SCHOOL / From evaluation to orientation, annual assessment and what it takes

The ballot papers are closed, the door to the state exam opens, numbers … numbers … numbers, how much these tools are able to make explicit the value of our children is hard to say.

Doubt, confusion and mistrust prevail.

Positive judgments are extremely rare, so much excitement, so much anger, a bit of the education alliance that our education offer plans (Pof) are full of.

Could we not rethink teachers as good clothing retailers? Is the metaphor too economical? if the merchant has silk in his hands, he does not confuse it with satin, damask or brocade, if it is wool, he must know its many qualities and differences (cashmere is not shetland or lambswool), and if a fabric has a torn part can be repaired or maybe put a patch on it. Europe was also born with clothing retailers.

Outside the metaphor: until almost the end of primary school, evaluation continues to be the subject of study and training (think of the precious timely diagnosis of disorders or special needs or the recent changes in evaluation criteria, the transition to judgments that are descriptive in primary) , in a dynamic perspective, which opens up for developments, improvements, the final judgment instead, we know, cages. Students who achieve results between 8 / tenths and 10 / tenths in high school, lower results than technicians and professionals, win the Gentilian model again.

The great Alexis Carrel, a writer dear to many readers, reminded us as early as 1958 to observe, long before we made final judgments, and yet the character in many middle schools still crystallizes intelligence, potential, promises in pre-packaged paths; poor orientation is prodromal to failure, repetitions, fruitless changes.

How much artistic, musical and craft creativity has been wasted? Not recognized and targeted at schools where abstraction prevails, destined to create failures and suffering?
How many students approach e.g. information technology, simply because they are fascinated by the digital, without knowing that a lot of logic, rigor and procedures await them instead? Insured failure, lost years, failure, recurrences, dropouts.

First constructive step: a more serious, eclectic orientation, aimed at meeting paths and professions that can cross the “more intelligences” that have been talked about for decades, but which are struggling to be recognized in our country, especially in schools .

Professional children continue to choose the classical and science high school, getting the artistic, technical and professional to the “others”.

Even the state / equal system from which a fertile osmosis could arise has to a large extent seen the spread of colleges, although absolutely positive experiences should not be ignored, as we see with enormous respect for, first and foremost the Salesian technical tradition, but also heroic experiences such as. as those of In-socket and Galdus.

But what happens in high school?

The system is leaking: a big change is needed. The oldest among us will remember another metaphor, present in all primary school texts: in June autumn, autumn.

Perhaps this idea also retained something violent at the time, the ripe golden ears with swollen and precious grains “suffered laughter”, some fell.

But it was a different Italy.

Data from the polls for this June, but we expected it, they say of an increase in the number of rejected, by students who were not scrutinized for an excessive number of absences; in some schools, with daring decisions to say the least, it was decided not to go beyond the two subjects (or disciplines there are), with three subjects it was “rejected”, a terrible expression, exclusively Italian, the other European countries to indicate that the error has used somewhat less aggressive terms (To pass English, not promoted in German, doubles in French)

The well-known D’Avenia, in its Monday column on curesmasterfully he played with words, he suggested that the school not fail the students, but rather let them flourish. An amnesty then?

No, but a serious reflection on criteria and methods for choosing from a perspective of educational success. We know of schools where this path is activated, where scrutiny is preceded by interviews with students and parents, where teachers, expert clothing retailers, focus their gaze on who the student is, not just on what they know.

But this is not always the case: I remind the layman that the timing of the inquiry is conditional, that the bureaucratic requirements are very complex, and that often only some cases are dealt with with the necessary qualities of calm, competence and justice.

The two opposing views are still often expressed in the examination: an inappropriate kindness or an excessive rigor, of which “ti boccio” is the most emphatic but eloquent expression of the climate of the prevailing individualism.

I decide (alone), you, another colleague, do not know the elements of my discipline that I consider indispensable. I will bow to you, my student, or I will assign you the education debt. In the second case, however, the remedial courses that the schools activate are not sufficient, and for needy families, the activation of private tuition is unthinkable.

This method can no longer work, especially compared to other systems that are much shorter than ours.

Economists know how much a school year costs; a few years ago there was a mention of 40,000 euros per. students, now probably even more.

Many European countries have long since introduced other systems: if you struggle in mathematics (almost all of our students struggle in mathematics … another question that Daniela Lucangeli has been trying for some time) you will not be able to sign up at . the polytechnic or a faculty where mathematics is basic, unless you are taking a preparatory course with a final exam.

After all, university exams are a certain barrier, why not think about different levels of certification?

Parents who are uneducated or of non-Italian descent, and they are many, they do not know where to turn, they drag themselves bitterly from one school to another (the permits are now widespread) along a winding road, often a prelude for the son to the role of Neet; professionals, the equipped, compare each other, compare performance and evaluations and accuse us (if all goes well) of a surplus of arbitrariness (and a little bit, that’s true … not of originality or personalization, of arbitrariness, which is quite other things …) the professional is now used to explaining his work based on common and readable tools and can no longer endure the restraint that unfortunately still lurks in the school world.

It really is a system that no longer holds.

Giuseppe Bertagna, from the University of Bergamo for some time, has been shouting his solutions: to improve, but above all to study the common European framework for skills, a category that the high school does not want to bow to (think about completing the certification of skills at the end of the compulsory and the student’s curriculum during the state exam), insists Giorgio Vittadini (read the article published here “Thinking with your hands”), but we, women and men in school do not care, we will acquaintances.

It does not matter if we are dealing with knowledge that is not always essential as they represent the essential palette of the teacher, from there we are not caught.

Yet gloomy signs tell us that the plant is obsolete. An anecdote, or rather two: the first very short, at the state exam, more and more students declare that they can not write in italics, not the dysgraphic … the lazy!

The other, just as tasty: Teatro alla Scala, high school students, spectators in the boxes, preferred to follow the text in basic English for tourists on display, because the text from the old librettist was too difficult … And we still discuss the indispensability of some authors, by the necessity of the traditional literary canon.

About the difficulties of teaching mathematics and foreign languages we have already mentioned, but the debate is open, especially for foreign language companies report an excessive commitment in the initial training of our technicians compared to peers from other countries, but we do not want a functional school for the market and therefore, for example, we continue to propose a lot of literature in the language for children who do not even read in their mother tongue …

To conclude: methods recruitment of new teachers Much has already been said in this newspaper, it has already been widely emphasized that the school needs professionals, not apprentices, and professionals must be sought with effective methods and possibly remunerated in a dignified manner.

Rethinking the organization of the school year with a significant investment in the summer period (at least until 10 July and from 20 August) with a clear revision of the employment contracts.

A lot of funds these days come from PNRR funds for anti-proliferation projects, but only for some schools, and the award criteria are not very clear … other controversies … other wars between poor schools!

In addition, there is a need for a serious commitment to revising curricula that seriously distinguishes between essential and optional and an equally serious education in evaluation methods and criteria where a distinction is made between certification (necessarily standardized) and formative dimension.

Children on the street or worse yet, alone in front of the screen, can no longer stay, many parents can no longer tolerate us, the university emphasizes the inadequacy of preparation and the productive world as well.

It is clear that we have experiences that should be disseminated and replicated in order to be regarded with extraordinary esteem, just think to the Portofranco experience or the like that repairs hundreds of children each year, but the system can also be repaired.

The risk (also associated with the NRP’s potential) is huge unfinished investments, the loss of a very rich traditional heritage struggling to renew itself, and above all the proliferation of many young people with many fragility.

It is almost as urgent as the environmental issue, perhaps more.

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