“It is not enough to fill heads with ideas, this is not educating;
educating is transmitting life. And being maestri means living a mission.”
Pope Francis addressing pilgrims of the Maestre Pie Filipinne Institute.
In a recent audience (14th May 2022) with the Maestre Pie Filippine, an Institute dedicated to the education of young girls founded by Saint Lucy Filippini, Pope Francis said:
“A maestro is someone who teaches. However, a proverb says that one does not teach what one says, but what one is. We transmit to others what we have within ourselves. It is not enough to fill heads with ideas, this is not educating; educating is transmitting life. And being maestri means living a mission“.
We, as educators at PCM, could not agree more with Pope Francis’ insight. Teachers have a demanding mission: to promote the development of a person’s intellectual and moral qualities. But how is this accomplished?
When it comes to describing what a teacher does we can choose various terms: instruct, train, educate…
Instruct comes from the Latin in-strŭĕre, to build up within. To train derives from the Latin trăhĕre, to pull. In Italian, we have another verb: formare, to form, which means to give form or to model. These terms imply a learning model centered on the teacher’s own knowledge.
His or her role is to build in the learner’s mind a palace of knowledge, or to pull him or her in the right direction to arrive at said knowledge. Finally, this role could be a modeling of the student’s knowledge in accordance with a set standard.
Educare means helping the learner find his own way in the world.
To educate, on the other hand, comes from the Latin e-ducěre, to lead out, and describes a very different process. It is as if the role of the teacher is not to transfer knowledge but to bring it out, to help the learner find for himself how to build his own palace of knowledge, to know in what direction in life he or she needs to go. Not to adhere to an ideal model but to build a personal one. Educare means helping the learner find his own way in the world.
“I will make you fishers of men,” Jesus, the real Maestro, said to Peter and his companions when he recruited them. He did not nullify their identities to impose a model, but leveraged what they already were: fishermen.
Educators are much more than instructors and trainers. Parents are educators. Role models are educators (for both good or bad). All those who teach by example or testimony are educators.
That is why at the Program of Church Management we want teachers who live what they teach. Our teachers are in this way true educators: people who inspire and encourage students to strive for greatness, and teach them – through experience and commitment – how to reach their full potential and become the best leader they can be for helping the mission of the Church.