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Educational and psyco-pedagogical

competences and basic knowledge of the


education system
Chapter 1 Learning theories and educational psychology
1. Behaviourism
Behaviourism is a theory of learning that has been developed in psychology, especially in America, and it comes from the English term behaviour.
The behavioural model is based on the idea that learning occurs through stimuli received by
the subject from the environment. Once the subject receives the stimuli, he/she provides the
answers or certain behaviours. What happens in the mind and what determines the response
to a given stimulus is not the subject of the study. The focus of observation of behaviourists is
rather to try to associate a person to a response to a given stimulus in a stable manner. In this
way, the response of the subject to the stimulus is observable and can be studied scientifically.
If it is stable, it can be said that the subject has learned to respond in a certain manner to the
stimulus. Therefore, learning has occurred.

2. The main principles of behaviourism


Pavlov was the first to carry out his research on the connection between stimulus, response and
conditioning, distinguishing an unconditional stimulus and response from conditional stimulus
and response, i.e. induced from outside. The interest of Watson and Thorndike also focuses
on the conditioning processes from which learning derives. In particular, Thorndike formulated
the learning hypothesis based on trial and error. In order to reach a certain target, different
behaviours are adopted, in sequence and in an almost random manner, until the behaviour considered satisfactory to reach the purpose has been identified.
Skinner outlines two types of behaviour:
>> the respondent behaviour, which follows the paradigm stimulus-response and which can be defined as a behaviour induced by an external stimulus that generates a response in the subject;
>> the operative behaviour - model in which the subject, even without special stimuli from outside, adopts a certain behaviour in order to receive a rewarding effect that could be called
positive reinforcement. Unlike the respondent behaviour, this is an active behaviour in that
the subject takes the initiative to operate in an external environment in order to derive a
benefit.
Albert Bandura has formulated the theory of social learning, which is of a behaviourist type.
Through a series of experiments, Bandura established that an aggressive model tends to be
justified and imitated by children when they are in a state of irritation. These results open the
door to the concept of observational learning (or vicarious learning), a type of learning that is
different from the paradigm of stimulus-response-reinforcement and occurs through the observation of a pattern of behaviour.
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3. The Gestalt psychology


The German word Gestalt, which means form or conguration, refers to a psychological current, Gestaltpsychologie or psychology of form, which was developed in Germany in the early
twentieth century. Unlike behaviourism, according to this current, learning is based on cognitive processes and can be understood by going beyond the study of simple behaviour. In
contrast to Thorndikes behaviourism, the psychologist Wolfgang Khler observed that - especially in mammals closest to humans from an evolutionary standpoint, such as anthropomorphic monkeys, they can learn in a different way, by sudden enlightenment, called insight
(intuition), which leads to the resolution of an unusual problem thanks to a global and complete vision.
The psychologist Max Wertheimer returns to the concept of insight introduced by Khler and
focuses his studies on cognitive mechanisms that allow us to solve situations that we have never
faced before or situations that have occurred in the past, but in a more immediate, brilliant and
effective way. He defines productive thinking as the mental activity that brings new knowledge to the individual as opposed to reproductive thinking, which, however, mechanically
leads us to deal with new or previously experienced situations, applying the same traditional
solutions without considering the problem in an original way.

4. Human Information Processing


Human Information Processing, abbreviated HIP, can be translated into Italian as Elaborazione
dellInformazione nellUomo. This is a psychological theme that studies the human mind and
its related processes, with a close analogy to computers. The multi-warehouse model describes
how the human mind functions using a three-warehouse or memory system that exchange information. The sensory memory (SM) is in contact with the external environment and receives
stimuli from it. A first processing at the sensory level allows us to select only certain characteristics of the stimulus, which are stored in short-term memory (STM), also called working
memory (WM). Afterwards, the transfer to the long-term memory occurs, which is presumed
to have unlimited capacity, where information and programmes can be stored for very long
periods of time.

5. Metacognition
The meta-cognitive activity is a self-reection activity that accompanies cognitive activity
with the purpose of making it more aware, monitoring and evaluating it in order to ensure
more effective learning. The first phase of a meta-cognitive activity consists of understanding the nature of the task to be carried out. This phase leads to meta-understanding. If
understanding is an indicator for knowing what to do, the meta-understanding is an activity consisting of a conscious assessment of the level of understanding of the task. The next
step to understanding (and meta-understanding) of the task to be carried out is choosing a
strategy. When one talks about choice of strategy, one means the study of meta-memory
or the ability to learn about the memory. In particular it must be taken into account that during the performance of a task, in the implementation a strategy, it is also necessary to use
the memory, recalling data memorised before the task or that is memorised during the task
among the various skills available.

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6. Constructivism
Constructivism hypothesises a series of psychic structures that allow one to build a personal
way of interpreting reality. Each individual, through his/her personal vision of reality, can decode it and give it a meaning, learning, therefore, how to interact with the environment. This
interaction takes place through a continuous exchange of information that allow the individual
to sort reality in a manner that he/she deems most functional.
There are different types of constructivism:
> the limited realism (or critical realism), according to which there is an objective external reality that can be known directly;
> the epistemological constructivism, of which paradigm is the existence of an external reality independent of the observer, which is not known by the latter, except through a process
of construction;
> the hermeneutic constructivism. In this case, one does not believe in the existence of an
independent and objective reality, external to the individual. Knowledge is the result of the
mediation in language and interaction between different observers.
The three approaches differ on the ontological level, related to the existence of reality, and on
an epistemological level, related to the possibility of knowing reality through science.

Chapter 2 Developmental psychology


1. Jean Piaget
The starting point of Piagets theory is the concept of knowledge as the continuous interaction between the environment and the organism. Due to the fact that there is a conscience,
the subject must act in an active manner upon the environment. Piaget identifies two types
of action: real (physical) and internalised (mental). Observing the childs behaviour during the
phases of its evolution, Piaget claims that there are functional invariants that govern all the
actions of individuals and that they do not change their operational characteristics during the
development of a person. Such invariants are the principle of organisation, by which thinking
is organised into coherent structures and patterns, and the principle of adaptation, by which
the continuous exchange between the subject and the external environment causes a variation
of the structures of thought. Adaptation occurs by means of two processes:
> Assimilation, that is when new knowledge or experiences are assimilated, incorporated in
the very same structures;
> Arrangement that is when the new knowledge cannot be consistently incorporated in the
existing structures.
Therefore, if the organisation tends to determine the creation of structures, adaptation, however, entails a modification in the structures themselves.
Piaget identifies four stages of development, each of which can be divided into more substages (or phases):
> The sensorimotor stage, from 0 to 2 years and is divided into 6 sub-stages;
> The pre-operative stage, from 2 to 7 years and is divided into 2 sub-stages;
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> The stage of concrete operations, from 7 to 12 years;


> The stage of formal operations, from 12 to 16 years.

2. Lev Semnovic Vygotskij


According to Vygotskij, the greatest figure of the historical-cultural school, psychic development is not only inuenced by biological factors, but also by historical, social and cultural ones,
Vygotskij addresses the issue of language as a tool for cognitive development. Vygotskij
gives the egocentric language of a child a relevant cognitive value: in fact, it is essentially thinking aloud. We know that, typically, adults think through their inner language, i.e. they mentally
think about problems or actions that are taking place, without speaking aloud. The egocentric
language of the child is the manifestation of this inner language that is transformed into an
exterior language, i.e. a real spoken language that others can hear.
Language adds the following factors to the skills of the child:
> The multiplication of stimuli;
> The function of self-regulating.
In solving a problem or in performing a task, human beings, unlike animals, can use two types
of mental functions:
> Lower mental functions, which are also typical of the animals and are characterised by the
merging of the perceptual/mnemonic function with the motor function;
> Higher mental functions, which are active when symbolic systems or even language is used.

3. Jerome Bruner
For Bruner, the cognitive development can be defined using the representation concept, by
which he means a method of processing information received by the subject from the external
environment, a coding system. There are three methods of representation: executive, iconic
and symbolic. Each of them manifests itself in a given period in the evolution of the child/
adolescent., which nevertheless persists and evolves, without being completely replaced by the
others. The executive representations are the first to emerge and develop in the first year of life.

4. Sigmund Freud
Freud distinguishes three essential elements of the individuals personality called conscious,
unconscious and preconscious. The unconscious part of the psyche represents everything that
the individual is conscious of. It includes perceptions, feelings, thinking processes and the willingness that we feel and are aware and conscious of. All that belongs to the unconscious mind
and migrates easily from a state of unconsciousness to a state of consciousness (and vice versa)
is part of the pre-conscious, which is a communication line, a border between the conscious
and the unconscious part of the mind. However, there are other mental processes or contents
of our mind that are very dicult to bring to consciousness and which form the unconscious,
strictly speaking. Mostly, they include experiences that happened during childhood, which were
often unpleasant and surrounded by guilt. Sometimes, these experiences are very painful and
intolerable to the subject, who cancels them through a mechanism that Freud calls removal.
To better define the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mental processes
and the mechanisms that allow the transfer of content from one area to another of the psyche,
Freud identifies three elements that perform different functions in the human psyche: the Id,
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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 5

which is the most inaccessible part of the personality and includes our instincts and impulses;
the Ego, which has the task of observing the outside world and preserving a true image of it
in the memory through perceptions; the Superego, which consists in the internalisation of the
childs psyche of rules, prohibitions, precepts and laws that are imposed by parents, teachers
and, more generally, by the members of the society to which he/she belongs.
Starting from his studies on the psyche, Freud developed a staged theory of the childs development.

5. Erik H. Erikson
Starting from the stage of Freuds psychosexual development, Erikson elaborates a pattern
consisting of different stages of psychosocial development that characterise the life of every
individual, from birth to old age. Each phase is characterised by the following principles:
> in each stage, the subject under development is confronted with two opposing forces that
form an antinomian pair marked by a positive and a negative quality, which identifies the
conict to be overcome in that particular period of life;
> each stage is characterised by a basic virtue;
> each stage has two underlying conditions, which are determined if the identity crisis of the
stage is not resolved in a positive way.

6. John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth


Focusing on the positive aspects that characterise the connection of the child with his mother, Bowlby stresses that it is expressed through a series of primary instinctual responses, i.e.
innate or inherited (distinguished from the secondary responses, which are acquired through a
learning process), and independent of each other, in the sense that the frequency, the intensity,
the development of a response does not inuence the frequency, intensity or the development
of the others. Such responses are essentially behaviours that the child adopts to make sure that
the mother is in touch with him/her or remains in his/her vicinity. Bowlby identifies five main
behaviours: sucking, clinging, following, crying and smiling.
Subsequently, Bowlby comes to define four phases of attachment:
> Guidance and warning without discrimination;
> Guidance and warning with discrimination;
> Maintaining proximity, by warning and execution;
> Creation of a mutual relationship.
Ainsworth continued to deepen Bowlbys studies on the mother-child bond focusing mainly
on the Strange Situation procedure, which takes place in a non-familiar context to the child
(strange = unusual) and requires the presence of another adult and a series of separations and
a reconnection with the mother. Based on the behaviours adopted by children as part of the
experiment, the psychologist has identified three types of attachment:
> safe;
> insecure-avoidant;
> insecure- ambivalent.

7. Lawrence Kohlberg
Kohlberg has formulated a theory of the moral development of the individual through successive stages. For Kohlberg, the moral development of a person cannot be simply represented
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by an increase in the knowledge of the values of a given culture, because this leads to an ethic
that is solely related to that culture. The moral development of a person is represented by the
transformations that occur in the persons way of thinking: an individual evolves morally when
his/ her thinking structure changes. Therefore, studying how a person interacts with the social
environment and how he/she solves social issues should be done in the light of the development of moral judgement structures that are universal and that develop in the same way across
all cultures. Kohlberg identifies three levels of moral development:
> Pre-conventional level (from about 4 years to about 10 years);
> Conventional level (adolescents and adults);
> Post-conventional level (or autonomous or principle level).

8. Robert L. Selman
Selman tried to describe the abilities of children to place themselves in the perspective of others in order to understand their different points of view. His studies have been mainly applied
in education, with the intention of establishing a school curriculum that by leveraging the social
skills of the students, could also include specific activities of peer learning.

Chapter 3 Psycho-pedagogical skills


1. The active schools and Dewey
Planning in active schools (or new schools) is distinguished by the degree of involvement of the
pupil in the teaching activity. He/she should not have a passive behaviour and should critically
absorb all the knowledge that the teacher suggests. The pupil must instead experience and
understand first-hand, through experience and practical activity.
Starting from the concept of experience and school activity, Dewey claims that in order to
effectively contribute to social growth, the school must start from the needs, impulses and
interests of the pupils, which should be oriented towards educational activities to be carried
out in an interesting and participative manner in order to encourage learning. According to
Dewey, the method of learning by doing helps the child to organise his knowledge and it
cannot be replaced with frontal lessons or learning from a text. Of course, books are a useful
tool to learn, but experience must be combined with texts, as it favours the active vocation
of the child.

2. Burrhus F. Skinner and the teaching devices


Skinner suggests designing teaching devices, capable of organising their applications in order
to create learning sequences aimed at acquiring specific knowledge. These devices can be programmed with multiple objectives and have the ability to change their behaviour based on the
students answers.

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3. Benjamin S. Bloom and the Mastery Learning


Bloom is responsible for the learning procedure called Mastery Learning. It is a procedure that
aims to bring the majority of students to master the discipline that they are taught, taking into
account the individual differences in the student rate and timing of learning.
Five variables are defined, which inuence learning: attitude, quality of education, ability to
understand education, perseverance, and the time available.

