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Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

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Overview Italy

Contents

Italy:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Italy:Historical Development

Italy:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Italy:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Italy:Political and Economic Situation

Italy:Organisation and Governance

Italy:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Italy:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Italy:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Italy:Organisation of Private Education

Italy:National Qualifications Framework

Italy:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Italy:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Italy:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Italy:Funding in Education

Italy:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Italy:Higher Education Funding

Italy:Adult Education and Training Funding

Italy:Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Primary Education

Italy:Organisation of Primary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Italy:Assessment in Primary Education

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Italy:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Higher Education

Italy:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Italy:First Cycle Programmes

Italy:Bachelor

Italy:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Italy:Second Cycle Programmes

Italy:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Italy:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Italy:Adult Education and Training

Italy:Distribution of Responsibilities

Italy:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Italy:Main Providers

Italy:Main Types of Provision

Italy:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Italy:Teachers and Education Staff

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Management and Other Education Staff

Italy:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Italy:Management Staff for Higher Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Quality Assurance

Italy:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Educational Support and Guidance

Italy:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Italy:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Italy:Mobility and Internationalisation

Italy:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Mobility in Higher Education

Italy:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Italy:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Italy:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:National Reforms in School Education

Italy:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Italy:National Reforms in Higher Education

Italy:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Italy:European Perspective

Italy:Legislation

Italy:Glossary

 

Curriculum, Subjects, Number of Hours

General upper secondary education lasts five years and is delivered by six types of liceo specializing in the following areas: art (Liceo artistico), classical studies (Liceo classico), science (Liceo scientifico), languages (Liceo linguistico), music and dance (Liceo musicale e coreutico), human sciences (Liceo delle scienze umane).

The arts-based liceo offers the following branches of studies: figurative arts, architecture and the environment, design, audiovisual and multimedia design, graphics, set design. The first two years are the same for all branches.

The science-based liceo offers an option in applied sciences and the human sciences liceo offers an option in social and economic studies.

The five years of general upper secondary studies are organised, for teaching purposes only, into two periods of two years and a final fifth year. The purpose of the first two-year is to deepen and develop the knowledge, competences and skills acquired by students in the first cycle of education. Knowledge, competences and skills are further developed in the second two-year period. In the fifth year, students are expected to have fully reached the specific learning objectives for each branch of specialist study and to have completed their educational, cultural and professional profile (Pecup).

The first two years of upper secondary education, whether undertaken in a general or vocational school, are compulsory. Thus, in order to ensure equal education and training (general and vocational) to all students, the Ministry has defined the knowledge and competences that all students are expected to have acquired on completion of compulsory education. These knowledge and competences integrate the current upper secondary curricula, specific for each type of school.

Knowledge and competences are organised into 4 'cultural areas': languages, mathematics, science/technology and history/social studies. Knowledge and competences are also the basis for building learning pathways aimed at acquiring key competences that can help students in adulthood and for lifelong learning. Key competences are: learning to learn, planning, communicating, collaborating and participating, acting autonomously, problem solving, creating connections and relations, acquiring and interpreting information.

Curricula are defined in National Guidelines for the curriculum (Indicazioni nazionali per il curricolo).

The National Guidelines set out the specific learning objectives for each type of liceo. For each subject, specific learning objectives describe  knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire as the basis for building her/his competences. The National Guidelines also include the student's Educational, cultural and professional profile (Pecup) representing what a student should know and should be able to do after having completed a liceo.

The curriculum includes the teaching of 'Citizenship and Constitution' and schools are required to include it in their educational offer plan (POF). It is not a separate subject and its contents are developed by individual schools through teaching projects included in history and geography.

In licei specialising in languages, CLIL is compulsory in one language starting from the third year up to the fifth and in a second language starting from the fourth year to the fifth. In all other types of liceo, CLIL is compulsory in the fifth year.

In all types of liceo, with the exception of the liceo specializing in applied sciences, (please see below) the teaching of mathematics in the first and second grades also includes ICT.

In all types of liceo, the teaching of human sciences includes biology, chemistry and earth sciences.

The study plans of each liceo indicate the compulsory annual number of teaching hours for each subject. The duration of lessons is 60 minutes, although schools can decide to have shorter lessons, providing that the compulsory annual amount of teaching time for each subject is met.

Catholic religious education is optional for pupils and the specific learning objectives are defined separately by Presidential Decree in agreement with the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI).

Through their educational offer plan (POF), institutions can offer additional courses which must be consistent with the Educational, Cultural and Professional Profile (PECUP) of each liceo. Such courses are optional for students. Once a student has chosen an optional course, attendance is compulsory and performance is assessed on a par with all compulsory subjects in the study plan. 

Optional teachings cannot exceed the 20% of the total teaching timetable foreseen in the first two-year period, the 30% of the total teaching timetable foreseen in the second two-year period and the 20% of the total amount of the fifth grade.

Optional teachings are included in the student’s digital curriculum, which collects also all data on the student’s course of studies, the acquired competences, alternance training experiences and all extra-curricular activities (culture, arts, sport, voluntary service).

