Fondazione per la Scuola della Compagnia di San Paolo
Foundation for Schools
Mr. Nicola Crepax
About the organisation
Established in 2001 in Turin, Fondazione per la Scuola is one of Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation’s independent operating bodies. Its main mission is to work with and for the schools of the metropolitan area of Turin (around 900,000 inhabitants) to improve the quality and quantity of investments in knowledge, training and education.
It operates through its own initiatives, in partnership with Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation and its operating bodies, but also through local, national and international partnerships (e.g. Turin Municipality, Ministry of Education - Regional Dpt, University, Körber Foundation, CNR – National Research Council - Italy, EU Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition). Fondazione per la Scuola can count on a wide network of partners both Italian and international, also thanks to its active engagement in European Projects.
It works for schools in order to:
- Improve the quality of education in Italy
- Bring schools closer to the highest European standards
- Facilitate the benchmark educational experiences and best practices among schools
- Support school institutions as independent bodies
- Serve the territory: promoting school inclusion and dropping out reduction
The key leading guidelines for Fondazione per la Scuola in implementing initiatives are two: Social usefulness of projects & innovation of training models.
FpS applies different means to achieve its goals, depending on the type of project, such as:
- Flexible and innovative meetings/training modules addressed mainly to schoolmasters and teachers
- Web as working and exchanging tool for teachers, to share best practices, didactic ideas, etc…
- School networks to offer and disseminate innovation in didactics and organisation
- Research/analysis to build common knowledge in the Foundation's fields of interest
Some of the most relevant among the latest Fondazione per la Scuola projects are:
- Riconnessioni, the newest and largest project of FpS, brings closer ICT and didactics, infrastructures and services and relies on a 4 level approach, to build the first and largest urban school connectivity system in Italy.
- Provaci ancora Sam! an important project addressing the dropout issue in middle high school (10-14 years old. Other key institutional players are the Municipality of Turin - Educative and Social Services, and the Ministry of Education.
- the Educatorio Duchessa Isabella Scholarships programme, which represents the continuation of the time-honoured work of the Educatorio in the field of education.
- Scuolinsieme, a three-year experimental project for 34 Piedmont junior high school, which involves in a process of improvement, managers, teachers and students, supported by a team of tutors, identified by the Fondazione per la Scuola.
The history competition
At the beginning of 2002, the Fondazione set up a study and research programme to explore the teaching of contemporary history in a number of European countries and a multimedia history teaching programme to facilitate teaching and learning in primary, middle and secondary schools. As part of this study the Fondazione initiated a history competition "Concorso Eustory" in order to improve history teaching in schools and raise pupils' interest in contemporary history. Moreover the competition aims at strengthening democracy and promoting European identity. The first history competition was announced in January 2004 under the topic "Migration in Italy (1980-2000)".
In 2012 the Eustory competition is included in the most articulated project I LINGUAGGI DELLA CONTEMPORANEITA' which proposes a training course for high school teachers managed by historians specialized in the study of new communication languages. The main objectives are:
- Help and sustain –both from a scientific and a socio-methodological point of view– the teachers to face the change of paradigm of the contemporary educative scenario, where the Web has become the student’s primary (and ubiquitous) source of knowledge and information.
- Develop study approaches to guide the students among the infinite knowledge offer of the Web, teaching them how to evaluate the reliability of the various digital historiographical sources and to avoid fake, manipulated o biased contents.
The initiative is aimed at teachers of literature and history, lasts a whole school year and includes:
- a series of events, keynotes and in-depth workshops
- a project activity to be carried out with one's own class
- a final event to reward the best class works
Each edition of Linguaggi presents a theme of contemporary history to be explored through the sources and approaches proposed, to be developed in a project with its own class. The work in the classroom is carried out in relative autonomy, with the coordination and support of the teachers, putting to the test the new concepts acquired and guiding their students and their students in the realisation of a final project.
The competition is intended for students of high school and (from 2017/2018 onwards) junior high school. The work should be the result of a group or class project. The project can be presented as written text, video, or hypertext.
The works are evaluated by a scientific committee chosen by the Fondazione per la Scuola and composed of members of the Fondazione, professional historians and university teachers.
The main evaluation criteria are:
- Coherence with the chosen theme/sub-theme
- Selection, validation and use of sources
- Coherence with the project’s needs and objectives
- Use of the cognitive and critical instruments learned during the course
- Coordination and collaboration between classes and students
- Form and structure of the final product
- Overall originality
- Likely educational outcomes, including multi-disciplinary outcomes
- Coherence between chosen sources and chosen topic
From the 2017/2018 edition of the project (reserved only to junior high schools), the best works produced by the classes will be published on the website of the Fondazione per la Scuola/Riconnessioni, and shared on the Facebook page of the Foundation and presented by students and teachers during the starting Academy of the next edition of the project that usually takes place in Turin in autumn. The prize for the classes consists of a free ticket for a guided tour in a cultural institution linked to the themes of the project.