4. Lev S. Vygotskij
Research on the degree of cognitive maturation of children is always directed towards the observation of what they are able to do individually and independently (current development).
However, this does not provide an indication of their learning skills in the short or long term.
Therefore, Vygotskij focuses on the area of proximal development, which corresponds to the
level of potential development of the child, determined by the ability to solve a problem with
the help of a more competent adult or a peer. In primary school, an education that is directed
towards making the children work in their proximal development area is needed.
As part of the cognitive development, Vygotskij distinguishes two types of concepts: scientic
and spontaneous. The former are formal concepts, often detached from the personal experience of the child, where usually, it is not possible to make spontaneous and empirical use of
them and are acquired by children at school. The spontaneous (or daily) concepts are instead
generated by everyday experience and are not organised into a coherent knowledge system;
they do not have punctual and strict relationships that connect them. They are easily attributable to an empirical use.
The connection between spontaneous and scientific concepts is identified by the proximal development area. When the level of maturation of a spontaneous concept is in the proximal
development area, then the pupil should have an activity suggested, guided by the teacher, who
can lead the concept back to an organic arrangement, towards a profound understanding and
awareness, towards a more scientific based concept.

5. Jerome Bruner
Bruner identifies one aspect which is common to all disciplines, consisting in a structure, by
which is meant a core of key ideas, fundamental knowledge, underpinning the understanding
the many aspects of the discipline. The researcher says that the fundamental aspects of each
discipline can be taught to anyone, of any age, provided they are presented in a certain form.
Starting from this assumption, one can define a spiral curriculum, so-called as it initially presents the key ideas in a simple and intuitive manner, but periodically returns to such ideas,
considering them in a different form, more elaborate and relying on more formal and symbolic
modes of representation.
The researcher distinguishes between the theory of education, of prescriptive type, with the aim
of reaching the objectives in an optimal way, and the learning theory, of descriptive type, which
describes and interprets what is going on when learning takes place or what happened when it
was finished.
Bruner incorporates the concept of problem solving and links it to the scaolding concept. The
scaffolding is a process that allows a student to solve a problem or reach an objective that would
go beyond his/her capabilities, if not assisted.
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6. Von Glasersfeld
Knowledge is not acquired passively. When the student has an encounter with a new experience, he perceives it as a disturbance compared to what was expected from his/her cognitive
structures. Actively, this new experience must be assimilated or accommodated in the existing
structures in order to create new knowledge. Only in this way the individual returns to a balance
with the external environment. For this reason, it is necessary to put the student in front of elements that could disturb his cognitive structures. This takes place especially in comparison
and interaction with other students. Under this paradigm, the teacher often favours the creation of learning groups or study groups.

7. Von Foerster
The student analyses the education system focusing on the usual specific teaching practices
and highlighting the trivialisation issue of the teaching-learning process. The education system welcomes children who are, in some ways, unpredictable. If we ask them a question, they
will respond from the perspective of the child, in a way that we do not expect and that sometimes surprises us. The education system gradually tends to dumb down students, making them
provide predictable and expected responses to questions. The same evaluation tests are meant
to ask questions for which the answers are known and the correct answer is expected. When a
student gets an excellent grade to a test, his trivialisation process is completed, as he is totally
under control and provides the answers expected by his interlocutors.
Another important difference is between legitimate and illegitimate questions. The education system is based on illegitimate questions, i.e. questions for which the answer is known and
add nothing to the overall knowledge of humanity, but simply pass on the knowledge to the
future. The focus of attention should be on the legitimate questions, i.e. on those that deserve
to be asked, because the answer is yet unknown or, even better, no one knows if there is a possible answer.

8. Edgar Morin
The pedagogical beliefs of Morin are closely related to his global view of the current reality, the
complexity of the problems and relationships established between the environment, culture
and education. Therefore, the challenge of modern knowledge is focused on the effort of being able to clarify, define and interpret the complexity. Educational systems base their training action on the knowledge and explanation of clear and articulate content. One can learn
what is clear and reliable. For Morin, the first critical point is the fragmentation and isolation
of knowledge. This phenomenon leads to the subdivision of knowledge into disciplines and the
concept of culture (i.e. the total of knowledge) as traditionally divided in humanistic and scientific cultures. On the contrary, these two cultures are complementary and must reconnect. The
complexity theory helps forming a global vision of reality. A greater global perspective helps in
recognising the interconnection of cultures and the interconnection of the destinies of different
communities. Therefore, it encourages greater responsibility and greater solidarity.

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Chapter 4 Teaching skills of the teacher


1. Active learning
Active learning has become a generic term for different educational methodologies that focus
attention on the activities performed by students themselves. The objective is to actively involve the students in the learning process. In particular, there are three types of active learning:
> Think-pair-share. An activity is proposed and students are asked to reect individually on
the stimulus proposed, then share their answers;
> Concept test. A multiple choice test is given to the students, who then form into pairs and
discuss their answers, trying to come to an agreement on the correct answer;
> Thinking-aloud pair problem solving TAPPS. An activity that can be divided into two parts
is suggested and the first part is started before asking the students to get together in pairs. In
each pair, an explainer (who explains) and a questioner (who asks questions) must be chosen.
Then, the teacher hears the pairs to see what kind of solution they found. In the second part
of the activity, the roles in the pair are reversed.

2. Peer learning
This takes place mainly among students who support each other in mutual learning. Peer learning is divided into two large categories:
> Cooperative learning, based on a positive interdependence that is established in a group of
students working together to achieve a common goal;
> Peer tutoring, based on a specific division of roles by students: one plays the role of tutor
(the helper, i.e. the one who helps the peer in learning, the one who teaches) and the other
the role of tutee (the one who is helped, i.e. the one who is helped to learn, the learner).
In cooperative learning, teachers must:
1. clearly set out the objectives of the lesson;
2. make decisions about putting the students in groups, before the class begins;
3. clearly explain to students the tasks to be performed, the targets to be obtained and the
learning activities;
4. monitor the effectiveness of cooperative learning in groups and take action to help solve the
tasks or to improve the skills of the students and the groups;
5. evaluate the results achieved by the students and help them discuss the progress of the
group work.
Below, the most common types of peer tutoring:
> Peer learning of different ages;
> Peer learning of similar age;
> Mutual peer learning;
> Peer learning spread throughout the class;
> Learning strategies with the assistance of peers.

3. Inductive teaching
The teaching of science subjects is typically deductive. The teacher explains principles and general ideas and then presents practical exercises that concern the theoretical principles just introduced. An inductive path, however, starts from practical application, from the real problem,
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from the analysis and interpretation of certain data, from the study of a specific case in order
to reach general and abstract concepts. In this way, students are more motivated to face the
necessary formalisation of the concepts and gain a better understanding of abstract general
principles, without which no one could handle the problem presented. A practical application of
the theoretical paradigm of inductive teaching is a teaching method called inductive learning
based on inquiry (Inquiry-based Learning). In particular, we distinguish the following methodologies:
> Discovery Learning;
> Problem-based Learning;
> Project-based Learning;
> Case-based Teaching;
> Just-in-time Teaching;
> Flipped classroom.

4. Reciprocal teaching
Reciprocal teaching began as a reading activity that was performed in groups. Reciprocal teaching activates meta-cognitive processes highlighted by carrying out the four activities listed below:
1. Summarising;
2. Asking questions;
3. Clarifying;
4. Predicting.
The basic procedure involves the interaction between a teacher and a pupil. Initially the
teacher shows the part to be read. Before starting to read, the teacher communicates which
of the two, the teacher or the student, will be the teacher. Then, they both start to read in
silence. After reading, the chosen teacher has to ask a possible question on the text read in order to check for comprehension; summarise the text; clarify certain aspects that he/she thinks
may be dicult for the students; predict a possible continuation of what occurs in the text
read. When the next part for the text is read, the roles are exchanged. Several versions of this
method have been suggested, which made it more like a cooperative learning activity. Students are divided into groups within which one student reads a text; each member has one of
the 4 tasks to carry out (summarising, asking questions, clarifying and predicting). In this way, a
community of learners is created.

Chapter 5 Planning of the curricula


1. Introductory concepts: knowledge, skills and competencies
Knowledge = possession of factual data, notions, ideas and concepts acquired through study,
research, observation and experience. It is a body of information of which the meaning is understood.
Skill = appropriate, conscious and effective use of knowledge.
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Competence = a requirement that allows performing a task or a request that is rather articulate
and complex, thanks to having the disposition, motivation, emotions, social relationships, behaviours and attitudes that are necessary in performing the task.

2. School autonomy
School autonomy, introduced by Presidential Decree 275/1999 is the medium that schools have
in order to ensure the educational success of students. This term refers to the full development of the students potential and to the maturation of skills they will use in the real world.
The autonomy of individual schools is embodied in a document called the Three-Year Program
of Studies (TYPS), which outlines the schools planning of the curriculum.

3. Middle school curriculum


The Guidelines for the preschool and primary school curriculum are issued by Ministerial Decree of 31 July 2007, with further reformulated Guidelines in 2012 (M.D. 254 of 16 November
2012). For the first cycle (primary and secondary school), the curriculum is divided into subject
areas and disciplines. For each discipline, goals for competence development are set at the
end of each training session, i.e. at the end of preschool, primary school and secondary school.
In addition, intermediate stages are established, indicated by the learning objectives within
the formative segments and, again, at the end of some of the training segments.
The learning objectives are expressed by organically integrating knowledge and skills in statements related to mental and physical activities of the child. These objectives are considered
strategic for the achievement of the skills listed in the goals. They represent those objective
behaviours that can be detected by appropriate verification tests or observations in specific
situations.

4. High school curriculum


The high school courses provide students with the knowledge, skills and competencies that allow them to effectively continue their studies or to coherently adapt to social life and the world
of work. At the end of high school, the student must have achieved certain learning outcomes
(LO) that can be divided into:
> development of knowledge and skills;
> maturation of skills;
> acquisition of tools.
In addition, based on their generality, the learning outcomes can be divided into:
> common LO, which are achieved by the end of any high school period and are divided into
five categories: methodological, logical argumentation, language and communication, historical-humanistic, science, mathematics and technology;
> specic LO, for individual high school periods. They have a definitely disciplinary valence;
in particular, they are related to specialised disciplines, which are characteristic of the high
school.
The common and the specific LO form the ECVP (Educational, Cultural and Vocational Profile)
of high schools.

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5. Curriculum of technical and vocational schools


The Cultural, Educational and Vocational Profile of the student that graduates from a vocational
or technical institute consists of two complementary aspects that are both fundamental:
> activities and general education teaching common to all specialisations that are intended
to provide a basic preparation;
> activities and compulsory specialisation courses that aim to provide students with specific
skills of the study module undertaken. These teachings help to determine competencies to be
used in different contexts of work and production life.
The ECVP of the student is expressed in terms of learning outcomes. These are related to competencies that the student must acquire at the end of his studies. Both the general education
teachings and the specialisation teachings contribute to obtaining the learning outcomes. In
fact, the ECVP includes two types of learning outcomes: Common and Specific LO.

Chapter 6 Textbooks and new teaching technologies


1. Textbooks
Annex 1 to M.D. 781/2013 presents the system that allows enjoying digital books in an educational context. The elements that make up this system are the following:
> Textbooks and, in particular, digital textbooks;
> Integrative Learning Content (ILC) and, in particular, Integrative Digital Content (IDC);
> Platforms for use, in reference to software that allows using digital books and IDC;
> Devices for use, in reference to hardware devices that allow the use of digital books and IDC.
The legislation provides for three ways to adopt the textbooks and integrative digital resources:
> type a mixed version, i.e. printed textbook accompanied by IDC;
> type b mixed version, i.e. printed and digital textbook accompanied by IDC;
> type c digital version, i.e. digital textbook accompanied by IDC.

2. MIWB: Traditional teaching and innovative teaching


The Multimedia Interactive Whiteboard (MIWB) is an input device, namely a device capable
of entering information into the computer. Generally, for each whiteboard model, there are
two main applications:
> the management software of the MIWB, which includes the drivers necessary for the operating system to run the whiteboard;
> the author software of the MIWB, which in many ways resembles a presentation software.
The MIWB can be used either in a very traditional or innovative way. In the first case, it
means a teaching method characterised by the transmission of content and skills by the teacher
to the pupil, who has to reproduce in a rather faithful manner the content assimilated and must
use the skills acquired in a rather loyal way. Conversely, an innovative teaching method is characterised by the following aspects:
> is oriented on the maturation of skills;
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> it uses, for the presentation of content and maturation of skills, all communication channels
that the technologies provide;
> it presents reticular and not sequential learning paths, in which each student follows a target
and builds his own knowledge;
> it is organised so that the student actively participates in lessons, interacting with other students and with the teacher, creating meaning, stimulating curiosity, being able to be motivated, and producing materials.

3. Learning Object
The Learning Object has the following characteristics:
> it is a self-consistent, coherent and complete learning unit, consisting of essential contents,
small follow-ups and tests. It often allows tracking the activity of the student and is focused
on a quite specific concept;
> it is a closed and rigidly structured object that is not meant to be enriched or fed with other
content.
It is conceived for self-study, in an e-learning and distance learning context, rather than an object underpinning collaborative learning.

4. Digital Asset
Digital Assets can be understood as fragments of digital content, as basic units of information
that can be individually modified and subsequently assembled at will. Their purpose is to give
shape, from time to time, to a learning unit (Learning Object), so it becomes customised and the
result of research and knowledge-building.

5. 2.0 Classes
The Digital School Programme promoted by the Ministry of Education plans to create classrooms
that are learning environments that combine dierent technological devices (fixed, such as
MIWB, printers, and scanners, and mobile devices, such as notebooks, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones), which are normally used to create a new teaching approach and new learning processes.
These classrooms are called 2.0 Classes. In these classrooms, the strong integration between the
information and communication technology (ICT) and the school environment opens the door to
the socio-constructivist pedagogical approach in which learning is favoured mainly by experience,
the know-how, the comparison with others, and the personalisation of educational interventions.
In a 2.0 Class, each student works on his device, but he can share the work with the classmates
and the teacher via the network. As a result, each individual can provide help, make correction
observations and help improve the work of others.

6. Learning environment
The Learning Environment concept is widely used with the constructivist approaches. In its minimum configuration, a learning environment includes: a learner and a space in which he works,
uses tools and devices, collects and interprets messages and information, and interacts with
other individuals.
Learning environments can be divided in the three following categories:
> classroom learning environments, which mostly include physical environments;
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> Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), on-line platforms to which web users can subscribe;
> immersive environments, a category of a virtual learning environments, such as Serious
Games and immersive games within which each user with an alter ego makes experiences
and carries out activities on his own or interacting with other users.

