An American mother tells us about Italian schools

A school year abroad

The author Deirdre Straughan in the post, ” A school year abroad”, lists a series of difference between Italian and American schools.  She also highlights the sides that the Italian school should improve.

Straughan supports her idea by telling her own experience. She moved to Italy therefore she married an Italian husband from who had a daughter, Rossella.  Rossella frequented all her five years of high school in Italy even though she failed her 4th year because of math and her mother reported the pressure that teachers put on students over there.

The first thing that she says is that the Italian school system is not well balanced because:

  • There are no extra curricular activities after school such as sports, which are not provided by the school and end up to be expensive and to take a lot of time and this privates them opportunities for awards or recognition;
  • Italian kids simply don’t have time or opportunity to do much of anything outside of school but homework, which can be demotivating for those who don’t shine at school but still have skills that they never have the opportunity to use because of lack of time;
  • Kids have to study with their parents almost all the time because the school doesn’t provide a guidance counselor, and that’s maybe why many university students seem profoundly uninterested in the degrees for which their parents studied;
  • Even if you fail just one class, you have to repeat the entire year of high school (usually a quarter of every class fails the year);
  • Italian grading are supposed to be on a scale of 1-10, with 6 being a pass, but grades above 7 don’t seem to be assigned at all routinely and in a discussion on Expats, one Italian participant opined that some high school teachers grade punitively to enhance their own sense of power;
  • The Italian government encourages students to go on exchange programs during both high school and university, but their re-entry into the Italian system is difficult because you have to study (alone or just with you parents) all summer to make up the deficit, then trying to pass exams before the new school year, so that they can rejoin their classmates in the fifth year;
  • I would also add, but that’s not reported by the author, that Italian teachers don’t know how to use computers so Italian students can’t even bring their own, unless they have dyslexia, or they can’t even type essays on the computer because there might be the chance of parents doing their kids’ homework.

The author purpose is to show how bad-balanced the Italian school is and how much there is to do in order to make things better. She also shows really well where the things to work on are so that it is easier to understand that there is another way to concept school that can be not perfect but at least better.

The author answers the research question saying that the Italian school has to work on balance and look at other school system, like the American one for example, that seems better in many ways.


This article in my opinion express totally the pure truth and it is exactly what students what to change about that terrifying school. I hope that the Italian government will hear what Americans think about their school system and that they will be so ashamed that they will have to change it because that is the only way to let teenagers live their teens happily and not scared, unmotivated and with low self-esteem.





The authors Josh Lieberman and Lesley Chilcott in the video, “What most schools don’t teach”, give reasons why everybody should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.

Lieberman and Chilcott support their idea by interviewing people that made a wealthy career using computers: Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Ruchi Sanghi, Drew Houston, Elena Silenok, Gabe Newell and Mark Zuckerberg. They all explain how young they were when they first had access to a computer. They all say that you have to know how to use a computer even if you want to become a race car driver, baseball player, house builder, in agriculture, entertainment, manufacturing because all these things have been turned upside down by software.

The authors’ purpose is to make people realize how important for every kind of job the computer is. In 2013 all depends on technology but just a few people really know how to use it and it is a shame because it is easy and fun so that schools will add more coding classes to the schedule. One million of the best jobs in America may go unfilled because 1/10 schools teach students how to code.

This author answers the research question letting speaking international business men that share their thoughts and stories. They prove how important using computers is and the sooner you learn the better.

My Opinion:

I think this video is very inspiring because big international business men, like Bill Gates, try to explain the importance of having coding classes at school because if you are comfortable using it you will be able to find a job or choosing a different kind of college sooner. That’s why, especially Italian schools, have to provide coding classes and let students use computer for homework. In order to do that teachers need to be updated about new technologies and websites so that students can have the chance to try another way of learning.

Italian Students Protest Austerity Cuts

Italian students protest austerity cuts

Christine Legault in the video, “Italian students protest austerity cuts”, explains that Italian students occupied schools and cultural symbols like the Pisa Tower and the Colosseum. The government insists it’s education reform improve efficiency and reduce costs. Monica Usai, the National Representative Student Union, arguments saying that knowledge is important not just economically but also for the social level of the country.

Christine Legault reports students’ ideas by letting the protestant students and teacher explain their situation and showing how Italian students and teachers fight for a better future. They ask the government to take care of unemployed workers, making investments in infostructure and facing the university reform to sewed the needs of today’s youth.

The author purpose is to inform people how the Italian Government is unstable and unprofessional.

The author answers the research question interviewing an Italian politician that says that Italy needs a Government that is able to give stability and proposes to face these kind of social issues.

C.R.A.V.E Reading#1

In Italy, Angry Students Occupy Schools

Barbie Latza Nadeau’s article, “Italian students protest”, explains the reasons why Italian students have occupied schools around Rome to express their anger and frustration at repeated funding cuts, chaining gates shut and camping inside classrooms.

B. Nadeau supports her idea by interviewing the student protester Tommaso Bernardi, reporting exact facts of what is happening oversea and listing all the reasons why the students are so angry: at Darwin, a high school outside of the city center, more than half of the toilets are backed up and haven’t been flushed for weeks, mice run through the halls, broken windows and cracked floor tiles are evidence of years of neglect, holes in the ceiling let in the rain, there is no hot water, teachers employ space heaters and many students wear gloves to class, Flickering light bulbs—where there are light bulbs—cast a depressing glow over the cracked plaster walls, whole floors have been cordoned off to save electricity, most of the radiators are broken, buildings haven’t been painted in years. Throughout the country, students bring their own toilet paper to school and teachers often supply their own copier paper and chalk because supplies are nonexistent. Forget about Internet connectivity and smart boards—many public schools don’t even have functioning fax machines. n some schools, class schedules have been reduced to just three days a week on rotation so teachers can be used for more than one class. Elective classes, like foreign languages, are scarce because of staffing cuts, or taught by people who barely speak the foreign languages themselves. In many cases, art and music programs—once staples in the Italian education system—are taught without supplies or musical instruments. Hundreds of administrators have been laid off over the last two years, meaning that as many as a dozen schools share the same supervisors, who are often too busy managing what little funds there are to make the rounds, leaving the school administration duties to the frazzled teachers.

The author purpose is to let people really know how the Italian Government is managing money so that other countries can encourage the Italian Government not to cut money from school and research or just to make it feel embarrassed for what they are doing.

The author answer the research question saying that the only way of making things better is to spend much more money for schools, Italy spends just under 5 percent of its gross domestic product on education—the third lowest allotment in all of Europe.


Since the article is made by a foreign journalist who saw how other countries care about schools and how much they invest on education. She sounds as embarrassed as the students who are protesting, probably because she hope that, spreading the news, the government recognizes that this situation cannot last long  in order to give a better future to Italian teenagers. I have experienced that condition but people don’t really realize how things can get better if only everybody cares about the problem and fights for it. Italians are not open-minded and they can’t see how schools are in other countries and compare them to our Italian schools.

I think that the author did a great job listing all the problems that students report, because they can give you a realistic idea of what the principles could work on if only they had the money to do it.

CRAVE Project: Step 1

TOPIC: Italian school

RESEARCH QUESTION: How can we change the way of teaching in Italian schools?