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IIS Balducci, Pontassieve – Florence, Italy

The Balducci Institute, a secondary school that hosts about 1,000 students aged 14-18 and 120 teachers, is located in Pontassieve, a town 15 km from Florence. The school prepares students for university education and the world of work with four different courses: the Scientific High School, the Human Sciences High School, the Technical-Technological Institute and The Economic Technical Institute. All classrooms are equipped with PCs and interactive whiteboards to support a collaborative learning environment. Most lessons are held in disciplinary laboratories, namely science, ICT, electronics and robotics, automation, languages, gym. The school has been working on European projects for 5 years, which has made it possible to enrich the equipment of the various laboratories and to create a new space for individual study, open to all students also in extra-curricular hours. These opportunities encourage the development of key competences for citizenship and also key European competences; moreover they facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations between teachers of different subjects and the shared use of digital tools between students and teachers. The participation in the Erasmus project represents for our school the opportunity to broaden its horizons towards foreign school systems and to learn about other cultures 

The educational offer of the institute consists of four addresses:

  •  Liceo Scientifico (The Scientific High School), characterized by the study of the three specialist disciplines (Mathematics, Physics and Sciences), making use of advanced laboratories and indispensable training experiences, such as the preparatory courses for the admission tests to the scientific university faculties. Added to this is a solid humanistic training, obtained not only through the study of curricular subjects, but also enriched by engaging experiences such as the application of the rigor of Chemistry and Physics to creative research in the artistic field for the enhancement of works of art.
  • Liceo delle Scienze Umane (The High School of Human Sciences) is aimed at the study of the explanatory theories of the processes related to the construction of personal identity and human relationships. It encourages the student to mature and deepen the knowledge, skills and competences necessary to grasp the specificity and complexity of the individual’s formation and the development of social phenomena, ensuring mastery of the languages ​​of each discipline and the knowledge of the related investigation methods. The characterizing disciplines of this course of study are: Psychology, which studies the mental processes and behavior of individuals;  Sociology, which studies social systems and their dynamics; Pedagogy, which studies the educational processes of the human being along the entire life cycle; cultural anthropology that studies human cultures in their peculiarities.
  • Istituto Tecnico-Tecnologico (The Technical-Technological Institute), characterized by technical-scientific and technological training applied to areas in which there is a continuous innovation of processes, products, planning and organizational methodologies. The technological address is characterized by the Specialization in Robotics, in the teaching of Electronics and Computer Science. The school achieves these results through: the constant use of laboratories in the various disciplines and in particular in the teaching of technical-scientific and linguistic subjects; the practice of specific investigation methods of the various disciplinary fields; the study of disciplines from a systematic, historical and critical perspective; the accurate method of presentation  aimed at technical-scientific communication; the use of multimedia tools, in particular computers and the Internet.
  • Istituto Tecnico Economico (The Economic Technical Institute) is characterized by the teaching of foreign languages, economics and law, which are the fundamental cultural axes. Under these profiles the skills for the administrative management of a company are formed and the view on economic phenomena at a national and international level is broadened. These areas of knowledge are addressed with the use of innovative technological tools and with direct and engaging teaching experiences: business simulation, in which thought, knowledge and know-how merge; work placements; summer study stays abroad; realization of interdisciplinary and disciplinary courses and workshops with CLIL methodology. The didactic proposals include the use of an approach to problems which, starting from the observation of reality, proceeds towards a progressive systematization of knowledge. The activities therefore aim to promote the construction of conscious knowledge, the result of laboratory activities, but also of a problematic, motivating and operational approach, which allows students to become active and competent protagonists, as well as autonomous and aware citizens.

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