Medical student education: Malaguzzi

LORIS MALAGUZI (1920 – 1994)

This Italian educator wrote notes on early childhood education. These principles included mutual respect between student and learner as well as a subdued power relationship between these two parties; democracy and equality in the teaching environment. One recognises some applications of his observations in higher learning.

he was known to have said: The child has a hundred languages, and a hundred hundred hundred more but they steal ninety-nine. The school and the culture seperate the head from the body. They tell the child to think without their hands, to do and make without their heads, to listen and not to speak, to understand without joy, to feel love and awe only at Easter and Christmas. They tell the child to discover the world that is already there.

This last sentence summarises it all perfectly.  We teach medical students to discover a world that is already there. We have to transfer knowledge as teachers but we may never kill that creative searching spirit of the learner. That is the backbone of enlightenment, the spark for innovation, the foundation of self-fulfillment and creates the passion for academic thinking as well as effective application of wisdom in the complex societies of today