by Tommaso Dorigo

Some time ago I participated to a TV show organized by a producer of programs for local television channels, LP network. The program is titled “Pandora’s Box” and its anchorman, Carlo Savergnago, invited me together with a high-school teacher, Paola Zocca, to discuss the Italian school system and the challenge of helping students find and enhance their natural talents.

Of course I do not consider myself an expert of that topic, but I believe I was able to give my own perspective on the matter, at least as far as the teaching of scientific disciplines is concerned. The discussion was not very deep, as the format of the show did not allow to spend much time on details. Maybe the most interesting point that was raised during the discussion was a question I ended up asking myself to the anchor.

In the assumption that the development of a student’s talent is not necessarily the path that is going to bring her more happiness and fulfilment in her life,  and instead some different study and career path could be the one that brings her more personal satisfaction and happiness, what is really the best choice ? In other words, should we pursue the career path which best exploits our potential, or the one which brings us more satisfaction ?

It is generally assumed that success -and the resulting feeling of personal fulfilment- is perfectly aligned with one’s happiness. But this needs not be so: there are kids who are raised from a very young age to be piano players, or to play golf or tennis, or what have you, but are they always happy with that ? I suspect that having their career path figured out by somebody else from the start is a simplification, but may hide some dark sides.

Anyway – the video linked below is in Italian, so I guess it will not be of any use or entertainment to you. I put it here just for the record. On the other hand if you care to listen to it and have an opinion on these matters, I will be happy to read you below!