The school transition –

The ecological transition? All right. The technological transition? That’s all right. But what is most needed in Italy is the school transition. The Pnrr – the National Recovery and Resilience Plan – invests 17 billion euros in schools (a figure that rises to a total of 30,880 million euros for the education and research sector). a significant expenditure that adds to the 57 billion that are used annually to ensure primary and secondary procedures. However, the money is needed but not enough to revive the school. For the non-trivial reason that the decisive capital of knowledge and training, not financial but human. Spending without changing would be like wasting money. Therefore, in order to give a new impetus to the school, it is not only necessary to open the portfolio but, as Stefano Caselli pointed out in the messaging of November 26 – also and above all open the mind and conceive a general rethinking of the education and research system. How? Begin to realize the need for a real school transition that transports the school from a stationary bike system, where you pedal a lot but don’t move an inch, to a circuit-system, in which the school works of teaching and learning. it gives new generations the real possibility to move in the complexity of the world (whether modern or postmodern). It may seem strange, though the last fifty years of the history of the Italian school are characterized not by the construction of a new school but by the progressive destruction of the previous school. known as the Giovanni Gentile School.

Half a century ago, in an ideologically divided Italy, they did not want to go from the only public school to the free school, as Salvatore Valitutti explained. The result known to all or so should be: the public school has lost its authority and ended up being consumed in the futile effort to form a mass school that was never born, except in its elephantine dimensions. So fifty years later we pay the bitter price of school failure that inevitably affects the quality and health of our democracy. Today the problem of the school is no longer elusive: either we change or the failure of the school and the university drags into the background the same democracy that is incapable of regenerating the ruling classes. The inevitable school transition to save the public school itself: the free school system, in fact, does not exclude the extension of the concept of public school but, on the contrary, requires the existence of the public school; while the mere existence of the monopolistic public school, of which the schools themselves are a part, excludes the free school and drastically impoverishes what, in bureaucratic terminology, is called the educational offer.

Reforming the school always means – whether we like it or not, we know it or not – taking exams. Currently, the Italian school system is based on bachelor’s exams which, as the word implies, are done for dismissal and take place at the end of a course of study. At the end of the first cycle of the degree, the eighth grade exam is taken and the diploma for high school enrollment is issued. In the same way, once the second degree cycle has ended, the final exam is taken – the so-called maturity – and the university enrollment diploma is issued. This system is now so worn out that it cannot be refurbished. There is nothing more to do than cancel it: replace the license tests with the access tests. With admission, the study cycle ends without exams, but to enroll in another center – and, of course, to enroll in university – you have to take the exams. Therefore, no more exams to leave but exams to enter both school and university. Diplomas, assignments and credits with legal value are no longer distributed, but serious verification of the preparation or cultural knowledge for the beginning or continuation of studies as an inescapable precondition, as Luigi Einaudi wanted and knew, for training and the achievement of professionalism.

As you can see, this is a real turning point in the logic that currently governs both the school and the academy: with the licenses everything revolves around the distribution and possession of the diploma, while with admissions it all revolves around the preparation of both students and teachers. a classic way of going back to school and not reducing it to a paper dispenser laden with a value they have no value and which reality, as too natural to pass up, devalues ​​without mercy. Can we continue to close our eyes to this reality? It would be worse than a crime, it would be a serious mistake. And the school, in short, should be this: the faculty of acknowledging mistakes.

February 12, 2022, 6:02 PM – change February 12, 2022 | 18:02

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