Lifelong Learning Programme

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Success Stories

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A Strange Boy
High Secondary School
Students with learning difficulties
- Main actors involved
Matthew enrolled for the first time in the Vocational Institute for Hotel Management and Catering “G.Matteotti”- Pisa about 5 years ago. After about two months, with the first tests and assessments, we realized that he had some problems in writing, but, in addition to this, he didn't want to read or study the different subjects that required reading either. As we, as teachers, hadn't received any special report on him, we went on observing his behaviour and performance. The boy did not seem to be the same person that came out of his written and oral tests, so we decided to call his parents. Once they were informed of the situation, the boy's parents too confirmed a sense of discomfort in the boy's coming to school, but they thought it depended on the change of school and friends. However, they did not judge it necessary to have their child examined by doctors. They simply said: "It will pass...". By the end of the school year the boy was not admitted to the next class for serious and widespread bad marks.
At the beginning of the new school year history repeated, parents were called and informed that the class council had remarked Matthew's serious difficulties in reading accurately and fluently, and his scarce writing skills. Parents were forced to reflect on the situation, take the boy to a psychologist who sent them to the local health corporation - functional unit on mental childhood and adolescence health - where he was diagnosed with " Specific Learning Disabilities”(DSA).
The Class Council, when it was aware of the situation, adopted all the methodological strategies and educational dispensatory and compensatory measures in order to help Matthew.
Matthew has become a different student now: he's attentive, interested and aware of his skills. He's able to carry on his studies very seriously and has good results in the professional subjects.
Today he is about to have his final exam, and he will definitely make a good examination.
My point of view - in this and many other situations - is to remark the fact that school in some cases moves too late. School, in the first analysis, does not question the reasons for students' not learning enough and motivates learning with little listlessness with little consistency in doing tasks or an excessive exuberance.
Parents often support the boy with homework, sometimes they exasperate him, sometimes they doubt their child's skills or commitment, ignoring his discomfort that is often highlighted by moodiness, crying, depression, etc.
At some point in the story - that is different for everyone, but has a common denominator: suffering, lack of understanding, discomfort - the possibility that experts could help students, parents and teachers comes forward. At that time the story becomes difficult in some respects, but then it takes a right turn and can really change the lives of some boys.
In my humble opinion I think we should have fewer students in our classes in order to understand their difficulties and be able to intervene in time and with so much love.
The differences of some can become wealth for others...

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.