Literacy, Inclusion, and Diversity in Italy

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Literacy, Inclusion, and Diversity in Italy

Italy is widely known as having some of the most progressive legal policies supporting inclusive practice including an over 30-year tradition of educating students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Inclusion in Italy is based on the principle that the integration of people with disabilities is a positive force in the classroom, because it offers all students opportunities to develop new understandings and knowledge. Disability, therefore, is considered a point of strength, rather than a problem. Italy also boasts a public education and basic literacy level of nearly 97%, which is quite remarkable, although international comparisons of test scores place Italy much closer to the U.S. in other areas. Today, Italy is experiencing a new wave of immigration as well as the effects of a widespread downturn in the economy. Disability studies, as a field of inquiry, is beginning to emerge in Italy. Thus, the implementation and meanings of integration (or inclusion) take on new meanings in the midst of these changes, making this a very significant time to be studying and observing inclusion and literacy instruction in Italy.

Subjects

  • Education

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