This book contains a number of articles published by the author from 2006 to 2012 in the international scientific magazine «History of Education & Children’s Literature» (HECL) dedicated to the history of schools and educational and cultural processes in Italy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As a whole, they reflect the three thematic areas around which an undoubtedly prominent part of research conducted by the author over the last 10/15 years has centred: the problems relating to the relationship between education, school modernisation and social-cultural transformations in Italy both before and after unification in the nineteenth century; the evolution of educational processes and scholastic publishing and school textbooks in Giolitti’s liberal Italy and during the Fascist period; and lastly, the role played by the school and by popular education in promoting constitutional values and in building the democratic citizenship of Republican Italy. Written while bearing in mind the more recent, influential guidelines of international school and education historiography and founded on precious archive and press material, these articles provide a detailed, original reconstruction of the socio-economic scenarios and political and cultural events that denoted the birth and evolution of the Italian scholastic system in the 19th and 20th centuries and at the same time made literacy and enculturation of the Italian people possible in the various areas of this nation. At the same time, they also shed light not only on the ideologies (and relative pedagogies) that inspired the basic guidelines and scholastic policy choices made by the various national governments during the different historical periods (from the liberal Giolitti era, through the twenty-year Fascist period, the post Second World War period and on to the advent of the republican democracy) but also the particular development of schooling in the same length of time from the point of view of the curricula and study plans in the various types and levels of education, teaching programmes and educational methods (subjects, methods, etc), and also the devices and tools used to support teaching and learning in the classrooms (manuals, text books, copybooks etc).
Roberto Sani (Roma 1958) is full professor of History of Education at the University of Macerata. He founded and is director of the international Journal «History of Education & Children’s Literature» (HECL). In recent years, he has been Visiting Professor at European and extra-European universities and research centers and has been part of Jury de Doctorat and Tribunal de Tesis Doctoral established in various French and Spanish universities. He is the author of several volumes and numerous essays and articles on the history of education and educational institutions in modern and contemporary age and on Italian school politics between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.