The Ginnasio and Liceo in Habsburg Milan (1814-1859): School policy, teaching and family social background of the pupils

Simonetta Polenghi, Valentina Chierichetti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

In the territories of the Austrian monarchy enrollments in the Gymnasien declined in the first two decades of the XIX century, before slowly raise again in the 1830s, to expand in the second half of the century (G.Cohen). The data about enrollments in the ginnasi and licei of Lombardy differ from this trend, because they show a growth that started earlier and continued, in spite of the attempts of the government to contain it. This great demand of instruction has to be explained in connection with the economic situation of Lombardy and with the strong network of elementary schools already existing. The real data about school history in Lombardy have been long ignored, because the Restoration period was considered a dark chapter in the history of Italian schooling, until new research have shown that Austria stood out not only due to its school policy, which led to an increase in the literacy rate (X.Toscani), but also due to the quality of elementary school teacher training (S.Polenghi). As for the secondary school, after the pioneering work of D.Giglio (1974), E.Pagano has studied the teaching career in Lombardy-Venetia; S.Polenghi has examined the impact of Austrian legislation (G.Grimm) on the Lombardy ginnasi; V.Chierichetti has published a detailed book on the public ginnasi and licei of Milan, from 1818 to 1851. The few years after Thun’s reforms have been analyzed by B.Mazohl, V.Chierichetti and S.Polenghi. Milan, capital of the Kingdom of Lombardy and Venetia, had two Imperial Ginnasi and Licei, plus a municipal Ginnasio and a private College. Milan was a rich city, with many artisans and shopkeepers who desired a better education for their sons. The high attendance constantly worried Vienna, which tried repeatedly to make the high school more selective, fearing social mobility. This paper presents the results of a research carried out through archival sources and the class registers of the high schools of Milan in the Restoration age. The sources used allow a quantitative analysis (on more than 17.000 pupils) that produces a detailed picture of the social family background of the pupils and their school performances. The research proves that many pupils of the Ginnasi belonged to the middle class but also to low classes, whereas upper class pupils prevailed in the Licei. The fears of Vienna were actually correct. Indeed, the high number of graduated of the University of Pavia could not be absorbed by the job market (M.Meriggi). Not surprisingly, Pavia University was an active center of recruitment to Liberal thought and Risorgimento movement (S.Polenghi). The overcrowding of Ginnasi had severe drawbacks on the teaching system. The discipline was rigid, the teaching mainly mnemonic, with a strict and obsessive system of exams. The lack of Realschulen was one of the cause of this overcrowding. After 1859, when Milan joined Piedmont, the City Council changed the school policy and Milan had three Realschulen instead of one and two public Ginnasi instead of three. The attendance at the Realschulen overcame attendance at the two Ginnasi in 1866.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteISCHE 42, Social history of educational knowledge, media and learning technologies. Book of Abstracts
Pagine130-131
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021
EventoISCHE 42, Social history of educational knowledge, media and learning technologies. - Online Conference
Durata: 14 giu 202125 giu 2021

Convegno

ConvegnoISCHE 42, Social history of educational knowledge, media and learning technologies.
CittàOnline Conference
Periodo14/6/2125/6/21

Keywords

  • Ginnasio and Liceo students
  • Austrian Habsburg Monarchy
  • Restoration age
  • Milan
  • History of schooling

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