“Failure is one of the great issues of the school capable of warming the spirits and ends up generating conflicting factions,” says Ivan Sciapeconi, 53, a teacher at G. Pascoli Primary School in Modena. Sciapeconi is the author of teaching guides, aids for teachers, textbooks for primary school. He is also the author of children’s fiction books. Conducts training courses on the topics of inclusive education, teaching by competencies, assessment. He recently sent the novel “40 Coats and a Button” (Ed Piemme) to the bookstore. “Historically,” continues the teacher, whose full intervention is published below, “the issue of rejection has always been consistently placed in the last segment of schooling. It failed a lot in primary until secondary became a horizon within everyone’s reach. He refused a lot in high school until high school met with massive enrollments. Now people fail – less and less, say 8% – in high school years.
But what about high school? There, where you would like to fail more, where you would like to be able to expel from school those who are not fit to study, those who create problems for teaching, what happens? How many times I Professor Montillaro out of the movie The schoolof Daniele Lucchetta, and how he would like to have a free hand to fail at least a little: At least one, uuuuno, let me fail”, Are they successful in their intention? Reading the multiple interventions that have left many teachers on social media, more resigned than annoying, it seems that the number of failures is very low compared to the much more demanding claims of the most rigorous teachers. However, failures are not lacking, especially in the first two years of high school, and especially in the first classes, where the most massive and discouraging selection is made. But are we confident that rejection is the most effective weapon, as well as the most powerful and destructive, to achieve the levels of learning expected of our students? “If I had to say which system I prefer, the ideal would be for me a flawless system,” says Ludovico Arte, director of the ITT Marco Polo in Florence, technical institute of tourism, the oldest in Tuscany, and for some time also language baccalaureate
Dean Ludovico Arte, what would this system look like?
“It would be a system that at the end of the course certifies the competencies achieved, which says, as happens in some countries, how a student does in this or that subject. But in the Italian school system the failures of some boys are served.
So you’re not against it all the way
“I am not against it, but they must be extreme cases. Education is not done with failures. Education is about listening and relationships. In many cases, if you give the student a chance, if you talk to him, take advantage of it. To me, the same goes for exemplary sanctions, which are often not necessary. In the same way, there is no need for faults that are repeated many times. We must always ask ourselves what is good about the child. In some rare cases rejection can be helpful, in others it is useless. It does not achieve the result of changing the child. Often, through the dialogue and the relationship that has been created, the boy changes without being rejected, but this is the result of a long work ”.
And it is a great opening of the school community
“Look, my door is always open. The vice presidency, my teachers are leaving. There is a lot of work in my school as psychologists and mediators. We have worked the environments, convinced that this has an impact on the climate and the environment. “spirit that helps children and also teachers to work better. It’s one of the ways we try to take care of children. In these years of Covid we’ve had 18 psychologists in our school and even before there have always been many psychologists and even nutrition experts, because we take care of the person and not just the student.These are ways to meet the needs of children as a whole.If a boy is sick or not learning, I can’t tell him go somewhere else. In any case, I have to find answers, myself, to help him feel good and learn calmly. We are trying to fight the idea that school is suffering and sacrifice. The school is too sacrifice, but we would like people to come to school willingly and not as if they were going to the mine. In the coming days we will open the school for a festival for teenagers which is a way to send a signal: we give you a help to live experiences after ten years of pandemic in which children have lost so many opportunities, the school it becomes an opportunity. where you can cultivate your interests. In this way, the passion of teachers and children and also of teachers is cultivated. Here you have an extraordinary job peer education: we train fourth graders who become guardians of first graders. This means that older children welcome others on the first day of school and become a kind of older brothers and sisters. And I could tell several stories in which it happened that the fourth graders had intercepted serious problems, even family abuse, that the adults had not noticed and then we activated with the police.
Can all this prevent school failures and failures?
“Of course, all this is more than failures. If a child has a discomfort inside, do not study, because he has his head elsewhere. There are many who are victims of domestic abuse, or are children who have lost their parents, or live stories, so to speak, normal parental separation and more. A child who experiences discomfort certainly does not help him with rejection, if I help him by listening to his discomfort, keeping him close, helping him process the situation he is experiencing. That way, if I’m okay, he’s calmer and becomes a better student. We have to work hard on relationships and context, we are doing that. However, I repeat, in some cases the rejection has served the interested students, I do not want to pass for integralist.
The theory of the fourth practitioner
For Ivan Sciapeconi
Failure is one of the great issues of the school capable of warming the minds and ends up generating opposing factions. In fact, it is difficult to speak of rejection without starting from the famous “fourth professional theory.” According to this statistical theory, for every four professionals who come to your home to fix a leaking window, boiler or pipe, there is one that will cause you a problem because you cannot manage the technical documentation. The “professional room” is an interesting character, especially when he has to intervene in a teacher’s apartment. In fact, he is a person who arrives at work after a bumpy trip, after school failures and a sum of failures. To use a somewhat brutal image, the one the school literally threw out the window, the teacher hears him knocking on the door, toolbox in hand. A reinterpretation of the law of retaliation.
And here we come to the point. The complexity of the world of work and social life does not allow for discounts. The “fourth technician” experiences his rejection as a release, because he perceives school as an unnecessary limitation and work — on the contrary — as a good way to earn.
In such a world, the school must face the problem of training everyone and everyone and there is enough doubt that the fear of failure is an effective incentive to learn.
Historically, the issue of rejection has always been constantly placed in the last segment of schooling. It failed a lot in primary until secondary became a horizon within everyone’s reach. He refused a lot in high school until high school met with massive enrollments. Now people are failing – less and less, say 8% – in high school years – and the University is on its way to becoming mass education. Necessary and desirable, as in the rest of Europe.
We should guarantee more training time for everyone, at least up to eighteen, to delve into those skills that allow them to exercise full citizenship rights: effective reading, writing, problem solving … Today these skills are not properly enhanced, if not in primary. school, because the rest of the school levels are characterized by excessive disciplinary segmentation, not calmed by effective common planning.
The question is precisely this: the mission of the school at the end of the third millennium.
For the time being we have maintained the institution of rejection, but we have simply limited ourselves to applying the “right of use.” Have we not made the effort to decide which side to be on: on the side of selective evaluation or on the side of narrative and descriptive?
Maybe it’s time to take the plunge. Ensuring a 6-18 year education for all, training based on the development of useful reading skills, forming a political idea, voting, interpreting a document, solving a problem, even if not mathematical, knowing write something meaningful. , decides what kind of person to be … Is it little?
By the way, the theory of the fourth technician is an invention, you will not find any trace of it in any statistical study. That is, whether we fail or not, we are all struggling with the same problems, for example infodemia and the need to validate information. Do we really believe that we can get out of it by preventing those who need it most from attending the only center of cultural growth that Western society has been able to devise?