Most Italian schools were still single gender schools in the 1950s. The primary exceptions were small village schools. We still see some schools with more boys than giurls. Traditional attituides gave more imprtance to the eduvcation of boys than girls. This nwa especilallyb prominet in Catholic countries. We still see many boys wearing suit jackets at the beginning of the decade even in village schools, although boys incresingly were just wearing shirts without jackets. Most boys wore short pants to school, but by the end of the decade, long pants were more common. We notice the traditional black/dark blue school smocks with wide white collars, with and without bows, at many schools, but the smocks were often optional and only some of the boys wore them. Both boys and girls wore them, but they were a little more common with the girls. This depended somewhat on age. Schools varied with the smocks. Some schools seem more insistent on smocks than others. The tradiyionazl back-buttoniong smocks were standard. Many children still came to school barefoot in the early-50s, but as the economy improved after the War, this became less and less common by the end of the decade. We notice private schools, many of which were Catholic, where boys wore suits, mostly short pasnts suits. Knee socks were less common than in northern Europe. We don't see Cub and Scout uniforms sat the state schools, but we see some at private schools. Scouting was refounded in Italy after two decades of Fascist contol suring which Scouting was banned and chldren had to participate in a manditory Fascist youth movement.
This is a class photo taken in 1951 in San Lorenzo di Treia, a village in the mountains of central Italy, Marche region. We have a description of the children from the teacher, Anna Caltagirone. She remembers that the children belonged to sharecropper families. The second boy from left in the front row was barefoot because he didn't own any footwear. His mother explained to the teacher that because she had many children and couldn't afford footwear for everybody, chose to leave them all shoeless and use the money for more urgent things. The boy doesn't look ashamed of that. On the other hand he never experienced a different situation. This actully was an indicatot tht economic conditions were improving. Even before the war, almost certainly children in the village would have been barefoot. And then Italy was devestated from Calabria north to the Po as the Allies drove upo the Peninsula (1943-45). The fact ght mot of the children have footwear is an indicator that the Italian Economic Miarcle is already reaching even isolated villages.
We note a photograph of a school in Fidenza, a little town about 100 km east of Bologna. We do not know the name of the school, but
Fidenza is not a big city, so perhaps an Italian reader might know. The background suggests it was a fairly, substantial school. The children are of primary age, but this is far too many for a single class. And we notice that several teachers are pictured with the children. Perhaps two or three classes are seen here. Strangely while most of the children are boys, there are a few girls present. We are not sure what kind of school this was, but woukld guess it is a Caholic colegio, meaning a school with both primary and secondary sections. Here we probably see just some of the younger children. There was no uniform at the school. The photograph was taken in 1946. Interesting about half the boys are Boy Scouts. The Fascists in the 1920s banned Scouting and created theue own youth organization--the Balilla. Here after the war and the end of Fascism we see Scouting up an running again. Unlike the occupied countries of Europe, these boys would have had no memory of Scouting.
Fossato Jonico is a little village in Calabria, the southern-most Italian region (except islands). Southern Italy was the poorest part of the country. The village had a primary school which like most village scgools was just known by the name of the village. A village primary school would have a ?-year program. Most Italian children, especially in the south and other rural areas ended their educatin when they finished primary school.
A few of the children from the wealthier families may continue their education with secondary studies, but they will have to live with relatives in larger towns. After World War II, education reforms began to expand the educatioinal system. We have some class portraits of the students.
We do not know where the Liceo Bianca Villa was located. Of course it could be the Liceo located in Bianca Villa where ever this was. We do not know when the school was founded, but believe it operated most of the 20th century. The image here shows a class at the school in 1957 (figure 1). All that we know about it was that the school was a liceo, although that term was variously used in Italy. Here it looks to be a primary school. The school at the time seems to have incouraged the boys to wear smocks, but did not require it. We have several images at the chool, most from the 1950s.
HBC has little information on the Tangiers Scuola Italiano, but we have noted several images illustrating schoolwear trends during the 1950s. The pupils wear the classic dark Italian back-buttoning school smock with emaculate wide white colars. The school appears to have been very strict about the style and color of the smocks woren to school. Not only are the smocks identical, but so are the white colars. While almost all of the children wear school smocks, in most of the class photographs there usualy
This is a class photo taken Mogoro, another little Sardinian town close to Oristano during 1954. It was coed class because the town as not large enough for two schools. This one is a bit inland from the cvoadst. Here we can note that in a class of 36 pupils there are only 6 girls. That could be due to severl mamtters. Among that we have to remember that although school attendance was nominally compulsory there were children who left the school after the very early grades, and sometimes never attended school at all. This was especially true for girls. In the early 1950s the illiteracy rating in Sardinia was still quite high, higher than evrn the poorer regions of the mainkand -- ovrr 20 percent. And it was highest amnong wonen--nearly 30 percent. Both Sicily and Sardinia were very traditional, including attitudes toward women. And because so manynwomn were illiterate, they often did not inderstand the imprtance of educatiin and their daughters attending school. The 1950s was the last decade in which such views were prevalent.
Here we see the Saft Patrol at the Armnando Diaz Primary School in Rome. We know little about the schoolother than it is was in the center of the city near an ancient Roman aqueduct. The safety patrol boys had white belts ad shouldr nrnesses like American safety patrols, but wire white gloves like police rafic policemen.
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