14 SES 14 A, Reconciliating Communities, Families and Schools
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the closure of the schools and remote teaching as the only way to guarantee the right to education have generated in Italy inequities among students and an increased level of social exclusion (Save the Children, 2020). It has been amplified the already existing gap between urban and rural schools in terms of connectivity, technological equipment and teacher training in the use of new technologies for innovative teaching, risking to increase the school drop-outs in remote territories of our Country (Mangione & Cannella, 2020). Distance schooling runs the risk of widening gaps and increasing educational poverty especially for small schools located in fragile territories representing 60% of Italy (Bartolini et al, 2020).
The Italian Ministry of Education, aware that a re-opening of the schools respectful of the social distance needed to expand the classrooms beyond their walls, released the “Piano scuola 2020-2021" (MIUR, 2020) aiming at bridging the gap of inequalities by promoting forms of alliance among schools, families and society. These alliances can be regarded as “reconciliation” as they are “concerned with social justice and constructions of cultural identity” (MacGill and Wyeld, 2009, p. 555). To sign this reconciliation, the Piano scuola introduces the administrative and cultural tool of the “Educational Territorial Alliance Agreement”.The Italian “educational territorial alliance agreement” is rooted into the pedagogical tradition of the ’60 based on the pedagogy of emancipation (Frabboni, 2015). Using the “School Authonomy” (Law 1999) many local administrations over the years have been able to respond to the principles of the horizontal subsidiarity and educational co-responsability at the basis of the Italian Constitution.
The “agreement”, mentioned in the year plan of the school (PTOF), is conceived not only as an administrative tool, allowing the school to set up school-community and place relationships autonomously. It represents also an educational design tool: through the agreement with local authorities and associations (provinces and territories) the school can revise its curriculum to include local perspectives. For the schools located in rural context it represents a ‘window’ of learning opportunities connected to the community (Schafft, 2016).
In many cases, the agreement has been used to open the schools to the outdoor education (Beames, Higgins, Nicol, 2012) or to use community spaces as learning environments (Smith and Sobel, 2010).
Since the Piano Scuola has been released, INDIRE through the Small schools Movement, has intercepted many italian small and rural schools that, thanks to the agreement, have experienced teaching and learning practices within museums, libraries and cultural places allowing the students to have active learning experiences and to overcome the risk of education inequality.
These experiences allow the schools to create “positive experiences for the children, and their families, educators can begin to rebuild trust and a sense of belongingness essential to reconciliation” according to what the framework of the reconciliation pedagogy suggests (MacGill and Wyeld, 2009). Learning experiences extended beyond standard places, such as classrooms and school buildings, offer “significant promise for educational endeavours that seek to educate for a sustainable future” (Hill, 2013) and to grow up students as citizens skilled in global competences (PISA 2018 Global competence) .
INDIRE, supporting the educational alliance between the school and the territory through the model of proximity school, promotes research on " Educational Territorial Alliance Agreements" for small and rural schools in order to understand how this tool can contribute to rethink spaces and times of education, encouraging a greater reference to the school autonomy to promote organizational, pedagogical and didactic projects connected to the territories’ opportunities (Chipa, Orlandini, Tosolini, 2020).
INDIRE will investigate the added value for the small and rural schools to sign alliances with the Institutions, Cultural and non profit Associations in 3 pilot contexts (Abruzzo, Emilia Romagna e Liguria regions) through the involvement of all the different levels of the school governance (Regional School Offices, Principals and teachers). The qualitative research design (Creswell, 2002) goes through 2 phases. The first phase will use research tools such as in-depth interviews to understand, from the voice of the Directors of the Regional School Offices, the reception in the territories of the “Educational Territorial Alliance Agreement” tool, its distinctive features and its potential for small and rural schools. At the end of this phase, the conditions underlying the agreement and the local actions to support familiarization and fundings for the implementation will emerge. At a later stage, the projects of some selected schools will be analyzed through comprehensive approaches (Trinchero, 2004), looking at the alliance as a key tool for change. The interpretative approaches of the text, not on a hermeneutical but on a phenomenological basis, will make possible to recognize, within the agreements, certain themes/topics or sets of actions through the a-posteriori coding of the text, identifying common aspects and uniqueness. In the attempt to find aggregations describing specific alliances in the contexts under investigation, the identified themes/topics will be deepened in order to explain the operating methods that can or want to be implemented in the small and rural schools through changes related to the revisitation of the schools’ spaces and time. Lastly, in order to measure contextual and individual factors, in-depth interviews addressed to the stakeholders (school heads, teachers and local associations) and the data gathered from the year plan of the school (PTOF) and other plans (PDM – Piano di Miglioramento) or from documents describing the school’s relationships with its community will be used. The final aim is to produce three case studies. Visual analysis methodology will be also employed to offer a new approach that comes from the ethnographic research to document, using images (Prosser, 2012), teachers and students point of views on Educational Territorial Alliance Agreements.