Chapter 7 Social skills of the teacher


1. Ways of communication
The communication between two subjects can be divided into:
> Verbal communication, consisting in the language (written or spoken words);
> Paraverbal communication, based on the use of voice (tone, rhythm);
> Non-verbal communication, based on the use of the body (facial expressions, posture).

2. Communication style
The communication style of an individual is the way in which he/she interacts with others, using
verbal, paraverbal and non-verbal communication. It is defined by means of a core of variables,
each of which is linked to a characteristic of the person. In particular, Norton identifies the
following variables: dominant, friendly, attentive, relaxed, argumentative, dramatic, animated,
open, striking and precise. For this purpose, Norton uses a questionnaire that he calls Communicator Style Measure and identifies the three following styles:
> the human teacher, characterised by the simultaneous presence of the open, attentive and
friendly attributes. It is considered a rather positive style by the students;
> the actor teacher, characterised by the presence of the striking, dramatic and animated
attributes;
> the authoritarian teacher, having the dominant, precise and argumentative attributes.
This style is not appreciated by students.

3. The Model for Interpersonal Teacher Behaviour


The Model for Interpersonal Teacher Behaviour (MITB) is defined by two main dimensions
around which interpersonal relations between the teacher and the student develop:
> The Inuence dimension, which is characterised by an axis indicated by a pair of opposites
terms Dominance-Submission. This axis represents the control level that the teacher has with
regard to the communication adopted in the classroom;
> The Proximity dimension, which corresponds to an axis indicated by a pair of opposite terms
Opposition-Cooperation. It indicates the proximity and cooperation level that the teacher and
the students show in educational activities.
Based on the MITB, eight recurring interpersonal profiles were identified. In particular, it appears that the Authoritative and Tolerant/Authoritative profiles are the ones that get the best
results on the cognitive and affective level. The Uncertain/Aggressive profile is the one that
presents most critical issues.

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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 15

4. Motivation and ow theory


An intrinsic motivation is when one perceives an activity as challenging and rewarding in itself,
no matter how desirable the ultimate goal may be and which can be attained by carrying out
the activities. In other words, the motivation originates from within the individual, from feelings and perceptions that he experiences first-hand in performing the particularly motivating
task. Conversely, we talk about extrinsic motivation when the motivation to perform the task
arises primarily from the objective and from the result that shall be obtained in the end. This
constitutes the extrinsic reward. Usually, this objective depends on the others, on a reward or
remuneration that may be offered for the task performed.
The conditions that determine the State of Flow, the experience of total involvement of the
person engaged in an autotelic activity, i.e. intrinsically motivating, are essentially two:
1) the individual must take the task or activity as a challenge;
2) the task must have tangible, forthcoming, at hand, clearly perceptible and concretely reachable goals.
During a ow experience, the individual shows the following behaviours:
> is very focused on what he/she is doing;
> has the feeling of having everything under control;
> is aware of the consequences and objectives of each action he/she takes;
> effectively integrates action and awareness;
> loses self-consciousness, i.e. is no longer concerned about himself/herself and forgets his/
her own needs;
> loses track of time;
> feels inherently gratified by what takes place.
In the school context, the cooperative learning and peer tutoring can trigger ow experiences.

5. Aggressive behaviour
By observing the behaviour of pupils and their interaction with the classmates, the teachers can
decide if a particular person is suffering from a conduct disorder. In this case, it is important to
report the situation to the school manager, contact the family and direct the student towards
specialists in the health or social services (psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers).
The conduct disorders of particular interest to the school environment are those identified in
the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) developed by WHO, such as conduct disorder
with reduced socialisation, conduct disorder with normal socialisation and oppositional
deant disorder.
The conduct disorder may be associated with the bullying phenomenon, of which clinical features can mix with social and cultural causes. There are two types of bullying:
> direct, which can be physical or verbal;
> indirect, in which the bully does not directly address the victims, but tends to isolate them
or put them in dicult situations, through premeditated and studied behaviour (slander and
gossip).
Each school must have a policy that is aimed at preventing and timely detecting bullying phenomena. Therefore, the head teacher must promote the Code of Conduct Rules that are effective and shared by the entire school community (teachers, parents and pupils) usually described
in the School Regulations.
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6. Co-teaching
Co-teaching is defined as the action of two or more professionals engaged in educating a heterogeneous or mixed group of students, in one place. This definition identifies four key components that characterise co-teaching:
1. the presence of two teachers;
2. teaching of significant concepts;
3. the presence of groups of students with different educational needs;
4. a set of common teaching approaches.
There are four major areas in which the co-teaching practises can be used:
> to provide education jointly with a heterogeneous group of students, including those with
disabilities or other special needs;
> to provide education to a group of foreign students;
> to provide education to a group of gifted or talented students;
> as an alternative and experimental teaching approach for students in order to promote customised learning.

7. Management of the group


The advantages of working in groups are as follows:
> ambitious and articulated goals can be reached, which with individual efforts and a little coordination would be impossible to obtain;
> thanks to mutual comparison, the real opportunities for professional development for each
member of the group are multiplied. In other words, working in groups allows for greater
professional capital growth of organisations.
However, within a group, there can be negative phenomena such as antagonism, narcissism,
hoarding, marginalisation, lack of organisation, and the formation of subgroups, herd instinct
and free-riding.
One of the ways to convey information in an organisation is by holding assemblies or meetings.
The following types can be identified:
> descending information meetings;
> ascending information meetings;
> meetings to exchange points of view.
Decision making and agreement assemblies are also important.

8. Communities of practice
Wenger defines the community of practice as a group of people who share a commitment or a
passion for something they are dealing with actively. It has three fundamental aspects:
> the community of practice shares a domain of interest;
> it consists of people who interact by carrying out activities in common, discussing and exchanging ideas, learning from comparison;
> it consists of practitioners, i.e. people who try to put into practice what they learn in the
community.
The three dimensions of the practice associated with the community are:
> mutual engagement, i.e. the possibility of interaction between the members;

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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 17

> the joint venture, the ultimate goal that the community wants to reach, the task it wants to
perform;
> the shared catalogue, a set of aspects and knowledge that act as link in the community.

Chapter 8 Learning styles and teaching styles


1. Learning styles according to David Kolb
In his theory of experiential learning, David Kolb defines a learning cycle that is divided into
four phases:
> concrete experience, linked to the real experience;
> reective observation, the next phase in which the subject makes observations and reections trying to find one or more meanings of the experience;
> abstract conceptualisation, phase in which the subject creates an abstract model of what
he has experienced in practice;
> active experimentation, phase in which the theory (learning) of the previous stage serves
as a guide for the planning of a new concrete experience.
According to Kolb, every person has a certain inclination towards one of the four phases of
the cycle and based on it develops a particular learning style. The student identifies four main
styles:
Style

Predominant skills

Characteristics of students

Divergent

concrete experience and reective


observation

> ability to observe a situation from several points of


view;
> ability to select data
> propensity to have a wide range of cultural interests
and to collect more and new information
> strong power of imagination and openness towards
new and original ideas
> willingness to work in groups

Assimilating

reective observation and abstract


conceptualisation

> ability to recognise a lot of information and summarise


it in a theoretical model;
> predisposition to manipulate analytical models;
> ability to focus effectively on the abstract and theoretical concepts;
> predisposition to learn naturally from texts and illustrations, according to a formal style;
> ability to dwell for long periods of time on concepts
and ideas, analysing their logical and formal consistency;
> ability to set precise goals and plan the details

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Style

Predominant skills

Characteristics of students

Convergent

abstract conceptualisation and active


experimentation

> ability to find practical applications for ideas and


formal theories;
> propensity towards solving practical problems and
technical issues;
> ability to make the best decisions in order to implement the solution to the problem;
> ability to achieve excellent results at structured tests
with a single correct answer;
> good skills in hypothetical-deductive reasoning;
> tendency to highly specialise in a specific field of
knowledge

Accommodating

active experimentation and concrete


experience

> ability to learn naturally through concrete experience;


> predisposition to set goals, challenges and objectives;
> perseverance in trying several solutions before reaching the best one;
> social skills to work with others;
> ability to naturally adapt to new and unexpected situations;
> ability to learn by watching others and asking for help,
if necessary.

2. Learning styles according to the Dunns


The learning style is the result of a series of factors that affect the effectiveness and ways of
learning of a student. When the factors have a certain configuration, i.e. take on a set of specic
values, then the learning of a particular student is favoured. The set of values of the factors,
which in this case are particularly favourable, identify the learning style of the student.
In the final version of the theory, the factors identified by the two researchers are grouped into
5 areas (environmental, emotional, sociological, physiological, and psychological). It should be
emphasised that not all the factors that inuence learning have the same origin. Dunn identifies
two of them, one of biological nature and the other evolutionary.

3. The VARK model


The VARK learning model of Neil Fleming takes perceptual factors from the model developed
by the Dunn couple, and studies them further. Fleming believes that the way in which students
receive or transmit information effectively is the real critical parameter of their learning style.
VARK is the acronym of the words Visual, Aural, Read/write and Kinaesthetic. These terms refer
to four learning styles. Thus, a Visual learner has a highly developed visual-spatial intelligence
and learns in a simple and straightforward way when the information is presented visually, while
an Aural learner has the advantage of listening, therefore, his/her ideal lesson is the oral lesson,
characterised by discussions and exchanges of ideas between teachers and students. Finally, for
the Reader/writer the text is the best means to approach knowledge, and a Kinaesthetic learner
naturally learns by direct experience and practice.

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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 19

4. Learning styles according to Richard Felder


According to Felder, based on how a student handles the receipt and processing of information, one can classify his/her learning style. In particular, the student identifies four dimensions of the learning style, which are the coordinates used to get oriented in a rather wellstructured group of styles. Each dimension has 2 complementary styles, which have different
and alternative characteristics:
> perception dimension : sensory or intuitive style;
> input dimension : visual or verbal style;
> processing dimension : active or reexive style;
> comprehension dimension : sequential or global style.
The first two dimensions are related to the reception phase of the information, while the other
two to the processing phase.

Chapter 9 From disability to Special Educational Needs


1. ICIDH, ICF and disability
The ICIDH classification system developed by WHO has three fundamental aspects: impairment, disability and handicap. The impairment is related to an anomaly that may occur in the
structure of the body or in its appearance and can be caused by anything. The disability is the
result of the persons impairment in terms of his functional performance and the activities that
he/she carries out. The handicap is related to the disadvantage of the individual, experienced
as a result of his/her impairment, which caused the disability. There aspects are set out in Law
104/1992. In fact, the person with a handicap is defined as one who has a physical, mental or
sensory impairment, stable or progressive, which leads to learning, relationship or work integration
diculties and the outcome is a process of social disadvantage or marginalisation.
The ICIDH classification has been replaced by another classification system developed in 2001
by WHO and called ICF. This classification takes as reference the health condition of a person
considering his level of functioning; therefore, unlike ICIDH, it is not only applicable to individuals with disabilities, but to any person with a certain health condition. In the ICF classification
the term handicap disappears and is replaced by the term disability, which indicates the level
of impairment of the subject, the limitations that his health condition creates in carrying out
activities and in what way it can restrict the participation of the individual in social life.
The importance of the ICF classification is that it also considers the factors determined by
the physical and social environment in which the person lives, which have an impact on the
individuals participation in activities in the social context In other words, they affect the function or the disability. When the environmental factors are positive, then they act as facilitators
and favour the functioning of the individual. When they are negative, they are obstacles or
barriers to the functioning and determine a disability. Therefore, we speak about the functioning or disability of a person based on what emerges from the level of health of the functions
and of the body structure, the level of effectiveness for carrying out the activities, the level of
participation to social life, in a specific context which inuences these factors. It follows that
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the ICF model does not classify the health condition of an individual, but the health condition
of an individual that is part of a context. In 2008, based on the new criteria set by the ICF,
the documents for the integration of the disabled were revised in the school context, so that
they would mirror the basic planning. These documents are the Functional Diagnosis (FD), the
Functional Dynamic Profile (FDP) and the Individualised Education Plan (IEP).

2. SLD
The specific learning disabilities (SLD) are developmental disorders, which aect skills involved in school activities, such as reading, writing and calculating. Law 170/2010 identifies:
> dyslexia, specific disorder that manifests as a diculty in learning how to read, especially
in deciphering linguistic signs, or in the correctness and uency of reading (Article 1, par. 2);
> dysgraphia, specific writing disorder that manifests as the inability to write (Article 1, par.
3). Therefore, this disorder affects the writing (and not the spelling) and is connected to the
motor-executive moment of performance;
> dysorthography, specific writing disorder that manifests as the inability to transcode linguistic processes (Article 1, par. 4). It is a disorder that concerns the correctness of writing
according to the rules of the linguistic code (spelling rules) and not according to the graphic
aspect of writing;
> dyscalculia, specific disorder that manifests as the inability to calculate and process numbers (Article 1, par. 5). The Guidelines for the integration of students with disabilities in schools
outline two components of the calculation ability that are affected by dyscalculia: the organisation of numerical cognition and the executive and calculation procedures.
For pupils with SLD, Law 170/2010 demands schools to adopt a customised and individualised
teaching approach with compensatory tools and dispensatory measures. These elements
and the teaching methods implemented for the student must be explained in the Customised
Teaching Program.

