Dialogic literary gatherings (DLGs) were implemented. Three classes participated in the implementation, two in science teaching and one in English teaching. They read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in English and a Darwin anthology in one of the two science classes. A contemporary text was chosen in the other class. The contemporary text did not facilitate dialogue unlike the other two classics that triggered dialogues on very important and urgent issues.

Impact and successes

Discovering each other. Communicating aspects of one’s own religion for example meant that there was a better understanding of each other’s customs. A Syrian boy, just arrived, spoke several times, which made the others get to know him better and he felt more comfortable in the new group as a result. A safe space for sharing even serious issues, such as eating disorders or parental conflicts; this means having new tools to deal with these situations. Discovering interest in others’ traditions makes the students feel more adequate. For example, the Muslim tradition of halal was explained to classmates during dialogic gathering and helped in getting to know each other better.

Lessons, learning and recommendations

  • Frequency is important. Lengthy breaks between meetings should be avoided. 
  • An inclusive school system can result sometimes exclusively, paradoxically, given the difficulties for newly arrived students with little Italian knowledge or students with disabilities to have the same learning pace as their peers. This can eventually result in isolation. 
  • Addressing individual needs: a Bengali student shared her desire to read and her lack of books, which the teacher took on by providing her with readings.
  • Teachers would like to carry on the practice implemented and other Successful Educational Actions (SEAs) the following year; specifically, teachers would like to implement those SEAs that have a higher degree of family involvement.
  • Need for tools to be able to implement SEAs in an inclusive way, including for children with severe disabilities.