Take a look at these examples:

Arnavaz Jeejeebhoy (Bachelor)
"Parents today spoil their kids. They have just one or two and they pamper them with so many unnecessary things. I wonder what kind of education this is. Would not children grow up to be more self-centred – expecting everything and every one to pander to their whims and fancies?"

Farzal Khan (Merchant, Father of two)
"My father had clear perceptions of how he had to educate the three of us. He used the stick as often as he thought necessary. Today I am grateful for all the punishments I received. I continue to follow his method. I am very strict and distant from my own children. I leave the petting to my wife. This is the best way to discipline them and prepare children for a tough life."

Roshini Sharma (School teacher)
"I find it very difficult to educate my students in school. The classrooms are crowded, the noise of the traffic is loud and the syllabus has to be covered before the next exam. I am doing my job. Whether all students learn at my pace is not my concern. It is the parents who should take full responsibility for their children's education."

What are the methods of education used in these examples?

Throughout history, there have been three basic educational methods of raising children. They are, broadly speaking, the repressive, the preventive and the expressive methods of education.

Each method is an articulation of a certain view of the human being that promotes a specific type of learning. Each method is accompanied by attitudes and convictions that rely on skills for effectiveness. All three methods have been used by parents and educators at various moments in the challenging task of educating.

In this first part we will study the characteristics of each of these methods to better understand the uniqueness of Don Bosco’s Way.

Don Bosco’s Way of educating worked for the maximum benefit of his pupils. Through his presence among youngsters he revealed a unique ability to blend the preventive and expressive methods dynamically. It was an ability that was dictated by his practical insight, his positive realism and his charisma. It was a way of being with youngsters, a presence that was based on three essential principles that when applied, translated into attitudes and skills for a holistic education. These principles were rapport, reason and religion. The following diagram sums up his educative method:

We will first examine the three methods of educating before we take up the three principles of Don Bosco's Way in part two.

Diagrams: Peter Gonsalves