Constructing Memory: School in Italy in the 1970s as Narrated in the TV Drama Diario di un Maestro

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In 1973, RAI – Radiotelevisione Italiana broadcast the four-part television drama Diario di un maestro (Diary of an elementary school teacher), made by the famous Sicilian film director Vittorio De Seta and adapted from Albino Bernardini’s autobiographical novel Un anno a Pietralata (A year in Pietralata – Pietralata was a poor outer suburb of Rome). The mini-series portrayed an innovative way of providing schooling that was distant from traditional models focused on academic contents rather than on students’ overall educational development. At the same time, it documented a particular moment in the history of the Italian school system, then under pressure from several quarters to revisit its function and educational approach. The paper analyses Diario di un maestro as a historical source that has contributed to the representation and construction of the collective mentality of the period. The film was investigated by comparing it to Bernardini’s book, in relation to the educational features of each. A further focus of study was the interrelationships between the TV serial and the broader social and educational context in which it was produced. Analysis of the TV drama and book was supplemented by a review of the relevant literature and filmic materials, as well as by an interview with the researcher Francesco Tonucci, who was educational advisor for the series.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSchool Memories: New Trends in the History of Education
EditorJ. Meda, A. Viñao C. Yanes‐Cabrera
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Italy
  • Movies
  • School memories
  • XX century


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