The Arts @ Henson-Parks, Inc. continually encourages you to #ExploreYourWorld and gain a global perspective when it comes to the Arts and Art Education.

On #WorldViewWednesday we ask what’s going on in #ArtsEducation across the globe?

Well, we’re taking a look at Italy - one of the most artistic places on earth!

credit: www.wikiart.org

credit: www.wikiart.org

Italy is a culturally rich country.  Even the smallest village has a wonderfully historic aesthetic, where every city hoards marvelous secrets.  But what is Italy’s attitude towards the arts and its role in education? Are we certain this country cares enough about the wonderful environment it has and how children are learning from living in the shadows of artistic greatness?

In Italy there is a compulsory education up to age 16.  Age 14, the student sets the stage for his/her future with basic Math, Italian, English and/or French, general Science and Art History coursework.

credit: http://www.quazoo.com/    italian high school

credit: http://www.quazoo.com/    italian high school

Students are assessed using a score ranging from 1 to 10. To pass a verify (1),  they have to earn a minimum score of 6 out of 10.  After secondary school first level, teenagers choose the second level which is divided into: Professional studies, Technical studies and Lyceum.

Professional school studies prepares students most likely not following a university career to face the working world.  The common works associated with this curriculum  are  Mechanic and Tourism.  

Technical programs are developed institutes that combine theory and practice.  Often technical students continue their studies at the University, although many break from school to start a work career. The main fields of Technical study are Informative, Accounting and Industrial.

Last but not least is Lyceum, the highest Italian education level of secondary schools. Lyceum is divided in two branches: Classical and Scientific.

Lyceum directs the students within a purely academic world.  The Scientific path offers main subjects of Math and Physics. The Classical program focuses on contemporary literature, basing on ancient greek and latin, and combines elements of Scientific studies by including science and math.

But -  where is art?

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.
— Michelangelo

There is a small portion of artistic study during secondary education thought to be on the verge of disappearing.  It is only during this time in high school that special attention is given to the arts through courses in design, painting, photography and music, just to name a few. 


credit: http://ilmessaggero.it/  student protest gelmini decree

credit: http://ilmessaggero.it/  student protest gelmini decree

Unfortunately, with the new "Reform Gelmini" (2),  it has been a kind of “Intellectual Massacre”.  It has to be admitted that in Italy the role of art is neglected in every sense: Show, Creative Writing, Wall Writers, and Poetry. Here, of all places, where everything is art!

Teenagers are often encouraged to go abroad because of the negligence of the Italian government and its art education offerings. Italian creations are highly appreciated abroad.  Thankfully, the world wide web makes inter-cultural exchange possible. Italian teenagers don’t want to lose hope or hand it over. 

Also a journalist - like a creative writer, is an artist, but the route to become a journalist in Italy is not so easy. It is a long difficult journey through the complexities of paperwork and the governmental indifference.


What can we look forward to see in Italian art education?  We can only hope for a better future for our Italian emerging artists…like myself. 



Contributing from Lecce, Italy. 


1. A verify is the Italian way of accessing students. A teacher uses  oral and written tests during the year to valuate the competition level of the student.

2. In 2010, the Italian Parliament enacted austerity policies to decrease over 2 trillion in debt during harsh economic time.  A result of such policies were proposals by  Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini, in what  became known as the “Gelmini Decree,”  of billions in education cuts and the loss of 130,000 jobs in the education sector. 



1. http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/italian-students-protest-austerity-education-reform-gelmini-decree-2010