In all types of liceo, students attending the last three grades have the opportunity to spend a total of 200 hours in alternance training activities. Alternance training aims at deepening students’ knowledge and competences in order to increase their job opportunities and to facilitate their choice of further study.

Sectors involved in the alternance training experiences range from enterprises to public and private bodies, the third sector included, to professional associations, to public and private institutions operating in the artistic heritage, cultural and music sector to recognised sports societies.

Students can experience the alternance training during their holidays or during the school year in the form of practice enterprise, also abroad.
At upper secondary level, schools organise courses on the protection of health and safety in the workplace for students engaged in alternance training paths.

The national register for alternance training taken by the Chambers of Commerce lists enterprises and public and private bodies offering posts for alternance training and, for each of them, the number of posts available and the periods when it is possible to carry out the activities. This area of the register is open and free for consultation. Enterprises interested in offering posts for alternance training should enroll in a specific area of the register of enterprises. The school manager chooses the enterprises from the register.

At the end of each school year, the school manager evaluates the enterprises or the other bodies that have signed alternance training agreements with the school.

The Ministry will publish a Decree containing the Charter of rights and duties of students in alternance training, for example the right to evaluate the efficiency and coherence of the experience with their studies.

Minimum compulsory annual teaching time for the liceo specialising in art (Liceo artistico)


1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade
Subjects/groups of subjects compulsory for all students
Italian language and literature 132
132
132
132
132
Foreign language and culture 99
99
99
99
99
History and geography 99
99



History   

66
66
66
Philosophy

66
66
66
Mathematics 99
99
66
66
66
Physics

66
66
66
Natural sciences 66
66
66
66

Chemistry of materials (1)

66
66

History of art
99
99
99
99
99
Drawing and graphic 132
132



Geometry
99
99



Sculpture and plastics
99
99



Arts laboratory 99
99



Sports 66
66
66
66
66
Catholic religious education or alternative activities
33
33
33
33
33
Total




Compulsory courses for each specific branch of study

Laboratory activities specific to each branch

For set design only



198

165

198

165

264

231

Courses specific to each branch

For set design only



198

231

198

231

198

231

Total

396
396
462
Overall total
1122
1122
1155
1155
1155

(1) Replaces natural sciences in the 3rd and 4th years in the following branches of specialisation: architecture and environment, figurative arts, design, set designing.

Minimum compulsory annual teaching time for the liceo specialising in classics (Liceo classico)


1st grade
2nd grade
3rd grade
4th grade
5th grade
Subjects/groups of subjects compulsory for all students
Italian language and literature 132
132
132
132
132
Latin language and literature
165
165
132
132
132
Ancient Greek language and literature
132
132
99
99
99
Foreign language and culture
99
99
99
99
99
History and Geography
99
99



History


99
99
99
Philosophy


99
99
99
Mathematics
99
99
66
66
66
Physics


66
66
66
Natural sciences
66
66
66
66
66
History of arts


66
66
66
Sports
66
66
66
66
66
Catholic religious education or alternative activities
33
33
33
33
33
Total
891
891
891
891
891


Minimum compulsory annual teaching timefor the liceo specialising in languages (Liceo linguistico)


1st grade
2nd grade
3rd grade
4th grade
5th grade

Subjects/groups of subjects compulsory for all students
Italian language and literature 132
132
132
132
132
Latin language
66
66



1st foreign language and culture(1)
132
132
99
99
99
2nd language and culture(1)
99
99
132
132
132
3rd language and culture(1)
99
99
132
132
132
History and geography
99
99



History


66
66
66
Philosophy


66
66
66
Mathematics
99
99
66
66
66
Physics


66
66
66
Natural sciences
66
66
66
66
66
History of arts


66
66
66
Sports
66
66
66
66
66
Catholic religious education or alternative activities
33
33
33
33
33
Total
891
891
891
891
891

(1) Includes 33 hours/year of conversation with a native speaker teacher

Minimum compulsory annual teaching time for the liceo specialising in music and dance (Liceo musicale e coreutico)


1st grade
2nd grade
3rd grade
4th grade
5th grade
Subjects/groups of subjects compulsory for all students
Italian language and literature 132
132
132
132
132
Foreign language and culture
99
99
99
99
99
History and geography
99
99



History


66
66
66
Philosophy


66
66
66
Mathematics
99
99
66
66
66
Physics


66
66
66
Natural sciences
66
66



History of the arts
66
66
66
66
66
Catholic religious education or alternative activities
33
33
33
33
33
Total
594
594
594
594
594
Music branch(1)
Sports
66
66
66
66
66
Performance and interpretation
99
99
66
66
66
Theory, analysis and composition
99
99
99
99
99
History of music 66
66
66
66
66
Ensemble music laboratory
66
66
99
99
99
Music technologies
66
66
66
66
66
Total
462
462
462
462
462
Dance branch
History of dance


