Fr. Giussani makes four central claims. First, he proposes that education must be oriented toward what he describes as an experience with total reality in which Christ can come to be seen as fulfilling what it is for us to be authentically human.
Second, Giussani posits a respect for tradition as a necessary precondition for the possibility of education, since it is only from within the concrete specificity of a person's location in a family, culture, and society that one can face the question of reality and engage it in a truly critical way. Thus, rootedness in a living tradition can serve as a way of encountering the past and as a guard against unbridled innovation or skepticism.
Third, he suggests that the Christian community must play an important and intentional role in education by providing an ecclesial environment in which Christ is made known in our relationships and actions.
Finally, Fr. Giussani sees the teacher as embodying the experience of reality in a particular way, with a coherence that carries with it a certain kind of authority, though not one that is perceived as external or imposed. The expression tradition in the lived faith and experiences of a teacher, embedded within a larger community of faith, thereby functions to justify a certain ideal of what it means to be human in the image of Christ.
I would hope that books like Fr. Giussani's would contribute to a discussion of these topics in educational circles-particularly Catholic and more broadly Christian ones-in a way that would actually come to transform our educational practice. The Risk of Education constitutes a challenging and important part an any such discussion.