the language of film can represent a strategy for educating in critical thinking, in a problematizing and active approach to understanding reality and the other, seen as an individual different from oneself, but with the same rights and duties. These aspects represent the basic principles of building a sense of belonging and social cohesion that are to be initiated and developed from early adolescence and youth.