Lifelong Learning Programme

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School dropouts and policies to achieve educational success
Colombo Maddalena
Centro Studi Erickson
TRENTO, 2010
Identification of students’ at risk
The publication consists of three sections: the first part focuses on the presentation of the national and international sociological scenario: the author offers us a precise reconstruction with reference to the issue of early school leaving and shows the steps of the analysis of this phenomenon over the years, moving from the target group of pupils at risk to the wider population exposed to multiple factors of disadvantage, both in working and social environment. It redefines the recipients of international social policies , with particular reference to the recent establishment of the NEET ( Not in Employment Education or Training) introduced by the OECD. The definition of drop-out is analyzed in parallel with the path of law enforcement policies adopted in Italy, and the author shows both the institutional framework and all the organizational measures implemented in the Italian school through an expansion of education (autonomous management of 20% school hours for additional activities to support pupils in need, expansion of training for adult education ... ) .
The second section discusses the results of a survey in the province of Brescia ( northern Italy) on ESL and communication strategies for raising the level of education conducted by the local University. They analyzed the factors that affect early school leavers, dividing them into the school system endogenous causes, "remote" causes, due to the socio - familiar context, and "hidden" causes, connected to the wrong perception of the current demands of the labor market.
In the third section some ideas for the design of local policies aimed at educational success are outlined. The results of recent experiments in other Italian cities (Milan and Naples) are reported and good practices capable of activating significant changes in the approach to the problem are shown, from a network perspective among the various partners involved, for welfare to work multilevel actions .
This publication has been chosen for the wide range of ideas which are offered because, although produced by a sociologist of education, it analyzes three aspects closely related, with consequences in the medium - long term such as school dropout : the social frame of reference both national and international (theory phase), the empirical investigation (research phase) and the strategies of intervention of the institutions involved at the local level (intervention phase) .
The author explains how the theoretical study of the ESL phenomenon has evolved over the time, from the more alarmist concept of “drop out " to the opposite, but more positive expression of " educational success " sustainable even outside the formal paths of education. This change puts the school at the center of a system in which, as the author points out , it suffers from the one side of the mistrust on the part of the business world with regard to its educational role, and, on the other, of the negative influence on young people of the subculture of the " piece of paper", reinforced by a growing demand for unskilled labor. The most successful part of the publication is that relating to the local empirical research promoted by the Catholic University of Milan in Brescia. They offered many ideas for research, especially regarding the importance of the survey updated in the micro - region: only through a detailed picture of the factors involved in dynamic phenomena such as the one in question, the multicausal links of mutual relation can be understood. The author puts the reader in front of the new horizons of social policies that have to deal with the problem of early school leavers, they have to assume an " activating " welfare, with a strong focus on synergy of policies, in particular those specific of the job world. It is shown without exception that those with low to medium levels of education are less likely to recur paths of lifelong learning: a poorly effective education system generates inefficiency in the economy's competitiveness .
But in this respect it is necessary to think about what the author suggested on the risk you take when using the job as the first criterion of citizenship, thus dwarfing the role of the school as an institution aimed at cultural empowering, a springboard for the overall growth of the man of our times.
Name of Compiler
Michela Ramacciotti
Name of Institution
Istituto di Istruzione Superiore "L. Bianciardi" Grosseto
Role in the institution
Special Needs Teacher

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.