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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana


6 febbraio 2023

The PATHS project brings philosophy to technical and vocational schools

Translation by Giulia Lombardo

Philosophy will be included in technical and professional schools as part of the civic education programme.

This is the didactic proposal recently undertaken by INDIRE – contained in PATHS (a Philosophical Approach to THinking Skills) for words – with the USRs of Piedmont, Tuscany, Molise and the Autonomous Province of the Italian Language of Bolzano, in 24 technical schools.

To date, the philosophical approach promoted by PATHS for words has involved 1,600 teachers from over 1,000 schools of all levels across the country. In this perspective of discussion and reflection on philosophy, INDIRE, with the Ministry of Education (General department for regulation) had already organized two summer schools, the PATHS Summer Schools, in 2021 and 2022, in which some educational initiatives carried out in the technical and professional institutes and in ITSs, and introducing, in the form of short interventions, philosophical reflection.

Therefore, the experimentation does not consist in reproducing the study of this discipline in a simplified way, compared to high schools, but in the possibility of using tools, strategies and methods that characterize the philosophical approach to practice the questioning method, with the aim of strengthening the search for a horizon of meaning that can help define one’s identity, also in relation to others and to the historical-cultural context. This practice will help the student develop the ability to support his/her own thesis and know how to listen, reason logically, critically interpret the different forms of communication, understand the rights and duties of the citizen condition, and acquire critical skills. It is an activity that will enrich the path of civic education, with the identification of topics and problems to be discussed with respect to the school year.

INDIRE will make available to the teachers involved in the activities a series of researchers and experts who will have a constant support function in the construction of the educational intervention. In addition to this, a training platform has been developed where inputs on how to implement the lessons in the classroom will be collected and organised in three modules: theory, i.e. short lessons and some theoretical contributions on the theme of critical thinking; practice, didactic proposals presented by secondary school teachers who have already carried out this experience; finally, there will be example situations, selected by INDIRE, which offer case studies and teaching examples to be used directly in the classroom. Alongside these interventions, some videos and webinars on the use of the PATHS philosophical approach for words will be available to teachers.

In recent years, INDIRE has launched and invested heavily in this line of research, aimed at building educational paths to strengthen critical sense and collaboration between the various disciplines that make up the curriculum, through the use of words/ordinary language, not directly linked to the traditional philosophical vocabulary.


Go to the PATHS webpage >>

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