Theories and educational practices

Scientific Committee: Massimo Baldacci, Franco Frabboni, Liliana Dozza, Berta Martini, Franca Pinto Minerva
Periodicity: april, october

Vol. 3, n. 2, october 2017

Table of Contents

Massimo Baldacci


María C. Domínguez Garrido, Raúl González Fernández, María C. Medina Domínguez, Antonio Medina Rivilla

Innovative models of initial training for early childhood education’s teachers

Early childhood education is the basic educational phase that underlies the educational system. It is a privileged moment in the education of new generations. In the development of this phase, teachers are the key element. It is fundamental that they have a high level initial training, in which they should be given the fundamental abilities to handle the specificity of their student’s age range and to appropriately respond to the changing needs of today’s society. Thus, the new educational model for Early Childhood teachers that we propose is based on the development of the necessary teaching competencies, so that the teachers may carry out their duties in this phase as well as on the belief that the initial training should be strengthened. The study attempts to highlight the essential principles for designing initial training programs that could contribute to improve the professional level of early education teachers. A qualitative inquiry was performed to conduct a content analysis of the discussion groups held with the teaching teams from the Departments of Education of two Spanish and one Mexican universities. The results obtained reveal the predominance of competencies that are linked to human values (empathy, communication, recreation, etc.), in line with relevant beliefs such as community commitment, cultural diversity, human potential, family interaction and collaboration.

The article presents the eight most important functions of didactic, as determined by the author from the investigations he undertook for about 25 years, using different methodological approaches: quantitative, qualitative and mixed and different methodological alternatives. Among those, the class observation came off to be the one that provided the most information, contrasting the results of what was observed with indicators such as the students’ academic output and the developing of their intelligence and creativity, among other indicators. The precision of such functions of didactic constitutes the key element of the author’s proposal of both the method ELI and the work of development of teacher’s professional competencies that the author suggests.

This contribution raises the question of the nature and the characteristics of the educational observation, also in relation to the establishment of extra-pedagogical procedures in educational contexts. Regarding this topic, therefore, we inspect the potential scientific approach and possible cultural paradigms, bearing in mind the underlying relationship between pedagogy and other sciences, particularly Educational Sciences. In this framework, we hypothesize that educational observation can be defined as systematic, formative, dynamic and authentic. This hypothesis implies a redefinition of the role of pedagogy on the subject, from which the possible options at operating level are to be derived.

In this article, we will discuss the relationship between education and democracy, scientific method and industrialization. To do this we will highlight Dewey’s explanation of how democracy can and should be revitalized as a means of creating a good society. Democracy, according to Dewey, is a way of life, where freedom is expressed in human behaviour and where social equality is the result of the growth of individuals and communities. This is something that should not be overlooked, as it highlights the challenge that democracy offers to education and the challenge that education offers to social politics. Industrialization is a process that has involved all economically «developed» nations and that is still an aspiration for most of the so-called underdeveloped countries. For this reason, industrialization needs to be studied in the light of the scientific method and with reference to education, with the aim of understanding how it has slowed down the democratic process.

The article aims to investigate a perspective in the development of competences for education, within a school environment, by setting up genuine and functional problematic learning situations. These situations develop in various recursion phases, from those that are more complex and articulated, requiring a combination of various procedures, to the ones that are more disconnected in their basic constituent elements and have explicit assignments. We maintain that exposing students to situations that are initially complex and varied, becoming then disconnected in their constituent elements, also through recursion proposals, can favour a progressive and complete appropriation of knowledge and abilities comprising the recommended competence, and can contribute to the full and meaningful acquisition thereof.

This paper intends to bring to light some aspects related to the connection between education and a democratically organized society in Dewey’s thought. More specifically it intends to throw light on the conditions that, in the author’s view, are at the basis of an authentically democratic society, on the importance of widening democratic methods from political institutions to all associative forms of human aggregation, the concept of intelligence in the community, the damages caused by the lack of democracy in the school system. The process of democratization must also involve users of school education, the students, in the first instance by means of an intervention in educational methods which allows them to achieve mind release by getting over the traditional model based on passive transmission of knowledge, and secondly by giving them the intellectual tools considered useful to improve the current social organization. The course towards learner’s release must nevertheless go through a new concept of experience and the acknowledgement of the role carried out by action as a function of learning.

Recent studies about metacognition and the factors influencing scholastic success have provided us with greater insight regarding the development of the mind. Starting from early childhood education, the school must learn how to meet the challenge of forming metacognitive-mature children. Ordinary teaching can be seen from a metacognitive aspect as helping pupils to develop knowledge and metacognitive processes. Metacognitive competence begins in early childhood when the first traces of learning disorders become evident. It is also possible to plan a specific metacognitive syllabus to discover mind functioning, using psychomotor and symbolic games, orienteering, as well as exploring and manipulating activities suitable for three to six-year-olds. The article presents comments concerning the opportunities for pupils in pre-primary school to develop metacognitive skills and attitudes which will lead to achievement in their further education and to becoming mature in a holistic development of personality.

This study tries to identify how teaching strategies that are based on guided discussion can affect some aspects of learning. A group of upper secondary school teachers used five guided discussion teaching methods. The techniques have been carried out within a class from September till December 2014. After each session, the pupils were asked to fill in a short questionnaire, focused on four learning dimensions: cognitive, metacognitive, social and emotional. The data analysis showed, on one hand, that the learning dimensions developed positively as the discussion strategies became more complex and, on the other hand, it underlined some difficult educational moments. This study shows how the guided discussion may represent an effective teaching strategy to develop meaningful learning for students and the professional development for teachers.

Simone Digennaro, Filomena D’Aliesio, Antonio Borgogni

Reasonable education and fluid teaching: a sustainable didactic model

Starting from the persistent and structural state of crisis that is affecting the education system – that is, to some extent, different if compared with the past – the paper aims to propose a new way to conceive education. The general idea of education is rigid, dogmatically founded, rationalised, tied up with a certain kind of conservationism and disjointed from the reality. Therefore, teaching practices are inclined to be closed within doctrinal dogma; they become also rigid and less reactive to the constant and unpredictable cultural changes that affect the contemporary contexts of education. The proposed argumentations converge on a way to conceive education that is based on a reasonable approach – not rational – and on a fluid and sustainable didactic. The latter is barely invasive and linked with few educational constants – the pedagogical instinct, the ludic instinct and the sustainability – with the view to develop educational paths that are less artificial and more well-grounded on the reality.

This paper aims to reflect on the implications and challenges that experts in the field must face when they want to evaluate the performance of digital technologies use in teaching. The argument stems from a contextual and social assessment, then we proceed with an applicative and methodological assessment of digital literacy activities. The work is driven by a multidisciplinary and heuristic vision of the matter, that aims to highlight not only the technical and digital skills of teachers and learners, but also critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, research. The attempt is to bring out a three-dimensional view: technical; cognitive/metacognitive; ethical/social. That is, a complex combination of skills, abilities and knowledge.

Registrazione presso il Tribunale di Trento n. 1336 del 5/10/2007. ISSN 2421-2946. Pedagogia PIU' didattica.