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Young people and the Reading Circles

 

The Fernand Braudel Institute of World Economics has been developing its Reading Circles program, in partnership with Brazil’s public schools, to give the printed word new meaning for young people in the enrichment of learning.  

In this pioneering program, talented adolescents are protagonists in leading small groups of fellow students in reading and discussing the classics of world literature: Homer, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Brazilian authors like Machado de Assis and Clarice Lispector.

These Circles, directed by the psychologist Catalina Pagés, cultivate an atmosphere of confidence and mutual respect among students. Some speak more, others less, but all join in the dialogue. In these exchanges, the capacity for listening is as important as speaking. Each participant is special in his own contribution. They write letters to the Circle about their own discoveries. The texts they produce show what they have understood and achieved.

Cooperation is a skill and method of living that must be learned. It demands attention and capacity for dialogue. Two centuries ago Adam Smith, in The Wealth of Nations, argued that nations grow when men learn to work together, opening a path to justice and prosperity. We seek these advances in the Reading Circles.