Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

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Scuola Normale of Pisa
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Logo of the Scuola Normale Superiore
Established 1810
Type State-supported
Director Prof. Fabio Beltram
Admin. staff ca. 120
Undergraduates ca. 150
Postgraduates ca. 120
Doctoral students ca. 190
Location Pisa, Italy
Website www.sns.it/

The Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa is a public higher learning institution in Pisa, Italy.

The Scuola Normale, together with the University of Pisa and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, is a part of the Pisa University System. It is one of the three officially sanctioned special-statute public universities in Italy, being part of the process of Superior Graduate School in Italy (Grandes écoles)[1] or Scuola Superiore Universitaria.[2]

History[edit]

A detail of the main building

The Scuola Normale Superiore was founded in 1810 by Napoleonic decree, as twin institution of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, itself dating back to the French Revolution jurisdiction. The term “École Normale” (“Scuola Normale”) was coined by Joseph Lakanal who, in submitting a report to the National Convention of 1794 on behalf of the Committee of Public Instruction, explained it as follows: “Normales : du latin norma, règle. Ces écoles doivent être en effet le type et la règle de toutes les autres”. [3][4]

The Decree of Foundation[edit]

Napoleon I rethought the project of an École Normale in 1808, by establishing a “Normale” hall of residence in Paris, to house young students and train them in the art of teaching the humanities and sciences. The project was replicated in Tuscany by a decree dated 18 October 1810, with the foundation in Pisa, seat of one of the Imperial University Academies, of a branch of the École Normale Supérieure of Paris, called the Scuola Normale Superiore.[3][5]

The Grand-Duchy Period: 1847-1859[edit]

The first Statute of the Scuola Normale Superiore

When, in 1814, Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany returned to Tuscany, the project of a Scuola Normale in Pisa ceased. Only at the beginning of the 1840s, in connection with the university reform of 1839-1841, was the project resumed. The question was combined with the proposals of resumption of the educational activities of the ancient Order of Saint Stephen, whose main premises were within the Palazzo della Carovana in Pisa. On 28 November 1846, a grand-ducal motu proprio founded a Tuscan Scuola Normale in Pisa (also referred to as the Imperial Royal Scuola Normale, since it was linked to the Austrian system), with both theoretical and practical aims, under the patronage of the Order of Saint Stephen, but depending on the University of Pisa.[3][6]

The Scuola Normale during the Kingdom of Italy: 1859-1862[edit]

On 17 October 1862 the Minister of Education of the Kingdom of Italy Carlo Matteucci implemented new regulations in a decree that transformed the institution to the famous "Normal School of the Kingdom of Italy". There was to be an organic division into two Faculties, of Arts and Sciences.[3][6]

Scuola Normale from 1863-1927[edit]

In 1863, was appointed a new Director of the Scuola Normale, the respected Pasquale Villari. Villari left the Scuola in 1865, and his place was taken by the mathematician Enrico Betti; from 1890 to 1900, the position of Director was filled by literature historian Alessandro d'Ancona, and from 1900 to 1918 by the mathematician Ulisse Dini. The new regulations, issued by Minister Michele Coppino in 1877, reviewed and simplified the internal study regulations and equalized, from an organizational point of view.[3][6]

The Scuola Normale under Gentile: 1928-1943[edit]

The philosopher Giovanni Gentile was placed at the head of the Scuola Normale as commissioner in 1928 and as director in 1932. He expended the premises of the Scuola Normale, Palazzo dei Cavalieri, and also promulgated a new statute in 1932, which recognized the Scuola Normale as an advanced education institute with “a legal status and administrative, educational and disciplinary autonomy”, insuring autonomy from the University of Pisa. Further, he reformed the Scuola, gave it formal autonomy and sought an expansion to other disciplines, with the creation of the Collegio Mussolini per le Scienze Corporative (1931) and the Collegio Nazionale Medico (1932). The new colleges were later merged in the Collegio Medico-Giuridico,[7] which continued to operate (in the fields of law and medicine) under the jurisdiction of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.[5][6][8][9][10][11]

Post-war Period[edit]

During the post-war period, there were many practical difficulties; however, besides the restoration of Palazzo dei Cavalieri. Scuola Normale in 1951, established the Antonio Pacinotti boarding school, reserved to students of the faculties of Agriculture, Economics and Engineering, with plans to be further opened to other faculties as well. In 1967 the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento merged the Scuola per le Scienze Applicate A. Pacinotti (founded in 1951) and the Collegio Medico-Giuridico forming the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies. The new institution, while still committed to the model established by the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, was administered by the University of Pisa. In 1987 Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies acquired complete independence (Law of 14 February 1987, No.41)[12][13] and maintains strong ties with both the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the University of Pisa creating the Pisa University System.[5][6][8][9][10][11]

