No recent event make us talk about school more than COVID.
“DAD” (didactic on distance) was probably one of the keywords of the pandemic era. However, the most widespread opinions, supported by statistics, speaks about that as an educational failure, actually.
Technology, hailed as the best and only solution (and financed on the same way), is now a convenient scapegoat: the useless debate between “apocalyptics” and “integrated” has regained strength. But technology favors or allows only some of the processes involved in educational dynamics, and, though powerful, a “medium” remain just a “medium”.
At the end of the day, the quality of work depends on the quality of people; and the quality of teachers is an even more complicated subject than COVID. And it is so for a thousand reasons, first of all the fact that the outcome of “good teaching” is difficult to recognize and certify, which is why for years we have been floating between the “coldness” of INVALSI data, the more or less plausible comparisons with foreign systems and a system that has transfigured this difficulty into a taboo, a category that does not accept evaluations of any kind or even structural changes (by “structural” change I mean, for example, the request for approaches that do without the textbook and improve using of technology).
However, as I said, at least it has been talked about, because the truth is that the covid era has highlighted mostly pre-existing difficulties.
The “educational success” depends by many reasons and it would be important to analyze them all. There are responsibilities of families, of politics, of the students themselves.
But now I must talk about school.
While the people feels (or like to feel) that everything has been done “in parentheses”, and wants to come back to the good old days, as if nothing had happened, we find ourselves in the embarrassing situation in which some schools did a lot of things and want to be thanked for, and some did nothing or should have better done nothing. Some teachers were absolutely good and some absolutely wrong.
We don’t speculate on percentages of good and bad ones but I have to notice that just 6% of Italian teachers were involved in training course in the past two years. If the situation was so difficult, I would have expected, along with the decree mandating the implementation of the Plan on Integrated Digital Teaching, at least the temporary training obligation.
Looking forward to another similar school year, managers and teachers should have spent the second half of June and the first half of September NOT teaching to the students, but studying and discussing, to understand what to propose this year. I’m talking about goals and methods, but also about tools, of course.
I think it was worthwhile even at this time.
I, too, maintain that the Support Decree was made with good intentions and good objectives. Moreover, schools have already had a lot of money to implement these activities. But in practice, what are the prevailing activities? Have they really been selected based on the criteria of the decree? Who will control them? How understand if activities were working?
In conclusion the problem of student recovery is less urgent than quality of teaching.