Michael Cascianelli, Schoolwide Enrichment Model Coordinator at Istituto Marymount School in Rome, Italy brings us this guest blog post on the Renzulli Learning System in an Italian context:
During the last month I had the immense opportunity to try the Renzulli Learning System (RLS) as a platform for students, as a differentiating tool for teachers and as a monitoring device for parents.
As a Principal and as a Schoolwide Enrichment Model Coordinator of a private catholic school in Italy, I have found RLS provides endless possibilities for student support. Based on a student profiler that documents students’ interests, abilities, learning and expression styles, the system differentiates learning through giving students the possibility to get access to 50.000 activities. These can be chosen directly by the students and aim to make pragmatic impact on their enthusiasm, engagement, and enjoyment inside and outside of school. Moreover, teachers are now able to keep track of all students’ passions, to monitor their independent work at home and to plan lessons based on both qualitative and quantitative data gathered by the system. Finally, parents use the system as homelearning support for their children who are now learning skills for both the prescribed curriculum and for their own specific interests.
When investigating the concept of ‘inclusion’ in the academic literature, there are a number of scholars who see this as a never-ending search (Ainscow, 2005) to which schools can aspire but they can never fully reach due to the countless variables involved when facing students’ diversity. However by using RLS, I came to consider that this process of getting closer to students’ continuous development can indeed be effectively supported by implementing the platform and therefore, supporting all educational agencies involved in every school.