Don Bosco – the great Modern Educator(Life Sketch of Don Bosco)
St.John Bosco, popularly known as Don Bosco (Italian for Father Bosco) was born at Becchi, in Piedmont, Italy on August 16, 1815. From a very young age he Don Boscowas called to work for poor young people of his time, when Europe was under the grip of Industrial Revolution and many a young person who came to the cities to study or in search of work fell an easy prey to the many social evils of his time.
He lost his father at the age of 2 and was brought up by his mother, who was truly his guide, his model and his educator. From early years of life he discovered his leadership qualities especially among his peers. At the age of nine little John Bosco was given a mission in vision. He was to transform the young people “ NOT WITH BLOWS BUT WITH LOVING KINDNESS” that was the goal of his life. Overcoming untold hardships and hostility he become a priest on June 5th 1841. His determination to be a priest for young people combined with his dynamic optimism resulted in the flowering of his long cherished goal.
Don Bosco was an educational practitioner rather than educational theorist. It is impossible to understand his approach to education without reference to his experiences in life, because he actually incorporated the lessons of his own life experiences into his pedagogy. This style of education consists in involving young people, their parents or guardians and the educators in a family atmosphere. This system is based on Reason, Religion (Faith in God) and Loving Kindness. The goal is integral formation. This embraces developing physical, intellectual, moral, social and spiritual aspects of person’s life.
Blooming in spite of initial poverty, hardships, opposition of all sorts, soon his works flourished. The little seed planted by him grew into a mighty tree, and now all over the world there are hundreds of educational institutes catering to thousands of young people. Rightly, Don Bosco is recognized as the Father, Friend and Teacher of all young people. He is the Founder of the Salesian Father (SDB), Salesian Sisters (FMA), and Salesian Cooperators (SC).
Today Don Bosco’ s unique charism for young people lives on undiminished, in its original freshness and dynamism in every corner of the earth. Where youth exists there Don Bosco is present through his Sons and Daughters for whom Don Bosco is a father, Teacher , Founder, Friend and Leader… ever relevant for Yesterday… Today… and Tomorrow…