3. SEN
The Directive of 27 December 2012 identifies the categories of students who have special educational needs (SEN), claiming that there is an area of educational disadvantage. Therefore, the
following categories of students with SEN have been identified, which include:
> students with disabilities;
> students with SLD;
> students with other specific developmental disorders that are not SLD or students with other
disorders (non developmental and/or not specific);
> students with socio-economic, linguistic and cultural disadvantages.
The students with disabilities are those who can access aid provided for by Law 104/1992,
including the assignment of a specialist teacher (support teacher) that supports the learning
activities of the student.
Students with specic learning disorders benefit from the provisions of Law 170/2010.
Students with other specic developmental disorders have:
> language disorders;
> motor abilities disorders;
> hyperkinetic disorders;

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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 21

> mild forms of autism;


> limited intellectual activity.
Finally, there are the students with socio-economic, linguistic and cultural disadvantages
or students who live in very problematic families and social environment, who have social and
economical diculties, who are in a state of cultural deprivation or who have diculties due to
the fact that they do not know the Italian language and they belong to a different culture.

4. Foreign students
For foreign students, acceptance in school and learning Italian in the first stages of school life
is important. Initial learning is first aimed at the acquisition of useful language in order to socialise and interact within the context. Afterwards, it is important to improve the language so it
becomes a means for learning. A specific topic related to foreign students is interculturalism
which promotes dialogue and exchange between the cultures. The idea is to recognise the differences in order to accept one another.

Chapter 10 Continuity, orientation and evaluation


1. Didactic continuity
Steps from one education segment to another introduce the discontinuity factors that can be
a source of confusion and loss to the student and, if handled ineffectively, can lead to school
failure. The term didactic continuity is used to indicate the initiatives that the educational institutions implement to mitigate the discontinuity of the curriculum, teaching-methodological and
evaluation aspect of the learning process of students.
In particular, we talk about vertical continuity, characterised by the elaboration of the curriculum by teachers of different education segments in synergy and in close collaboration with each
other. Horizontal continuity is based on the way in which educational institutions develop a
curriculum that is effective in the social, civil, cultural and economic reality, which characterises
the context in which the school operates.

2. Orientation
The orientation is defined as a series of activities that enable citizens of any age and in any moment of their lives to identify their capacities, competencies and interests, to make decisions
regarding education, training and vocation and to manage their individual life paths in the training activities, in the professional world and in any other environment in which such skills and
competencies are acquired and/or used.
The guidance skills allow the person to accompany their own orientation process throughout
life and to make a personal plan for which he/she can make more specific progressive choices.

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3. Blooms taxonomy
For Bloom, the taxonomy of educational objectives in the cognitive field is a support tool for
teachers, educators and scholars. The basic level skills are also called Lower Order Thinking Skills
and are indicated by the acronym LOTS. The more complex skills are instead called Higher Order Thinking Skills and are indicated by the acronym HOTS. The teacher has to identify, on the
taxonomic scale of these competencies, the starting level of the student, pre-setting a goal to
be achieved, in terms of more complex competence. Then, an adequate educational program
need to be set that leads the learner from the proper initial condition to the goal set for him/
her by the teacher.

Chapter 11 The historical evolution of the Italian school


1. The Nineteenth century
In 1861 the school model of the Kingdom of Sardinia was extended to the newly established
Kingdom of Italy. The Casati Legislation in 1859 outlined a school system divided in three sections: Higher education; Classical secondary education; Technical and primary education.
Primary school lasted a period of four years, with the first two mandatory for everyone. The
Coppino Legislation of 1877 extended the mandatory period to three years and the total period of primary school to 5 years.

2. The rst half of the twentieth century


The main problem was illiteracy. At the census in 1901, 56% of the Italian population was illiterate, especially women and people in rural areas, while the situation in the industrial areas was
a little better.
In 1904, the Orlando Reform extended mandatory education until the age of 12 and changed
the structure of the course of studies. At the end of the fourth year, the pathways were divided
between those who continued to the fifth and sixth year of primary school (in preparation for
professional training) and those who went to secondary school.
In 1911, with the Daneo-Credaro legislation, primary schools passed under the direct management of the State through the Provinces and the school patronage became mandatory to
provide assistance to families in need.
In 1923, with the Gentile Reform, the education system was definitively centralised and governed by a hierarchical structure. Underlying the reform, there was an aristocratic conception
of culture and education, seen as tools for selecting the best.
Primary school education returned to an extension of five years divided into two cycles (lower
grade of three years and upper grade of two years). Education was mandatory until the fourteenth year of life, even if implementation was conditioned by the massive lack of school attendance in the poorest areas of the country.
The pupils graduating primary school had four pathways open to them:
> Grammar school, which gave access to high school;
> Technical school, structured into lower and upper courses;
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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 23

> Teacher training school, structured into lower and upper courses;
> Complementary school, of technical, commercial and agricultural specialisation, later called
vocational schools, for a period of three years.
After the Agreement of 1929, the Catholic religion became a school subject taught in all nonuniversity schools. Those who did not intend to follow this subject could be exonerated upon
request.

3. School in the Republican Constitution


With the approval of the Constitution, which came into force on 1st January 1948, the fundamental principles on which the education system is based were identified and set forth.
The articles that are more or less directly related to instruction are the following:
> Articles 2 and 3 set out the fundamental human rights, equality and equal dignity of all citizens, the commitment of the Republic to remove obstacles to the full development of the
human person;
> Article 7 constitutionalises the Lateran Treaty of 1929;
> Article 9 entrusts the Republic with the task of promoting the development of the culture
and scientific and technical research;
> Article 29 states the rights of the family as a natural society founded on marriage;
> Article 29 proclaims the duty and the right of parents to support, instruct and educate their
children;
> Article 31 demands to the Republic the task to support families and protect maternity, childhood and youth;
> Article 33 introduces the principle of freedom of education. Commits the Republic to set
down general education standards and establish state schools at all levels. It gives the right
to private entities to establish schools at no cost for the State;
> Article 34 arms that the school is open to everyone. It establishes mandatory education for
at least eight years (later legislation has extended the period to ten years). It sets the duty of
the Republic to ensure that all worthy and capable citizens are enabled to reach the highest
levels of education, even if they lack financial means;
> Article 35 recognises the professional training of workers;
> Article 117 sets out the powers of the State and the Regions in terms of education and vocational training. This article was amended in 2001 by Constitutional Law No. 3 and is now under
process of rewriting following the constitutional reform project to be approved during 2016.

4. The second half of the twentieth century


In 1962, the Government established the unique mandatory schools, implementing Article 34
of the Constitution (mandatory education for a period of 8 years).
After the protests in 1968, the Enabling Act 477 of 1973 and the implementing decrees (enabling
decrees):
> introduced the participation of families and students to school life;
> established the boards of the school and redefined the legal status of the school personnel;
> allowed the realisation of innovative experiments with the observance of the laws in force.
The Nineties had a series of sectoral reforms, such as the reform of the primary school, the
adoption of the Consolidated Law on school regulations, the establishment of the Comprehensive Institute, and the extension of compulsory education to 10 years.
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Law 59/1997 introduced school autonomy (Article 21).


School equality was introduced by Law 62 of 2000, which established the public education
and training system, including state schools and charter schools.

5. From the Moratti reform to Good School


With Law 53/2003 (the Moratti reform) a new reform of the non-university educational system
was introduced, restructuring:
> Nursery schools;
> The first school cycle (primary school and lower secondary school);
> The second school cycle (secondary school divided into two subsystems, grammar schools
and vocational schools).
Today, only the general system remained of the Moratti reform. In fact, in 2007, the change of
legislative majority involved partial deferment. Between 2009 and 2010, a series of containment measures for public spending reorganised primary and secondary education.
In 2015, Law 107 (the so-called Good School Law or Buona Scuola) introduced a total Reform
of the national system of education and training to be implemented (in particular) through
a series of delegated legislative acts in approval within 18 months after the Law (16 July 2015)
came into force.
Certain provisions entered immediately into force, which relate to:
> The extraordinary Plan to recruit about 100,000 teachers:
> The transformation of the Training Offer Plan to a Three-Year Plan;
> The employment by schools of new personnel;
> Different procedures to evaluate the test year of new teachers;
> Different system of territorial placement of in-house and supply teachers for three-year offices.

Chapter 12 Nursery schools and rst cycle


1. Nursery schools regulations
Nursery schools were established by Law 444 of 18 March 1968.
The current nursery school is a pre-school path, recommended but not mandatory, for children
from 3 to 6 years of age.
The normal schedule is of forty hours per week, for five or six days, which can be extended to a
maximum of fifty hours a week and reduced to no less than twenty-five hours.
The sections of primary school have, usually, a number of children that is not less than 18 and
not higher than 26.
For children from 24 to 36 months, the spring sections can be activated, based on school projects underlying agreements between the Regional School Oces and the Regions.
The National Guidelines for nursery schools are included in the National Guidelines for nursery schools and rst cycle, issued in 2012.

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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 25

2. Primary school
The primary school is the first step of the first cycle of education. The condition to enrol in the
primary school is to come to the age of 6 years.
Upon registration, parents or tutors express their options regarding the weekly timetable,
which includes four models:
> 24 hours per week, introduced by Law 169/2008;
> 27 hours per week, introduced by Legislative Decree 59/2004 (Article 7);
> 30 hours per week. To the 27 hours option another 3 hours of optional activities are added,
at parents choice and based on the availability of the personnel (models 2 and 3 are derived
from Law 53/2003, the so-called Moratti reform);
> 40 hours per week (full-time), with 8 hours per day for 5 days a week, including a lunch break,
the duration of which (one to two hours) is decided by the Board of the Institute at the proposal of the Board of teachers.
The classes of primary schools have, usually, a number of children that is not less than 15 and
not higher than 26.
Teaching English language was compulsory as a result of the Law 53/2003. The weekly timetable is different depending on the year group: one hour in the first grade, two in the second, and
three in the following grades.
The National Guidelines for primary school are included in the National Guidelines for nursery
schools and first cycle, issued in 2012.
The periodic and annual evaluation of the pupils academic performance, as well as the related certification, is expressed in grades with tenths. The evaluation of the behaviour is instead expressed via a judgement, delivered in the manner approved by the Board of teachers.
Even for the Catholic religion, the assessment is made through synthetic judgement.
Support teachers assigned to classes in which pupils with certified disabilities are included,
participate in the evaluation of all pupils.
Teachers may unanimously decide not to admit a pupil to the next grade, only in exceptional
and duly motivated cases.
The frequency criterion of at least three quarters of the customised annual timetable does not
involve primary school. It follows that the evaluation of the impact of absences on the scholastic performance is left to be decided by the team of teachers.

3. Lower secondary school


After primary school the lower secondary school, which lasts for three years, has two models
of weekly timetable:
> Basic timetable of 30 hours per week (normal time);
> Prolonged time of 36 hours per week, which can rise to 40 hours upon authorisation of the
Regional School Oce. The timetable includes the time spent in the school canteen.
The parents or tutors are responsible for choosing the option at the time of registration.
The first classes are made up, as a rule, with no less than 18 and no more than 27 pupils, and can
reach 28 in case of pupils extra registered.
The teaching of two European languages was provided: the rst is necessarily English, with
three hours per week. The second language has two hours per week and, based on the Programme of Studies, it normally provides a choice between French, Spanish or German.
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4. National Guidelines for the rst cycle


The National Guidelines of 2012 point out that the primary school and the lower secondary
school should be able to jointly make up the first cycle of education. Hence, the choice of the
vertical curriculum, built through school autonomy within the framework offered by the Specifications.
The starting point is the Prole of the student, which describes the skills related to the teaching disciplines and the full exercise of citizenship that a student must have at the end of the
eight years of the first cycle of education.
Then, there are the curricula of disciplines (in order Italian, English and a second European community language, history, geography, mathematics, science, music, arts and image, physical
education, and technology).
For each of these disciplines, the learning objectives are identified:
> At the end of the third grade of primary school;
> At the end of the fifth grade of primary school;
> At the end of the third grade of lower secondary school.

5. Periodic and nal evaluation. The nal state exam in the rst cycle of education
In secondary school (lower and upper), the school year is valid when the pupil has attended at
least three quarters of the customised annual timetable.
The class council is responsible for the periodic and nal evaluation, chaired by the head
teacher or a delegate. Pupils must be assessed for each discipline and behaviour with grades
expressed in tenths. Teaching Catholic religion is evaluated using synthetic judgement.
To be eligible for the next year or for the State exam, pupils must acquire sucient knowledge
in all disciplines, including the grade for behaviour. In case of deciencies in one or more disciplines, the class council may approve admission by majority. In this case, it makes a specific note
in the evaluation document to call for the responsibility of the family and the student to catch up.
The State exam is the sum of the activity performed by the pupil during the three years and a
final verification of achieving the objectives identified by the Profile of competencies at the end
of the first cycle of education, included in the National Guidelines.
Admission to exam takes place after the final meeting in the third grade and consists in assigning the eligibility grade, expressed in tenths, based on the following rules:
> Preliminary checks on the frequency of attendance, in order to ascertain the validity of the
year (frequency of at least three quarters of the annual customised timetable);
> A grade not lower than six tenths for each discipline;
> A grade for behaviour of not less than six tenths;
> Verification of the guiding council expressed prior to the deadline for entries to the pathways
of the second cycle or EPT (education and professional training).
The examination board will consist of all teachers of the third grades of the school, including
support teachers. The chairman is appointed by the Regional School Oce.
The State exam consists in five written tests (four of the Institute and a national one) and an
oral exam.
The written tests of the Institute are: Italian, mathematics and science, English, and second
Community language. A national written test is then added with texts chosen by the Ministry
among those prepared annually by INVALSI. It consists of two tests, one for Italian and one for
mathematics, to be taken consecutively during one morning determined on national scale.
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The oral test consists in a multidisciplinary interview, taken in the presence of the entire examining subcommittee.
The nal mark is made up of the arithmetic average of the following grades in tenths:
> The admission grade to exam;
> The five grades obtained in the written tests;
> The grade obtained in the oral examination.
The final grade is rounded up to a higher unit by fraction equal to or greater than 0.5.
Candidates who obtain a score of ten tenths will receive honours from the commission and the
decision will be taken unanimously.
Graduate candidates shall be given the certicate of competencies: from 2015/2016 the model
is provided by the Ministry. The certificate includes the confirmation or revision of the guiding
council released during the examinations.

