Written by Maria Stella Ficai, teacher at Rondine Cittadella della Pace and Global Schools Advocate from Italy.
Rondine Cittadella della Pace is an educational organization committed to reducing armed conflicts around the world and spreading its own method (the Rondine Method), based on the relational approach for the creative transformation of conflicts, in every context. Its objective is to contribute to a planet free from armed clashes, in which every person has the tools to manage conflicts in a creative and positive way.
Rondine was born in a Medieval Tuscan hamlet a few kilometers away from Arezzo, Italy: here, the main Rondine projects for education and professional experience are developed. It is a place where human beings are regenerated, so that they can become leaders of themselves and their own communities, in search of the common good.
For more than 25 years, university students have been coming to Rondine Cittadella della Pace from countries that are the scene of armed conflicts or post-conflict. In the two years of their program in the Peace Citadel, called World House, students discover the human being in the “enemy”, with whom they share their daily life in Rondine. They succeed in transforming creatively the concept of “enemy”, overcoming their psychological resistance to start a regenerative relationship with him/her. At the end of their program, they have the tools to promote actions and projects to transform conflicts and contribute to the development of their countries. Rondine launched the Global Leaders for Peace Campaign on October 7th, 2018, in La Verna, an ancient Franciscan hermitage and a significant location at the root of Rondine’s mission. The campaign was then introduced to the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to the Pope, and finally presented at the United Nations.
Inspired by the successful experience of the World House, the “Rondine Method” was recognized as a unique, experimental method by the Italian Ministry of Education to be applied to secondary schools in Italy as transformative education based on the power of relationships, conflict resolution skills and UNESCO’s cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural Competencies. Rondine is at the head of the Italian network of over 20 public secondary schools which will be implementing the Rondine Method in 2022.
The Rondine Method is the response to the challenges of globalization. It aims to instil in learners the values, attitudes and behaviours that support responsible global citizenship: creativity, innovation, and commitment to peace, human rights and sustainable development through the integration of the 17 SDGs. The Rondine Method proposes new transdisciplinary ways of entangling subject disciplines not simply as acquisition of knowledge and skills, but as important activities with the potential to make a real impact on one’s life and one’s community. Central to this endeavour is to develop ways in which areas of the curriculum may integrate differently to develop holistic skills. It helps to break away from subject-area silos and approach learning through inquiry-based, collaborative, action-oriented methodologies that leverage knowledge and skills across subject areas to tackle real-life sustainable development challenges in our communities and globally.
Rondine’s educational framework is consistent with the European Union recommendations concerning sustainable development. Recognizing the global sustainability challenges, European Union leaders have adopted the European Green Deal.
They have also decided to integrate the UN Member States’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the European Semester, thereby deciding to “put people and the planet at the center of EU economic policy”.
EU leaders also responded to the immense health, environmental, and economic challenges posed by the pandemic with a strong Next Generation Fund to boost economic recovery and green transition.
The challenges of the 21st-century call for more relevant, and self-directed learning that will prepare the young to live, compete, and collaborate in a new global scenario.
Rondine empowers students to become global competent citizens, protagonists who can navigate the complexity and conflicts of the present .
This is Rondine’s Mission 4.7.
Learn more about the Rondine Method at rondine.org.
This article has been previously published on Mission 4.7