Education and Emergency in Italy

How the Education System Reacted to the First Wave of Covid-19


The nine chapters in this book explore how the Italian education system responded to distance learning during the first wave of the pandemic. The impact of the hard lockdown on both teaching and learning revealed the inherent weaknesses of a system in which digital technology had only recently been introduced and highlighted the relevant inequalities in their access and use. While students, teachers and families adapted (albeit with difficulty) to the new learning and teaching routines, the institutions faced the challenge of ensuring quality and equality.

By including various case studies and unedited sets of data collected in different areas of the country, the book offers up-to-date insights on the impact of the pandemic on the Italian school system and provides a broad introduction to the educational emergency from a sociological perspective. The volume ends with a post-commentary comparing the Italian case with the similar situation of school closure as it occurred in the United Kingdom.

Contributors are: Paolo Barabanti, Eduardo Barberis, Nico Bazzoli, Rita Bertozzi, Stefania Capogna, Gianna Cappello, Domenico Carbone, Maddalena Colombo, Joselle Dagnes, Maria Chiara De Angelis, Maurizio Merico, Diego Mesa, Flaminia Musella, Francesco Ramella, Marco Romito, Michele Rostan, Mariagrazia Santagati, Tatiana Saruis, Fausta Scardigno, Spyros Themelis, Massimiliano Vaira and Martina Visentin.

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Maddalena Colombo is Full Professor in Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. She coordinated the Italian Sociological Association’s Sociology of Education section (AIS-EDU) from 2018 to 2021. Her research interest are educational inequalities, training and socialization processes and supply, education systems, impacts of migration in schools and the curriculum, social changes in teachers’ role, and intercultural competences.

Marco Romito is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Milano-Bicocca. He is member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Sociological Association’s Sociology of Education section (AIS-EDU) and member of the editorial board of the journal Scuola democratica. He researches educational inequalities in schools and higher education, on educational transitions and on the digitalization of education.

Massimiliano Vaira is Associate Professor of Sociology of Economy at the University of Pavia. He is member of the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER) and of the Scientific Committee of the journal Scuola democratica. His research interests are comparative analysis of higher education systems, the academic profession and work conditions, university and industry relationships, the Third Mission of universities and public engagement. He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Sociological Association’s Sociology of Education section (AIS-EDU) from 2018 to 2021.

Martina Visentin is Assistant Professor at the University of Padua, where she teaches Sociology and Social Policies. Her academic research focuses on social innovation, youth studies and cultural transformation. She has collaborated as a researcher and as a consultant for several services and universities. She was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Sociological Association’s Sociology of Education section (AIS-EDU) from 2018 to 2021.

List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Social Needs, Emergency Policies and Solidaristic Attitudes throughout the Italian Education System: Sociological Research during the Covid-19 Pandemic Outbreak
Maddalena Colombo, Marco Romito, Massimiliano Vaira and Martina Visentin

1 Challenges for Early Childhood Professionals: An Empirical Research Project on the Strategies, Practices and Effects of LEADs
Rita Bertozzi and Tatiana Saruis

2 Rethinking the Role of No Schooling during the Pandemic
Maurizio Merico and Fausta Scardigno

3 Rhetoric, Problem or Necessity? A Study of Parental Involvement during Covid-19
Mariagrazia Santagati and Paolo Barabanti

4 From Classroom to Screen: An Exploratory Study of University Students in Sicily during the Covid-19 Lockdown
Umberto Di Maggio

5 A New World Is Open? Distance Teaching in Italian Universities during the Covid-19 Emergency
Francesco Ramella and Michele Rostan

6 Young Europeans, Distance Learning and Trust in Educational Institutions: A Comparative Analysis after Covid-19
Diego Mesa

7 Inside the Emergency: Digital Teaching from the Point of View of Teachers
Eduardo Barberis, Nico Bazzoli, Domenico Carbone and Joselle Dagnes

8 Distance Learning/Teaching during the Covid-19 Emergency: The Perspective of School Principals
Stefania Capogna, Maria Chiara De Angelis and Flaminia Musella

9 The Platformization and Commodification of Italian Schools during the Covid-19: Crisis Implications for Policy and Future Research
Gianna Cappello

A Post-Commentary from the UK: Educational Challenges after the Covid-19 Pandemic
Spyros Themelis

This book will be of interest to postgraduate students, academic researchers, and practitioners.
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