Chapter 13 Second cycle of education


1. The equal status of education and education and professional training
The Moratti reform stated the equal status of the two pathways after the first school cycle: the
five year education by the State and the education and professional training by the Regions.
Prior to the reform the professional training courses were organised as practical technical
courses that lasted two years. A further limit consisted in the fact that it could not be used to
shift to the five years education pathway or for the purposes of participating in public contests,
ending up being a blind channel reserved for pupils who did not continue their studies after the
eighth grade.
The ocial legislative recognition of the two pathways meant that the so-called second channel was implemented with objectives and cultural content, so that it was named education
and professional training (EPT), extended to three years with the possibility to graduate in the
fourth year; it allows entering the fifth year of the second cycle and gives access to the final
State exam.
The first two years of both channels are useful to accomplish the mandatory ten years of education.

2. Regulations of the upper secondary school


In line with Law 40/2007, the second cycle of education returned to the traditional structure of
a three-point system: vocational schools, technical schools, and high schools.
After the reorganisation of 2010, the upper secondary school is regulated by:
> P.D. (*) 87 of 15 June 2010, Regulations concerning the reorganisation of vocational schools;
> P.D. 88 of 15 March 2010, Regulations concerning the reorganisation of technical institutes;
> P.D. 89 of 15 March 2010, Regulations concerning the revision of the administrative, organisational and teaching procedures of high schools.
(*) Presidential Decree.
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3. Class structure
The classes of the first year of study of institutes and schools of secondary and upper secondary
education have, usually, no less than 27 students.
As a rule, the number of intermediate classes formed is equal to that of the classes from where
the students come from, provided that they have no less than 22 pupils. The number of terminal classes is equal to that of the corresponding penultimate classes in the previous school year,
provided that there are at least 10 pupils enrolled.

4. CLIL: teaching and learning in another language


The Content and language integrated learning, CLIL, involves the use of a foreign language
as a means of learning content.
CLIL was implemented in 2010 with the reorganisation of technical schools and high schools:
In the last year of high schools and technical schools, the teaching of a non-linguistic discipline is taught in a foreign language;
In language high schools, teaching of a non-linguistic discipline in a first language begins in the
third year; from the fourth year, a second discipline is conveyed in another language.
As for the vocational schools, CLIL is not provided in the Regulations, although it is possible to
use the autonomy quota to consolidate the experiences already initiated.
CLIL needs teachers that are prepared and who possess not only disciplinary skills, but also
intercultural, linguistic and communication skills in a foreign language.

5. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the European
Language Portfolio
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is the system that qualifies the
skill level achieved by those who study a European language.
Developed by the Council of Europe between 1989 and 1996, it distinguishes three groups of
competence, mentioned below starting with the highest level:
> Level C - Mastery;
> Level B - Autonomy;
> Level A - Basic.
Each group is divided in turn in two levels, for a total of six levels.
The European Language Portfolio is the document that accompanies those who study a language in their learning path throughout their life. It consists in three different sections: the
Language passport, the Linguistic biography and the Dossier.

6. School-work related learning


The school-work related learning, or vocational learning, is a way of training 15 to 18 year olds, in
order to ensure that young people acquire skills they can use in the job market.
The vocational pathways are the responsibility of the school, based on the agreements with the
companies, associations, Chambers of Commerce, public and private institutions, professional
associations, museums and other public or private institutions willing to accept the students.
These pathways, which do not imply an employment, have an overall duration of:
> At least 400 hours in the nal three years of technical and vocational schools;
> At least 200 hours in the nal three years of high school.
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7. Student evaluation
For the evaluation of pupils in the second cycle schools, the rules are set by Presidential Decree 122/2009. The periodic and final evaluation is made by the class council, chaired by the
head teacher or a delegate, with decision taken, where necessary, by the majority.
The support teachers, also responsible for the class and participate in the evaluation of all pupils. The evaluation of pupils behaviour is expressed in decimals and the numeric grade is also
written in letters in the evaluation document.
Even in the upper secondary school, the validity of the school year is subordinated to the frequency of at least three quarters of the customised annual timetable (the Board of teachers
may provide motivated and extraordinary exemptions for exceptional cases).
For admission to the next class, pupils must obtain the following grades in the final exam:
> The grade for behaviour of not less than six tenths;
> The grade for each discipline of not less than six tenths.
In the event of students who have not acquired sucient knowledge at one or more disciplines,
the class council suspends the judgement and prepares educational interventions to catch up,
setting them for no later than the start date of classes of the next school year. At the end of the
interventions, the class council shall verify the results obtained and shall give the final judgement which, in case of positive outcome, allows for the admission to the next class.

8. School credit and training credit


The school credit takes into account the average of the grades, the attendance record, the
interest, the commitment and the behaviour, as well as any training credits.
The class council gives to the pupil who is worthy, at the final exam of each of the last three
years of high school, a special score: the sum of the scores obtained during the three years
is the school credit that is added to the grades obtained by the candidates in the exams. The
maximum credit attributable during the three year period amounts to 25 points. The training credit consists in qualified educational experiences that generate skills consistent with the
type of course referred to in the State Examination. These experiences are acquired outside
school, in environments and sectors of the civil society related to the formation of the person
and human, civil and cultural growth.
For their evaluation during the admission exam, the related documentation must be received by
the examining Institution, by the date set by ministerial ordinance that annually regulates the
State examination.

9. The State examination


The State examination is aimed to assess the knowledge and skills acquired in the last year of
studies in relation to the general and specific objectives of each of the specialisations and general cultural bases, as well as the critical capacity of the candidate.
The examination procedures are the responsibility of the Committee, composed of a Chairman external to the school and no more than six members, of which half internal and half
external to the school.
The examination consists of three written tests and an interview.
The rst written test aims at verifying the mastery of the Italian language, as well as the expression, logical and linguistic, and critical skills of the candidate.
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The object of the second test is one of the subjects specific to the course of study.
The third test is an expression of the school autonomy. Therefore, it is closely related to the
POF adopted by each of them. It is structured in order to allow the assessment of knowledge in
a foreign language.
The texts related to the first and second written tests are chosen by the Ministry. The text of the
third written test is prepared by the examination board.
The interview shall deal with multidisciplinary subjects related to educational programs and
work of the last year. It takes place at the presence of the entire commission.
A discussion on the written tests is expected to take place.
At end of the State examination, each candidate shall be given a nal grade expressed in cents,
the result of the sum of the scores given by the examination board for the written tests (max.
45 points) and for the interview (max. 30), as well as the points for the school credit (max. 25)
obtained by each candidate.
The minimum score to pass the exam is 60/100.
Notwithstanding the maximum score of 100, the examination board may, for worthy students,
raise the score up to a maximum of 5 points.
Those who obtain the maximum score of 100 points without getting the raise, subject to certain
conditions, may receive the honours.

Chapter 14 Regulations of vocational schools, technical schools, and high schools


1. Vocational schools
Vocational schools are an articulation of the second cycle of the education system. They belong
to a unitary technical and professional area aimed at issuing final diplomas and they have their
own regulations. They have as reference the production chains, unlike technical schools that
have as reference the technological chains.
The study courses at vocational schools have a duration of ve years. They are divided into
two-year periods and a fifth year, at the end of which students take the State examination in
order to obtain the diploma of vocational education.
The rst two years, valid for the performance of the mandatory education, provides for each
year:
> 660 hours of activities and general education teachings (20 hours per week);
> 396 hours of activities and mandatory specialised teachings (12 hours per week);
The next two years and the last year provide for each year:
> 495 hours of activities and general education teachings (15 hours per week);
> 561 hours of activities and mandatory specialised teachings (17 hours per week);
Vocational schools are divided into two sectors, each of which is divided into specialisations.
The industry and crafts sector is divided into two specialisations:
> Industrial production and handicraft, with the branches Industry and Handicraft;
> Maintenance and technical assistance.
The Services sector includes four specialisations:
> Services for Agriculture and Rural Development;
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> Health and Social Services with the related branches: Health and Social Services, Dental Services and Optical Services;
> Services for food and wine and hotel services, with the following branches: Food and wine,
Room services and Sales, Tourism;
> Commercial services.
The educational and teaching program refers to the Guidelines issued in 2010 (for the first two
years) and in 2012 (for the next two years and the last year).
After passing the nal State examination, the graduates of vocational schools, besides the
work opportunities and college enrolment opportunities, have the following options:
> Short pathways of 800/1000 hours to obtain a higher technical specialisation (IFTS);
> Biennial pathways to obtain a higher technical diploma in the most advanced technology
areas at the Higher Technical Schools (HTS).

2. Technical schools
Technical schools provide basic technical and scientific training necessary to those who seek
to enter a qualified sector in the employment or freelance occupations market. The courses of
technical schools last for five years, divided into two two-year periods and one last year, after
which the students take the State examination and obtain the technical education diploma.
There are 1,056 annual hours corresponding to an average of 32 hours per week.
In the last year, a new technical and professional discipline is introduced, in a foreign language.
The economic sector is divided into two specialisations: Administration, finance and marketing; tourism.
The technology sector is divided into nine specialisations: Mechanics, mechatronics and
energy; Transport and logistics; Electronics and electrical engineering; IT and telecommunications; Graphics and communications; Chemistry, materials and biotechnology; Fashion system;
Agriculture, food processing and agro-industry; Construction, environment and territory.
In the last year of study, a foreign language is introduced in non-linguistic discipline (CLIL).
The educational and teaching program refers to the Guidelines issued in 2010 (for the first two
years) and in 2012 (for the next two years and the last year).
After passing the nal State examination, the graduates of vocational schools, besides the
work opportunities and college enrolment opportunities, have the possibility to obtain a higher
technical specialisation mentioned above for the vocational schools.

3. High schools
High schools provide students with cultural and methodological tools for a deeper understanding of reality, so that they are able, using a rational, creative, planning and critical attitude to
face situations, phenomena and problems, and acquire knowledge, skills and competencies consistent with the skills and personal choices appropriate to further follow higher studies, in order
to integrate in the social life and the work market.
The high school area includes six major branches, with additional internal branches:
> arts high school, with six specialisations;
> classical high school;
> language high school;
> music and dance high school, with the music and dance sections;
> science high school, with the option of applied sciences and the sports high school section;
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> humanities high school, with the economic and social option.
The high school lasts for five years and is divided into two two-year periods and a fifth year, after
which the students take the State examination.
The weekly timetable in the two-year period is of 27 hours, except for the arts high school (34
hours) and the music and dance high school (32 hours). In the following years, the hours increase based on the specialisation below.
In the last year of study, a foreign language is introduced in non-linguistic discipline (CLIL). The
educational and teaching program refers to the National Guidelines.
The educational and teaching program refers to the National Guidelines issued in 2010.

Chapter 15 European Union and the subsidiarity to the education systems of the
member countries
1. The construction of the common European home
World War II ended in the spring of 1945. After the horror of the genocide and destruction,
there was the determination to create the conditions for stable peace, passing from the Europe
of countries to the Europe of nations.
In 1950, the French minister Robert Schuman proposed to put together the coal and iron resources, with the goal of doubling the production of steel and to lower its costs. The proposal
consisted in abolishing the duty in the coal and steel sector.
In 1951 Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the first
European Treaty, establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
It gave excellent results, both economically and with the cooperation between Member States
in general. It was decided to pursue economic integration by implementing the customs union
between the Member States, with the aim of creating the European Common Market. Continuing on the line that led to ECSC, it was decided to put together the resources for the civil applications of nuclear energy.
On 25 March 1957, in Rome, the Treaties establishing two other Communities were signed:
> the European Economic Community (EEC);
> the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC), known as Euratom.
The signatories were the same countries that had joined ECSC.
In 1973, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark joined; between 1981 and 1986, Greece,
Spain and Portugal. The Member States became twelve.
The eighties ended with the crisis of the real socialism system. The symbol was the fall of
the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989).
On October 3, 1990 the reunification of Germany was proclaimed. The era of the cold war
ended. The collapse of the system hinged on the URRS opened new spaces to the Community,
while the Eastern European nations returned to democracy and to market economy.
The Member States decided to establish other common policies, besides the economic policy.
The Treaty on European Union was signed in Maastricht (Netherlands) on 7 February 1992.
Its historic result was to set in motion the political integration process among the European
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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 33

pects of action beyond the economic aspect, toward fields where national competencies had
been so far thoroughly guarded: those of the foreign policy, defence, and social policies.
The European citizenship was established: whoever is a national citizen of a Member State is,
therefore, a citizen of the Union. On 1 January 1995, with the entry of Austria, Finland and Sweden, the Union reached fteen states.
The next goal was the adoption of the single currency, following the completion of the European Common Market. For joining the monetary union, it was required to comply with the four
criteria, called the Maastricht criteria. The introduction of the Euro took place on 1 January
2002. Today the single currency is adopted by 19 of the 28 Member States.
Meanwhile, the countries that were freed from the iron curtain became candidates to the
EU, as well as two small Mediterranean countries (Cyprus and Malta). The enlargement of the
Union to the east and south raised economic and institutional problems:
economic problems: low-development areas were involved, which would require massive interventions for depressed areas;
institutional problems: the institutions of the Community needed to be reformed since they had
been created fifty years before when the Member States were only six.
The accession to the EU by Eastern and South European countries saw the following steps:
> in 2004: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Cyprus and Malta;
> in 2007: Bulgaria and Romania;
> in 2013: Croatia.
Today, there are 28 EU Member States.

