ERIC Number: EJ1071825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
The Italian Middle School in a Deregulation Era: Modernity through Path-Dependency and Global Models
Mincu, Monica E.
Comparative Education, v51 n3 p446-462 2015
In the current context of intensified moves towards educational deregulation, the configuration of the Italian middle school and its relationship to education governance is an interesting case. Historically, it represents a unique example of the successful "decision-making" model of the welfarist era. Despite some internal constraints, at the end of the 1970s it was considered a progressive model of schooling for its time. At present, however, internal institutional processes and path-dependencies have rendered its comprehensiveness relatively formalised and weak. A key finding of this article is that ideas, such as the "two people" theory, have played a crucial role in shaping actors' strategies and goals, while references to world models, in particular the English model, have mediated the reception of global policies. Cultural factors, such as the role played by families, are deeply linked to structural issues and inequalities. An ethnographic account depicts a welfarist institution whose internal processes and links to the wider society may be seen as an example of Italian modernity that "speaks for itself". Fieldwork clarifies the role of the teachers in mediating a path-dependent and cultural reproduction pattern. I argue that partial deregulation is a major source of inequalities at the middle school level, engendered by both new and old mechanisms, which further intensifies a selective path in education. This analysis will show how global deregulation trends meet local and enduring path-dependencies.
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Cultural Influences, Educational Administration, Governance, Decision Making, Models, Educational Policy, Ethnography, Teacher Role, Social Systems, Welfare Services, Educational History, Comparative Education, Global Approach, Educational Change, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy