SCHOOL / “The adventure of restarting a locked student”

“We looked back at working with them, and we looked at them.” This, in a nutshell, an attempt to regain English in high school, born of the need of two colleagues who wondered “how to start a blocked student”. During the last school period, one hour a week was set aside to resume the content, form two groups and exchange students based on the levels of learning achieved.

In the new team, many felt more free to ask or suggest their attempts and the final verification consisted of the request for an annotated work, where each, if he could not do an exercise, should try to explain why, in order to. become aware of their own learning.

A teaching that has proven to be profitable, where the recovery has lost any connotation of repetition and essentially consisted of a dialogue between free subjects. There were very few debts in these classes: a consequence, not a starting point in imitation of the highly praised Finnish system, pointed to as an example of an innovative school, with zero proliferation rate, by the President of the National Association of Principals (NPC) Antonello Giannelli during a hearing in the Culture Commission in the Chamber: “We register a strong dissatisfaction among children with going to school and exercising. And I think the essential matrix is ​​to be found in the ‘pagan’ matrix of our cycles of inquiry, which generate dispersal. The “transmission” education system is in crisis, this is another reason why innovation is needed, and I would like to draw attention to the case of Finland, where there are no errors and the proliferation rate is zero, and I am not talking about a political ‘6’ “. Therefore, Giannelli concluded,” we must ensure that our teachers are able to ‘convince’ our students of the good by starting a learning process “.

It is understood that the definition of a ‘transmissive’ school is not entirely clear, demonized in so much teaching literature (if a school it does not transfer culture from one generation to the next and does not invite it to scrutiny of tradition, does it make sense to exist?); while we consider it unconvincing to attribute only an epoch crisis like the one we are experiencing to the non-Jewish framework of the school, where the phenomenon of withdrawal from engagement, from life, from studies, from work is widespread among young people and adults, in school and in the world of work, a sign of a lack of meaning in living, of awareness of the task, of serious commitment to one’s own life and to others, it is clear that we must take the call to ensure that our students are convinced of it good at starting a learning process. Or rather: get our students involved in an exciting experience of knowledge and invest in themselves.

This was the central theme of the graduating faculty at the Grossman Foundation Schools, which gathered in the shade of the trees in the courtyard on the balmy afternoon of June 30 to try to answer the question: “What have we learned from and what steps of consciousness have we achieved in terms of the use of reason, devotion and freedom in knowledge and relationships? ”

Many interventions from teachers at all school levels, from childhood to high school, where the paths that were tried during the year to involve students in the work emerged. First and second grade high school teachers of Italian told about their self-training path with the theme of “demand”, which is considered an essential factor in putting students, science subjects, in a genuine and passionate dialogue with the subject of their discipline: the text.

The “question” was the subject of theoretical reflection and critical analysis: during the year, the teachers met to evaluate and improve the questions asked of the texts to start the interpretation process and analyze the questions the students asked, in terms of optics to refine the ability to question disciplinary objects by involving the children in the interpretive adventure.

Surprisingly similar to the experiment proposed by the kindergarten teachers and the Greek and Latin in the classical high school: the former set the whole school year on the dramatized story of The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by CS Lewis. The teachers represented the episodes of the story in installments, each interpreting a character, and the path proved to be able to instill expectations and patience in the children and also in the parents who were invited not to anticipate the events in the text, as well as strengthen knowledge and lexical properties, stimulated by a text of undoubted literary value. Thanks to the appeal of the characters, which favored the identification of the children, the story also provided an opportunity for a moral education that embodied important themes in the events such as the struggle between good and evil, betrayal and forgiveness. …

An antidote to proliferation is certainly the involvement in major stories through narration and dramatization of semantically dense texts, at all school levels, as opposed to a misconception of inclusion that suggests lowering the level of didactic suggestions so as not to create inequality. Students expect from adults, an art teacher said, that they should not make things easier for them, but that they should be involved in paths that meet the needs of their heart.

Like the kindergarten, the department of classical languages ​​worked on the possibility of a textual approach to language learning, not satisfied with the idea that the first years are dedicated to a purely grammatical study of the language that does not care about the sense of question. The risk of studying texts only as tools to know the language, to parcel the analysis on elements or morphology or syntax is high in the two-year period, and there is a risk of postponing the unit meeting with the text to the three-year period, which demotivates the students. .

Reason is, in fact, an organism, not a mechanism, and is satisfied only in the encounter with the meaning of things. The experiment is underway to suggest texts of a certain length from the very first year, because in order to gain access to the meaning of a text, one needs a context, and reading myths and stories together in their entirety helps to deduce the. We therefore read in installments with the students, where an expectation of the continuation is also generated, and the contextualisation helps to move oneself in front of unknown morphological and lexical structures and teach them.

These and other interventions have highlighted that in order to combat early school leaving, lack of love for studies, lack of investment in oneself and in its future, it is first and foremost necessary for students to experience the importance of the content they propose. And it happens on the condition that the teachers re-acquire their disciplines, that is, that they know how to choose content that suits the meaning requirement that sits in the students’ hearts, propose strategies and tools that are suitable for getting to know them in the current conditions, deconstructing and rebuilding their knowledge with the students. share their trials and tribulations with colleagues because the task of educating and educating today is extremely difficult and impossible to face alone; are realistic and flexible given the constraints that reality poses as an opportunity for innovation, including students’ questions, fears and uncertainties. Because rigidity, stereotypes and schematicism are the real obstacles for a school that through the relationship intends to involve and excite students in itself and in reality.

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