Italian lessons : what we’ve learned from two months of home schooling | Education | The Guardian
Morceaux choisis :
=> l’incompréhension que l’éducation soit la première activité « sacrifiée »
The decision was, in many ways, shocking. At that time, there had only been three deaths from Covid-19 in Italy, and only 152 reported infections. It seemed strange that education was the first social activity to be sacrificed. I guessed it was because it wasn’t perceived to be economically productive. Nothing else was closing: football grounds, bars, shops and ski resorts were still open for business, and no schools in any other European country had closed.
=> Annonce rapide, et pas de plan ou de ressource pour l’enseignement à distance
The announcement had been so sudden that schools had few plans or resources in place to teach remotely. Italy spends a lot less on education than almost every other western country. Spending per student (from primary school to university) equates to $8,966 per annum, compared to $11,028 in the UK and $11,502 in Sweden..
=> Une formation minimale en Italie, un système conservateur et descendant, des enseignants âgés
Nor did many Italian teachers seem to know how to approach this new world in which they found themselves. There is minimal teacher-training in Italy. University graduates are often thrown into a classroom without any knowledge of pedagogic theories or practical experience. Inspections are almost unheard of. The result is that Italian education is, at its worst, particularly conservative and condescending: the pupil is seen as an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge that is regurgitated in exams
=> En Italie aussi, ce sont largement les enseignants qui se sont débrouillés, dans un assez gros bordel
The closing of all Italy’s schools meant teachers found themselves having to invent a new kind of classroom from scratch. There were no ministerial guidelines or approved websites. “The entirety of this new form of online teaching,” said Daniele Martino, a middle-school teacher in Turin, “was created by us teachers at the last minute.”
At the beginning, it was chaotic. There was little coordination between different teachers within the same schools, let alone across different schools, and parents reported finding themselves boggled by a vast array of IT platforms: Meet, Classroom, Zoom, Jitsi, Edmodo. The problem wasn’t only that sites and servers crashed as the country’s almost 8 million students all logged on. Many kids couldn’t connect at all.
=> Problèmes d’équipements toujours...
The attempt by many teachers to get less-privileged students the necessary laptops and internet connections is one of the untold stories of this crisis. By 19 March, the ministry of education claimed to have distributed 46,152 tablets throughout the country. Since then, an emergency budget has created a €70m fund for providing computers to those without.
=> Mais problèmes sociaux et humain aussi et surtout
Even if the necessary hardware is distributed, one special educational needs teacher told me that online classes just don’t work for children who need bespoke lessons: “Those who are already doing well at school are now doing even better, but those who were struggling are just falling further behind.”
=> Les particularités d’un système éducatif italien particulièrement conservateur
But school was also being reinvented because Italy’s traditional educational stick had been removed. Usually pupils are given many tests each month and if, at the end of the year, their average score is insufficient, they’re bocciato – failed – and have to repeat the year. Now, teachers quickly realised there was no way to stop students cheating in tests.
Traditionalist teachers were beside themselves. One parent in Umbria told me how a teacher stormed out of the virtual classroom when she discovered how many pupils were cheating.
Between the cheating and the automatic promotion to the next school year, teachers who needed a big stick suddenly found themselves disarmed.
=> Bataille entre conservateurs, réformistes, et réflexions sur le métiers
There has always been a battle in Italy between hardliners and child-centred reformers such as Maria Montessori. It now seemed as if progressives had the upper hand.
Many teachers have had to soften their approach, to take into account what their pupils were going through. “Some of them have lost a grandparent”, said Paola Lante, a primary-school teacher in Milan. “Their parents are losing their jobs or are fighting at home. At the end of the day, a teacher has to be a steadying influence, a social worker and a psychologist.”
=> Les parents, le home-schooling, la classe à la maison : la co-éducation
Even though the kids had enough spare time to be habitually bored, they were no longer cleaning the house or doing their daily learning tasks. Spelling tests and fitness regimes were forgotten. They seemed to have become – if not agoraphobic – certainly “agora-meh”.
It’s hard, as a parent, not to be frustrated, especially if – as a writer – you regret that they never read books. Every time I emerged from my office, I would see them all on their screens, headphones on. Lessons had become indistinguishable from down-time. For all the idealism about digital learning, it seemed extraordinarily passive to me.
=> Le confinement met tout le monde en insécurité
The more you look at the educational conundrum in lockdown Italy, the more you see everyone’s vulnerabilities. Students have always felt fretful because of their weekly tests and the stigma of being held back a year. But now many teachers feel insecure, too: not just because education seems like the last priority of government, but because they are scared of digitalised learning and fear being replaced by screens.
Chiara Esposito, a middle-school teacher, told me “parents are the most conservative element in the school ecosystem. They become paranoid if their child isn’t ‘an eight’ or hasn’t completed the set book. They’re the ones we really need to educate.”
Surprisingly, even the education technology firms promoting digital learning platforms to schools feel apprehensive. [Lorenzo Benussi] is concerned that teachers are using new tech to reproduce the same old teaching methods, instead of grasping this opportunity for a completely new kind of teaching. “When all this talk about digital learning began back in March,” he said, “I was very, very worried, because it’s not about technology. Technology is just a means. Its effectiveness depends entirely on your didactic approach.”