Learning Communities in Rome Promoting Inclusivity

Two Learning Communities (LCs) located in Rome, Lazio region (Italy), are taking part in the Agency’s Raising the Achievement of All Learners in Inclusive Education project.

The first learning community, the Agricultural Technical Institute Emilio Sereni, is composed of three sites in Rome and provides a range of technical and practical courses at upper-secondary level. The school aims to promote a culture of co-operation and respect for different identities.

The second learning community, Istituto Comprensivo Antonio Rosmini, is a primary and lower-secondary school. Its mission includes respecting the individuality of each learner and it places strong emphasis on a creative curriculum.

Participation in the Agency project since 2014 has allowed the two LCs to explore different approaches and strategies that best support the inclusion and success of all learners. In May 2015, project participants from 19 Agency member countries visited Sereni and Rosmini to meet key stakeholders and engage in dialogue. This provided a stimulus for the schools to plan a range of activities relating to the project themes of pedagogy, leadership and collaboration to raise the achievement of all learners.

Since then, Sereni’s leadership team has built networks with parents and local employers to support the transition to employment for all learners, including many with disabilities. The Rosmini leadership team is committed to building a pedagogical setting with clear roles and responsibilities to support all learners. They have particularly focused on a curriculum that provides more relevant, cross-disciplinary learning and prepares learners for transition to upper-secondary school and beyond. Thanks to their involvement in the project, Rosmini has emphasised a change of thinking around inclusion, while Sereni has reported positive changes in distributed leadership and staff collaboration.

In November 2016, a second project visit with the same group of participants took place. Between visits, an on-line forum served as a platform for communication and on-going support within the communities. During the second visit, a conference took place in the historic Viscontino school. The purpose of this second visit was to learn from the LCs’ experiences and from work completed since the 2015 visit. The meeting involved initial presentations from the schools and inclusion experts from two universities in Rome who have been working with schools on a regular basis, as well as workshops on key issues relevant for the two LCs. During the workshops, project experts and staff from the LCs discussed the successes and the challenges that informed further work on key issues and priorities.

On the third day of the visit, the project’s emerging findings and policy implications were presented at a conference in the Ministry of Education. The conference concluded with a panel discussion, in which a range of stakeholders (including policy-makers and people with disabilities) shared their opinions and experiences around inclusion.

For more information about this project, visit the project web area.


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