On Saturday, June 10, Indire organises on the island of Favignana, in the province of Trapani, the first meeting of the Small Schools Movement, open to all schools and networks of mountain and island schools, and to all those institutes which, both for their size and the characteristics of their territory, experience isolation problems (such as the ex Stabilimento Florio). The issue concerns about 300,000 students from around 200 island schools and 3500 Italian mountain municipalities.
As happened with the Network of “Avanguardie educative”, a Manifesto was drawn up, followed by a series of activities designed to enhance the educational quality of geographically isolated schools.
The Minister of Education, Valeria Fedeli; the President of Indire, Giovanni Biondi and the Institute’s researchers are going to participate in Favignana’s event. Indire’s researchers have been following for many years the activities of some isolated schools, such as Marettimo, Lampedusa, the school network on the Tuscan Apennines (project Errequadro) and the network of schools in Liguria, starting with the Comprehensive Institute of Sassello, in the province of Savona.
As it is easy to guess, schools in the mountain municipalities and small islands have to face many organisational and educational challenges every day: school dimensions, mixed-age classes, from staff number reduction to high teachers’ turnover, threatening teaching continuity. All these problems obstacle the preservation of the schools and the education provision of isolated areas in the mountains and by the sea.
The aim of the 10 June event is therefore to promote and disseminate inclusive didactic practices and to reflect, together with headmasters, teachers and local administrators on the opportunities offered by new technologies and tools, already in use in the National School Network of Small Schools. Many institutes have long been experimenting models and methodologies to overcome isolation: the hope is that through confrontation opportunities such as the event in Favignana, it will be possible to enhance current experiences and turn geographically isolated schools into a point of reference for the entire territory, while guaranteeing access to quality education and the end of isolation.
«We know that small schools are struggling to survive from the economic and, above all, from the quality of the educational provision point of view» – stated the President of Indire, Giovanni Biondi – «For years, Indire has been engaged in ensuring that the disadvantages of small schools would be turned into an opportunity of high quality education. Today, new technologies enable to create borderless educational scenarios, thus enhancing the potentials and the great advantages that these territories offer».
Over the years, the research carried out by Indire made it possible to offer teachers of the Small Schools Network some well-established models: a specific one on “shared didactics“, with the daily use of videoconferencing between two or more classes of different educational institutions; and one oriented to the “extended learning environment“, through which one or more classes work on a common disciplinary project, and organise periodic meetings between teachers, students and experts by making a reasoned and intelligent use of technology and distance teaching.
Schools are invited to attend the conference, join the Manifesto and take part in the activities that will be promoted and will spring out of this meeting.
Since it is a network that involves the whole school, participation in the event is not on an individual basis: teachers need to be authorised by their headmaster.
The programme of the meeting will be published in the coming days.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to know more about this topic?
- The Small Schools Manifesto
- National network of Small Schools website
- “Small Schools”: presentation of the project on indire.it
- Facebook page