Dario Stefano, Senator for the Sinistra Ecologia Libertà party has presented to the Italian Government a proposal for including in the syllabus of Primary School a subject about “history and culture of wine”.
It is soon to know if it will be approved, so it’s in its first steps in the Italian Parliament. This proposal includes one hour per week of contents related to the Italian wine sector to students from 6 to 13 years.
Italy, the same as Spain, is one of the main wine producers, so viticulture has a great impact in the Italian economy, apart from being a very important part of its history and culture. As Dario Stefano said, “all pieces of our history are related to the grape and to the wine, it’s a distinguishing feature that has accompanied and accompany all periods of Italian history”.
From my point of view, as a secondary education teacher and as a wine lover I am, the proposal launched in Italy is a great opportunity to approach our youngest citizens to the knowledge of our viniculture heritage. It is very important that children understand the great importance that grape farming and wine producing have in our society, in order to promote the consumption of wine as a healthy food that, had with moderation offers great benefits to our body.
It’s not surprising that this initiative has been taken in Italy, a country that is not only the main wine producer together with Spain but also the leader in wine consumption per capita. This situation is very different in Spain, where we share with Italy the first place in the ranking of wine production (Spain: 20% world production – Italy: 20% world production) but we fall under place 30th in wine consumption. (Italy 337 glasses per capita vs. Spain 133 glasses per capita).
Back to the academic world, including these contents in the syllabus of Primary School will offer a wonderful learning scene to set in a context learning processes in the classroom, as a subject or as part of an existing subject.
These initiatives offer a great opportunity to teachers. It’s very interesting that governments are sensitive to wine sector, and the most important part of this proposal is that they offer resources to carry them out. I think that the most important thing is not to have a subject in the syllabus, since a good teacher would have no problem in integrating in the programming different proposals of work classroom, especially by Problem-Based Learning (PBL).
Vicente Montiel, teacher in Colegio Público “Gloria Fuertes” School in Alcázar de San Juan, develops a project every September to approach his students to one of the most important agricultural work in our region: grape harvest. This is a proof of the experiences that are developed by teachers in La Mancha associated to the history and culture of wine; initiatives that could be extended if there would be in Spain a similar proposal to the one presented in Italy.