It has created quite a few controversies.intervention of one of our readers on the subject of the PDP (Personalized Educational Plan) which he defines as an authentic “fashion” that is contributing to lower learning levels and even “ruining” our school system.
Things, of course, are very different.
The PDP is an instrument expressly provided for by ministerial decree 5669 of 2021 That “identifies, in accordance with art. 7, paragraph 2, of Law 170/2010, the training methods for teachers and school directors, the educational and didactic support measures useful to support the correct teaching/learning process from kindergarten, as well as the forms of verification and evaluation to guarantee the right to study for students diagnosed with specific learning disabilities”.
In concrete terms, the PDP is a tool that allows for forms of personalization in support of students with proven difficulties.
And, with the term proven, we mean that the difficulties must be duly certified by specialized personnel; that is, to adopt the PDP, the class council must also start from a diagnosis.
The most frequent cases are those related to dyslexia, which for decades scientific research has identified as a particular disorder that requires specific methodological and didactic interventions.
There was a time when dyslexia went unrecognized and students who “suffered” from it were often considered listless or inattentive and therefore tended to repeat activities and exercises.
For now, however, research has established that individuals with dyslexia can overcome their difficulties not with trivial repetition of activities, but with targeted interventions or the use of specific teaching materials.
For example, it has been discovered that even the use of appropriate “fonts” can be of great help in reading and understanding a text, and this is how, for some time, it has also been easy reading books.
But also speech synthesis software that allow you to “listen” to a text instead of reading it, can help you better understand the text.
Also there dyscalculia it is now recognized as a specific disorder and students with such a diagnosis could make use of compensatory tools such as the calculator, simple forms.
In essence, the PDP does not provide ad hoc “minimum goals” for students with DSAs at all. (specific learning difficulties) but didactic measures that allow all students, including those with learning disabilities, to achieve the objectives set by the national guidelines and express their abilities and potential to the fullest.
The PDP is not even a “fad” because it is an instrument expressly provided for by a state law (a law that -let’s remember- was approved in 2010 in an absolutely “transversal” way with the favorable vote of all political forces).
Finally, it should be clarified that, especially in secondary school, the PDP should not be understood as a kind of “approval” to be sure of passing to the next year, even if the evaluation criteria of the students for whom the PDP has been drawn up must be personalized.
In short, more than a trend, the PDP is an obligation that the school is obliged to comply with in the case of diagnoses presented by the family. There are PDPs designed for socioculturally disadvantaged students that do not depend on a specific diagnosis, but we will come back to this with more information.
So, in some situations there may be excesses or bad applications of the law, it is also possible, but that is another issue and must also be addressed with actions and training interventions aimed at teachers, families and school administrators.
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