2 minute read

Italy

Summary

The Italian school system is divided into three tiers: primary, secondary, and higher education. School reform was introduced in the early 1960s and continues. The primary or elementary school is compulsory and free; elementary education starts at 6 years of age and lasts until a student is 11 years old. Students are required to pass an aptitude exam at the end of elementary school before entering secondary school.

Compulsory education has been extended to lower secondary education or middle school and, in 1999, to the first year of upper secondary school. At the end of middle school, students take another aptitude test before entering upper secondary school. At the end of upper secondary education, students must pass a final exam (Esame di Stato) that allows them to earn a certificate (Diploma di Maturita) to enter the world of work or gain access to universities and non-university higher education schools. Upper secondary schools, sometimes also referred to as higher education, include the classic, linguistic, and scientific schools (liceos); education schools for nursery and elementary teachers; and technical, vocational, and professional schools.

There are private schools for all levels of education. Funding for private schools is primarily from private organizations; however, private schools may receive state funds if they follow the same guidelines as state public schools in terms of curriculum, personnel, and management.

Adult education exists for those who wish to acquire job skills, improve literacy levels, and continue their education. The Italian educational system recognizes the importance of cultural and linguistic pluralism and in schools. Accommodations are made for students with special needs. Italy, as a member of the European Community, is engaged in the European dimension of education and participate in a network of international initiatives.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

CEDE (European Center for Education), 2001. Available from www.cede.it.

Center for Continuous Training in European Dimension, 30 April 2001. Available from http://www.ceses.it.

Commission of the European Communities. The Education Structures in the Member States of the European Communities. Brussels: EEC, 1987.

——. White Paper: Teaching and Learning: Towards the Learning Society. Brussels: EEC, 1995.

Consiglio, Vincenso. Education in Italy. Rome: Italian Ministry of Education, 1987.

EDUVINET, 23 March 2001. Available from http://www.land.salzburg.at.

European Community Educational Database, 2001. Available from http://www.eurydice.org.

Italian Ministry of Public Instruction, 2001. Available from http://www.istruzione.it.

Katz, Lillian G., and Bernard Cesarone. Reflections on the Reggio Emilia Approach. Urbana: ERIC Clearing House on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, 1994.

de Kerchove d'Exaerde, George. A Human Face for Europe. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1990.

Lillard, Paula Polk. Montessori Today. New York: Schocken, 1996.

Ministry of University and Scientific and Technical Research, 10 November 1999. Available from http://www.murst.it.

Shennan, M. Teaching Europe. London: Cassell, 1991.


Le Transformazioni della Scuola nella Societa Multiculturale. Roma: Ministero della Publica Istruzione, 2001.


Visalberghi, A. Italy in International Encyclopedia of National Systems. New York: Pergamon, 1995.

Vivere l'europa., January 2000. Available from http://www.centrorisorse.org.

Zanetti, Kristin M. The Educational System of Italy. Milwaukee: ECE, 1996.


—Maria A. Pacino

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceItaly - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education