04 SES 04 C, Policy Evaluation
Parallel Paper Session
What is changing in the reality of school integration of pupils with disabilities in Italy? The Italian situation is interesting because we can observe and study two phenomena. The first one: in the last two years more and more research data and opinions and perceptions of the school world and of the families have shown that school integration is not satisfactory and changes need to be introduced. The second: an intense debate has developed in 2011, both professional and academic, about the proposal by the independent report Gli alunni con disabilità nella scuola italiana: bilancio e proposte (The Pupils with Disabilities in the Italian School: an outcome and some proposals) (Associazione TREELLLE, Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, Caritas, 2011) that questions some structural aspects of Italian integration putting forward, for instance, the suppression of the support teacher role (actually there are 96,400 people in this position).
The most recent evidence of the unsatisfactory conditions of pupils with disabilities’ education was revealed by the Statistics Institute and Minister of Education (ISTAT). According to ISTAT’s survey made in June 2011 in 22,808 schools (ISTAT, 2012), in the Italian northern regions, pupils with severe disabilities attending lower secondary school spend more than 50% of the whole school time out of their classrooms,. Some of our studies, investigating families’ (Canevaro, D’Alonzo, Ianes, 2009) and teachers’ (Canevaro, D’Alonzo, Ianes, Caldin, 2011) perspective, show that the “in and out situation” is widespread and increasing (where pupils with disabilities spend only part of their time in the classroom, and part of their time remaining alone or in a little group, prevalently made of other pupils with disabilities, in a dedicated classroom with the support teacher).
As far as the protagonists’ beliefs are concerned, ISTAT data point to some families’ discontent: 12% to 16% appeal to the Court against reductions of support teachers’ timetable. The teachers, in a study involving more than 3,000 people (Ianes, Demo, Zambotti, 2010; Canevaro, D’Alonzo, Ianes, Caldin, 2011), reckon 64% of pupils with disabilities’ needs not satisfied by the present school integration. An attitude favourable to forms of neo-segregation of homogeneous groups of pupils with specific syndromes in separate training trajectories is noticed: in our study of 2010, 24,5% of teachers were inclined to segregating solutions (Ianes, Demo, Zambotti, 2010), and the same happened in the study by Fondazione Agnelli on 7,700 newly-recruited teachers in 2010 (FGA,2011).
In 2011, Italian school has been involved in the debate about the radically innovative proposals by the report Gli alunni con disabilità nella scuola italiana (Associazione TREELLLE, Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, Caritas, 2011). Particularly the two proposals about the suppression of the support teachers, to increase the number of normal teachers and to create a small number of expert teachers able to offer technical counceling to the schools, and the abolition of the pupil’s disability sanitary certification as a title to obtain more resources from the school. The extent and the kind of reactions -most of them opposite to these deep policy changes- are interesting to carry out new analyses about school integration.
ISTAT L’integrazione degli alunni con disabilità nella scuola primaria e secondaria di primo grado, Roma report 2012 Canevaro A., D’Alonzo L. e Ianes D. L’integrazione scolastica di alunni con disabilità dal 1977 al 2007 Bolzano, Bozen University Press, 2009 Canevaro A., D’Alonzo L., Ianes D. e Caldin R. L’integrazione scolastica nella percezione degli insegnanti, Trento, Erickson 2011 Ianes D., Demo H., Zambotti F. Gli insegnanti e l’integrazione , Trento, Erickson, 2010 Associazione TREELLLE, Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli e Caritas Italiana Gli alunni con disabilità nella scuola italiana: bilancio e proposte, Trento, Erickson, 2011 Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli Indagine sui neo assunti 2009-2010 Torino report 2011
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