I grew up in Italy and attended both elementary and secondary school there. Attending public school was an enjoyable, yet pretty standardized experience; core competences were not part of the curriculum and the model privileged ideas over reasoning, questioning, and inquiring. Things are changing in Italian schools thanks to the work of Prof. Federico Corni and a group of teachers employing Learning in Depth programs in their classes. How I wish I could go back in time and go back to school right now!
We interviewed a group of teachers that implemented LiD into their classrooms over the past few years. One of the highlights that every teacher noticed is the sense of community and sharing that the introduction of LiD brought to the school: students shared and exchanged materials, information, and collaborated with each other. One teacher said:
“Kids learned mainly by interacting and collaborating with peers and giving primary importance to treating each other well together in the learning community. This project has served to increase student curiosity and interest, improve communication skills, strengthen confidence, and create moments of sharing and collaboration”
Moreover, these LiD programs have encouraged the creation of connections between school subjects and student topics. The students have become independent researchers and learned about different methods to interact with a topic. This teacher recalled the surprise and excitement of one student:
“I will always remember Viola who, with an emotional and happy voice, said to me: ‘Teacher, there are many volcanoes but… I thought there was only one. Can I tell my classmate?’”
Click here to listen to more children testimonies about their experience with LiD.
Worldwide, Learning in Depth programs in Italy have been most successful in schools where parents, teachers, and principles understand the value of it and work together to create a successful learning environment. Click here to listen to a parent describing her experience watching her daughter exploring and researching her topic.
I am excited to see the Italian programs grow and to learn and discover how my home country is implementing LiD into its curriculum.