2. The functioning of the European Union


The functioning of the European Union is based on the founding Treaties (Rome Pact of 1957
and the Maastricht Treaty of 1992), with the additions and integrations made by the subsequent
treaties.
The Member States of the European Union increased from only 6 States in 1957 to the current 28
countries. At the same time, from the European enthusiasm of the early decades it went to the
ow back of these years, during which an unprecedented financial crisis in the post-war period
has highlighted economic diculties in large areas of the Union. In addition there are diculties in the cohesion of the Member States due to pressure put by the out of control migration
movement from Asia and Africa. Finally, the terrorist actions of Islamic extremism have lead to
restrictions on the fundamental freedom of movement within the Member States.
The centripetal movement that led to the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and to the prospects of political Union in 1992 started to fade away, in the face of the overt requirement that the Union
solved the general problems and took charge of the particularly acute crisis in some Member
States.
The balance between the opposing trends entails the balance of the EU itself, being the latter
based on the three principles governing the actions of the Union.
The principle of responsibility: the Union shall act only within the limits of the powers conferred upon it by the Member States in the Treaties to attain the objectives set out therein.
The principle of subsidiarity: in the fields that do not fall within its exclusive competence, the
Union shall act only if and to the extent that the objectives of the proposed action cannot be
suciently achieved by the Member States and can, therefore, be better achieved at Union
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level. In other words, the criterion that decisions are taken as close as possible to the citizens
was determined. The subsidiarity principle was incorporated in the Italian Constitution with the
constitutional reform of 2001.
The principle of proportionality reiterates that the content and form of the Unions action
shall be limited to what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties.

3. Unions institutions
The framework of the EU institutions is the result of the history of the European Communities
and the complex relationship between the sovereignty of the Member States and the powers
delegated to Community bodies.
For example, in the democratic States, the Parliament has legislative power, is elected by the
citizens and is the choice of popular sovereignty. In the EU this is only partially valid, as the attribution of exclusive legislative powers to the Parliament would mean the loss of the equivalent
power (and, thus, of the sovereignty) by the Member States.
Therefore, the approval process of the EU legislation is based on the necessary collaboration
between the European Parliament and the Member States, the latter being represented in the
Councils Union (called Council of Ministers).
The EU institutional framework consists of seven institutions:
> European Commission;
> European Council;
> Council of the European Union;
> European Parliament;
> Court of Justice of the European Union;
> Court of Auditors;
> European Central Bank.
The European Commission is composed of European commissioners, each being chosen from
the leading figures of the Member State of aliation. The Commission is the governing body of
the EU, besides making the legislative proposals, it is independent from the States.
The European Council brings together the Heads of State or Government of the Member
States and the President of the Commission at least twice a year. The Council defines the general political directions and priorities of the Union.
The Council of the Union, known as the Council of Ministers, is composed of ministers or,
however, of members of the governmental structure of the Member States. It meets in different forms, depending on the issues on the agenda. The Council, together with the European
Parliament, has legislative and budgetary function; it coordinates the economic policies of the
Member States.
The European Parliament is the parliamentary assembly of the European Union, directly elected by EU citizens every five years. It takes part in the legislative process. Depending on the
procedure adopted, its role can be decisive in the adoption of the final act, or can simply express
an opinion.
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the interpreter of the EU law so that it is applied
equally in all Member States. Evaluates disputes between national governments and EU institutions.
The Court of Auditors is the controlling body of EU finances. Its role is to improve the financial
management of the EU and to report on the use of public funds.
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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 35

The European Central Bank is responsible for implementing the monetary policy of those
countries adopting the Euro.

4. Powers of the Union


The powers of the Union can be divided into:
> exclusive competencies, for which the Member States have fully devolved areas of national
sovereignty (customs union; competition, single currency for the States that have adopted
the Euro; trade policy with third countries);
> concurrent or shared powers, such as internal market, agriculture and fisheries, environment, consumer protection, transport, trans-European networks, and energy. The Union is
responsible for these matters the role of the States is residual: they can legislate in these
fields in accordance with the decision taken by the Union or in the event that the latter did
not exercise its jurisdiction;
> areas in which the Unions action takes place in subsidiary function, without holding any
legislative power.
One of these areas is education. One cannot talk about a common European policy on education while it is correct to speak of cooperation in the field of education based on the principle
of subsidiarity.

5. European programs in support of education throughout life


Always in respect of the subsidiarity principle, the European Union supports the national education and vocational training systems.
To this extent the Socrates Program was launched in order to support quality education by
developing the European dimension of education. It included four actions: Comenius (school),
Erasmus (university), Leonardo da Vinci (vocational training), Grundtvig (adult education).
The framework for the Union was redesigned as part of the Education and training 2020 strategy. In 2014, the Erasmus+ Program started, which continues the traditional plan in an updated framework of objectives.
The eTwinning project should also be pointed out making possible e-twinning projects between
European primary and secondary schools through an on-line platform.

Chapter 16 School autonomy and management


1. School autonomy
Introduced by the Bassanini Law (59/1997), school autonomy had constitutional recognition
with the rewriting of Article 117, operated by the Constitutional Law 3/2001.
Article 1 of P.D. 275/1999, Regulation laying down rules on the autonomy of educational institutions issued in accordance with Law 59, states as follows:
> the autonomy of educational institutions is a guarantee of academic freedom and cultural
pluralism, and is embodied in the planning and implementation of measures for education
and training aimed at developing the person;
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> these interventions are appropriate to the different contexts, the demand of the families and
the characteristics of the pupils, in order to ensure their educational success.

2. Best dimensioning of schools


School autonomy lead to the rationalisation of their organisation in the territory, aimed at
achieving an appropriate dimensioning that would justify the legal status of educational institutions and the management role to head teachers.
In order to acquire or maintain autonomy, education institutions had to have, usually, a population between 500 and 900 pupils. Exceptions were granted in small islands, in mountain villages, in geographic areas characterised by ethnic or linguistic specificity, where the parameter
was reduced to 300 pupils. On the other hand it was allowed to exceed the normal parameters
in areas of high population density.
The set parameters were changed with the spending review law, Law 111/2011, establishing that
from year 2011/2012 they would be as follows:
> nursery schools, primary school and lower secondary school were compulsorily aggregated
in comprehensive schools;
> comprehensive schools, in order to obtain autonomy, had to have at least 1,000 pupils, reduced to 500 for the institutions located in small islands, in the mountains, and in the geographic areas characterised by linguistic specificity.
However, since the competence to determine the school network on the territory belongs to
the Regions, it was then established (Law 128/2013) that the school aggregation had to be operated by the Regions, respecting the contingent of school managers (thus, the number of schools
that have autonomy) assigned to the territory.

3. School management
The school manager (according to Article 25 of Legislative Decree 165/2001):
> has autonomous powers of management, coordination and evaluation of human resources;
> ensures the execution in school of the rights constitutionally protected: freedom of education, freedom of educational choice of families, right of pupils to learn;
> can autonomously determine the supply teachers up to 10% of the personnel;
> is assisted by the director of general and administrative services (d.g.a.s.) who acts in the
framework of the received instructions;
> deals with the labour relations in the financial agreements of the institution;
> has direct responsibility as an employer related to safety at work;
> has the right to process personal data (privacy protection).
Everything takes place in compliance with the competencies of the governing boards.
The recent law 107/2015 has set itself the aim of relaunching school autonomy by the reinforcement of the leading role of school managers.
The following are some of the new powers given to the school manager:
> establish guidelines for school activities on the basis of which the Board of teachers lays the
TYPS (PTOF);
> identify the personnel to be assigned with three-year tasks in the autonomy personnel roles;
> give annually to deserving teachers, based on the criteria identified by the Evaluation Board,
the financial reward (bonus) coming from the appropriate Ministerial reserves.
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Educational and psyco-pedagogical competences and basic knowledge of the education system 37

4. The three-year plan of the Program of Studies


The set of choices that help characterising the institutions educational physiognomy is made
public through the preparation of the Program of Studies introduced by the Presidential Decree 275/1999 and extended to three-years by Law 107/2015. The Three-Year Program of Studies
(TYPS) is the cultural and planning document of each school and it is public, so that it can be
read by the families wishing to learn about the planning of the institute. The plan is prepared
by the board of teachers based on the guidelines for school activities and on the management
and administration decisions defined by the school manager. The plan is approved by the Board
of the Institute.
This document makes public the compulsory curriculum oered by the school to its students, which arises from the overall national quota and the quota reserved to schools, including
the disciplines and the activities freely chosen by the single institution to enhance the cultural
specificity of the territory. The TYPS also indicates the extracurricular activities, the educational
and organisational activities that the school adopts, the criteria for evaluation and those for the
recognition of credits related to the activities carried out for the extension of the training offer,
freely undertaken by the pupils and duly certified.

5. School networks
The autonomous schools, being independent legal entities, may be subject to network agreements between schools and/or institutions of various types, either private or public (universities, associations, training institutions), for a better implementation of educational, research
and development, training and updating projects.
The territorial networks formed under Law 107/2015 by regional school boards for the management of the teacher personnel have a different function. They arise not from the free associative
needs of the school but, first of all, from the need to:
> ensure the allocation of territorial headquarters to teachers newly placed and to those who,
already in place, lose their jobs and/or ask for mobility;
> prepare the environment where the proposals of the school managers of the territory and
the teachers incardinated in the environment can meet, in order to implement the school
program of studies through the enhanced personnel.

6. System monitoring
As a result of the constitutional reform of 2001, an exclusive legislative power was attributed to
the State for the following topics (Article 117):
> determination of the basic levels of performances concerning civil and social rights that
must be guaranteed throughout the national territory;
> general legislation on education.
In the education system, tasks and responsibilities that belong to different levels intersect. In
particular, if the State is responsible for the determination of the basic levels of performances
concerning civil and social rights that must be guaranteed throughout the national territory it must
also check that all citizens concretely benefit from these basic levels of performance.
Educational institutions are responsible for the rights of the students, primarily for their educational success, as part of the Specifications received and allocated resources, developing the
TYPS and collaborating with the Central Administration in verifying the eciency of the system.
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INVALSI is the research institute that performs the evaluation of the education system
based on the specific ministerial directives, operating as a body of the national evaluation system established by Presidential Decree 80/2013.
The evaluation of the learning levels of the students from each school is performed by testing,
at national level, the knowledge and skills acquired at specific times during the training: the second and fifth grade of primary school, third grade of lower secondary school, second and fifth
grade of upper secondary school.
The tests include the Italian language and mathematics, to be assessed in line with the learning objectives defined by the National Guidelines.
INVALSI also ensures Italys participation in international surveys, enabling a closer connection between their results and the results of national surveys.

Chapter 17 School community as a place of participation: the schools governing


bodies
1. The schools governing bodies
In the system outlined by Law 477/1973, all governing administrative bodies of the schools have
a governing body representing the internal personnel (directors, teachers, non-teaching personnel) and users (parents and students). In particular, each single school, has:
> the School or association board;
> the Board of teachers;
> Board of intersection, interclass and class;
> the Committee for the evaluation of teachers;
> students and parents assemblies.
The powers of the governing bodies are regulated by the Consolidated Law on education (Legislative Decree 297/1994, Articles 5-15).
With the exception of the Board of teachers, all the governing bodies are elected by the school.
The operating rules of the schools governing bodies are established through the Regulations
approved by the school board, with reference to the model issued by the Ministry with C.M.
105/1975.

2. School or Association board


The Association board (in primary schools) or School board (in secondary schools) is an elective
body that has orientation functions, while the school manager is responsible for the management of the school and personnel. It consists of the school manager (who is a member by
right) and the elected representatives of:
> the students parents;
> the teaching and non-teaching personnel;
> the students in upper secondary school.
The School or the Association board, summoned by its chairman, is the meeting place of the
institution and the society of the territory in which the school operates. Within the institute, the
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Council is the interlocutor of the Board of teachers: if the latter lays down the educational
and teaching program and the Three-Year Program of Studies, the Council decides upon the
proposals of the Board concerning the program of studies and the organisational and financial
support for its implementation.
Therefore, it has the power to decide in the following key areas:
> approval the Three-Year Program of Studies;
> organisation and planning of school activities;
> approval of the annual budget;
> adoption of regulations, with particular reference to the responsibilities arising from the obligations of supervision of minor pupils and to the regulation of discipline in the secondary
school;
> approval of the school diary.
The Board elects an Executive council among its members, with technical tasks such the preparation of documents for nancial management.
These documents are:
> the annual program, namely the budget, which is prepared by the school manager and presented for approval to the School board by the Executive council, with the regular accounting
advice of the auditors;
> the nal account, consisting in the financial account and the assets account. It is prepared by
the Director of general and administrative services, submitted by the school manager to the
auditors and approved by the School board.

3. Board of teachers
The Board of teachers is chaired by the school manager and composed by all members of the
teaching personnel on duty in the school. The manager appoints as secretary one of the supply
teachers.
The Board of teachers has the power to decide with regard to a series of subjects; it can propose
others; it is also an electorate body.
The areas for which it takes decisions are as follows:
> educational operation of the institute, in particular educational and teaching planning, as
well as pupil evaluation;
> periodic review of the overall teaching activity;
> adoption of textbooks;
> promotion of experimentation initiatives;
> promotion of updating initiatives for teachers;
> planning and implementation of initiatives to support students with disabilities or with learning diculties, the integration of foreign students, the follow up of pupils with learning difficulties.
It makes proposals to the school manager, taking into account the criteria approved by the
School board, for the following aspects:
> formation and composition of classes;
> assignment of teachers to each class;
> preparation of the timetable.
It is an electoral board when it elects two teachers in the Evaluation council and when it appoints the teachers responsible for the instrumental functions to TYPS.
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The activity of the Board of teachers intersects with that of the School board, which is distinguished by a different general competence.
A significant paradigm of cooperation between the two bodies is the construction of the
TYPS, developed by the Board of teachers and approved by the School board. The recent Law
107/2015 has assigned to the school manager the task to provide the Board in advance with the
specialisations for the schools activities and the management and administration choices.

4. Intersection, interclass and class boards


The terms Board of intersection (nursery schools), Board of interclass (primary school) and
Board of class (secondary schools) mean the related teachers meetings, integrated at specific
times by the parents and students (in the upper secondary school), annually elected as representatives of their respective components.
The boards come together in two different ways:
> by presence of the teachers: for educational coordination and periodic and final evaluation;
> by presence of the teachers and the class representatives elected by the parents (and
by the students in upper secondary school). Their tasks are to promote educational collaboration, to assess the overall performance of the learning activity, to approve educational
projects for the class and to propose the annual plan of visits and educational trips, and to
issue an opinion on the adoption of textbooks.

