Lifelong Learning Programme

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Success Stories

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From Poetry to Photography: Two Different Ways of Communicating
High Secondary School
Students with learning difficulties
- main actors involved
The main protagonist of this success is myself, my stubbornness, my parents, the person in charge of the autobiographical workshop and the history teacher of the first and second classes.

My story of success started at the beginning of the secondary school, at the Vocational Institute for Graphic Design and Advertising of Grosseto. The experience with the world of education has not been positive so far, only a primary school teacher was dedicated to me when I did not understand the explanations, the other teachers just made me draw, because they thought that I was not able to do anything else or at least only the bare minimum. In the fourth grade, as the school suggested to my parents, I was assigned a support teacher and began to achieve some good results. But the real problem started at the middle school: when I expressed myself in the subject that most interested me and towards which I had been unconsciously driven by my teachers, I was not appreciated, because I always tried to express what I felt beyond the assigned task: I always wanted to put something "mine" in everything I said, and this was viewed as a fault, not as a resource to be exploited. Three years ago I was suggested attending a workshop based on autobiography. I brought poems that I kept locked in a drawer, because I thought of no interest for other people. Somebody appreciated them, instead ( last year I was awarded with a publication of those poems). I came to secondary school with great anxiety, and I started to get interested in those subjects in which I was able to put my ideas. Some teachers have seen me as a resource and, confident, I started studying with passion everything about art, graphics and the world of expressiveness in general. I attended basic courses of specific software for graphic design and photography, one of my great passions, although I had to stop because my parents could not afford the costs required, but my experience was enough to undertake the self-taught study of Photoshop, Illustrator and Three D studio max, with great effort, but also with much satisfaction. Since last year I took part in competitions with my friends: I've never won, but I was always chosen among the best authors. An important input was the encouragement received by my history teacher: a theatre actor, he made me experience the subject he taught and encouraged me to undertake the study of singing, the only hobby that my family can financially support today. Certainly some school subjects are complicated for me: I know I have some difficulties, but thanks to my support teachers I try to study them anyway, and try to do my best following their suggestions.
Now I'm in my fourth year, last year I managed to get the status of graphic design and advertising operator with a score of 92/100 points.
- Give evidence of the possible explanation of the success
I certainly have embarked on a path of higher studies perfectly suited to my inclinations, as I may be allowed the development of the creative side of my personality. During the last 4 years of secondary school my self-esteem has increased, I managed to acquire an effective study method, especially planning carefully domestic workload. This allowed me to accept my difficulties in some subjects (such as Mathematics and Foreign Languages) while, at the same time, I was able to improve in the field of professional skills, enriched by the knowledge of the things learned on my own.

- Analyse the interaction between the different actors Involved
Surely the various components worked together. The Autobiographical workshop organized by ASL (Local Health Authority) has laid the foundation for my becoming aware of my skills. The school, with the curriculum of vocational studies together with compulsory internship, allowed me to have significant contacts with the world of work. It also made my inter-disciplinary work visible through its publication on the school website and participation in " orders" received from local companies or national organizations working for social and cultural events in the area.

- Describe the action of educational policy, either at local, regional or national level (considerations of the writer)

1. Assignment of the support teacher to the student's class, according to national law (L.104/92) for a "slight delay in learning at school"

2.Support actions from local health authority with interventions such as the autobiographical workshop, which resulted in a non-profit organization publication, with the participation of the Region of Tuscany and of the province of Grosseto.

3.Intervention of the Center for Employment to the detection of work grants supported by protected admission for over-16 students belonging to protected categories. (Memorandum of Understanding drawn up between the school and the Provincial Administration).

- Identify and describe the potential transferability of the experience
(Considerations of the writer)

- The possibility to prepare an IEP ( Individual Education Plan) has allowed us not to disadvantage the student in the subjects of the logical-linguistic area, through the provision of equivalent examination tests. The interaction of the support teacher promoted the overcoming of the handicap in the subjects of greatest difficulty.

- The specific vocational course of study allowed the student, in this case, to specialize in "tools" in step with the times for a future job placement (knowledge of specific software for multimedia products).

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.