Calidoni, Paolo (2005) Experiences of Education for Democratic Citizenship in Italian Schools in Recent Years: Research Lines. In: INVALSI–CIDREE. Building Democracy in Europe Through Citizenship: EducationEuropean Year of Citizenship Through Education: General Assembly 2005 CIDREE, Frascati 17th November 2005. .  p. Technical Report.
The research assumes the definition of Education for Citizenship proposed by the Council of Europe: “is a set of practices and principles that aim to make young people and adults better equipped to participate actively in democratic life by assuming and exercising their rights and responsibilities in society” . The main questions of the research are borrowed from the area ‘Curriculum Teaching and Learning’ of the ‘Tool for quality assurance of EDC in schools’ : - Is there evidence of an adequate place for EDC in the school’s goals, policies and curriculum plans? - Is there evidence of students and teachers acquiring understanding of EDC and applying EDC principles to their everyday practice in schools and classrooms? - Are the design and practice of assessment within the school consonant with EDC? The information/data-base is –mainly- the on-line documentation of schools (good) practices, collected by National Institute for the Documentation of Innovation and Research in Education and by other organizations. Evidences. In italian schools, according to the examinated documents, EDC seems to be - an educational principle firmly sustained - a teaching content relevant in specific educational activities - carried on already from nursery schools; developed by the whole school within compulsory education; mainly an initiative of one or few teachers in secondary school, added to social studies classes - developed thanks to the “meeting and melting” of different interests: - from inside (specific problems or care) - from external institutions (ministerial or international, mainly european) - from external organizations and groups (local authorities, non-profit organizations, lobbies) - focused on the development of an active, participate, overnational citizenship that leads to a social and political status more than a legal one - crosscurricolar and interdisciplinary activity in nursery and primary schools; while in secondary schools it often moves from one specific subject to the others (pluridisciplinary approach) - carried on by active teachers working together and with experts and militants from outside the school too. - Developed through active teaching/learning strategies including discussions, teamworks, workshops, researchs and scientific, literary and artistic productions (monographs, exhibitions, shows, multimedia), simulations and fieldworks - aimed to the dissemination, implementation and sharing of values and awareness, information and knowledge of citizenship; the practice of skills and competences is focused on specific activities or on daily life - evaluated more by qualitative appreciations on the experience, its contents and values, than using structured and formal instruments - concluding, it’s more a teaching/learning topic than a daily school practice Suggestions. The report suggests that EDC is a complex, multilevel and integrated action strategy within the school and in interaction with society. So, starting from daily school practice and rules, EDC should be developed throught crosscurricolar activity and as social and civics studies subject and with specific projects, together. Concluding, the author proposes a plan of action-researches aimed to develop EDC practice in italian schools, using the strategy and methodology suggested by the Council of Europe in the quoted ‘Tool for quality assurance of EDC in schools’. That is a bottom-up approach and not only a top-down one.
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