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Get Off The Computer And Complete This Italian Teacher’s Summer Assignment. You Won’t Regret It.

The Huffington Post – Rebecca Klein & Adele Sarno

“A summer homework list assigned by Cesare Catà of Don Bosco High School in Fermo, a small town on the Adriatic Sea in northeastern Italy, is currently going viral across that country. Instead of giving his students required reading assignments, Catà gave them a prescription for how to live an inspired life, telling them that in the next few months, they should take time to admire a sunrise, dream about the future and read…Catà, who is 33 years old and has been teaching for seven years, says the assignment came about because of the “magic” of summer. “I was inspired by the summer itself, as a special and magic moment, useful to understand more deeply how much what is studied and apprehended at school is intimately related to the most relevant aspects of our existence,” he said…Here is a translation of the 15 assignments:”(more)

Making Language Immersion Fun for the Kids

The New York Times – DANIELLE PERGAMENT

“It was summer in Tuscany. The rolling hills were adorned with their famous haystacks. The cypress trees were majestically verdant against the golden backdrop. We were in the picturesque Renaissance town Pienza, its spire shooting up into a cloudless sky. I watched as my children boarded a scuolabus with 15 Italian kids they’d never met before. The bus pulled away, heading to a local terra-cotta museum. I looked at the faces of my children — crying, hysterical, their tiny hands banging on the windows. And I was filled with joy.”(more)

Feature: School launches first infant Chinese language course in Italy

The Christian Science Monitor – Marzia De Guili

“At the age of three, the students of an infant school here have become the first among their counterparts in Italy to get familiar with Chinese culture and language…”We have been teaching Mandarin in our college’s schools since 2005, but we think now that the time has come to start earlier. The knowledge of Chinese has become an important asset for young generations, and small kids are the quickest to learn new languages.”(more)

Poorer Reading Skills Following Changed Computer Habits of Children

Childup – Staff Reporter

“‘Our study shows that the entry of computers into the home has contributed to changing children’s habits in such a manner that their reading does not develop to the same extent as previously. By comparing countries over time we can see a negative correlation between change in reading achievement and change in spare time computer habits which indicates that reading ability falls as leisure use of computers increases’, says Monica Rosén.” (more)

No Italian jobs

Economist – Staff Writer

“According to 2005 statistics published by the OECD, he is among some 300,000 highly educated Italians who have opted to leave a country that has become rich without dismantling a social framework in which access to jobs depends on family ties, political affiliations and raccomandazioni (string-pulling recommendations).”(more)

Demonstrations over higher ed spread in Italy

New York Times (Seattle Times) – Gaia Pianigiani

“The demonstrations were a response to a bill introduced by the education minister that proposes one of the most far-reaching overhauls of Italian higher education in recent years. The minister, Maria Stella Gelmini, wants to reorganize how universities are governed and the country’s system for recruiting university professors. Gelmini is also seeking to change the way financing is allocated, by forcing universities that are running deficits to close and by rewarding meritorious institutions.”(more)