66
66
66
History of music


33
33
33
Dance techniques
264
264
264
264
264
Dance laboratory
132
132



Choreography laboratory


99
99
99
Music theory and practice for dance
66
66



Total
462
462
462
462
462
Overall number of hours
1056
1056
1056
1056
1056

(1) courses are organised in agreement with Conservatories and recognised music institutes (Higher education in art and music, Afam)

Minimum compulsory annual teaching time for the liceo specialising in sciences, main path (1) (Liceo scientifico)


1st grade
2nd grade
3rd grade
4th grade
5th grade
Subjects/groups of subjects compulsory for all students
Italian language and literature 132
132
132
132
132

Latin language and literature

(not included in the applied sciences option)

99


99


99


99


99


Foreign language and culture
99
99
99
99
99
History and geography
99
99



History


66
66
66

Philosophy

Applied sciences option



99

66

99

66

99

66

Mathematics

Applied sciences option

165


165

132

132


132


132


ICT
66
66
66
66
66
Physics
66
66
66
66
66

Natural sciences

Applied sciences option

66

99

66

132

99

165

99

165

99

165

Drawing and history of arts
66
66
66
66
66
Sports
66
66
66
66
66
Catholic religious education or alternative activities
33
33
33
33
33
Total
891
891
990
990
990

(1) The liceo specialising in sciences may also offer a study plan specialising in applied sciences, which differs slightly from the main programme. Differences are shown in Italics.

Minimum compulsory annual teaching time for the liceo specialising in human sciences, main path(1) (Liceo delle scienze umane)


1st grade
2nd grade
3rd grade
4th grade
5th grade
Subjects/groups of subjects compulsory for all students
Italian language and literature 132
132
132
132
132

Latin language and literature

(not included in the economic-social option')

99


99


66


66


66


History and geography
99
99
History


66
66
66

Philosophy

Economics/social studies option



99

66

99

66

99

66

Human sciences(2)

Economics/social studies option

132

99

132

99

165

99

165

99

165

99

Law and economy

Economics/social studies option

66

99

66

99

-

99

-

99

-

99

Foreign language and culture
99
99
99
99
99
Second foreign language and culture
99 99 99 99 99

Mathematics

Economics/social studies option

99

99

99

99

66

99

66

99

66

99

Physics
-
-
66
66
66

Natural sciences

Economics/social studies option

66

66

66

66

66

-

66

-

66

-

History of arts
-
-
66
66
66
Sports
66
66
66
66
66
Catholic religious education or alternative activities
33
33
33
33
33
Total
891
891
990
990
990

(1) The liceo specialising in human sciences may also offer an economics/social studies option, which differs slightly from the main programme. Differences are shown in Italics.

(2) it includes anthropology, pedagogy (replaced by 'methods of research' in the economics/social studies option), psychology, sociology.


Teaching Methods and Materials

The Constitution of the Italian Republic establishes the principle of freedom of teaching. The choice and use of teaching methods and materials must be consistent with each school's educational offer plan (POF), which, in turn, must be consistent with the general and educational objectives of the different branches and levels of study established at national level.

Schools generally plan their teaching activities at two different levels: at department level for the objectives of each subject and each grade; and at class council level for cross-curricular objectives. In the last decade, special focus has been given to student drop-out prevention, study methods, catch-up activities and increasing the use of information and communication technologies. Schools are usually equipped with a gymnasium, library, science and computer laboratories and laboratories for the specific courses offered by individual schools.

Teachers choose textbooks and teaching tools. Teachers may confirm the textbooks adopted the previous year, or they can adopt new textbooks. In the latter case, textbooks can be in digital or mixed format (mixed format means paper, paper plus digital or digital, all with integrated digital content). In all events, textbooks and teaching tools must be consistent with the curriculum and school’s educational offer plan and should comply with total cost restrictions. Teachers can submit their choices to the Teachers’ assembly that formally approves the choice. However, the formal approval is not mandatory for teachers and schools.

Textbooks are not free for parents. Every year, the Ministry of education sets the total maximum cost of textbooks. Teachers should choose the textbooks within this total price limit. Measures introduced to help parents deal with the cost of textbooks also include rental and free loan of textbooks, as well as the partial reimbursement of costs.

Schools can also create their own digital teaching tools for specific subjects, which students will use as textbooks. Teachers can develop such tools in class during teaching hours and in collaboration with other class teachers and students. They will work under the supervision of a teacher who will ensure the scientific and didactic quality of the product. Schools should register their work, get the relevant licence and send their didactic tools to the Ministry of education within the end of the school year, in order to share and distribute their textbooks free of charge to other State schools.

Legislative References

Law 28 March 2003, no. 53 (reform of the education system, alternance training)

Law 30 October 2008, no. 169 (Citizenship and Constitution)

Ministerial Decree 22 August 2007, no. 139 (competences compulsory education)

DPR 15 March 2010, no. 89 (reform of licei)

Ministerial Decree 7 October 2010, no. 211 (new curricula for licei)

Law 6 August 2008, no. 133 (textbooks)

Law Decree 18 October 2012, no. 179 (textbooks)

Ministerial Decree 27 September 2013, no. 781 (textbooks)

Law 13 July 2015, no. 107 (reform of the education system, alternance training)