Studies in Italian school system anarchy Part 437

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I see (thanks to the weekly round-up from NAEE) that Reuters is reporting that from next September, Italy will make it compulsory for schoolchildren to study climate change and sustainable development.

It is easy to scoff at such command and control statements, especially given the anarchic state of the Italian political economy – and I remember a similar statement being made 25 years ago about environmental education in Italian schools being mandated by the government.  At the time, an Italian environmental educator said: "and therefore this will happen".  I laughed at the easy cause and effect assumptions expressed.

And I'm still tempted to do so now, despite the fact that the Education Minister said:  "The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the centre of the education model."  It is easy to say this, but hard to do because of baked-in assumptions by civil servants and those who run schools about what education is for.

Anyway, as the current minister said that there will only be 33 hours per year "devoted to climate change issues" that hardly seems revolutionary as 33 hours per year is less than an hour a week.
The minister also said that "many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics [will be] studied from the perspective of sustainable development" which means that for the vast majority of the week they won't be.  That is, life will be as normal.  As such, I suspect that little of substance will actually happen.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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