As a British school, we wanted to highlight the educational lessons that the Harry Potter saga offers us
Since the first Harry Potter title was published in 1997, the young wizard created by J.K. Rowling has enchanted children and adults alike and has become one of the most charismatic characters. If you are one of the thousands of children (not so children anymore) who are still waiting for that owl with the letter of admission to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you know very well what we are talking about.
As a British school, we wanted to highlight the educational lessons that this series of fantasy novels offers us. The teenage wizard universe is more than just a saga for young people: we summarise some of the lessons that this magical world has taught both children and adults:
- The value of friendship: What would Harry be without his inseparable friends Ron and Hermione? Through thick and thin, the three friends have stuck together through all kinds of adversity, growing up together and learning to survive in such a complicated world.
- You will have to face your fears to get what you want. In various parts of the story, both heroes and villains must face the objects, animals or people they fear the most in order to achieve something greater.
- People are not always what they seem. This saga shows two sides to the characters. One example is Professor Quirrell, who seemed nice and well-meaning, until we discover that he hides Voldemort in his turban.
- Words have more power than we think. In Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore gives Harry one last lesson on how important it is to watch what we say. "Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of inflicting harm and of remedying it," says the professor shortly before he disappears.
- Mental health and resilience. Harry struggles in a world full of complications, where he has had no parents to care for, love and encourage him; he faces the Dementors through endurance and effort; they fall into sadness after Sirius's death. Isn't that a great lesson in resilience?
- Treat people well. Sirius' line "If you want to know what a man is like, look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals" hides a great truth. We have to look out for each other, give more to those who have less, and treat everyone well, no matter who they are, where they come from, whether they are purebloods or dirtybloods, or how different they are from us.
- Accept death. This is one of the strongest messages of the saga. As Albus Dumbledore explains, being master of death does not mean being immortal but accepting it as a process inherent to our existence. Death is conquered by resigning ourselves to it, we are human beings and one day we will die.
- Your roots do not define you. Roots have a strong transcendence in people, but they always have the capacity to change and go down a better path.
- Good always wins. "It is our choices, Harry, that show who we are, far more than our abilities," recites Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. If there is one thing that characterises Harry's character, it is undoubtedly his nobility. In the final battle, when Voldemort attempts to assassinate him with a so-called unforgivable curse (Avada Kedavra), Harry only defends himself with a simple disarming spell (Expelliarmus). Once again, J.K. Rowling makes us see the great differences between the two sides. Yet Harry did not use any spells to hurt or kill his greatest rival, the darkest wizard of all time, he-who-must-not-be-named. That, without a doubt, is the great victory. As in real life, good overcomes evil with nobility, cunning, friendship and love.