Italian Centre for Research on Universities & HE Systems

Profilo sociale e scelte formative dei diplomati eccellenti

Giancarlo Gasperoni

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2013

Are exceptionally talented students leaving upper secondary education cycles any different from other school-leavers in terms of their post-secondary education choices? One would assume so and expect them – for example – to express a higher inclination for continuing their studies, engage in early decision-making, prefer more challenging and rewarding degree programmes, as well as enjoy more advantageous social origins. These expectations can be empirically tested by using a data-base built up within an initiative promoted by the Italian Federation of Knights of Industry, which collects – annually and at a nation-wide level – information on “top-of-the class” students from Italian upper secondary schools. Over the past five years these exceptional students – a total of over 5,200 individuals – have been interviewed one year after earning their upper secondary school diploma in order to ascertain their actual decisions and record crucial aspects of their decision-making regarding their post-secondary education. Special emphasis is placed on perceptions and behaviour concerning “halls of excellence” which attempt to recruit promising students. On the whole, findings suggest that the Italian educational system is not making the most of its talented youth, a goal that is all the more important in the current context of social and economic turbulence.

Quaderni di sociologia (LVII, n. 61), Rosenberg & Sellier, pp. 11-33 [ISSN 0033-4952]



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