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Policy framework of the Learning Disabilities in Math

The first chapter provides an overview of the state of the art of the regulatory and policy framework with reference to the Learning Disabilities in Math.




Policy Framework of the Learning Disabilities in Math

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1. Constitutional principles and legislation for students with learning disabilities: The Italy Framework

The Constitution states that the Italian Republic guarantees school for all (Article 34) and requires that the mandatory duty of solidarity be fulfilled (Article 2). Moreover, it states that it is the ‘duty of the Republic to remove any obstacles constraining the freedom and equality of citizens in order to ensure the full development of the human person’ (Article 3).

The Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca or MIUR) assures the uniformity of national educational by issuing general educational goals, specific learning goals according to students’ skills, the minimum national curriculum, standards for the quality of educational services, and general criteria for student assessment. [x]

According to their autonomy, schools can be flexible in adapting teaching time, curricula and didactics to pupils’ specific learning needs. They can also provide extra-curricular education and activities according to their cultural, social and economic context.

Although it acknowledges the existence of specific learning disorders, Italy’s legislation does not describe specific educational policies addressing learning disabilities in mathematics; when such issues arise, the approach follows the legislation addressing general learning disabilities, within a vision of “inclusion”. The diagnosis about the existence of learning disabilities is directed to two specific educational domains: Math and Italian language. For each of these areas, different diagnosis tools are used. Such tools differ according to the age of the student and they are applied only by certified psychologists.

From this perspective, there are three main ministerial directives:

  • "Intervention tools for students with special educational needs and territorial organization for school inclusion", Ministerial Directive 2012 [3]
    This document describes a directive concerning the methods of intervention for schools’ teachers of all levels, in order to promote the school inclusion of students with disabilities. Under the category of disabilities, the ministry includes a wide group of students among which students with Moderate Learning Disabilities (MLD) are included. This directive addresses and extends the ways in which teachers may intervene, as well as the adaptations of the curricula. It also provides important indications regarding the territorial organization for.

  • "Students with special educational needs. Clarifications", Ministerial Circular 2019 [4]
    This document describes a shared tool (called Personalized Teaching Plan) that allows each student to dialogue and cooperate with the class group and to define some tools to help learning, within the scope of an inclusive educational plan as well as the extent of the educational co-responsibility of each school component. In addition, the document also describes how to design the envisaged educational goals and determines that they should be achieved according to the rhythm and learning style of each considered student.

  • "New rules on Specific Learning Disorders in schools", Italian Law 2010 [5]
    This law recognizes dyslexia, dysgraphia, dysorthography and dyscalculia as specific learning disorders, which occur are compatible with the presence of adequate cognitive skills, in the absence of neurological pathologies and sensory deficits, but that can constitute an important limitation for some activities of daily life.
    The governmental norms [6-9] contain regulations directed to the integration of those students with general learning disabilities.


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The SMiLD project is funded by the European Commission through the Italian National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.