Friday, October 10, 2008

Schools and Raising Children in Italy

My post on raising children in Italy is really a request for information and experience from those who have raised or are raising children in Italy. I have to say that I am concerned as any parent would be about the education system in Italy. I have heard both good and bad about the public school program and really would love to hear from people on this.

I finally found a site that is devoted to children in and I understand that soon there will be also a forum whereby you can actually meet people in your area of Italy that have children to plan play dates,etc. One thing that I have always been looking for since I have had children is to meet other native English expats with children in my area of Tuscany.

There are so many changes going on right now in public Italian schools. The private sector is very small in Italy and non existent in my area. I have heard that the elementary schools are good while the middle school and high schools do not properly prepare the students for university. I have heard that it is very subjective according to who your teachers are and if you are "simpatico" to the teacher or if the teacher likes you. Yeah but is this so different in the USA??

Changes that are going on right now include introducing the "grembiule" or apron in elementary schools. This is worn in preschool to keep the clothes underneath from getting dirty but also to dissuade against wearing name brands,etc. Most parents are for this change!
The other change for the entire school system is introducing the "maestra unica" or single teacher instead of having many teachers. This would mean laying off thousands and thousands of teachers. There is much controvery over this measure as you can imagine and the first "sciopero" or strike is scheduled for October 30th. Parents and students are both pro and against this. Right now children even at the elementary school level have several teachers for multiple areas of study (math,language,history,etc).

I want to hear from expats regarding the Italian school system, these changes and their experiences!!


Sandra said...

I officially hate the best possible way.

I want your life... right now.

I have always wanted my kids to be brought up in Italy. My first trip there, in 1991, I knew I could live there. I visited Milano, Brescia, Venezia, Pisa, Firenze and Roma.

2006 I took my hubby, 3 kids and my Mama who was born and raised in Palermo, to see Italy from Roma down to Sicily.

My kids knew they could live there too.

I envy you so very much!

Thank you for posting on my blog Lucia, I am honored!

Ciao and I hope to hear from you again!

Unknown said...

Dear Saundra,
You are hilarious. Funny thing everyone says that but isn't it true the grass is always greener.....You need to read my other posts!!! I felt the need too when I was younger to just come out here and make a go of it and see how it all would end up but I know now that home is home no matter where you are from. I feel very American, miss my country at times so so much, miss Italian Americans too, my family back home and everything it means to be an American. I just feel like I have two homes. I laughingly call this my vacation home and the USA my real home! I really enjoy your blog and will definitely be visiting it often. In the meantime enjoy your family, tell me about your trips to Italy and let me know when you will be in your Italia!!Lucia

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

Hey, we really must meet up for a capuccio! I have 2 children at school here too and I live just down the road by the looks of things:)ciao amanda