The present-day Structure[edit]

Over time, the Scuola Normale has increasingly opened up to society, and while remaining an elite institute, has offered its cultural activities and heritage to an ever-wider audience. Also, thanks to the law of 18 June 1986, which granted the Diploma di Perfezionamento equivalent to Doctor of Philosophy,[14][15] the Scuola Normale has been given separate university status by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Italy), together with Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies leading the model of Scuole di Eccellenza (Schools of Excellence or Superior Graduate Schools in Italy)[16][1] or Scuola Superiore Universitaria.[2]

Organisation[edit]

The educational programs at the Scuola Normale are divided into two levels: Undergraduate and Doctoral. The undergraduate program corresponds to the 1st-cycle (Bachelor) and 2nd-cycle (Postgraduate) programs provided by Italian universities.

In 1927, in addition to the undergraduate program, the Scuola Normale was the first institution in Italy to create a doctoral program (PhD) (Italian: Corsi di Perfezionamento),[14] equivalent to the PhD introduced in other Italian universities in 1980, 3rd cycle degrees as predicted by the Bologna Process. Moreover, every year the Scuola Normale announces competitions for post-doctoral grants: the grantee works in close contact with the best Italian and foreign professors within the laboratories and research centers of the Scuola Normale and has the opportunity to collaborate with the most important and prestigious institutions, both Italian and international.[peacock term]

Campus[edit]

Palazzo della Carovana, Scuola Normale main building
Church of the Knights of Order of Saint Stephen

The Scuola Normale is located in its original historical building, called Palazzo della Carovana, in Piazza dei Cavalieri, in the medieval centre of Pisa.

Academics[edit]

Fields of study[edit]

The Scuola Normale offers classes in both humanities and sciences.

Faculty of Arts[edit]

The Faculty of Arts is organized into five disciplinary areas:

  1. Ancient History and Classical Philology
  2. Italian Literature and Linguistics
  3. Art History and Archaeology
  4. History and Paleography
  5. Philosophy

Faculty of Sciences[edit]

The Faculty of Sciences is organized into five disciplinary areas:

  1. Biology
  2. Chemistry
  3. Physics
  4. Computer Science
  5. Mathematics

Admission[edit]

In order to become a student at the Scuola Normale, or normalista, the candidate must pass an extremely selective admissions exam. There are only sixty candidates admitted out of nearly 1000 applicants on average every year, which is only 6% admission rate. The exam comprises questions covering the entire chosen field of study. The normalisti receive free housing, free lunches and dinners, and a monthly stipend.

Students live in colleges: Collegio Domenico Timpano, Collegio Alessandro d'Ancona, Collegio Enrico Fermi, Collegio Giosue Carducci and Collegio Alessandro Faedo (together with the Honours College Students (allievi) of Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)[10]

The Scuola does not have a full programme of undergraduate and graduate studies; instead, the students follow the ordinary courses at the public University of Pisa, and complement them with additional classes and seminars taught by the professors of the Scuola Normale. The normalisti are required to score high marks in their exams at the public university (average marks of at least 27/30 and no mark below 24/30) in order to maintain their scholarship. The PhD programme, instead, is separate and completely independent of the degrees at the University of Pisa. The PhD course is called corso di perfezionamento, and the students are called perfezionandi. The perfezionamento, instituted in 1927, is much older than the PhD programme of the Italian public university, instituted in 1980.

Undergraduate Programmes[edit]

Undergraduate programs at the Scuola Normale correspond to the 1st-cycle (Bachelor) and 2nd-cycle (Master) programmes provided by the Italian university system (a three-plus-two year program). In order to pursue undergraduate work at the Scuola, students must pass competitive entrance exams. Students who are admitted from the first year of the Scuola Normale are entitled to continue for the full five years, on condition that they fulfill their yearly academic obligations. Every student of the Scuola Normale must enroll in a degree programme at the University of Pisa, and their degree programme must correspond to the educational areas of the Scuola Normale in the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Sciences. If they fulfill their academic obligations, the students receive the Bachelor degree from the University of Pisa and the first-level diploma from the Scuola Normale at the end of their third year, and the postgraduate degree from the University of Pisa and the second-level diploma from the Scuola Normale at the end of their fifth year.

