Non-cognitive skills, DD-SCI hopes to reduce DDL: The task of the school is to train citizens who are conscious and capable of critical exercise

Didactic Division of the Italian Chemical Society (DD-SCI) – On 11 January 2022, Parliament passed Bill no. Education. The bill continues its parliamentary process and is now being reviewed by the Senate.

Several voices have been raised to comment on and criticize the content of this provision, which lies behind the apparent and divisible desire to innovate the school system and solve some of its shortcomings, in fact “proposing a precise vision of a school that you so abandon. called “Cegemony of Cognitive” (Giuseppe Bagni, CIDI:
planning / skills instruction) and “distorting the function of the public school by neglecting its fundamental cultural objectives” (Rita Bortone: draft-of-law- innovative- e-salvific-o-nee /).

These two considerations, which come from deep-seated knowledge of the reality and needs of the school, would be sufficient to sound the alarm and ask for clarification and dialogue. But it is worth emphasizing some specific critical issues that concern both the methods of drafting this bill and its content.

1) We do not know that the text has been discussed and shared with the representative topics of the school reality, the people involved in the teacher education activities, and the disciplinary associations that have been dealing with these issues for years. It is difficult to understand from what reality the bill is an expression and in what instances it is inspired.

2) The Honorable Aprea, co-signer of the provision, stated that the bill seeks to contribute to the “solution of the problems of our time with an original and different perspective, it is necessary to modernize the education system”. For these precise reasons, it is surprising that an impromptu initiative is adopted in the face of an urgent need for structural initiatives that are, over time, “inspired by psycho-pedagogical principles and social visions” (Rita Bortone) far beyond what appears to be the inspiring principles of this provision, based on an idea of ​​a school centered on character skills, integrated with a “cognitive” limited to reading, writing and counting, with the addition of computer science and English.

3) The bill is registered at a historic time, which provides the large funds of the PNRR, which bear the costs of the bill itself. Considering that Italy – for years – dismantled its teacher training system, replacing it with precarious and inadequate measures, it would be desirable to take the opportunity of the PNRR to reconstitute a teacher training system on more solid terms.

4) The text of the bill denounces a totally inadequate conception of disciplinary teaching and its role in the school. There are the same national indications for the curriculum that remind us that the education of the person and the citizen can be achieved “only with the full control of the individual disciplinary areas and at the same time with the elaboration of their
Multiple connections “. The acquisition of an interdisciplinary vision, which is essential for the effective interpretation of reality, is not achieved through the almost total cancellation of specific disciplinary skills, but through the construction of a learning environment that interacts with the disciplines themselves. favored.

5) Some voices have recalled that transversal skills are already well present in the pedagogical horizon of the school. This is evidenced by the evaluation practices themselves, in order to evaluate both the goals of the students as well as the ways in which the students achieve them. On the other hand, disciplinary didactics – and the didactic research that is relevant to them
– already pay close attention to metacognitive aspects in order to stimulate students’ awareness of their own learning processes. Effective legislative action should aim to encourage the application of innovative disciplinary learning practices, not to replace disciplinary skills with evanescent non-cognitive goals.

The task of the school is to train the citizens who are conscious and capable of critical exercise, but this goal is only possible by equipping the students with a solid cognitive background and metacognitive skills. The objectives of DDL N. 2493/2022 therefore do not seem to be adequate.

For all these reasons, the Didactic Division of the Italian Chemical Society (DD-SCI) has:

  • expresses a highly critical opinion on this legislative measure and hopes that it will be withdrawn
  • invites the other disciplinary associations to comment on DDL N. 2493/2022.
  • hopes that Parliament will not pursue impromptu and poorly structured initiatives, but instead seize the opportunity of the PNRR to fill a structural weakness of our school system: the lack of early teacher education leading to the ” introduction ‘ and the school system of staff adequately qualified to carry out their training tasks.

Applying non-cognitive skills to school, starting in 2023. The bill passed in the House. Download the TEXT

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