5. Committee for the evaluation of teachers


The Committee for the evaluation of teachers has three functions:
> to identify the criteria on which the school manager assigns a bonus to reward deserving
teachers:
> to express its opinion on the new teacher at the end of the test-training year
> to evaluate the performance (for a maximum period of three years) of the teachers who request it.
The Council lasts in oce for 3 years. It is chaired by the school manager and it is composed as
follows:
> three teachers of the school, two of which are chosen by the Board of teachers and one by
the School board;
> two representatives of the parents, for nursery schools and for the first cycle of education;
one representative of the students and one representative of the parents, for the second
cycle of education, chosen by the School board;
> an external member chosen by the Regional School Oce among the teachers, school managers and technical managers.
In its full composition the Council has the function of determining the criteria for the enhancement of teachers. The school manager takes into account those criteria at the end of
the year when he must identify the teachers deserving to receive the bonus from the appropriate ministerial fund. When the Council expresses its opinion on the passing of the training
and testing period for the teaching and educational personnel, it meets in a technical and
evaluative composition, consisting in the presence of the school manager, who chairs the
meeting, the three teachers of the school, and it is integrated by the teacher who is given the
role of tutor.

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6. Meetings of parents and students


The decrees of 1974 gave the parents of the pupils and students in secondary school the opportunity to meet in class or school assemblies, as well as to make a council composed of the
representatives elected in the intersection, interclass or class boards.

Chapter 18 The teacher: legal status and contract prole


1. Academic freedom
Article 1 of the Consolidated Law sets out the constitutional principle (Article 33) of academic
freedom, stating that:
> it is exercised in accordance with the constitutional law and the legal system of the school;
> it aims to promote the full development of the students personality through an open
exchange of cultural positions;
> this promotion action is implemented in compliance with the moral and civil conscience
of the pupils.
Academic freedom is a guarantee for the teacher against constraints or conditioning by the
public authorities. In this sense, academic freedom is recognised as an individual right of the
teachers.

2. Rights of the students and their families


Academic freedom is not an end in itself, but a tool for the realisation of the freedoms and
rights of the students: foremost, their right to education. The aim of the school autonomy
is to achieve the educational success of students (P.D. 275/1999, Article 1). Article 29 of the
Constitution recognises the rights of the family as natural society founded on marriage and
Article 30 claims that it is the duty and right of parents to support, raise and educate their children.
It follows that:
> the task of the democratic State (compared to the absolute State) is not to educate but to put
families in the position to educate their children;
> the school is given the task to develop and implement the educational and teaching program;
the family is partner of the school.
The school manager is responsible for the promotion in school of the constitutionally protected rights (Article 25, Legislative Decree 165/2001).

3. Role of the teacher


Article 395 of the Consolidated Law 297/1994 outlines the characteristics of the role of the
teacher, as the basic provider of:
> transmission of culture;
> contribution to the elaboration of culture;
> encouragement of students to participate in this process and in the human and critical
development of their personality.
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4. Trial period of the teaching personnel


Provisions are set by Article 438 of the Consolidated Law, as supplemented by par. 115 of Law
107/2015. After the trial period, there is the service period for at least one hundred and eighty
days, of which at least one hundred and twenty carried out in educational activities. During
the test year, the teacher follows a path of training at work, by means of:
> professional assistance at school, given by a teacher appointed by the school manager, after
hearing the opinion of the Board of teachers, having the appropriate qualifications and skills
(the tutor);
> 50 hours of training.
At the end of the school year, the teacher tested is evaluated by the school manager, after
having heard the Evaluation Board, based on the investigation of the tutor teacher (Law
107/2015, Article 1, par. 117).
On the basis of these evaluations and of any other element acquired, the manager can decide
whether to:
> conrm the role, in case of a positive outcome;
> ask for a repetition of the test year, in case of a negative outcome due to failure to achieve
the necessary service days or due to a negative evaluation of the test year. This will lead to an
unrenewable second period of training and testing.

5. Working hours of teachers


Teachers working hours is a subject regulated by contract (Articles 28 and 29). The National
Collective Labour Agreement provides for the weekly mandatory hours of instruction:
> 25 hours for nursery schools;
> 22 hours for primary school, plus 2 hours dedicated to educational planning;
> 18 hours for secondary schools.
The same agreement defines the obligations for the activities needed for teaching, classifying
them into five areas:
> individual work for preparing the lessons, correction of papers and individual relations
with the families;
> collective activities for which up to 40 hours a year are needed in order to attend meetings
of the Board of teachers and to carry out the tasks set in its reunions;
> activities of the class councils for which up to 40 hours per year are needed;
> performance of the exams and nal exams (without quantification);
> in order to ensure reception and supervision of pupils, the teachers are required to be in class
5 minutes before the classes start and to assist the students out at the end.
Teachers activities not related to teaching are planned in the annual program of activities,
suggested by the school manager and directly connected to the TYPS.

6. Special tasks
It is expected that the teacher will receive special assignments for the collaboration with the
school manager or for the coordination of the areas of activity in the TYPS:
> collaborators are selected by the school manager for organisation and teaching roles;
> the instrumental functions to the TYPS are identified by resolution of the Board of teachers.
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7. The right and duty to cultural and professional updating


Defined by the National Collective Labour Agreement as functional to teaching activities, the
training of teachers is defined by Law 107/2015 as mandatory, permanent and structural.
It is programmed by the Board of teachers in line with the TYPS, with the results from the improvement programs of schools, as well as with the priorities outlined in the National Education
Plan adopted by the Ministry.
As established by Law 107/2015 in-house teachers can use an Electronic Card charged with an
amount of 500 euro to pay for the purchase of study or work tools or as a contribution for the
registration in schools offering updating and training courses.

8. Incompatibility with other activities


The Constitution states that public employees are exclusively at the service of the State (Article 38): hence, the prohibition to carry out other activities. However, employees that choose a
part-time not exceeding 50% of the full-time, can have a second job.
As for the teachers, the TU of the school provides for the possibility of private lessons to pupils
of other institutions, as long as the head of the school is informed. It also provides that a fulltime teacher can practice the profession with permission of the school manager.

9. Responsibility of the teacher concerning minor pupils


Article 2048 of the Civil Code provides that tutors and those who teach a profession or craft are
responsible for the damage caused by the unlawful act of their students and apprentices while these
are under their supervision. The persons referred to in the previous paragraphs are freed from responsibility only if they prove not to have been able to prevent the incident.
The teaching personnel of the schools, both private and public, falls within the definition of
tutors.
The responsibility, called culpa in vigilando, is exonerated only if the teacher proves that he/she
could not avoid the incident, i.e. has the burden of proof with the presumption of guilt against
him.
The School board, on the initiative of the school manager, issues a regulation laying down the
procedures for exercising the supervision of pupils at all times during the activities contemplated by the TYPS.

10. Disciplinary responsibility of the teacher


The disciplinary responsibility rises whenever the employee breaches his obligations of
behaviour. At present, the teacher is subject to the general rules on public employment,
as indicated by Legislative Decree 165/2001 (Article 55-bis and following articles), and the
special regulations as indicated by the TU of the school. The latter (Article 492 and following articles) provides the correspondence between specific disciplinary offences and the
related penalties.
The disciplinary procedure is activated by the school manager or, in severe cases, by the Regional School Oce at the request of the school manager.
The procedure involves the following steps:
> written notice of objections;
> call to defence;
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> conclusion of the disciplinary procedure. If the employees excuses are accepted the procedure is dismissed. A penalty shall be imposed in other cases.

Chapter 19 Students with Special Educational Needs


1. Law 104 of 1992 and the Guidelines of 2009
In line with Law 104/1992 a handicapped person is a person with a physical, mental or sensory impairment, stable or progressive, which leads to learning, relationship or work integration diculties
and the outcome is a process of social disadvantage or marginalisation.
In the definition above, the terms impairment, diculty, and disabled are placed in sequential
correlation: from an impairment, a certain diculty may arise, which can lead to a disability.
The Guidelines for the school integration of students with disabilities, issued by the Ministry in 2009, are a collection of guidelines meant to improve the integration process of pupils
with disabilities.

2. The right to education of students with certied disabilities


Guideline (P.D. 24 February 1994, as amended) entrusts the Medical Colleges of Local Health
Units or Hospitals pointed out by the different Regions for their territories, the competence for
the certication of the disabled.
In order to ensure the personalisation of the education pathways the following documents need
to be drafted:
> the functional diagnosis for which the medical specialists are responsible;
> the functional dynamic prole, a result of the collaboration between the medical specialist
staff and the teachers of the Class council;
> the Individualised Education Plan (IEP) which describes the integrated and balanced actions to implement in order to guarantee the right to education and training to pupils with
disabilities. It is drafted by the Class council.
The rst classes enrolling pupils with disabilities have no more than 20 pupils, provided that the
need for such a number is substantiated in relation to the training requirements.
For a successful inclusion in the class of disabled pupils, Law 517/1977 established support places to be assigned to specialised teachers. Pupils with special needs are assessed following the
individualised path laid down by their IEP.
The Work Group of the Institute for Disability (WGID) is the place in which coordination of the
activities and services in favour of the pupils with disabilities is realized.

3. Specic Learning Disabilities


The abbreviation SLD includes disorders characterised by deficits in perception, in the production of messages or in other intellectual performances in subjects without intellectual disabilities.
These disorders are mainly:
> Dyslexia: reading and learning disorder;
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> Dysgraphia: learning and writing diculty: in the latter case, it is usually defined as Dysorthography;
> Dyscalculia: diculty in performing seriation and computing operations.
The Law 170/2010 has set up specific pathways to support the right to education of the persons
with SLD. In 2011, the Guidelines for the right to education of pupils and students with SLD
were issued.
The diagnosis of the SLD is the responsibility of the specialists of the National Health Service.
To this end, the school makes preliminary observations and performs screening actions on all
pupils. The parents of the pupils who, over time, confirm having major diculties, will receive a
written communication (describing the diculties encountered) which contains an invitation to
address the CNP (child neuropsychiatry).
The programming tool for the student with SLD is called Customised Teaching Program (CTP).
It needs to be drawn, with the approval of the family, by the first quarter of the year and provides for the adoption of compensatory measures, dispensatory measures, as well as personalised methods of verification and evaluation.

4. Foreign students
Foreign students who live in Italy were granted the right and duty to education in the same way
as Italian citizens, regardless of their right to remain in the country (P.D. 394/1999).
The document of the Ministry on the pedagogy of integration was issued by M.C. 24 of 1 March
2006 on the accompanying Guidelines for acceptance and integration of foreign students.
It is prohibited to establish classes in which foreign students are dominant. The purpose of the
legislation is integration, and not separation: the M.C. no. 2 of 8 January 2010 specifies not to
exceed 30% of the foreigners enrolled in each class.
The evaluation of foreign students, in particular those newly arrived in Italy (NAI), poses several types of problems. If it is necessary to take into account the individual learning path and
give time to allow insertion in a totally different environment, it is also necessary to consider
that the Italian school system is founded on the legal value of qualifications. Therefore, a set of
skills, properly certified and useful to the individual for the continuation in the studies and for
employment corresponds to a diploma.
At the time of final evaluation for admission to the next class or to the State exams at the end of
the education courses, the legal criterion is provided by Presidential Decree 122/2009, of which
Article 1 (paragraph 9) states that they are evaluated in the same form and manner provided
for Italian citizens.

5. Pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN)


By Directive of 27 December 2012, the Ministry of Education has adopted from the Anglo-Saxon
pedagogy the general profile of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) to plan the activities for
students with academic problems.
The Directive outlines the overall framework of the students with SEN, proposing their classification into three sub-categories:
> Disability, (whose right to education is protected by law 104/1992;
> Specic learning disabilities (SLD), whose right to education is protected by law 170/2010;
> The socio-economic, linguistic, and cultural disadvantage.

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While the identification of the students of the first two groups is the responsibility of the services for child neuropsychiatry (CNP) by certification of the disability or the SLD diagnosis, the
task of identifying the educational needs of the students of the third sub-category and building the customisation pathways (CP) is entrusted to the Class councils (in nursery schools and
primary school, to the team of teachers).
Pupils with SEN are identified based on the objective evidence (reports of social workers, traumatic events in their personal life or in the family) or appropriate pedagogical and didactic
considerations. The related CP are temporary.

6. Annual Programme for Inclusiveness (API)


The M.C. no. 8/2013 has extended the tasks of the Work Group of the Institute for Disability
(WGID) to the issues related to all SEN, giving them the new name of Work Group for inclusion
with the capabilities of detecting SEN present in the school and coordinating activities.
The aim is to draw up a proposal for the Annual Program for Inclusiveness (API) reported for
all pupils with SEN, for the best use of the resources to increase the schools level of general inclusiveness. The API is approved by the Board of teachers as part of the Programme of Studies.

Chapter 20 The State regulation. The Ministry of Education, University and Research
1. The Constitution
In the Constitution, which came into force on 1 January 1948, the Republic is mentioned as the
container of territorial institutions (Article 114: The Republic is made up of Municipalities,
Provinces, Metropolitan Cities, Regions and the State).
Social formations (Article 2) are recognised: associations (Article 18), religion (Article 19), family (Articles 29-31), school (Articles 33-34), trade unions (Article 39), and political parties (Article
49).
Therefore, the Republic is the framework of co-existence of the legal fundamentals to
which the Italian citizen is called upon to exercise its own rights and duties.

2. The start of the Constitutional reform in 2015


During the seventeenth legislature, the bill for Constitutional reform was being approved.
First of all, the bill provides in overcoming the two-party chamber system, assigning different
tasks, to the Chamber and Senate:
> The first is responsible for the trust relationship with the Government, continuing to exercise
the political, legislative and supervision function of the Governments actions;
> The Senate will represent the local institutions, contributing to the performance of the legislative function only in cases established by the reform.
The new Senate will be composed of ninety-five senators representing the local institutions and
five senators appointed by the President of the Republic.
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The following exposition refers to the constitutional regulations provided by the Constitution
in force, pending the approval and entry into force of the constitutional reform (Bill C. 2613-D).

