Italian Post-World War II School System (1945-68)


Figure 1.--This is a class at an Ialian Middle school. probably in the early 1950s. Notice that none of the boys are wearing smocks. The boylook to be about 11 years old. Put your cursor on the image to see thd rest of the class.

Major changes occurred in Italian education after World War II. Several factors were involved here. First was the election of socialist (but non-Communist) governments permitted to expanding social justice. Second was the economic expansion associated with European integration and the Common Market. Incomes levels in italy rose drmatically. This meant that families had the economic ability to take advantage of the educational opportinities being made available by the Government. As in many other European countries, both secondary- and university-level eduction was made widely available to students, especially working-class students, for the first time. It looks like somewhere after 1950 "Ginnasio inferiore" became "Scuola media". We also note the term "Scoula Mezzo". The schools were for children between primary and secondaty, for children 11-14 years of age (grades 6-8). At the time (1950s) the school attendance in Italy was compulsory for 8 years. There were two types of scuola media. One had an academic curriculum that prepared the children for high school. Two was the "scuola di avviamento al lavoro" (school that introduced work skills). New regulations in 1962 required the children to to attend scuola media. We still see the term liceo being used. It was the term fofr secondary school. About clothing there are not general rules, but usually boys wore smocks only in "scuola elementare" (primary school, grades 1-5) and the girls in scuola elementare and scuola media (grades 1-8). Today the smocks are worn only in primary schools, but not in all schools.

World War II

Italy was devestated by World War II. Envious of the dazzling NAZI successes, Italy's Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, decided to join him in the War. The first part of the War was fought outside Italy as Mussolini ordered the invasion of Albania, Greece, France, British Libya, Yugoslavia, and finally the Soviet Union. Italy was not prepared for War and it proved a disaster, especially when the Allies defeated the Italians and Germans in North Afroca and invaded Sicily (July 1943) and finally Italy proper (September 1943). The Germans had moved south and the Allies had to fight them up the long length of the Italian Peninsula. The Allies liberated Rome (June 1940), but the Germans reground to the north and another year of war followed. The result was a devestated country when the Germans finally surrendered (May 1945.

Major Changes in Education

Major changes occurred in Italian education after World War II, although it took several years to recover from the devestation of War. Several factors were involved in the changes to Italian education. here. First was the election of socialist (but non-Communist) governments permitted to expanding social justice. Second was the economic expansion associated with European integration and the Common Market. Incomes levels in italy rose drmatically. This meant that families had the economic ability to take advantage of the educational opportinities being made available by the Government. As in many other European countries, both secondary- and university-level eduction was made widely available to students, especially working-class students, for the first time.

School Levels

Italy had an extensive promary system in place. The major changes were in the higher level schools. It looks like somewhere after 1950 "Ginnasio inferiore" became "Scuola media". We also note the term "Mezzo". The image here was marked Mezzo. An Italian reader explains, " "Mezzo" is the substantive and "medio" (feminine: "media") is the adjective. In Italian there is not the neutral and the adjective has the same gender of the substantive so "middle school" is "scuola media". On the contrary you must say: "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita" (In the middle of the way of our life) - Dante Alighieri, The Commedia, I, 1." The schools were for children between primary and secondaty, for children 11-14 years of age (grades 6-8). At the time (1950s) the school attendance in Italy was compulsory for 8 years. There were two types of scuola media. One had an academic curriculum that prepared the children for high school. Two was the "scuola di avviamento al lavoro" (school that introduced work skills). New regulations in 1962 required the children to to attend scuola media. We still see the term liceo being used. It was the term for secondary school ( grades 9-13). There were two curriculum tacks: Liceo classico (with study of Greek and Latin) and Liceo scientifico (with more study of mathematic and science).

School Wear

About clothing there are not general rules, but usually boys wore smocks only in "scuola elementare" (primary school, grades 1-5) and the girls in scuola elementare and scuola media (grades 1-8). Today the smocks are worn only in primary schools, but not in all schools.






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Created: 1:11 AM 1/25/2009
Last updated: 2:51 AM 1/25/2009