More time (and ideas) for a new school –

of Attilio Oliva and Antonino Petrolino

Instead of focusing attention on “learning”, it would be necessary to focus on the mechanisms of “learning” of students who are known to require interaction and engagement, also emotionally

Lin school, in addition to teaching “reading and arithmetic”, it should favor the formation of open, curious and critical personalities, but also of citizens who are aware of their rights and duties.. With the mass school, however, we arrived at the current school, where everyone can visit: thus, new challenges and new problems arose. An epochal revolution, unfortunately managed by the ministry with teaching methods, teacher training, organization of time and space, which are completely inadequate to achieve the above goals, considering a young population so highly diverse and considering cultural and socio-economic conditions .

Unfortunately, this epochal challenge has been answered with the criterion of “everything more”: more teachers, more directors, more housekeepers, more disciplines, but basically with a centralized organizational model and with a traditional teaching method: transmissive lessons with a focus on “learning” in the face of significant inattention to the mechanisms of “learning” of students that require notorious interaction and engagement, even emotionally.

But the school also has to do with another epochal revolution: that of the environment “outside the school” who removed his pedagogical monopoly thanks to a powerful hyper-pervasive “mass communication” system and certainly not inspired to favor pedagogical purposes. What could be the answer to this kind of school of the much less fortunate for socio-economic background of origin?

As far as learning is concerned, the periodic international surveys of 15-year-olds by the OECD are therefore always below the average of the 80 countries surveyed. In advanced countries, the need for school systems to worry about being taken for granted not only “instruct” but also “educate to live with others”which implies the integration of cognitive and non-cognitive knowledge and skills.

Here too, Parliament has voted in favor of a bill to promote education, which is also receiving attention Development of invaluable “non-cognitive skills”: the ability to communicate and collaborate with others, to put oneself in the place of others, the pursuit of emotional intelligence, resilience … But this was ridiculed by an esteemed academic who instead thinks that we furthermore, “the disparate” should spend knowledge for young people, then let that knowledge, the reading of books, the thoughts, the emotions, that are born in every hour of the class in the classroom, in the soul of everyone with his nature, meet his imagination, his soul and through fertilization. give life to that thing called personality ”.

It is also true that innovative training projects (and complementary to the disciplinary), if they want to influence personality data, must act indirectly and over a long period. In our case, in order to practice them, it would be necessary to radically change both the organization of “school time” and the training of teachers.

Unfortunately, the TreeLLLe Association (in “The Courage to Think New School”, has verified that what seems normal to us (that the school generally closes its doors at 1 pm) is in place. a major anomaly: in advanced countries it always continues in the afternoon.

Hence two key suggestions, plus a concrete suggestion to start editing:

1. move from a “short-term” school (today it is generally 30 hours a week over five / six days) Advertisement a “long time” school of 40 hours over 5 days (eight hours plus canteen);

2. a school with early entry to three years (this is already practiced in France) e “long term compulsory” for anyone from 3 to 14 years (better up to 16 years): precisely in the first years of life and then in adolescence, negative values ​​and prejudices that are not in line with our level of civilization can be consolidated.

And then from 14-16 to 19 years hold an offer of an “optional” long time.

For TreeLLLe, at least three hours a day of this long time should not be occupied by further “lessons”, but by Training “activities” involving students in interaction with each other and with the relevant staff. What to do? From sound and visual arts to sports, from debates on role-playing games, from voluntary activities to environmental care, so that young people are finally offered opportunities for self-expression and collaboration with others.

These non-disciplinary activities (therefore without qualifications) should be promoted by “reference adults”, selected by the autonomous schools for their education and prerequisite to accompany the personal, civil and social growth of the young people. It will be good to think not only to available teachers, but also (and better) to other public, private and non-profit actors in the area to favor the flourishing of real educational communities and do not leave school alone and closed, as it is today for the most part.

When you think about the less popular classes in particular, it might not be better for young people to go through a large part of their time in a safe and engaging school environment rather than on the roadwith video games or in environments (known and otherwise) that are not very cultivated and often deprived?

An operational proposal: the ministry could experiment, before legislating, to ask for ad hoc funding only for those schools that are most needed or suitable, in their context and in their autonomy. If demand increased, the school would gradually become ‘different’, with a bottom-up processthrough the crucial contribution of motivated teachers and educators.

President and President of the TreeLLLe Association

15 July 2022 (change 15 July 2022 | 22:36)

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