I classici a scuola

Luciano Favini


The recent reform of the Italian secondary school system, begun in 2010, has brought about a reduction in the annual number of hours dedicated to teaching Latin in various "Licei" (Linguistico, specializing in modern languages, Scientifico, specializing in science subjects and Liceo delle Scienze Umane, specializing in the human sciences), the aim being to increase the number of hours dedicated to mathematical and scientific studies in a renewed school timetable not exceeding 30 hours per week. Only in the Liceo Classico, specializing in classical studies, has the number of hours for teaching Greek and Latin remained unchanged. In this type of school, pupils continue to study the necessary Greek and Latin grammars required to enable them to read selected passages from the classics in the original language by authors such as Homer, Archilochus, Sappho, Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, the Attic orators and others for Greek studies, and Catullus, Lucretius, Virgil, Horace, the Augustan elegists, Caesar, Cicero, Tacitus and others for Latin. In the other types of Licei mentioned above, it is more likely that pupils will only read the Greek and Latin classics in translations into the official language of the school or into another modern language (above all English, the predominant foreign language taught in Italian schools, as well as on the Internet). Although possible under the laws regulating their autonomy, which permit schools to establish their own curriculum, most likely Italian schools will not increase the number of hours of Greek and Latin, since teachers and principals of Italian secondary schools are beginning to show disaffection towards Greek and Latin classics. Fortunately, complete decline is still far off.

I_classici_a_scuola.pdf71.55 KB