According to Scuola Normale regulations, in order to be admitted to the next academic year and remain a student of the Scuola Normale, undergraduate students must maintain annual average marks of at least 27/30, and no single mark lower than 24/30 for the studies carried out at the University of Pisa.[3]

The undergraduate programs offered are:[17]

  • Bachelor Programmes – Faculty of Arts : Literature, Humanities Computing, Cinema, Music and Theater, Philosophy, History, Cultural Heritage Sciences
  • Bachelor Programmes – Faculty of Sciences: Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity, Geology, Natural Sciences, Chemical Sciences and Technologies for Industry and the Environment

Postgraduate Programmes[edit]

The postgraduate programmes offered are:[18]

  • Postgraduate Programmes – Faculty of Arts
  1. Italian Language and Literature
  2. European Literature and Philology
  3. Linguistics
  4. Cinema, Theater and Multimedia Production
  5. Geography
  6. Philosophy and Forms of Knowledge
  7. Archaeology
  8. Art History
  9. Near Eastern and Middle Eastern Languages and Civilizations
  10. Classical Studies
  11. Library and Archival Sciences
  12. History and Civilization
  • Postgraduate Programmes – Faculty of Sciences
  1. Marine Biology
  2. Chemistry
  3. Industrial Chemistry
  4. Applied Physics
  5. Natural Resource Management
  6. Computer Science
  7. Mathematics
  8. Neurobiology
  9. Materials Science
  10. Environmental Science and Technologies
  11. Biomolecular Science and Technologies
  12. Physical Science
  13. Physiopathology
  14. Geology
  15. Information technology

Doctoral Programmes (PhD)[edit]

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa was the first institution in Italy, in 1927, to create a doctoral programme, under the original name Diploma di Perfezionamento.[19][20] Research doctorates (Italian: Dottorato di ricerca) in Italy were later introduced in 1980.[21][22][23]

The Superior Graduate Schools in Italy (Grandes écoles)[1] (Italian: Scuola Superiore Universitaria),[24] also called Schools of Excellence (Scuole di Eccellenza)[1][25] such as Scuola Normale and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies still keep their reputed historical "Diploma di Perfezionamento" title.[20][26][27][28][29]

The Doctoral Programmes offered by Scuola Normale Superiore grant a degree fully equivalent to a Ph.D. and are recognized International Doctoral Programmes involving various forms of collaboration and joint ventures with foreign universities.[15]

Exchange Agreements[edit]

Undergraduate and doctoral students of the Scuola Normale can participate in exchange fellowship programs and spend study periods abroad based on specific framework conventions between the Scuola Normale and several international universities.[30]

Post-Doctoral Continuing Education and Research[edit]

The Scuola Normale is part of a highly qualified university and research institution network. In addition to the University of Pisa and the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, the Scuola Normale actively collaborates with the National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR), whose largest research center is located in Pisa.[citation needed]

An extremely significant aspect of the Scuola Normale is the intertwining of education and research, which is a peculiar feature of both undergraduate and doctoral programs.[31][32]

Library[edit]

The Library was founded along with the Scuola Normale and has gradually expanded to a size of more than 800,000 volumes and 4,000 periodicals, while always guaranteeing open access. Today it is the largest open-shelf library in Italy[citation needed] and one of the largest in Europe and in the world.[citation needed]

It is housed in three buildings: Palazzo della Carovana, where the periodical section is located, Palazzo della Gherardesca, currently housing most of the volumes, and Palazzo del Capitano, housing the whole section of Sciences (volumes and periodicals), the sector of Art and the sector of Antique and Rare Works.[33]

Rankings[edit]

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

Enrico Fermi
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Carlo Rubbia
Giovanni Gronchi

Notable alumni and faculty of the Scuola Normale include:[39][40]

  • Giuliano Amato, politician and former Prime Minister of Italy, also studied at the Collegio Medico-Giuridico of the Scuola Normale Superiore, which today is Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
  • Luigi Bianchi, mathematician, a leading member of the vigorous geometric school which flourished in Italy during the later years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century
  • Sabino Cassese, Professor of Administrative Law and a judge of the Constitutional Court of Italy, also studied at the Collegio Medico-Giuridico of the Scuola Normale Superiore, which today is Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
  • Carlo Ginzburg, noted historian and proponent of the field of microhistory. He is best known for his Il formaggio e I vermi (1976, English title: The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller) which examined the beliefs of an Italian heretic, Menocchio, from Montereale Valcellina

