It is always a pleasure to take a stroll in Pordenone during this incredible book festival. People coming from the area, but also from outside region, patiently queueing supervised by professional Angels to listen to their favorite speakers. Although all the events are attended by a number of people who cannot fit in the designated venue, most of them keep walking – a bit upset – to see if the next event will be luckier and eventually they can find a seat. But without big moans. Maybe, because the atmosphere is relaxing and time flows at a different pace, giving plenty of opportunities to socialize with people around.

Literature, history, economics, poetry, art, philosophy, laws: it is impossible not to find a topic of interest. Yesterday class 5A SIA attended Roger Abravanel’s lecture “La ricreazione è finita” (The break is over).

The analysis he presented – based on a survey about school efficacy as perceived by students, parents and teachers – requires deep thinking. But it is quite obvious to anyone that school needs a change.

The best part of the lecture was the injection of hope given to students which could  simply be recap in:  you can make it if you work hard and take action!

What puzzled me is the extreme work-oriented school attitude Abravanel suggested as the key to a more effective school system, which personally I like to some extent, but that I see as a part of what the mission of the school should be.

Work ethics, team work, problem solving and communicating skills are necessary in a world which is changing faster and faster, and they are part of my curriculum at school. But little accent was put, at least in the lecture, on the growth of the student as a person in a multifaceted, disorienting society. I feel that rather than preparing students to be workers, the focus should be on empowering them, providing them with tools to interpret reality  and help them find their place in society so that they will eventually be able to change it for the better.

Abravanel is an experienced advisor of multinational companies and…yes, I am a bit scared. Both Electrolux (Zanussi) and Luxottica he had worked for, have moved abroad their production and consequently caused unemployment in Italy. In his lecture no  positive mention was made to Italian schools which are innovating and sharing best practices.  He is having a meeting with the Minister of Education to talk about Italian schools. I hope his proposals will not include relocation of Italian education … :))





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