School education in Italy

The school reform „Buona scuola”, that came into force in 2017, foresees many important innovations such as more autonomy for schools and compulsory work experience for 16 years old students. In this way the Italian three-tier education system (primary school, lower secondary school and upper secondary school), which is affected by demographic changes (minor number of students), has to cope with big challenges concerning school organization, teacher qualifications and collaboration with enterprises.

At the age of 14 years old 80% of students choose which upper secondary school they want to attend: either liceo, that is a theoretical school focused on one specific subject area (science, languages, art or humanistic subjects), or vocational school, which is specialised in fields such as information and communication technology, electrical engineering and mechatronics, agriculture, economics and gastronomy and tourism. In both schools students must take some final examinations, which enable them to attend University. About 20% of students attend a school-based vocational training which combines theory and practical work.

As far as inclusion is concerned, Italy has had a pioneering role for more than 20 years. The percentage of students who leave school prematurely is 13% higher than the European average. In the long-term students learning motivation is affected by three factors: migration background, reduced parental authority and a high youth unemployment. On the other hand, more autonomy guarantees more freedom to schools to reach the learning objectives though innovative didactic methods.

The study visit includes the following topics:

• Structure and functioning of the education system
• Inclusion in the class and at school
• Forms of school autonomy
• Teacher training and teacher hiring process
• Preparation and implementation of practical experience
• Curriculum and teaching and learning methods
• Digitalization and multimediality in the class
• Parental work
• Integration of students with migration background
• Career counselling for students and parents

During the study visit participants visit private and public schools, national and regional education authorities, city administrations and universities. Colleagues, experts, headmasters and decision makers are at the disposal of the participants. The aim is to get to know the Italian education system and the people who work in it. Not to mention the fact that participants also have the opportunity to make new contacts for transnational projects.

The study visit programme is aimed at teachers, learning coordinators and management staff. If the registration is submitted by a group, the topics can be adjusted according to the kind of school the participants are interested in.

The duration of the programme can be decided individually and lasts between 2 and 5 days. Eurocultura also organizes the hotel accommodation upon request.

The programme takes place in Vicenza, Venice and Verona or Padua and leaves enough time to visit touristic sites and to taste Italian delicacies.