Scuba Diving Education

Educational Foundations

Luigi Ferraro left a permanent mark in the teaching and educational planning sectors, as he made an essential contribution to their distribution and development.
He used to be a P.E teacher, receiving his training at the Farnesina Academy, and was well known for the rigidity and strictness of his method. He taught in schools for many years with passion and fervour and could therefore offer a solid base preparation combined with practical experience. These characteristics, which were the result of study and commitment, were integrated with his natural gift of understanding and speaking to humans.
A summary of his educational philosophy is included in the book "Una Fiamma negli Abissi"

"Teachers have always said that the underwater world is a completely new universe, in which man finds himself alienated in a new place to the extent that he forgets all his ancestral customs and his inborn instincts. It is therefore necessary to "think" through every small action, even the most automatic one, to be always aware of what you are doing and why.
The fundamental basis of scuba diver training is to reach inner and total SELF-CONTROL, an essential requirement for not losing your mind and consequently your life, in the hostile environment surrounding you.
In order to become a scuba diver, it is necessary to be at ease in water first, then to become familiar with moving underwater through the execution of exercises, even the easiest ones, in order to help trainees master themselves in both circumstances. This is done through resistance and speed exercises, playing water games, carrying objects, holding weights, etc.
As you only learn walking by walking, in the same way you learn to be comfortable in the water by spending time in the water continuously, until you reach beyond the limits of boredom and tiredness, to the point that it makes no difference whether you are on land or in the water.
The same concept applies to diving.
Another point of paramount importance with regards to training concerns the teaching and practicing of breath holding. Firstly because it is an excellent exercise that significantly contributes to the achievement of self-control, secondly because it increases breathing autonomy which, combined with psychological calm, could be the decisive factor in emergency situations or in dealing with unexpected difficulties. The teaching method, recommends carrying out most of the training in the swimming pool, so that the instructor is able to see and monitor trainees closely as they carry out every single exercise and in due course correct them. Moreover, the width of the pool enables the repetition of movements so that they can be controlled longer. Such practice is common nowadays".

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Early Experiences

Ferraro lead the first courses in 1948 on the island of Elba, on behalf of Cressi and in collaboration with the Italian Touring Club. The following year these took place in Ischia and in 1950 in the Tremiti Islands, on board a motor cutter. This was the first diving course that took place on a cruise worldwide.
In 1952, he started training fire fighters to become Scuba Divers and in 1953 he also trained the Carabinieri and financial police officers.
In those same years, he entered into association with Duilio Marcante, which was the basis of the launch of scuba diving in Italy and therefore in Europe and in the world. While Ferraro subsequently dedicated himself to the Company he founded in 1962, Marcanti continued to deal with educational aspects, setting up the Federal Institute of Nervi, attended by all federal instructors until the end of the 80s.

IMAGES

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Ferraro teaching the rebreather to pupils of the first diving school in 1948 on the island of Elba
Ferraro teaching the rebreather to pupils of the first diving school in 1948 on the island of Elba


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