In 1977, anticipating other countries, the Italian legislation legitimized students with and without disabilities to live side by side in the school by undertaking an inclusive process aimed at fostering relationships, learning and promoting attitudes of positive reciprocity between subjects involved. Thanks to this interaction, a path of awareness, understanding and acceptance can take place (Prater, 2006) suited to accompanying the recognition of the identity of each one (Canevaro et al., 2011) within relationships that are able to welcome every difference, especially those defined as 'special' (Ianes, 2006). Forty years after the start of this process, the Italians, as reported by the data provided by the Serono-CENSIS Foundation Survey (2010), relating to the knowledge and attitudes towards disability, have declared that they know issues associated to disability in a inadequate way. It is also highlighted how, for many, there are still difficulties in interacting effectively with persons with disabilities and the belief that disability is a cause of strong social discrimination and discomfort in interpersonal relationships. What remains to the Italians of these forty years of inclusive experience lived in the school? Is it possible to assert that the school has missed a fundamental educational goal also regarding the investments in terms of economic, human, and training resources? The core is not the questioning of the inclusive paradigm, but the reflection on how this can achieve greater implementation. It is a call for the educational and planning professionalism of teachers in inclusive schools. Indeed, these, which represent the most effective means of dealing with discriminatory attitudes (UNESCO, 1994), are today urged to think about the issue of disability in a strategic way, as promoting greater knowledge and understanding of disability among all students involves benefits for society in general (Disability Right Commission, 2005), creating a full inclusion that must also respond to the need for education in knowledge and awareness of disability for all (Leicester, 2001). Therefore, schools can play a strategic role in promoting positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities: after all, it is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN, 2006) that gives schools a central part in strengthening positive attitudes from early age, promoting training programs to raise awareness of persons with disabilities and their rights. Avoiding a reflection aimed at enhancing disability would mean depriving, in whole or in part, future Italian citizens of social and civic skills representing the most relevant ones without which no other can be built (Da Re, 2015). The direction to follow could be outlined by those educational paths related to democratic citizenship and education of human rights aimed at building social and civic skills recognized by the European Union (2006) and Italian Constitution as fundamental for every citizen. However, it is necessary to note that these paths lack an essential visibility in order to be concretely realized, remaining confined to the sole intentions of the legislator, as overwhelmed by the curricula of the individual disciplines (Disability Right Commission, 2005). In relation of the above considerations, the aims of the presented research are: 1) the design of a model composed by a curriculum, involving the topic of disability into the disciplines, and specific teaching proposals for the high school; 2) the evaluation of the effectiveness (follow up) of the model in modifying students' attitudes towards disability. The project, began in September 2019, is still ongoing and this paper is focused on the first objective.

(2021). Disability and Curriculum: Building Social and Civic Skills Towards Disability at School . Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/200798

Disability and Curriculum: Building Social and Civic Skills Towards Disability at School

Bianquin, Nicole;
2021

Abstract

In 1977, anticipating other countries, the Italian legislation legitimized students with and without disabilities to live side by side in the school by undertaking an inclusive process aimed at fostering relationships, learning and promoting attitudes of positive reciprocity between subjects involved. Thanks to this interaction, a path of awareness, understanding and acceptance can take place (Prater, 2006) suited to accompanying the recognition of the identity of each one (Canevaro et al., 2011) within relationships that are able to welcome every difference, especially those defined as 'special' (Ianes, 2006). Forty years after the start of this process, the Italians, as reported by the data provided by the Serono-CENSIS Foundation Survey (2010), relating to the knowledge and attitudes towards disability, have declared that they know issues associated to disability in a inadequate way. It is also highlighted how, for many, there are still difficulties in interacting effectively with persons with disabilities and the belief that disability is a cause of strong social discrimination and discomfort in interpersonal relationships. What remains to the Italians of these forty years of inclusive experience lived in the school? Is it possible to assert that the school has missed a fundamental educational goal also regarding the investments in terms of economic, human, and training resources? The core is not the questioning of the inclusive paradigm, but the reflection on how this can achieve greater implementation. It is a call for the educational and planning professionalism of teachers in inclusive schools. Indeed, these, which represent the most effective means of dealing with discriminatory attitudes (UNESCO, 1994), are today urged to think about the issue of disability in a strategic way, as promoting greater knowledge and understanding of disability among all students involves benefits for society in general (Disability Right Commission, 2005), creating a full inclusion that must also respond to the need for education in knowledge and awareness of disability for all (Leicester, 2001). Therefore, schools can play a strategic role in promoting positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities: after all, it is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN, 2006) that gives schools a central part in strengthening positive attitudes from early age, promoting training programs to raise awareness of persons with disabilities and their rights. Avoiding a reflection aimed at enhancing disability would mean depriving, in whole or in part, future Italian citizens of social and civic skills representing the most relevant ones without which no other can be built (Da Re, 2015). The direction to follow could be outlined by those educational paths related to democratic citizenship and education of human rights aimed at building social and civic skills recognized by the European Union (2006) and Italian Constitution as fundamental for every citizen. However, it is necessary to note that these paths lack an essential visibility in order to be concretely realized, remaining confined to the sole intentions of the legislator, as overwhelmed by the curricula of the individual disciplines (Disability Right Commission, 2005). In relation of the above considerations, the aims of the presented research are: 1) the design of a model composed by a curriculum, involving the topic of disability into the disciplines, and specific teaching proposals for the high school; 2) the evaluation of the effectiveness (follow up) of the model in modifying students' attitudes towards disability. The project, began in September 2019, is still ongoing and this paper is focused on the first objective.
Bianquin, Nicole; Sacchi, Fabio
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