3. The Parliament
Parliament is the expression of popular sovereignty.
It is made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic, elected for five
years. Both legislative assemblies have the same functions (perfect bicameralism).
Parliamentary committees are bodies of each Chamber, composed of deputies and senators
that represent, proportionally, the political forces. The most important function carried out is to
analyse the bills, which must be ready before their discussion by the whole-house.
There are three functions carried out by the Parliament: the legislative function, the control
function over the Government and the political function.
The Constitution provides, however, that the exercise of the legislative function may be delegated to the Government by determining the principles and the criteria, for a limited period
of time and for specific objects. When, in extraordinary cases of necessity and urgency, the
Government adopts, under its own responsibility provisional measures having the force of law,
it must present them the same day for conversion to the Chambers. The decrees lose effect
from their approval if they are not converted into law within sixty days from their publication.

4. The Government
The Government is a constitutional body made up of the Prime Minister and the ministers,
which together make up the Council of Ministers. The form of Government provided for in the
Constitution is parliamentary because the Government is issued by the Parliament. The Government objectifies its activities in the political leadership function of the State:
> With the tools of the government program, the draft legislation implementing the government program, the decree-laws and the decrees;
> Exercising the executive power, i.e. administrative functions by the Public Administration, in
compliance with the recognised autonomy.

5. The Ministry of Education, University and Research and its territorial branches
The Ministries are thirteen: one of them is the Ministry of Education, University and Research.
The central level of the Ministry of Education is organised in three Departments:
> The Department for the education and training system;
> The Department for higher education and research;
> The Department for programming and management of human, financial and instrumental
resources.
In each Regional capital there is a Regional School Oce (RSO). Their total number is eighteen,
as they are present in all Regions, with the exception of Valle dAosta and Trentino-Alto Adige.
The main task of the RSOs is the allocation of human and financial resources to the single autonomous schools, based on quotas determined by the Ministry.
Usually, the RSOs include:
> provincial branches (before school autonomy, these were called Education authorities);
> sub-provincial branches, intended to be the place of teachers named in function with the
new rules: such areas (of forthcoming establishment) have been established by law 107/2015.
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6. The Judiciary
After the Parliament and the Government, the Judiciary is third power, autonomous and
independent of the State.
The Judiciary represents all bodies of civil, criminal and administrative justice that exercise judicial power or judicial function. The purpose of the judicial function (from the Latin ius dicere)
is to declare the law to be applied in controversial situations and force the recipients to submit
to the decision.
The ordinary jurisdiction is divided into criminal and civil.
The Superior Council of Judiciary is the governing body of the judiciary order and is autonomous and independent from all other powers.

7. Special courts
They deal with special disputes in accordance with a specialisation criterion. Article 103 of the
Constitution identifies the following special jurisdictions:
> Administrative jurisdiction (Regional Administrative Courts; State Council on appeal);
> Accounting jurisdiction (Court of Auditors);
> Military jurisdiction (Military Courts).

8. The President of the Republic


The President of the Republic is an autonomous and independent constitutional body. His duties include:
> Acting as a guardian of the Constitution;
> Controlling and connecting the constitutional bodies of the State;
> Representing the State and national unity.
He is elected by the Parliament in joint session of its members. He remains in oce for seven
years.

Chapter 21 Territorial autonomies of the Republic


1. The territorial autonomies
Article 5 of the Constitution states that the Republic, one and indivisible, acknowledges and promotes local autonomies, implements the fullest measure of administrative decentralisation to the
services that depend on the State; adjusts the principles and methods of its legislation to the requirements of autonomy and decentralisation. Article 114 states that the Republic is composed of the
Municipalities, Provinces, Metropolitan Cities, Regions and the State.

2. The Regions
The Regions are autonomous bodies that make up the Republic. They are divided into:
1. Ordinary regions, uniformly disciplined by Section V of the Constitution;
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2. Special Statute Regions, governed by specific rules contained in the constitutional laws.
The 5 Regions with a Special Statute are Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, Sicily, Trentino-Alto
Adige/Sdtirol, and Valle dAosta/ Vallee dAoste.

3. Legislative autonomy of the Regions


Following the constitutional reform of 2001, the new Article 117 distinguishes three types of
legislative power:
> Exclusive legislative power of the State, to determine the basic levels of performances relating to civil and social rights that must be guaranteed throughout the national territory;
> Concurrent legislative power or power shared between the State and the Regions. The
State determines the fundamental principles through by-laws and the Regions issue the sector-specific legislation;
> Residual legislative power of the Regions on matters are obtainable by exclusion.

4. Legislative power of the State and Regions in the education system


Among the matters subject to the exclusive legislative power of the State, Article 117, par. 2,
point n) mentions the general education standards.
Among the matters with concurrent legislative power, Article 117, par. 3, states that Education,
except the autonomy of educational institutions, and except the vocational education and training
(which is a matter of exclusive legislation of the Regions).
Annually, the Regions deliberate the programming plan of the training offer and the dimensioning of the school network.
They can also delegate to Provinces and Municipalities specific skills or parts thereof, implementing the principle of subsidiarity.

5. Regional bodies
Regional bodies are:
> The President of the Region. Represents the Region, manages the policy of the Regional
Committee and is responsible for it, promulgates laws and issues regional regulations;
> The Regional Committee, the executive body of the Region;
> The Regional Council, elected every 5 years. It exercises legislative power.

6. The Provinces
The Province is a constitutive body of the Republic and is defined by Article 3, paragraph 3 of
Legislative Decree 267/2000 as an intermediate local authority between the Municipality and the
Region, represents the community, takes care of its interests, promotes and coordinates its development.
In the education system, the Provinces have the following key competencies:
> prepare the provincial plan of educational institutions on the territory;
> provide the buildings, furnishings and every organisational tool necessary for the operation
of the secondary schools;
> organize the school transport network.
After the reform of 2014 (Law 56), the Provincial Councils are no longer directly elected. The
draft Constitutional reform, currently in approval, provides for the abolition of the Provinces.
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7. The Municipalities
The Municipality, constitutive body of the Republic, is defined by Article 3, paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree 267/2000 as the local authority representing the community, it takes care of its
interests and promotes development. In the education system, the Municipalities have the following key competences:
> Define and manage the municipal plan of schools;
> Provide buildings, furniture and equipment to nursery schools and primary schools;
> Define the school assistance plan and the right to education, including bonuses for worthy,
capable, destitute and disabled students;
> Provide for the public transport network;
> Ensure compliance with the education obligation.

8. Metropolitan Cities
They are autonomous local authorities, reformed by Law 56/2014, whose territory coincides
with that of the homonymous Province. They have been created in the 10 largest cities on
the national territory: Turin, Milan, Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Bari, Naples and Reggio
Calabria, plus Rome, the Capital, with special regulations.

Chapter 22 Public administration in the Constitution and law


1. Public Administration in the Constitution
The Constitution devotes to the Public Administration Articles 97, 98 and 28:
> Article 97 Public oces are organised according to the law, so they ensure the good performance and impartiality of the administration (...);
> Article 98 Public employees are exclusively at the service of the State (...);
> Article 28 The ocials and employees of the State and public entities are directly responsible, according to criminal, civil and administrative laws, for the actions committed by breaching of rights ().

2. The principles of administrative action


The principles of administrative action are set forth in Law 241/1990, Article 1. The administrative activity:
> Follows the purposes determined by law;
> Is governed by the criteria of economy, eciency, advertising and transparency;
> Is also governed by the principles of European law.
Another fundamental principle is set out in Legislative Decree 165/2001 (Consolidated Law of
public employment) of which Article 4 assigns to the government bodies the functions of
political-administrative nature, as well as the verification of the compliance of the operating results with the directions issued while executives adopt the acts and administrative
measures, as well as the financial, technical and administrative management (separation between politics and management).
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3. Administrative measures
The administrative act consists of any manifestation of will, knowledge or judgement (or
mixed), put in place by the Public Administration in the exercise of its functions.
A particular category of administrative act is the administrative measure, the final act of an
administrative procedure and has authority, which consists in imposing unilateral changes to
the legal position of the recipient.
The essential elements of the administrative measure are:
> The emanating subject: competent administrative authority;
> The recipient subject: the public or private entity against which the effects of the measure
are produced;
> The form: generally written form, although in some legal procedures, the inertia of the public
administration (administrative silence) has a legal meaning;
> The object; the administrative act must relate to a specific object, consisting in a behaviour,
a fact, a good, a performance.

4. Types of administrative measures


They can be:
> Measures of public law or real administrative measures: in cases where the law assigns to
the public administration the ruling authority;
> Measures of private law, where law makes the public administration operate on equal footing with other subjects.
In turn, measures of public law can be:
> Bound measures: the public administration is subject to mandatory rules;
> Discretionary measures: the decision is issued after the assessment of the interests involved and with motivation of volition.
The certications are administrative measures that recognise factual situations.
The opinions are expressed by the advisory bodies based on the issuance of the executive decree or the resolution of the competent school body and may be mandatory or optional; binding or non-binding.

5. Subjective law and legitimate interest


With regard to public administration, legal entities can claim positions of:
> Subjective law: power of a person to assert their interest recognised by law in a direct way
and, therefore, protected by recourse to ordinary courts;
> Legitimate interest: expectation of the legality of administrative action, protected by recourse to the administrative courts.

6. Rules of administrative procedure


It is essential that the action of the public administration takes place according to certain and
transparent rules that provide:
> The obligation to conclude, through the adoption of an express measure;
> The obligation to state reasons, in reference to the factual and legal reasons that led to the
decision;
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> The appointment of the person in charge of the procedure. There is an obligation to determine and communicate to whom is interested the organisational unit responsible for the
investigation and the name of the person in charge of the procedure;
> The right of access, in order to encourage participation and ensure impartiality and transparency.

7. The faults of administrative measures


The administrative measure issued without the respect of the rules governing the procedure
and the competence is vitiated and can be invalidated.
An administrative measure is totally null only when such consequence is indicated by the law,
basically, when one of the essential elements is missing.
On the other hand the measure is invalid when there is a partial legitimacy or merit fault. In this
case the addressee must claim its invalidity by carrying out the administrative remedies: the
administrative measure adopted in breach of the law or is vitiated by an abuse of power or incompetence shall be cancelled (Article 21-octies, Law 15/2005).

8. Administrative appeals and judicial remedies


Normally, issued administrative measures are conclusive of a given procedure. The citizen who
thinks his legitimate interests were prejudiced, can resort to:
> Administrative appeals addressed the bodies of the same public administration that has
issued the administrative measure (request of objection, hierarchical appeal, extraordinary
appeal to the Head of State);
> Judicial appeals before the Regional Administrative Courts (RAC) and, on appeal, the State
Council.
The decision on the administrative appeal may be rejected by ruling, when the appeal is declared inadmissible, unacceptable or barred to proceed without the judge entering the merits
of the objection raised; or, the decision is on the merits, when the appeal is upheld or rejected.

Chapter 23 The employment relationship in Public Administration


1. The employment relationship of public employment
The employment relationship is the legal relationship which originates from the employment
contract, characterised, on the one hand, by the obligation of the employee to perform his
working activity and, on the other hand, by the obligation of wage payment by the employer
who, in the public sector, is a Public Administration.
Following the entry into force of Decree 29/1993, the public work has been privatised, i.e. attributed to the regulation of the Civil Code.
The basic principles of labour discipline for the employees of Public Administration are specified
in the Constitution (Articles 3, 35-40, 51-52, 54, and 97-98).
Legislative Decree 165/2001 (Consolidated Law of public employment) states that the employment relationships in the Public Administrations are governed by contracts entered into
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between the representative trade unions of workers and the different administrations divided
by areas of negotiation and represented by the Agency for Collective Labour Negotiations in
the public administrations.

2. Collective negotiation
Collective negotiation takes place on all matters relating to employment and labour relations
(Article 45, Legislative Decree 165/2001).
Collective negotiations, in line with Article 40 of Legislative Decree 165/2001, leads to the approval of the following documents:
> the national collective agreement framework (NCAF) lays down the rules of negotiation
valid throughout the public administration, setting the sections, contractual areas, the rights
and union prerogatives;
> the supplementary national collective agreement (SNCA) concerns the single Administrations detailing the delegated matters by the related national collective negotiation agreement;
In the school sector, the regional supplementary contract (RSC) regulates the matters expressly provided for in the national collective agreement at the level of a single USR, while the
integrative school agreement defines all other aspects.

3. Integrative school agreement


In school agreement, the public party is represented by the school manager, while the RSU
is the body representing trade unions that, in the fields reserved to integrative bargaining,
represents the personnel of the autonomous school. The RSU is accompanied by representatives of the local trade union organisations that signed the national agreement.
In 2009, following the entry into force of Legislative Decree 150, the school management was
responsible for determining the organisation of the oces and the measures related to the
management of labour relations.
Consequently, the matters subject to collective negotiation were reduced to:
> Application of trade union rights and setting the contingencies in service in case of strike
to ensure the minimum services required by law 146/1990;
> Implementation of the legislation on safety in the workplace;
Criteria for the allocation of the school fund and for the recognition of the personnel in the
activities paid from this fund.

4. School fund (SF)


The most complex matter of bargaining is the SF, funded by the resources of the national collective agreement. Its purpose is the assignment of extra compensations for the school personnel, in order to support the process of school autonomy and, in particular, the qualification
and the expansion of the training offer.
In accordance with Article 88 of the 2007 agreement, the activities of the teachers that can
be paid from the school fund are those related to the different educational, organisational, research and evaluation requirements, in collaboration with the school manager, also with atrate remuneration.

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Other activities that can be funded by the SF are:


> Extra hours for the replacement of teachers absent for short periods;
> Instrumental functions to POF conferred to teachers identified by the board;
> Specic tasks attributed to ATA personnel;
> Personnel working on projects in risk areas.
Allowance payable to the director of general and administrative services (DGAS).
Financial allocations for the above activities are communicated by the Ministry to the single
institution at the beginning of each school year.

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