Since Patrizio Bianchi, a professor of liberal economics, took over as Minister of Education, the acronym STEM has become a kind of battle cry launched in the Italian school. This acronym, naturally derived from English, which is very cool, means Science Technology Engineering Mathematics,
Many documents from the Ministry praise the strengthening of the teaching of these subjects, in fact it has also been argued that there is a STEM teaching method, the outlines of which, however, remain vague, as the the only thing that is clear is that this is frantic teaching. digital-technological acceleration and increased contact between schools and companies.
To soften the slightly “hard” look of STEM a bit, an “A” was added which means Arts and STEM became STEAM. This incorporation was made to prevent a STEM-based school (without A) from being accused of forgetting humanistic culture and the arts, which obviously clashes with the Italian pedagogical tradition.
However, we know that even the “arts” can be understood in many different ways, such as that for which creativity is useful for business, business relations, and marketing and not for unleashing the expressive potential of the person.
If STEAM propaganda is not very enthusiastic in public schools, to the disappointment of Minister Bianchi, the Golinelli Foundation, a training branch of Confindustria, which specializes in digital and school-business collaborations, is here to help. will open in Bologna from the next school year, the “School of Ideas”, based precisely on the idea of the so-called STEAM methodology.
The thing should not be underestimated since then for the first time in Italy we are witnessing the birth of a private high school that aims to be an “excellence” to the public. Until now, private high schools were more than anything else to accommodate easy-to-read students or families who did not like their children having foreign, proletarian, or disabled peers.
Needless to say, the “School of Ideas” received rapid recognition by the Ministry as an egalitarian school. Let’s take a closer look at the Golinelli Foundation’s school.
Forty hours a week of teaching, thirty of which are in class and the rest in assisted study, with the possibility of further workshops and optional courses. Naturally, the dining room for lunch, which is still a dream for the public, who very often have to give up the full day due to their absence and high-level computer and educational equipment.
The teaching method is STEAM, which we try to decipher. Several pages of the school’s presentation, on the Foundation’s website, are in English, so we imagine that this language will have ample space in that school, perhaps more than obsolete Italian. This is also because the children of wealthy families will go to that school, who will probably continue their studies in foreign institutes and universities of liberal orientation, preferably private.
In addition, it should be noted that young people attending the “school of ideas” will develop their “talent” (a very treacherous word) and will be guided by the choice of future schools. It will be a school in relation to the “real world” so much so students will be in contact with the reality of the business and work world, ie managers and business leaders will be regularly present in the classroom..
The whole project also exudes corporate efficiency, business culture, individualistic pedagogical vision and career. Ample space for generally defined workshops with English expressions and an oversized use of digital technology.
In addition, the scope and individualism are already present before the start of this school, as it is not enrolled in it, but admission is requested. Then the management chooses the lucky ones who will be admitted.
This year, the beginning of the experience, there is only one first class to which only 18 students out of the 100 who have applied now have been admitted, as the classes should not exceed 22 items (but Bianchi does not said that reduced classes should not be done?). But many more sections of the school are expected to open in the coming years.
Cost of school: 5,500 euros per year, a considerable sum and certainly prohibitive for poor families. However, the director specifies that since “you don’t want to leave anyone behindThere will be 4 full or partial scholarships for deserving students whose families are unable to pay this fee. In short, you have to do a little charity (4 scholarships means “not leaving 4 boys behind”, not really “anyone”).
Beyond the jokes, the project is worrisome. In fact, foreshadow a class selection system based on the segregation of wealth among young people. If in the Italian public school there has always been a phenomenon of class selection, then elegantly renamed school dropoutin this case it is postulated that the selection takes place already before access to school.
Basically, an American-style system, where only lower-class youth go to public, defined, and abandoned schools, while private schools are opened for the chosen descendants of the rich, destined to form the new ruling elite. A phenomenon certainly new to Italy and probably destined to occur over a fairly long period of time, but no less serious.
During the summer of 2022, among others, the Golinelli Foundation will conduct training courses for teachers on the STEAM methodology. This, however, is not new, as for years foundations and employers have been promoting courses for teachers, encouraging their vision of training.
What seems new is that the participants in the summer course, with the new course, will play the role of “ambassadors” of STEAM in their schools, trying to convince their classmates to follow them on their path and to involve them in their educational perspective. We hope that they receive the answer they deserve, that is, that they send them …..
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