This year I was lucky enough to be chosen for the annual BHS Italian Teacher Exchange hosted by both Burlington High School and Istituto Pilati in Cles, Italy. I was fortunate to have Maria Luisa Corrente, an IT teacher, to host me in Cles. Luisa was so wonderful to me; she showed me the sights of Italy, taught me the language, and exposed me to so many wonderful experiences. I've made a forever friend in Luisa. Recently she came here to America to visit me and see what American culture is like. This was her first time in America.
This post outlines some important points that I learned and experienced regarding Italian education. Below these takeaways, I've posted some of my photographs from my experience.
1. The classrooms belong to the students, not the teachers
2. Their lunches are much longer than ours!
3. The government controls where the teachers are sent
4. The school day and week are structured differently
5. Their rules are stricter than ours in some ways, but more lax in others
6. Sports are huge here in America
7. Students choose their "major" before they enter high school
It is difficult enough to have to choose your career before you graduate high school; in Italy, you must choose your career path before you even enter high school. Once you hit fourteen years old, you must choose the type of school that you want to specialize in (technology, humanities, fine arts, etc). Here in America, most students go to school in the community they live in (ie Burlington), but in Italy, you may travel to another town to get to your specialized school. We also do that here in America, but it is not as usual as it is in Italy.