Experimental findings and good practices identified thought the present study will be used to identify typologies of Educational Territorial Alliance Agreements that can be used all over the Country by small and rural schools from different areas (mountains, small islands and internal areas). The National and European network of small and rural schools will benefit from sharing practices among the schools. INDIRE monitoring activity on the two networks mentioned above (the Small School National Movement and the forthcoming European network of small and rural school via European Schoolnet) will disseminate “reconciliation” actions among the involved schools and will identify others forms of alliance in order to guarantee a quality education which is “equity for all”.
Bartolini R., De Santis F, Tancredi A (2020) Analisi del contesto italiano. Piccole scuole: dimensioni e tipologie. In (a cura di) Mangione, Cannella, Parigi, Bartolini Comunità di memoria, comunità di futuro. Il valore della piccola scuola (pp. 78-93) Carocci, Roma. Beames, S., Higgins, P., & Nicol, R. (2012). Learning outside the classroom: Theory and guidelines for practice. New York: Routledge Hill, A. (2013), “The Place of Experience and the Experience of Place: Intersections Between Sustainability Education and Outdoor Learning”, in Australian Journal of Environmental Education , Volume 29, Issue 1, July 2013 , pp. 18 – 32 Cannella G, Belardinelli M (2020) L’importanza delle reti per l’innovazione didattica nelle piccole scuole. In (a cura di) Mangione, Cannella, Parigi, Bartolini Comunità di memoria, comunità di futuro. Il valore della piccola scuola (pp. 193-212) Carocci, Roma. Chipa S, Orlandini L., Tosolini A., Costruire Comunità. Il dialogo tra scuola e territorio In (a cura di) Mangione, Cannella, Parigi, Bartolini Comunità di memoria, comunità di futuro. Il valore della piccola scuola (pp. 77-88) Carocci, Roma. Creswell, J. (2002). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (1st ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education/Merrill Prentice Hall Frabboni, F (2015) La scuola comprensiva: riflessioni su curricolo verticale e continuità educativa, Edizioni Centro Studi Erickson, Trento. MacGill, B., & Wyeld, T. (2009). The need for a reconciliation pedagogy: Educating for a more holistic shared Australian cultural heritage. Conference Proceedings of the 13th International Conference Information Visualisation, (pp. 555-560). https://doi.org/10.1109/IV.2009.80 Mangione G.R.J, Cannella, G. (2020) Small School, Smart Schools: Distance Education in Remoteness Conditions in Technology, Knowledge and Learning Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 1-21 (ISSN 2211-1662), Springer Nature SharedIt Initiative. MIUR (2020) Piano scuola 2020-2021, Retrieved from https://www.miur.gov.it/documents/20182/2467413/Le+linee+guida.pdf/4e4bb411-1f90-9502-f01e-d8841a949429 Presidential Decree N.275/1999, Regolamento recante norme in materia di autonomia delle istituzioni scolastiche, Retrieved from https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/1999/08/10/099G0339/sg Save the Children (2020). L’impatto del Coronavirus sulla povertà educativa. Retrieved from https://s3.savethechildren.it/public/files/uploads/pubblicazioni/limpatto-delcoronavirus-sulla-poverta-educativa_0.pdf Schafft, K. A (2016) Rural education as rural development: Understanding the rural school–community well-being linkage in a 21st-century policy context, in «Peabody Journal of Education», 91(2), pp. 137-154. Trinchero, R. (2004). I metodi della ricerca educativa. Bari: Laterza. Woodhouse, J. L., & Knapp, C. (2000). Place-based curriculum and instruction: Outdoor and environmental education approaches. Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Appalachia Educational Laboratory.
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