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ricerca Italiana - Scuole di Eccellenza
  2. ^ a b c "Italy's big six form network for elite". Times Higher Education. 18 February 2000. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Student Guidebook - Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
  4. ^ Écoles de l'an III
  5. ^ a b c Nicola Bellini, Nadio Delai (a cura di), Merito, Ambizione, Collegialità: il contributo della Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna alla formazione della classe dirigente, ETS, Pisa, 2009
  6. ^ a b c d e Nicola Bellini, Nadio Delai (a cura di), Merito, Ambizione, Collegialità: il contributo della Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna alla formazione della classe dirigente, ETS, Pisa, 2009
  7. ^ La Normale nella Repubblica : ' Collegio medico-giuridico della Normale diventa il primo nucleo della attuale Scuola di studi universitari e di perfezionamento Sant’Anna'
  8. ^ a b Gianluca Breghi, Elisa Neri (a cura di), La chiesa e il monastero di Sant'Anna in Pisa: sede della Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Bandecchi & Vivaldi, Pontedera, 2002
  9. ^ a b Silvia Alessi, L'educazione del cuore e la formazione del carattere: vita collegiale della giovine al Conservatorio di Sant'Anna in Pisa. 1860-1920, ETS, Pisa, 2006
  10. ^ a b c Guide for International Students, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, II Edition, 2011
  11. ^ a b Dino Satriano, 'Dove crescono i talenti. Viaggio nella Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa', Felici Editore, 2010
  12. ^ Law of 14 February 1987, No.41 | L. 14 febbraio 1987, n. 41 Istituzione della Scuola superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento S. Anna di Pisa
  13. ^ Università in Italia, Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR)
  14. ^ a b Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) Decree
  15. ^ a b STATUTO DELLA SCUOLA NORMALE SUPERIORE DI PISA (legge 18 giugno 1986, n. 308)
  16. ^ Superior Graduate School in Italy (Grandes écoles)
  17. ^ Scuola normale superiore di Pisa Undergraduate Admission
  18. ^ Scuola normale superiore di Pisa Admission
  19. ^ Student Guidebook - Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
  20. ^ a b STATUTO DELLA SCUOLA NORMALE SUPERIORE DI PISA (legge 18 giugno 1986, n. 308)
  21. ^ Law of February 21, 1980, No. 28 and Presidential Decree No. 382 of 11 July 1980
  22. ^ Law of February 21, 1980, No. 28
  23. ^ Decreto Presidente Repubblica 11 luglio 1980, n. 382
  24. ^ "Italy's big six form network for elite" in Times Higher Education (THE) by Paul Bompard, 18 February 2000
  25. ^ Scuole di Eccellenza
  26. ^ Article 3 of the Law of 14 February 1987, No.41 | L. 14 febbraio 1987, n. 41 Istituzione della Scuola superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento S. Anna di Pisa
  27. ^ MIUR Decree
  28. ^ Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) Decree
  29. ^ Università in Italia, Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR)
  30. ^ Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Exchange Agreements
  31. ^ - Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa laboratories and research groups of the Faculty of Arts
  32. ^ - Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa laboratories and research groups of the Faculty of Sciences
  33. ^ Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Library
  34. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities | ARWU | First World University Ranking | Shanghai Ranking". ARWU. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  35. ^ [1]
  36. ^ "Italian graduate programmes on the world's stage | Topgradschool". Graduateschool.topuniversities.com. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  37. ^ European Research Ranking
  38. ^ "European Research Ranking 2010". Researchranking.org. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  39. ^ Data sheet about the 2009/2010 academic year, il Sole 24 ore, 4 May 2010]
  40. ^ Which future for the Scuola Normale, il Sole 24 ore, 4 May 2010 (in Italian)]
  41. ^ Alfieri, Maria Chiara (27 March 2011). ""Leopardi" di Pietro Citati". NonSoloCinema (in Italian). Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  42. ^ Snow, C. (1981). The Physicists: A Generation that Changed the World. Little Brown. ISBN 1-84232-436-5. 
  43. ^ Goodchild, P. (1983). Oppenheimer: The Father of the Atom Bomb. BBC. ISBN 0-563-20212-2. 
  44. ^ "Enrico Fermi Dead at 53; Architect of Atomic Bomb". The New York Times. November 23, 1954. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  45. ^ Lichello, R. (1971). Enrico Fermi: Father of the Atomic Bomb. SamHar Press. ISBN 978-0-87157-011-6. 
  46. ^ Leonida Tonelli.
  47. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
  48. ^ Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa at the Mathematics Genealogy Project

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°43′10.60″N 10°24′0.81″E / 43.7196111°N 10.4002250°E / 43.7196111; 10.4002250