The rhetoric of an alleged school reform, meritocracy

Reform of Patrizio Bianchi’s school

As expected from last Economic and financial document in April last year, the share of GDP to be allocated to education in 2025 will pass from 4% to 3.5%, just over seven billion less in three years. This simple fact should at least make it clear that despite the rhetoric about an alleged school reformwhich should begin with the training, updating and meritocracy of teachers, in Italy education is overtaken in terms of investment priorities, by other needs, including the race to equipped and send war materials to the Ukrainian resistance.

In relation to the school reform, finally approved by the Folketing with decree no. 36, the Minister Patrizio Bianchi he confirmed that the possibility of responding to Europe is at stake precisely in the training of teachers from the Italian public school, “who asked the question of profitThat’s exactly the problem with meritocracy it should therefore be addressed precisely because it has been neglected by those who have managed Italy with a protection system for years.

This is such an important issue in reality that it should not wait for a random interlocutor to be asked and confronted, because it is in fact necessary to legitimately establish that the most deserving, the bestmust occupy the appropriate items to utilize their abilities can be traced back to the reflections of Plato in Republic.

It is clear that in the common mentality, permeated by the neoliberal ideology of driven individualism and by unbridled competition, a now divided idea has found its way: individuals are not all the same. The myth of equality (about opportunities, rights, gender, etc.) now appears fine almost exclusively in the abstract speeches of some nostalgic champion of dried-up forms of utopian socialism, or of those who, in a way considered most childish, refer to the content of the most important International and national mapswhich, however, remain a dead letter, especially when confronted with a strong ideology, the one woven around the concept profit.

We are all willing to call back at equal opportunitiesto the need to minimize the different starting points that at a social and economic level can prevent individuals from developing their talents, but then we use this leveling (achieved, we repeat, only at an abstract level) to justify the possibility of creating new inequalities, thechanceit is, to actually become odd[1].

It is clear that the existence of some form of inequality, starting with the economic treatment that should be reserved for those who perform the same tasks but with poorer or different results, for example, should ring an alarm bell and demand reasons. But the bell does not ring, and the voice of our hypothetical inner conscience reminds us that it is indeed true: to whom deserves better treatment must be reserved!

Yet there is a question which does not return with regard to the recognition and assessment of the merits of a particular category of state workers, viz. teachers the teachersas a number of crucial issues that leave us very confused should be clarified upstream, such as: how do you recognize a teacher who is better than another and deserves a token in the payslip? On what basis, it is assumed objectively, can the difference between a better teacher and a less good teacher be measured? Provided the teacher’s job is educate, teach, transfer knowledge to students who are responsible for assessing their merit, ie their ability to correctly and concretely complete their professionalism directly in the classes? The final result reported in the report card in numerical terms by students may be the criterion of the distinction between those who have done their job correctly and those who have not done so at all, and support progressive policies[2]?

In short, it seems to us that in the light of all these paradoxical questions, obviously left without a solution of the school reform that the Minister had foreseen. whitethere is a huge misunderstanding of the meaning of profit, in which a destructive pedagogical prejudice against the world of the school is secretly insinuated. At the end of the day, in the scheme that seems to appear in Legislative Decree No. 36, which established Higher Education School for teachers, with additional public expenditure, those who prove more suitable, downstream, in the role of teacher, who prove to be didactically effective, are better off in the classeswhich promotes the fundamental values ​​of education together with disciplinary knowledge, but those who adhere to and adhere, upstream, to several projects delivered and imposed by the aforementioned Schoolaccording to a scheme that seems to us to follow it by Ideological State Apparatus, repeatedly mentioned, without the possibility of freely accessing courses according to one’s needs. It’s about training and mandatory updating in disciplines that not in school, but elsewhere they considered themselves necessary to guarantee the competitiveness of the world of work, both in the rigorous logic and in the lexicon that underpins their ideological structure.

In addition, we read with a pun that leaves you stunned, from the decree that “continuing education“To be performed”outside opening hoursIt’s clear that the ministry is once again trying to get it all, ie trained, inspired, motivated teachers, offers very little, ie salaries, which despite runaway inflation has stood still for ten years. All this happens while taking care of the growth of professionalism, teachers are humiliated by a continuous escalation of the bureaucratic workloads to be carried out. To us, this, more than a school reform, seems to be the most outrageous caricature of a heady summer that will unfortunately not be followed, as in recent years, by any hot autumn!

[1] P. Barrotta, Disadvantages of profitRubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli 1999, p. 21.

[2] P. Mastrocola, L. Ricolfi, The scholastic injury. The progressive school as an inequality machineTheseus ship, Milan 2021.

Of Michele Lucivero And Andrea Petracca.

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