Autumn is a time of extraordinary importance, given the resumption of school activities. The summer months seem a distant memory. They were traditionally a time for rest and the deeper reflection that is difficult to set aside and cultivate intensively during the school year. They allowed us to see with a certain calm and greater clarity what had been done previously, be they positive results, failures or omissions. Then, in September came the restart, with the challenge and fatigue of preparing adequate spaces for the resumption of activities, renewing the staff, and perfecting a new course of teaching.
Only now does it feel as if the school year is really beginning, that we can teach and restart that attitude and practice of evaluation that makes school one of the places where awareness is exercised and developed, a habit of critical thinking is created, and we can rethink what is happening. All this is done in order to achieve prudent and authentic innovation and a wise and gradual growth of the individual and his or her life in the community.
Evaluation – while being a constitutive element of the educational process as a whole, since it accompanies, strengthens and catalyzes learning and its objectives – takes on an unmistakable centrality when students come to progress to the next stage of their education. We know it well: it is at the end of a term – quarterly, four-monthly, or annual as it may be – that it arouses the greatest expectations and strongest fears. However, to think this way is to lay the groundwork for failure, or at least partial failure, of the educational process.
Moreover, it would in many ways be unfair to limit, as is often the case, the meaning and scope of the assessment process to a question linked to the fate of the individual and his or her immediate educational future. In fact, the path of the individual goes through a series of social systems that are in fact themselves put under scrutiny: family, the circle of friends (including those on social platforms, today increasingly popular and diversified), the neighborhood or elective community, to give the most common examples, specifically school and the set of educational enterprises that make up the school world. In this sense, the most relevant question is whether these different systems have succeeded in allying themselves to give perspective and a future to the new generations, and with them to the country.