Don Bosco had a comprehensive concept of education. It entailed helping the young person to develop and grow as a human being and a Christian, so that he could find his proper place in society – a good citizen and a good Christian, as Don Bosco would say. Don Bosco regarded every situation in which he came into contact with young people as an educational situation. Don Bosco stated clearly, “Education is a matter of the heart, of which the Lord is the master”. What sets Salesian education apart from other ways or systems of education is the fact that relationships are of prime importance in the Salesian educational process.
As Salesian educators, we show our love for the young in two ways: the Preventive System (relationships, the way we relate to young people) and the Oratory Model (experiences, those that we create for the young people).
The Preventive System is based on the three keys: Reason, Religion, and Loving Kindness. From this basis, we see the relationships that Don Bosco encouraged: the educator seeks to make oneself loved, takes the young where they are, believes in their capacity for good, wants to be with them.
Relationship creates the experience; experience is sustained by the relationship.