Prof. Peter Mayo was the invited speaker at a conference on Don Milani, held on Thursday afternoon and Friday at the University of Bergamo, Italy. He spoke on a panel on the national and international reception of Don Milani with emphasis on his impact on Sociology of Education. He made special emphasis on his reception in the UK especially the Open University course Education and Society featuring among others, Roger Dale who stresses this point in his Preface to Peter Mayo's book with Federico Batini and Alessio Surian published in English in 2013. References were made to Lettera a Una Professoressa and its reception in Spain, which was also referred to in greater detail by Jose' Corzo Toral, Spain's leading scholar on Milani's work, Turkey and the USA.
The gist of Mayo's talk was about the parallels that exist with Pierre Bourdieu's work, his convergence and differences with that of Paulo Freire and his anticipation in the 60s of what became a standard feature of class driven critical sociological research on schooling in the English speaking world in the 70s. Furthermore he indicated the continuing relevance of L' Obbedienza non e' piu' una virtu to a period in which USA driven cultural influence highlights militarisation especially among youth. Parallels with the writings of Howard Zinn and Henry Giroux were drawn. He also highlighted Milani's Esperienze Pastorali as a major Italian contribution to Sociology. Other key Milani scholars at the conference included Domenico Simeone and Fabio Pruneri, from the Universita' del Sacro Cuore, Milan and Universita' degli Studi di Sassari respectively.