Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Schools and teacher training in the Veneto (Italy) 1815-1870
    Gheller, Louis ( 1974)
    Education in the Veneto (also known as Venezia Euganea) was given, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, mainly by religious Orders of both sexes. Little was done for the mass of the people. The most famous order was the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), principally concerned with secondary and university education. The teachers in this Order had to complete the rigorous course of the inferior colleges (corresponding to the later gymnasiums and lyceums) and the superior course (corresponding to university level). Those permanent teachers whose task it was to train other teachers had to complete even further university level studies. Uniformity of teaching techniques and methods was part of the Jesuit system. Under the guidance of experienced teachers the student received a thorough training in these techniques and methods. When the Jesuits were expelled in 1773 Gasparo Gozzi was given the task of planning reforms, but little change occurred. From 1805 to 1814 the Veneto became part of the Italic Kingdom set up by Napoleon. Various decrees sought to improve the quality of education and teaching but as these were mainly communal responsibilities they remained mainly in the hands of private institutions and religious orders. However, all teachers were required to make an oath of loyalty to the King (Napoleon) and provisions were made for the training of teachers for State Schools. The training took place either in selected major elementary schools (a three month course) or in normal schools (a six month course). When Austria returned to the Veneto it set up a state school system modelled on that of Austria itself. The teacher was confined to a rigidly prescribed curriculum and his work was closely supervised by an inspectorial system. Major difficulties arose in providing sufficient schools, trained teachers and enforcing the compulsory education provisions. Austria continued and extended the provisions for elementary teacher training made during the Italic Kingdom. Detailed instructions were set out regarding syllabii and teacher duties and responsibilities. The teaching method favoured in the elementary schools was the "normal" method which was composed of four parts - the use of initial letters, the use of tables, the use of reading in unison and the use of interrogations. The Austrian model also served for secondary education. After elementary school the students proceeded onto either a gymnasium or a technical school. These technical schools provided more practical courses and taught modern languages in contrast to the gymnasium where purely classical (Latin and Greek) were offered. The government prescribed the subjects to be taught and the texts to be used in all government, communal and episcopal schools, at least until the Concordat, signed between the Church and Austria in 1855, when the Church was given a freer hand in this area. The Austrian government also restricted the independence of private institutions which had a long tradition in the Veneto. When the Veneto became part of the new Kingdom of Italy in 1866, the numbers of schools were increased in all areas and a re-organized system of teacher training was introduced.